The journey to Madrid was incredibly smooth and painless. When I arrived at my house family's flat in downtown Madrid, I was again amazed by house blessed I have been when it comes to host families. I feel like I am staying in a 5 star resort complete with pool and laundry service! My host mother is incredibly warm and friendly and immediately made me feel at home. There are also 2 girls from Cincinnati staying in the house with me who were gracious enough to show me around town. After a little relaxing by the pool (which felt heavenly), we headed to the famous Buen Retiro Park which puts even Central Park to shame. We spent the afternoon wandering the various winding paths as well as catching up with some friends they had met earlier in the week. And, not to boast or anything, but so far I have had numerous compliments on my Spanish speaking skills (hey, I worked hard to brag about this!)
By far the greatest surprise I have received so far on my trip is the internet access in my homestay which will make staying in touch with my family (and blogging of course!) that much easier. I am so excited to see what the next month has in store for me...but right now all I can think about is sleep!