Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 1: Madrid

Wow! What an amazing, yet exhausting, day!

We started off with a wonderful Spanish breakfast, quickly followed by a period of rummaging and scrambling to get the concert attire before we boarded our bus.

Our first stop was the most famous bull-fighting ring in the world! Our wonderful tour guide, Mark, told us a brief history of the landmark and explained that on Easter Sunday it is the celebratory task of a matador to fight 6 bulls at once!

Much to the excitement of the boys on the trip, we then made a stop at El Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, home of the Real Madrid Futbol Club.

After a few minutes of break time in the "botanical train station," the Chamber entourage went on a walking tour led by our two lovely guest guides, Mercedes y Raquel. The choir split up and walked through central Madrid, experiencing the royal palace, town hall, old Madrid, and La Plaza del Sol.

With four hours of free time at our fingertips, the boys and girls of Southern California's most prestigious performance ensemble spread through the many streets of Madrid, experiencing the locals, tapas, and of course, shopping!

Soon after, we found ourselves spiffed-up and ready to perform the 6:00 Easter Mass. As the performance and after-performance concluded, we were all showered with praise and presented with the chance the meet several locals, including a woman from Boise. What a treat to hear english spoken by someone outside of our bus!

We concluded the day with a beautiful vista overseeing an Egyptian monument (see picture) and a banquet in a Spanish restaurant. Underneath a freeway! To say the least, it was an amazing day full of excitement, knowledge, and lots and lots of walking! One last night in Madrid and then off to Toledo! Buenas Noches, San Marino!

P.S. If parents, friends, family or others want specific information, like Mrs. Chee's concern's for the whereabouts of Lucy the pillow, you can leave your questions, comments, or concerns in the comment boxes below the post! To answer her question, Paola had to remove her beanie during customs, revealing a cowlick, that appeared to be a bald spot.

Fun Facts of the day:

Alysha put a pre-baked danish into a toaster, catching it on fire. Chris and Greg both made the same egregious error in saying "numero two" within 30 seconds of each other. Adrian and Andy have managed to deplete Hotel Madrid of their entire water source. Greg, Andy, Adrian, Chris, and Andrew took pictures with Christiano Ronaldo and Kaka. Paola met new Spanish friends. We all watched Jesus levitate next to Satan and Hello Kitty. Adrian is neither a Muslim nor a woman. Millions of moving statues.


  1. Wow! It sounds like an exhausting but exciting start to your trip! Did you get to see any bull fights? Hope you got a photo of Jesus levitating next to Satan and Hello Kitty. Also hope you are all practicing your Spanish while you are there.
    I didn't know the cow had a name...where is Lucy? Should be like "where's Waldo".
    Chamber is likened to angels singing...awesome.
    From Michelle's Mom

  2. Especially liked the group picture, knowing you are all safe, sound and well.
    Thank you Andy for keeping us posted. Excellent blogging job.
    Enjoy your trip.

    From Ashley's Mom