on the way back, we stopped at a supermarket for a few little snacks. there was a room ready for us when we got back to our strange little hotel. it was a really cute room, and a good size... but it had... an interesting smell. it wasn't awful, but it wasn't pleasant, either. luckily we had open-able windows and a nice view of the city. we took a few hours to just relax, check our email, watch a little bit of tv, and take a siesta.
after siesta, we showered and headed over towards the prado. still a little groggy, we stopped at a starbucks (i know! i am disappointed in us too!) for some caffeine and a sandwich. we got to the museum at 6:00 (it's free from 6-8pm), and hit the highlights - goya, velazquez, rubens, titian... of course, las meninas stole the show, and it was everything i'd imagined it would be (even though i'd never really imagined i'd ever see it!).
our hotel was right across the street from plaza mayor, so instead of going straight to our room, we stopped at the charming 17th-century square. it was getting dark outside, that perfect time of day when the sky is still just barely lit up by the last little bit of the day's sun. a lively combination of musicians and entertainers and tourists and locals gave the cobblestoned plaza a certain care-free energy. the statue in the center of the square and the buildings around it were lit beautifully... we got some gelato for dessert and soaked up the romantic atmosphere for a little while before heading up to our hotel room for some much-needed sleep.