I must say, Madrid is a rather family friendly city. Playgrounds are everywhere and well-kept, down the median of almost every main street. Most venues in Madrid also have large-family pricing for EU families, a large family being three or more members (large American families pay full price, however).
From the playground we walked on to the gardens, with peacocks roaming all over--close enough to touch. I think Isaac actually did. They were up in the trees and on the buildings. I don't know how they fly with those grand tail feathers, but apparently they can.
Our park walk extended to the Crystal Palace, a glass castle filled with rocking chairs and complimentary reading material, surrounded by a turtle-filled moat. We stopped at a cafe with a view of the lake for hot chocolate and churros, a Spanish specialty.
Here we are on front of a giant monument to King...I can't remember...some benevolent king from the turn of the century. Bubba and Dave rested their weary bodies while Drew, Isaac, and Eli turned 360s and 180s of the highest steps.
Nana came and picked the boys up later in the afternoon to take them to an English class her friend, Helen Benito teaches to kids in her town. The boys answered questions about their favorite colors, foods, and hobbies.
Bubba, Dave, and I walked to the Museo Reina Sophia, Madrid's museum of modern art. The guys were very good sports, as neither of them really enjoy that kind of thing, but I was not going to leave Madrid without seeing Picasso's Guernica in real life. It has been one of my favorite paintings since my high school art history class. It was painted to commemorate the bombing of a Basque village in Northern Spain by German and Italian forces during the Spanish Civil War. I think it conveys a sense of emotion and terror that realism just can't quite get to. The experience of seeing it at its true scale is so different than seeing it in the pages of a book.
After walking Dave's neck and Bubba's knee to the max on marble floors we caught the train to Alczar de Henares for dinner at the Benito's home. Helen made some great typical Spanish foods like tortillas de patates. She also prepared a lovely birthday cake--with the bong as a cake topper. There are pictures somewhere, I just don't know where.
Following a weary train ride back to Nana's and Bubba's place we fell asleep anticipating Madrid day four.