Here we are about a year after my above post when Rafa and I got together for an outing. I saw him again a couple weeks ago. He came over for lunch at my house and we ate on the terraza. It was nice. I think we'd seen each other maybe one or two other times since June 2020

Anyway, a lot has happened - and a lot has NOT happened since then. Fortunately, more and more people are getting their vaccines and things seem to be opening up a bit more.

I've gotten my first vaccine and expect to "get the call" (SMS text message) sometime this coming week for the 2nd (Pfizer) and last vaccine. Totally painless and had no after-effects whatsoever.

When my American friends come back to Madrid to visit after more than a year, I'm wondering how many of those old haunts will be open. Many, surely, didn't survive.

Most people are back to work and wearing their masks. Some say that by August we won't have to wear them. Many people will still, I'm guessing, but it may not be required. EVERYONE is still wearing them here in the streets, indoors and outdoors, and many are still putting them back on when not eating/drinking on the terrazas.

Gotta wonder when my next visit to the USA will be - or any international travel. Seems some other European countries are worse-off than Spain is. I'm looking forward to going back to Switzerland to visit my sister at some point. Haven't seen her since the Thanksgiving before the pandemic started, I think, so 1.5 years or so.

Summer travel is uncertain but we may stay in Spain as we did last summer (to Galicia). I'd like to spend at least a few days in Cantabria and, who knows, maybe even to the Aragon region. I don't know this area very well. We'll see.

There was a university graduation that I attended last night. No parents were invited, but apparently could watch live online with 4-split-screens of the giving-of-the-diplomas as well as 3 roaming cameras to the rooms where the masked students were grouped and separated, all distanced appropriately (most of the time) until it was their turn to go to place to receive the diplomas. Everyone seemed happy to be there and the weather mostly cooperated. It wasn't too warm, but did have a passing shower so they moved everything indoors.

We're getting a passing shower right now, in fact. Missing our friend, Steve. I'll always equate him with the pulse of Madrid. And, fortunately for me, he left a lot of himself right here.

Saludos, MadridMan
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