Sunday, April 25, 2010

Baby time!

No it is not 'baby time' for us. :-)

Yesterday we visited our friends Panka & Attila. Just a couple of months ago they had Johanna--their first child!

You may remember Panka & Attila from an earlier post where Panka (Steven's co-worker) prepared an amazing fish dinner. Both of Panka & Attila are from the river town Tolna just south of Budapest located near the Danube River.

Their daughter, Johanna, is very cute (of course!) and easy-going...she happily let us hold did her parents. Enjoy the photos!

Johanna taking it easy with Diane.

Nap time!

Johanna considers her next move, "Shall I eat...sleep...or continue looking cute?"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A great weekend in Eger

our hotel was right next to the castlewine tasting
steven (thank you for a great weekend!)
where we spent a good deal of time eating and tasting
a tasty restaurant we found-we ate there twice
around townview from the castle (Turkish Minaret on the right)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

No Unicorns...but fun in Eger!

Here is a peek of some photos from our weekend trip to Eger. We were celebrating Diane's birthday a few days early. ...but if you subscribe to our friend Bonnie's advice, one should celebrate their birthday all month!

On the steps of Eger's Basilica.

In a wine cellar with violinist entertaining.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Off to Eger! Magical Unicorns and Wine.

We are off to Eger this weekend. It is an early birthday weekend for Diane.

Eger is a town in northeast Hungary. If you live in North America and shop at Trader Joe's you may know Eger because of the $3 Eger "Bulls Blood" red wine they sell. Unfortunately, most of the wine from Eger that is exported tastes horrible.

Wikipedia says it best, "Eger is best known for its castle, thermal baths, historic buildings--including a Turkish minaret--and red and white wines." On a short trip to Eger last year, Steven and his co-worker, Évi, paid $1 each and ventured up the minaret. The tower is about 40 meters (about 44 yards) tall. Évi and Steven nearly had to crawl down because the winding stairwell was so narrow. Scary!

So by now you can see wine is in the forecast for this trip. One winery that we are looking forward to is János Bolyi's winery.

We'll have some photos of our own posted by Sunday or Monday.

Wine cellars!

Downtown view.

City coat of arms. Apparently unicorns live here. Yippee!
(Perhaps you see unicorns like 'pink elephants' after drinking enough wine.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Election Day in Hungary!

As much of Europe mourns the death of Polish President, his wife and several Polish dignitaries and citizens, Hungary goes to the polls today. Polls opened at 6 a.m. and are still open as of writing this post (10 p.m.). Officially the polls close at 7 p.m., but the turn-out in some areas is overwhelming, so polls are left open.

Unique to the US, media is not allowed to cover the election until polls are closed. So there is little prognosticating that you find in the US. There is no predictions based on exit polls in the first few hours of voting. It is strangely quiet right now!

It is expected that the center-right party will win big. And the socialist-liberal coalition will lose big. The "game-change" is similar to what the US saw in its presidential elections last year. Of deep concern, a far-right party may come in second or third in total votes. As just one example of their extremism, this party is affiliated with a militia. Hungary is not alone with such extremist movements. You see them gaining popularity in Bulgaria, Romania, Holland and Britain. (To note, these movements are on the left and right).

It is an interesting time...

Hungary's electoral system is interesting and complex especially if you are used to the US electoral system. You can learn more here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The season of leaving

Steven and I are always talking about how one of the great things about living abroad is the eclectic group of friends we have made. Our friend Bill is a freelance writer for the Budapest Times and says it perfectly. Check out his article. Steven and I even make an appearance in the text:)

Click here to read the article.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Lunch - Part II

A few more photos...

we love this photo

the boys

the girls

the best home made caramel popcorn!

the feast!

Easter Lunch!

We ate ourselves silly yesterday. We had a delicious lunch where lamb--three legs worth--was the star of the show.

Peter and Curt grilling the 3 legs of lamb!

Almost ready!
(click on the photo for a close-up)

Getting ready for lunch.

Diane and Sue toasting for the occasion.


Time to eat! Erika and Kim.

One of the 3 nice dogs patiently waiting for the scraps.

After dinner discussion around the fire pit.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

We are off to an Easter lunch in the hills of Buda. Friends invited us to join them. We'll post some photos later today.

What are you doing today?