May 4, 2022

funniest memory from our trip & some of our stops in Budapest

Coach and I saw so much in our 8 days abroad. Ed was an excellent tour guide. 

Awesome tour guide along with a
family in the background
 that was on our tour.
* After our tour of the parliament building (without Ed, who was in class. He's done the tour more than once with visitors), we met Ed and did a free walking tour of the castle district. Beautiful.

* We had dinner that night with two of Ed's new friends. One is from Sweden and one is from Norway. They were very nice young men. Both a few years older than Ed, graduate studies. We so enjoyed talking to them about where they've been, how many languages they speak, their cultural differences from where they were from, and their different overall experiences. 

One of bazillion beautiful
churches that we saw.
I believe this is one
in the castle district.

* They were very taken aback when we paid for the meal, but we insisted. Later they texted Ed to say that was not how it would've been done in their home countries, but after thinking about it they felt it was very kind. 

* I was trying hard to engage in the dinner conversation and I didn't want to be a fussy dinner companion, so I asked few questions before I ordered my meal. Well. Everyone enjoyed their food so  much and my duck was awful. So awful. One of the worst meals ever. I was dying for a floss stick, and a plate of food. I was so hungry after eating. 

Not my meal.

* In order to get to the dinner that night, we had to take a bus without Ed. We were meeting him. Let's just say, I lost Coach in the shuffle of trying to look for a bus and I had no phone. He had the one functioning phone that we were using. It was frightening. This is the beginning of my EXTREME frustration with Google maps, and Coach's obsession with it. I could SEE that buses with the number 33 were stopping just up the street, but Coach was in full-on hero-worship of Google maps. He insisted that Google was sending him in another direction. Anyway, we were only separated from one another for a few minutes. I feared that he'd hopped on the bus thinking I was right behind him and I had no way of contacting him. 

Shoes next to the Danube River to
remember the Jews who
were shot there during World War II. 

* After dinner, Ed took us to the ruin bars. Very interesting, unique bars made from the ruins of buildings that were about to be demolished. The bar owners add quirky furniture or odd pieces like a bike or a car or a large owl and the space takes on a unique aesthetic. My companions enjoyed trying various beers. Celiac disease means I can't drink beer, not sure if you knew that. No worries, I miss sheet cake and my favorite cereal more than beer. I sometimes had a glass of wine, but jetlag was still making me sleepy so I often just listened to them critique their choices. 

This is the wrong side. Unimpressed, note
the gates around the top
because of construction.

* On the 3rd day in Budapest, 
(tempting to sing  . . .  MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME) we went to Gellert Hill to hike. It was supposed to have great views. Ed told us to get off the bus or taxi and walk up the hill. Well, we were dropped off around the corner and couldn't quite see where to go. Don't get me started on the failings of Google maps/ a certain someone's reliance on Google maps. We ended up walking around the back side of the hill. The very top was under construction and we were like HUH. THAT WAS IT? And started to walk down, but then I spotted people taking a different path. Thank goodness because we almost missed the whole thing. No views to speak of from the backside. The front of the hill had gorgeous views. 

* This marks one of our favorite laughs on the trip. A couple asked us to take their photo with their phone. SURE, NO PROBLEM. I'm not sure what country they were from - Italy? Spain? they had dark complexions, but let's just say they do things different in their home country. The woman handed me her phone, sat down next to her beau on the little brick ledge, looked at me for a nanosecond and then faced her beau and proceeded to suck his face off. 

My computer has decided to be opposed
to cropping so you are left with this
creepy image. You can wonder if we
 are actually making out like
crazy. I'm not one to kiss and tell.
This is the view we almost missed.

Me (completely caught off guard, and sort of mumbling the following-  quietly):  OH, UM. OK THEN. SURE. OH, MORE. YOU . . . UM . . . OK, A FEW MORE PHOTOS WHILE FACING THAT WAY TOO THEN. WELL, I THINK WE'VE GOT IT. VERY GOOD. YOU'RE GONNA LOVE THESE. REAL KEEPERS. 

* They offered to take our photo next, and I'm sure they were confused by our lack of public display of affection. We were giggling so much, and oddly enough chose to look at the camera rather than into one another's eyes. Our tongues remained in our mouths while we posed. Personal preference, I guess.

* Ed showed us around the market which is right next to his college buildings. THIS IS WHERE I BUY AN APPLE EVERY DAY. THIS BOOTH HAS THE BEST . . . etc. I was missing my morning protein shake, so we ordered a fruit smoothie from a little stall. Um. Room temperature, no yogurt or anything, just fruit. Still drank it, but coulda used a little chill, if you ask me. 

The market.

* When we crossed the street to the market, Ed took my hand. He held my hand as he showed us around. It was very sweet.

Later that afternoon, we met Ed and the 3 of us hopped on a train to Vienna. The Vienna airbnb was also nice and also in a prime location, well done me. There was something that interfered with my sleep, in Vienna. Feel free to take a guess. I was kept awake by this thing, and I was not even sure what it was. Initially I thought it was a washing machine in the above apartment. Now I've completely thrown you off track. 


Nicole said...

The trip sounds lovely (except for the food, travelling with allergies sounds pretty awful). I would love to go there one day!

Ally Bean said...

I've wanted to visit Vienna so your adventures sound wonderful. Sorry about the bad duck dinner and the odd noise. Travel can be weird.

Pat Birnie said...

I sounds wonderful (except for google maps, not great food...). I remember going to the top of Gellert Hill at night to see the spectacular city all lit up!! I'm glad you found the right side. Ed taking your hand touched my heart. So sweet; I'm so happy he's experiencing this and that you got to visit.

Colleen said...

Ed is so sweet! What a great tour guide. You cracked me up about the kissing couple, I would have blurted out random things in my nervousness too. So funny! Can't wait to read about beautiful Austria coming up!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Highly recommend Budapest. My GF status made it tricky, but I was glad that there wasn't a language barrier to complicate things.

Ernie said...

Ally - Usually I was so tired from walking all over the place that I slept like a log. The sleep in Vienna was the exception. Vienna was quite different from Budapest and Prague. Those two cities had a similar look/feel. Vienna much more astsy.

Ernie said...

Pat - Ah, someone who has been up Gellert Hill. You probably didn't know there was a way to walk up the back . . . leave it to Coach and I. Such pretty views. I imagine it was beautiful at night. The weather was gorgeous that day. We wore t-shirts. Really we couldn't have asked for better weather the entire time. Ed was so happy to share his love for this place. He is a sweet son.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Ed is a sweet young man. He is tuned in to his mom. When Ed took our photo later in the day after Coach and I had experienced the necking couple, we pretended we were going to make out. Ed was like STOP IT.

Jenny in WV said...

Sounds like you had some adventures!
I'm going to guess there was a subway running under your airbnb.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Just a few weeks ago, I either read or saw something on TV about the shoes next to the Danube River. Haunting and It still baffles me how this type of genocide could happen and NOT THAT LONG AGO.

I love that you had such a great tour guide in your son. The Coach and his google fever? Notsomuch. 😳

So funny about the face suckers photo. Wouldn't you want a nice, clean pic? Maybe a peck on the cheek? A head tilt together?

Sorry about the bad food. That really stinks as I think FOOD can add to an amazing travel experience.

Don't take this the wrong way, but the last few visits that Bev came down and we went places, I held her hand. She had a bad knee and was not so stable.
Surely, Ed just wanted to be close to his lovely mama and wasn't worried you'd fall.

Ummmm was it the tonsil tennis-Love Is The Universal Language- couple above you in Vienna? Boom chick a wow wow.

Suzanne said...

Ha - the makeout selfie sounds so hilarious!

I am so sad for you about the poor duck experience though. Getting a bad meal at a restaurant is so disappointing! My husband mentioned that Budapest wasn't his favorite city for good food, but it sounds like it made up for the poor meal in many other ways!

Charlie said...

Sounds lots of fun. I feel you with the food. I’m not so keen on Eastern European food compared to the food in Italy or France. But the prices are soooo much better, and the prices for drinks in the ruin bars especially so!

Beth Cotell said...

Looks like such a great trip! I'm sorry you aren't able to enjoy all the food and beer.

Ernie said...

Jenny - adventures for sure. All 3 airbnbs had some interesting logistics when we got there. No. Not a subway. Good guess though. It was more subtle. ;)

Ernie said...

Suz - Agreed, I think about that all the time. This didn't take place all that long ago. How did someone not put a stop to it? The shoes lined up are an incredibly sad sight.

Coach is lucky I didn't chuck his phone into the river. More to come on that situation. It sure was great to visit a city and be lead around by a free guide, a cute one who is a good conversationist too. ;)

We chuckled about that photo throughout the trip. Too bad Coach wasn't taking a video of me taking the photo - but we just didn't expect such an interesting experience.

I laughed at you calling me elderly. I still go for runs, and carry 2 year old twins down the stairs after naps, so I think he was just being sweet. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Although . . . given our difficulty taking the bus, maybe he thought I'd get lost in the crowd.

I enjoyed your guess, but NO, not that kinda noise. I'm now grateful that it was something very innocent.

Ernie said...

Suzanne- Yes, it was SO funny. Different strokes for different folks.

I did have some very good meals on the trip. The duck stands out as the worst. Ed really likes the food in Budapest, but he's also a college student. He is certainly happy with the low price of eating out. Without restrictions, I think he has found good meals.

Ernie said...

Charlie - It was very fun. I really didn't think much about the trip in advance as I was focused on preparing to leave the rest of the gang. It was an unexpected surprise to enjoy the trip. It was also great that we didn't have to do very much research as Ed lead us around and knew what we should see. Some food was good. Thank heavens for ice cream. Oh, the prices. That has made Ed so very happy. He constantly sends us photos of his meals and then tells us how little he spent on it. A college kid's dream. I imagine the food in Italy and France is amazing. I'm nervous that if I go there one day, I'll struggle to avoid gluten. Especially the pasta in Italy.

Ernie said...

Beth - It was a great trip. I hope we get to visit Tank and all other kids when they study abroad. Looks like I won't be able to quit babysitting for a good while. I was never a huge fan of beer, but I do like good food. Grateful that beer is off limits for me and not wine.

Bibliomama said...

All very cool, but getting a bad meal when everyone else's is amazing is SO disappointing. I did know about celiac and beer - I guess there are some gluten free beers, but from what I hear they're not very good.

Ernie said...

Ali - It sure was disappointing. Since we were meeting Ed's friends for the first time, I didn't want to send my meal back or ask the waiter a million questions before ordering. I mean, who knows if these kids from other countries have seen When Harry Met Sally? I drank beer in college, but it isn't my preferred drink, so I don't really miss it. Thankfully, I can usually still drink wine. I can only imagine how gross GF beer is.