Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Cup of Joe...maybe.

We headed to the 7th district (also known as the Jewish District) last night to grab a cup of joe at one of Steve's favorite hangouts. OK, so we have only been there twice but Diane doesn't really like the place. Well, being the good woman she is, she was open to one more try. Well, it ended up being a good night. Quiet, cozy and pumpkins smiling at us as we drank our coffee's (Ok, really a glass of wine and a beer:). The place is called Bobek.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

“I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a wonderful feeling, I'm happy again.”

It is a rainy day here in Budapest.  Our Indian Summer has likely come to an end.  We are still enjoying temperatures similar to Seattle (not too cold) and there will be little snow in the winter...just a very cold wind.

Although a good day to stay at home, eat some soup and enjoy a glass of forralt bor (hot mulled wine), Diane is out in the rain today.  She is attending a lecture at the LUMÚ, Hungary's museum of contemporary art (think MOMA).  

She is then off to visit with a potential manufacturer/partner in a beautiful riverside town north of Budapest called Szentendre.  She will visit one of oldest and one of the few remaining kékfestő (blue dyeing) artisans, The Kovács Family.  

This kicks off for Diane several visits of different artisans throughout Hungary.  Her goal is to connect with artisans or artisan communities and work closely with them to design and produce her own line of home furnishings.

p.s.  Check out the photo of Steven!  I cannot believe how crazy he has become.  Signing? Dancing?  Wearing a hat?  You should have seen the people on the street looking at him!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where's the Beef?

As you may recall from our September 20 blog we were eating the same thing over and over. This is no longer true! We feasted the other night at a local restaurant. Duck, pork and chicken. Where's the beef?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hungarian Revolution of 1956

October 23 marks an important day in Hungarian history. Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Click here to read about the revolution.

We awoke early to attend the ceremonial rising of the National Flag. Unfortunately, we were not able to get very close. Most of the streets were blocked off. Afterwards, we walked around the city. It is a long weekend for Hungarians. Today is a National Holiday so everything is closed. In addition, everyone worked last Saturday so that they could have tomorrow (Friday) off. This means a four day weekend. I think most people have left the city for the countryside. The city is quiet and sleepy.
Parliment and the Hungarian flag

Margitsziget (Margaret Island) on the left

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rita the Pumpkin

Today was packed full of fun. We started off by heading to the market to buy all the ingredients for tonight's dinner...more about that later. We then headed upstairs at the market so Kätlin could experience Langos. She turned her nose up when we showed it to her but within 5 minutes she was maneuvering this big fried treat to get a bite.
Langos with sour cream, cheese and garlic
We headed up to the castle where we enjoyed a cappuccino and one of our favorite views in the city.
We finally ended up at home tired but ready to cook. Andrea came over and the four of use made a fantastic dinner! We received a great Estonian cookbook from Tiiu, Kätlin's mother. Thanks Tiiu for the cookbook! The recipes turned out to be very tasty!
Steve, Kätlin and Andrea busy at work
Tomato Tartar with Herb Cap
Home-style Apple Pancakes with Rose Hip Jam
Then the event Steve has been excited about for weeks.....The pumpkin carving!
Kätlin and Andrea were a little hesitant at first but once they saw how much fun Steve was having they wanted their turns!
The final masterpiece...
Today is our last day with Kätlin. We will head to the Széchenyi Thermal Bath for a day of realxation before we head off to the airport. Gotta run and pack my bag for the Bath!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Isten Hozta Kätlin!

Today was the last day of Hungarian language lessons (kár!) least the first installment. We have some of the basics down but still have a long road to travel.

Yesterday we welcomed a dear friend, Kätlin, from Estonia. Kätlin is visiting Budapest for the first time, so we are all discovering new things. We spent time at the Hungarian Ethnographic Museum. The museum is beautiful and offers an amazing collection of Hungarian traditional costumes and textiles. See photos below.

We had lunch at the
Central Kávéház near Váci utca which is a popular pedistrian street here in Budapest. Kätlin ordered a delicious dessert--see photos below--made of Hungarian túró (in Estonian: kohupiim). Túró is a delicious cheese curd, not too sweet, but very tasty. Fortunately, Kätlin shared her dessert with us.

Today was great and we expect the weekend to be even better. We are going to the main city market in the morning, relaxing at the beautiful Szechenyi thermal bath
and meeting up with our Hungarian friend, Andrea, in the evening. Stay tuned...

The picture below is a man's clothing.
Kätlin and Steven at the museum.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Special Visit

We had our first American visitors two days ago. It was a short visit-dinner and a walk-but we had a great time! Margaret (Steve coworker from the past) and her cousin Sara meet us for dinner. We took a nice walk to Hero's Square after wards. It was a great evening and we were sad to say goodbye.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


We were walking home the other day and came across a building that was covered in graffiti. Some pretty interesting stuff.

Click on the flicker link on the left to see more graffiti photos from the walk home.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Rose is a Rose is a Rose is a Rose.

Things actually aren't what they seem to be. Here Diane enjoys what seems to be a rose but is actually a delicious ice cream cone.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

One Month

It has been one month since we have arrived. It is truly amazing how much we have accomplished...apartment, phones, internet (a long painful process), jobs... And then the simple things that we take for granted like...successfully mailing a package, successfully receiving a package (it arrived today-thanks Peggy!), buying meat at the counter, opening a bank account, understanding the transportation, ordering food at a restaurant, even doing laundry!

I sometimes forget that we have moved across the globe only a short time ago. I have to take time to remind myself that it is OK if I don't get as much done as I plan in a day, it is OK to sleep past 7am every now and then, and it is OK if I don't speak fluent Hungarian yet. (Hungarians will tell you that I will be lucky if I ever speak fluent Hungarian.)

Well, we are off to Ikea. We have our first visitor arriving on Thursday and we need to pick up a few things. Katlin, Steve's host sister from Estonia arrives on Thursday! She will stay for the weekend. We are very excited for her to visit!

this morning: shopping at the market
(click on the photo to enlarge in a new window.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Walk in the Park

We went for a walk on Sunday. It was a cool, autumn day. It was nice. Not too much to write about. We are busy with work and language lessons. Here are a few photos from our walk in the park.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

6 Years Later...

Steven and Diane October 5, 2002
It has been 6 years of marriage. So much has happened in these past 6 years. So much has brought us closer together. It was almost six years ago we began to think and plan about our move to Europe.

Where will be be in another 6 years?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Madison Park Greetings: IPop

I just found out from my mother in law that I got a check from Madison Park Greetings! I designed 4 collections of magnets for them. They premiered my designs at a gift show back in August. Looks like they are selling!

Check it out!! Click here and then here for my info on their website!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Would you like a cup of tea?

We meet up with our friend Andrea tonight. She took us to a great tea house above a bookstore-right near our flat! We drank delicious tea and chatted about all things Hungarian. It was a very nice evening. She recommended getting together once a week...I see a weekly blog called "Thursday nights with Andrea".

Diane and Andrea
Tea Tins in wonderful patterns

Pizza Hut

You may be thinking to yourself, "Diane and Steve eat at Pizza Hut?". Well one thing you learn to appreciate when living someone foreign, are the familiar things - like Pizza Hut. The pizza tasted the same as in the United States. How do they do that? The restaurant itself-very different.

I will say that when we were finished with our meal we both agreed we would not eat there again. The pizza down the road at the local cafe was so much better.

note the big light that is a large pillar in the restaurant

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To Hungarian class we go...

We get up every morning and head off to school for Hungarian lessons. Class goes from 9am-12:15pm, with one 15 minutes break. The lessons are tough and fast. We feel fortunate to have such a patient teacher. Our class has 8 students total. We are from all over the world. Steve is the only guy but he survives. It is a good class.

Our metro commute.
...and when we exit the metro station this is what we see. I do love this. I love how big the city is and the beautiful architecture that surrounds us.