Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vorosmarty Ter

No matter what area we went to for sightseeing, we'd usually find ourselves back at Vorosmarty Ter. There were cafes, an outdoor market and shops. Plus the metro stopped right in front of Gerbeaud, a coffee/cake house.
We had our coffee, hot chocolate and cakes in the Neo-Baroque style cafe. A bit pricey but it is a place to enjoy the atmosphere and food. After we paid the bill which was around $100 (Hector ordered lunch) and got out of there. A few minutes later, our waitress found us and asked Hector to come back because there was a problem with the bill. Oh great, was it more than that? Turned out that we were billed twice for several items since we used 2 tables  but the staff was very apologetic and refunded us the difference along with a Gerbeaud chocolate bar. :)

Just outside the cafe, there are outdoor market stalls selling items and all sorts of food. Lupe and I shared this fried potato pancake with sour cream on the side. Not good for your cholesterol but comforting on a cold day.

Sausages, rooster testicles (no thank you), and other various food that I don't know the names of but you get the idea.

in a nutshell

Hey there. We  had a great time in Budapest. I need to organize all the wonderful places and sights we've seen here but my brain isn't fully functional. So I decided to share snippets in no particular order.

Day 1
  1. I went to sleep early (around 6pm) and woke up at 2am. Couldn't fall asleep again and found out that everyone else except Tyler had the same problem. We finally had to wake him up at 7am because the rest of us were ansy.
  2. Found a little pastry/bakery shop and had delicious fruit pastries and cappucinos.
  3. Had to hightail it back to the hotel to put on a heavier coat. It's chilly! 
  4. Got a bit lost as we are trying to get our bearings. Turns out we took the long scenic route to the Danube river but it's all good. 
  5. Found the Parliament building, the Royal Palace, Fisherman's Bastion and Matyas Templon (St. Matthias church).
  6. Had lunch in the Castle District at the Miro cafe. Had some awesome stuffed turkey with spinach and mushroom risotto. Joshua had his first on many hot chocolates on this trip but that's another story.

Chain Bridge at night

Friday, November 20, 2009

travel day

It is never easy travelling long distances especially with children but we made it on our 12+ hour flight from Los Angeles to Budapest. You might remember that my cousin and her family and my family were originally supposed to go to Shannon/Limerick, Ireland. It was a great deal with a castle in the Irish countryside. Stop. Because of poor customer service and airline cutbacks, both our family trip took a detour. Our family booked for Budapest and Hannah's headed to Dublin.

Even our departures were disjointed. Both of our flights left at 3:55pm but ours was British Airways and theirs was Air France so even the terminals were different. We were at Tom Bradley and they were at terminal 2. Uff, so much for hanging out before the flight. Oh well, we are still connected via our netbooks...

Check-in was a snap. I had already checked us in online and picked our seats for both the London flight and the Budapest leg. Our timing was perfect. Short wait to the counter to weigh in and put the bags thru. I turn to look back at the line and it had filled up with people. Phew!

Our London flight was uneventful. The kids were delighted to find Up and Ice Age 3 as selections on their entertainment channel. Their children meals arrived first so it gave us time to feed them before the adult food arrived. The kids got a great meal. Chicken strip a la Chick-Fil-A, mac n cheese, broccoli for the main entree, carrots and celery sticks, grapes, vanilla pudding and a Kit Kat. I wish I would have one too but the adult dinner was good too.

Oh wait, there was an event. An older man a few rows up needed some medical attention and they eventually found a MD to talk and help him. A little tank of oxygen was brought out and that aisle was pretty crowded with flight crew and the MD. When we arrived in London, the paramedics came aboard to assist him.

The kids slept for about 3 hours and I got about the same off and on. The sky was gray and cloudy as we descended so I was startled when we landed. From our middle row I couldn't tell when we would land so when we finally did, I kind of gave  out a little cry because I was unprepared for the loud thump at landing. Good thing Lupe said we landed because I was very nervous when that happened. You know it's a scary thing to hear a really loud noise during a flight. Okay I'm fine now. :)

Terminal 5 at Heathrow is really quite nice with swanky designer shops like Gucci, Prada and more. Lupe and I had fun walking around checking out the latest purses at Coach and browsing Harrods. Mental note to do shopping at Harrods on the way back.

The flight to Budapest was nice since it might have been about 50% full at most so we got to stretch out a bit. To board the plane we had to get on shuttle buses which seemed to drive about 15 minutes through 3 tunnels and various roads to finally reach our plane.As we settled in, an announcement tells us we will be delayed due to the back up caused by bad weather and 2 engineering problems with the plane.That set us back about 45 minutes but at that point it didn't really matter (to me, anyway); I fell asleep for about 30 minutes.

Going through the Budapest airport was a breeze. Short wait for immigration, nice modern airport from what I could see. We were disappointed with the stamp in our passports since the entire stamp wasn't visible and only the date was shown. Boo.

Hector was the human spectacle in his Hawaiian shirt and shorts in the foggy, 50 degree weather. Not too cold but pleasant. We grabbed a taxi for a short 20 ride to our hotel. I'm still in a daze with the lack of sleep so I'll talk a better look this morning. Very unassuming from the street but nice and modern inside. I booked 2 suites and unfortunately I forgot to remind them to put us close together. You would think when you book through Expedia they would automatically do that and well, they didn't. Oh well. Live and learn. We are in separate wings which is a short walk and elevator ride away.

Hector did a quick walk around while I unpacked and showered. I made some ramen noodles and popcorn for a quickie meal for the kids. It's always nice to have some shortcuts! Hector found a place that has Mediterranean food so he got some wraps with meat, cabbage, onions with some spices and sauce that was so yummy. Of course when you are starving, most things are good. I'll have to try it again tomorrow. :)
It's 3am here and I slept for maybe 4-5 hours. Hopefully I can take another short nap then we can start our Budapest adventure....

Oh, by the way, I was able to take my plastic interchangeable needles on the plane at Heathrow but didn't want to push it by knitting in the terminal or plane but it was nice to know that my knitting passed the sensors.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


passing the time waiting for take out so I took pics of the fountain...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Super Mario Brothers



Every time I see them, I have to hum the theme song....