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saturday, july 4, 2015 the fourth
I felt like it had been a while since I had been to a museum, and since I failed earlier this week at getting to the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, I figured this morning would be a good time to head back and actually get into the museum. It's an impressive museum, for sure, with a lot of great works of art by some standout names including Kandinsky, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pissarro, Munch, Dalí (my favorite painting was his), Monet, Manet, Degas, and a lot of others whose names I can't remember off the top of my head. I didn't feel too overwhelmed by the amount of art in this museum, though by the time I got to the third floor I was feeling a little anxious to get it over with. I think the best way to view museums is to visit them multiple times and take your time focusing on different sections. Museum visits really need to be thought out and planned, especially when in Europe where you have such a fantastic concentration of incredible works of art. I'm not done with visiting museums though—I think I have two more to check out.

In the afternoon Paul and I headed to his friend Pablo's house where we celebrated the Fourth of July...with nachos. It was a very small gathering of people, but I enjoyed seeing how someone else lives in Madrid by checking out his apartment, and the conversations were highly entertaining. Interesting fact about the nachos, we picked them up from a local burrito restaurant called Tierra, which is owned by a guy from Rhode Island. The concept of this burrito restaurant is very similar to what you'd see at a Chipotle restaurant, and from what Paul was telling me, there are four Tierra restaurants in the Madrid area, with another one opening soonish. I thought it was a cool success story!

Aside from being a day to celebrate American independence, it was also a day in which Madrid celebrated diversity. This weekend is Madrid Pride, and it is the largest Pride event in Europe, and the third largest in the world—that's quite the accolade! I had never been to a Pride event before, and it seemed like going out into the streets and showing your support for human rights and love was the thing to do last night. I was amazed at how many people were in attendance for the parade (which started at 6:30pm and ended at 12:30am), and you could easily get a sense of how people were so supportive of each other and accepting of the gay and lesbian community. There were people of all ages, including groups of older women and families with young children. After an annoying week of Facebook arguments over recent decisions in the United States, it was great to see so many people come together to celebrated diversity and love for one another. Isn't that what it's all about, anyway?

To finish up an evening of celebrating, we headed to an 'American' restaurant called Foster's Hollywood. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and fries, and while it wasn't quite like a burger we'd get in the States, it sufficed.

It was a good day to celebrate a lot of great things, and I'm glad I was able to be here in Madrid to experience it. As always, I'm extremely grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to be here in Spain and to see what I've seen up to this point. I'm still pinching myself daily!

pictures from today

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