[Tuesday, August 5, 2014]
We landed yesterday at SFO [San Francisco International airport] at 1700 hours and we were so happy to be back. We had spent two days in Madrid. At this point we were so done with everything that we spent one day sitting in our Madrid apartment sleeping, watching television, and wandering around for a little while in the crowded streets of our downtown residence. We also cooked a dinner of veggies and tortellini in a single frying pan. Sunday [in Madrid] we went to Mass at a convent (the church was literally one street over and a half block down), then proceeded to do a bus tour of the city. We visited the cathedral in Madrid [Almudena Cathedral] where Pope Benedict XVI said Mass with seminarians during World Youth Day in 2011. The cathedral has many side chapels of saints who were born in Madrid or other parts of Spain. We were pleasantly surprised in our wanderings to find that the cathedral housed a relic of Saint John Paul II …
The rest of the day we wandered through the major park in Madrid [The Retiro Park ?] and enjoyed ice cream on that blistering hot day next to a lake for row boats. We passed a pharmacy that said 35 degrees Celsius [95 degrees Fahrenheit], but it didn’t feel that hot, or we were just acclimated to it. That evening we went out to a plaza and got drinks …, shared a pizza, and enjoyed the atmosphere.
We arrived in the states [first at the Charlotte, North Carolina airport] and ate beautiful American food again. Kelsey went to Quiznos to get a sandwich… She was standing there for 5 minutes in shock and started crying tears of happiness because there was no ham on the menu [that she could see, anyway — there may have been. Ham had been the only meat available for most of the Camino].
Our flight from Charlotte to SFO was painful because of our eagerness to be home and done with travel. We touched down on a clear day after a beautiful view of the Bay and went out to Mexican food [Araujo’s Restaurant, San Bruno] with Rebecca’s family. We talked until 8 p.m. before heading home. When we opened the door to our house, it was like walking into a dream. We all dumped our packs and took showers and went to sleep…in our own beds with our own sheets and our own pillows. It was glorious. We can’t wait to see you all. We have SO many more stories to tell you all. See you all soon!
Los (ex) peregrinos