Just the two of us
To be honest, it isn’t easy taking on two children following a bereavement. Dealing with our own grief and becoming guardians was, at the very least, overwhelming. We went from living at home, doing what we want when we want and napping anytime, to being responsible for two young children in the space of a few days. Obviously, this has affected our relationship in a big way. This is why we made a promise to ourselves to go on at least one city break together per year.
We do try to allocate time for each other in the evenings or at the weekend but we tend to find ourselves sitting on opposite sofas, watching the TV and scrolling through Instagram. It isn’t difficult to slip into this routine. Before becoming special guardians, spending an evening like this wasn’t necessarily an issue as we had all the time in the world and we also didn’t have to organise a babysitter if we wanted to be spontaneous! But now, as most parents will understand, the weeks just fly by at a ridiculous speed and we sit there thinking “when was the last time we actually did anything together?!” It can be so easy to get caught up in the chaos of family life.
Obviously, as soon as we became special guardians our families really wanted to ensure that we kept our relationship positive and exciting. Not only is that important for us and our sanity, but it’s equally important for our niece and nephew. We want them to feel part of a safe and secure family unit, which would be extremely difficult if their guardians didn’t actually like each other anymore. Because of this, our families are more than happy to babysit whenever we need them to, so we use and abuse this to have a little weekend getaway every now and again. Uncle’s sister’s last words to us were “go and have fun you two!” And that’s exactly what we plan to do.
As many of you may have seen on our Instagram stories, we have spent the weekend in Madrid. We were there for FOUR WHOLE DAYS. Yes, we are spoilt. When we arrived our first wish was, of course, to have a nap. But we powered through and hit the shops. The Madrid Primark is unreal. We like to get the shopping out of the way on the first day so that we can spend the rest of our time doing all of the tourist attractions that actually make you feel like you are in another country. Nap time after shopping is also ideal.
For our first night in Madrid we booked a table at Bodega De Los Secretos. This restaurant used to be a wine cellar, prison and bomb shelter. Needless to say, it was a pretty cool setting. After dinner we headed to a bar called Salmon Guru where we had the coolest cocktails known to man. We actually had to queue to get into this bar and it was totally worth the wait. Uncle’s cocktail looked like a snail in a garden!
The next morning... we had a lie in! The sun was shining so we decided to do all of the outdoors tourist attractions. Our first stop was a rooftop bar called Azotea del Circulo de Bellas Artes which had unbelievable views over Madrid. Here we had yet more cocktails (are you noticing a theme yet?) and enjoyed the view.
We then headed to Retiro Park for a nice romantic stroll. Our stroll quickly became more fast paced when we spotted electric scooters dotted about. Obviously, we were intrigued. It turns out that Madrid (and other cities around the world) run a scooter sharing system called Lime. The idea is that you download the app, find a scooter (which is left anywhere, there are no specific docking stations), scan the barcode and off you go. We shared a scooter for about 5 minutes before we decided we valued our lives. As the sun began to set, we went to Tempolo De Debod, which was very romantic and provided countless photo opportunities.
That night we ate dinner at San Mateo Circus which was very edgy and therefore very overpriced. €18 for some bread and cheese. We also accidentally ordered some raw beef which was not ideal. So we decided to head back to Azotea del Circulo de Bellas Artes to lick our wounds. The view from there at night was just as breath taking.
We woke up on our third day to a very drizzly Madrid. Because of this, we decided to go to the Real Madrid Football Stadium, Santiago Bernabeu. The weather started to perk up after this so we went to look at Madrid Palace. This was over an hour away by foot so we opted to take the metro. Praise the lord for City Mapper, which gave us step by step instructions on how to travel there.
A trip to Madrid would not be complete without watching the flamenco. This was definitely the highlight of the whole trip. We booked tickets in advice to watch it at Essentially Flamenco because the setting looked really intimate. Which it was and the flamenco dancing was just unreal. The only negative was the two Spanish chavs that sat at the front and insisted to chat and put their feet up on the stage.
All in all, it was just so lovely to spend four whole days together without having to think about the food shop, practising spellings and doing endless loads of washing. We really value this time together and think that is undoubtedly helps us to keep our relationship strong.