Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Birthday in Budapest

Here are a few pictures from last nights dinner. Steve and his coworker Evi headed to a kert (a garden where you can hang out and have a beer). I meet up with them at the kert and then Steve and I headed to dinner. It was a nice dinner with a great view.

Steve and Evi
birthday boyAt dinner. Szent István-bazilika over my shoulderSteve with Szent István-bazilika

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Steve!

Tonight we are going to Kyoto for a nice dinner. Steve wants Thai food and this Japanese restaurant has the best Pad Thai in Hungary! It will be a nice evening by the Danube.

Happy Birthday Honey!

April 2009 Easter 1974
Remembering last years birthday with Bonnie and Richard.
July 2008

Friday, July 24, 2009

IKEA - not just furniture!

We love IKEA! Not only can you buy well designed and often well manufactured (at least for the price point) furniture and home goods, but you can buy coffee, vodka and beer. We haven't yet tried the beer but the coffee is a great 'daily grind' and the vodka is surprisingly good.

We actually did a blind taste test against a very delicious Estonian vodka call Viru Valge. We couldn't tell the difference! [Apologies to the Estonians! Steven really, really believed that the IKEA vodka would not stand a chance, especially given Steven's dislike for Sweeden's Absolute vodka]

We also turn to IKEA for jams, crackers, swedish meatballs, yummy drink syrups, salmon, lox...and the list goes on.

Does your IKEA sell all of these goodies?

Delicious whole bean coffee and vodka above. We bought some
vanilla vodka to make what Steven calls a "Cherry Pie" cocktail.
Strangely mixing apple juice and vanilla vodka (add ice)
tastes a lot like cherry pie. He picked-up this drink ironically
in Estonia from his friend, Kätlin.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A hot day today!

There are various reports and warnings about the hot weather for today. We have seen a range of 35-40 degrees (95-104 F). We have no air conditioning, but usually do well given the walls in our flat are about one foot thick (30 cm). Over the next two days, we will definitely be finding a swimming pool perhaps this one on Margaret Island.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

cleaning the air

Life has been good and busy! We have been house sitting off and on the past month for friends who are in the USA. They have a beautiful home with an amazing view! Saturday a killer storm came through. It was short but intense. The temperature dropped about 30 degrees in 30 minutes. The good thing about a good hard rain is that the air smells and feels so clean afterwards! Here are a few photos.

Saturday morning enjoying a Bellini on the patio.
hot and humid in Pest
heavy skiesthe rain cleaned the air and gave us a great evening view!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Estonian Song & Dance Festival 2009

Anybody who knows Steven knows that he is always wanting to visit Estonia. It doesn't matter if it is -20 degrees in the winter or nearly 24-hours of nonstop sunlight in the summer. So missing the Song & Dance Festival wasn't easy for Steven.

The Song Festival in 1988 actually spurred on a 'singing revolution' that led to Estonia re-gaining its independence. So not only does it please the ears and eyes, but there historical significance. Diane attended the 2004 festival (they don't occur every year) and she nearly overdosed on all of the textile pattern and color. All of the performers wear their local traditional dress. It was beautiful.

Our friend, Kätlin, sent along some photos from this year's Song Festival. They live near the song grounds and visited the festival.

Kail and one of the performers

Ivo and Kail (center-right) enjoying the scene
outside of the song festival grounds.

Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn. View to the stage.
One of the largest song festivals in the world.
Not bad for a country with 1.4 million people.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Vienna...Wow! What a great city. I meet Steve and his coworker Evi on Thursday in Vienna. We spent the night and came home of Friday. The city is amazingly clean and very organized-it felt very German to us. We had a great time! Enjoy the photos. You can also check out my blog for more arty here to visit Diane's design blog.

Evi, Diane and Steven :)
The Hundertwasser House

Rockshorn Irish Bierpub
Fantastic pub with great selection whiskey, scotch and beer!
Magic Shop
A piece of Seattle
Kiss me

Evi and Steven in front of parliament
Diane and Steven

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A trip to the hills

Steve left for Bucharest on Sunday. We are meeting in Vienna on Thursday! Being in Budapest is great-we are so centrally located in Europe. Vienna is a three hour train ride away. I can be in a different country in three short hours! I will meet up with him and his coworker Evi and we will hang out on Thursday and Friday and then head home on Friday evening. I am very excited for this short trip. I love train travel...especially when it is a direct route:) (Check out this posting if you missed my adventure of 3 trains, 2 subways, 2 buses and 1 car.) I will take a ton of photos and post as soon as we get back.

Another treat we have this month is house sitting for friends while they are back in the states. They have a lovely home with a TV and a fantastic view of Pest! It has been such a treat to retreat to the hills. Here is a few photos of our first adventure to their home...

We started the day by eating ice cream with friends.
This was soooo goooodd!Strawberry and lemon.
Steve found a St Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds baseball
game on TV. The game was being held in Cincinnati
Who would have thought - watch a reds game in Hungary:)
Walking back to the cogwheel to head back home we ran
across this HUGE beetle. As Steve was taking photos I took off.
I love this photo Steve took from the bugs eye view.
This is a sign near our friends home.
We title this sign "lovers ahead"

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th-3 holidays on one day!

Today is a special day. Yes it is July 4th, but it is also my Grandma Jordan's 81st Birthday AND my Grandma and Grandpa's 61st Wedding Anniversary! What a great day! I wish I could blink and be home to celebrate with both of them. We miss you and love you!

Happy Birthday Grandma!
July 5th, 2008
Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!
July, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!

We celebrated the 4th of July on July 2nd at the US Ambassador's residence. It was a fun (and hot!) day. Hot dogs, cheeseburgers, ice cream and some delicious Sam Adams American beer!

Vintage July 4th postcard.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Secret Garden.

We enjoy spending time in Budapest's plentiful outdoor restaurants, bars and cafes. Steven is off to Kertem (or "My Garden") tonight which is one of Budapest's most popular places to to hang-out.

The "A" on the map is where Kertem is located. Right in on of the city's best parks.

Kertem is relaxed and especially welcomes dogs and bicyclers. Very Seattle in this way!