Naturally, as soon as I lower my expectations, something comes along to turn them around. After a frustrating day on many levels yesterday (and yesterday's blog post), the airbnb host that I'm renting from texted to see if I wanted to grab a beer. That's a first for me (and he later said it was for him, too). I was afraid he'd just tour me through the touristy highlights of Madrid, but I decided to take him up on the offer anyway. It led to a great night of wandering the city streets and popping into places here and there for beers and bits of tapas. It was more the insider locals tour of places he liked - just what I like to experience when traveling. He also introduced me to Vermut, a vermouth that is typical here, but not the same as the ingredient we know and use in Martinis. Served out of a tap over ice, its sweet and dark, and dangerous! It was a fun night. I'm just glad I didn't have to be up for work in the morning like he did.
[apologies for blog posts before 11/2008 that are not yet updated to format]