Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sunset in Estonia

Sunset off the island of Vormsi, Estonia. This view was just a few yards/meters away from the summer house where we all stayed.

River boating on the Emajõgi

While in Tartu, we made several trips by Guido's boat. On one trip back to the house, we ran out of gas and had to switch the second gas tank. While drifting in the river for a few minutes, Tiiu "drove" the boat the old-fashioned way!

Joonas goes swimming!

Kadi & Jaan's son, Joonas, went swimming in Tartu's Emajõgi (Mother River). Joonas has been a little afraid of the water so this was a big day.

In the video you hear Tiiu (Joonas' grandmother) saying, "You are a good boy!" to Joonas. Joonas replies, "I swam nicely!" Joonas has such a proud walk!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Steven!

We are spending the day doing everything he loves to do....

We started the day in Voru with our friend Tiina making Estonian pancakes (more like crepes that American pancakes) filled with fresh berries!

We arrive in Tartu and had lunch and went for a swim in the river.
Tiiu spent the afternoon making kringle for Steven. A tasty (and labor intensive) treat! Tiiu fills the kringle with raisins, apples, pineapple and raspberries...and lets not forget the chocolate! Three rolls are made.

The rolls waiting to be braided.

Braided Kringle
magic is happening!
topped off with chocolate! Photos of eating coming soon!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Greetings from Estonia!

A few photos from Vormsi, Estonia. The island was great despite the biting flies and mosquitos. Diane learned on the boat ride to Vormsi that "Vormsi" is swedish for "snake island" - no snakes were seen. More photos and stories coming soon....

arriving on Vormsi Island
the view from the house we rented-not bad
Diane and Kadi - You would think these two are sisters since they share the same love for nature and bugs.
Estonian hot tub - do you see the beer can and that black pole? This is where the logs and fire are started. The "furnace" heats the water. No electric, all natural.
The dining room we ate in every night. The most amazing view of the sea and the sunset!
Tiiu and Diane
Kaitlyn and Lee
Steven and Kail
Ivo barbecuing the chicken...a true barbecue
Tiiu and Guido
Finding and eating the most flavorful wild strawberries.
There is more flavor in these little guys than in any store bought strawberry.
Jonas missing his dad who could not able to join us.
Diane did a bit of work. The view was really inspiring for her.
The most beautiful sunsets!
A good vacation so far. More coming soon!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

On our way home...

We just had a great "New York" pizza dinner with our good friends Bill & Sue. There is a great pizza place in town called New York Pizza and it is as close to the 'real thing' as it can get. The pizza oven was brought over by the owner who used to work in NYC making pizzas!

At Deák Ferenc tér on our way home.

Catching the metro!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This is amazing!

Roza playing piano.
She is only 13-years old!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July...Hungarian style

We started celebrating the July 4th at the US Embassy's 'official July 4th party' made-up of VIPs and dignitaries. We are still wondering how we got invited! The party was in the Castle District at a property that is amazing--view of the entire city looking down onto the Danube River.

On Sunday, we visited our friend's Támas and Szilvi. Their daughter, Roza, joined us as well as their (and our) friend Laci and another family friend with the same name, Laci. We had a traditional Hungarian cookout with lecsó and grilled meat...and of course delicious Hungarian wines. Diane made some 'American' chocolate chip cookies which we had with ice cream and sour cherries. The lecsó was a tasty treat!

We ended the evening with a private piano recital by Támas and Szilvi's daughter, Roza. She is an amazing classic pianist. We'll post tomorrow a short video of Roza playing. You will not believe that she is only 13-years old!

Laci, Roza and Támas - checking-out the camera. Laci is a good photographer. Hopefully, we'll have some more photos that we can post later.

Szilvi and Támas.

All of us in the garden.

Roza practicing with batons.

A sneak peek! We'll post a video clip tomorrow.