Late nights, slow mornings, afternoon breaks and different meal times make Spain feel much different from Seattle. In Seattle, people really don’t stay up late except on the weekends, but in Spain, people are out late every night of the week! People in Spain are up late having fun, eating dinner (usually sometime after 9:30 pm), and relaxing. Even the kids are out late with their parents. Many are playing around in the plazas next to the restaurants.
Siesta is when everybody takes a break and either goes home to rest and eat lunch or eat out. Siesta starts around 2:00 pm and lasts until 5:00 pm. Most shops and stores are closed during this time, but the tourists sites are open. Some of the restaurants are closed too, so if you’re hungry you might be out of luck!
In Spain many people eat tapas (small plates) instead of big meals. Lunch is usually around 2:00 pm during siesta. At lunch many people also like to eat at the bars which serve bocadillos (sandwiches), french fries, and seafood. On our walking tour of Madrid we learned that a bar with many crumpled napkins on the ground means people like that place. My favorite food in Spain has been cheese, bread, tortilla patata, churros and chocolate, and violeta candies.