Day 22-24

Budapest

Day 22

We woke up surprisingly early considering how late we stayed out, and decided to take Kasey to Két Szerecsen. With a third person, we got to try more food = win!

After brunch, we basically just came back to the apartment and somewhat helped Kasey plan for her trip to Bratislava, helped her find what train to take, etc.

After she left around 2:30 it was time to relax! We were still pretty exhausted from so much travel the day before, and I’m an introvert, so I was also tired simply from being social. 😀

I think the rest of the day (I’m actually updating the blog about a week after the actually events – whoops!) was spent doing laundry, and updating the blog.

Day 23

I discovered Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube and I’m super happy. I did a little yoga in the morning, when Bart and I were the only ones up, and decided to start a 30 day challenge.

When The Boyfriend woke up, we walked to down to Mozsar Kavezo for breakfast and so Bartley could get in his morning walk. Then, it was time to accomplish two errands.

1. Go to the mall and buy some Crocs because Kasey showed me how amazing they are. 😀 I seriously always thought they were just the goofy slip-ons with the holes in them. I’m sure those are super comfortable too… but I found some Croc sandals that are AMAZING and match everything. They are so comfortable, I may not wear a single other shoe all summer. We enjoyed walking around the mall, but we were anxious to accomplish out next task…

2. Go to Hertz to reserve our car for our upcoming trip to Pécs, Hungary and Zadar, Croatia! That’s right – time for a road trip. There are plenty of trains to Pécs, but getting from Pécs to Zadar is another story. There were some bus options, but they more than doubled our travel time, and didn’t allow dogs, (rude) which left us with option Road Trip! When we got to Hertz, the quotes seemed much more expensive than what we had found online. The customer service rep was super helpful, and was honest when we said it seemed much more expensive than online: he agreed with us, and advised that we book online. Ha!

We went back to the apartment, booked our car, gulped at how expensive it was but decided it would be worth it (fingers crossed) and decided to head down to Deak ter to enjoy the beautiful weather, read, and message with friends back home.

Day 24

Like I said – I’m updating this about a week after.. so I can’t remember much about this day other than we packed and planned some for our upcoming trip, spent some time in the sun again down by Deak Ter. For dinner, we went to The Boyfriend’s favorite spot, Bors. It is QUITE delicious! Since Bors doesn’t have seating, we ordered it to-go and went to Racskert, the little food truck court near our apartment. Unfortunately, they were screening the World Cup, so it was super packed and loud. We ate our food and headed back to the apartment, to pack and plan some more.

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Day 17

Budapest

Today was not a super eventful day. We wanted to take it easy in preparation for our next excursion, which starts tomorrow.

I woke up a little earlier than The Boyfriend and went and got a bagel with Bartley. We stayed at the cafe for a while, just reading and internetting.

When I got back to the apartment, we did some cleaning and laundry because a friend of mine is staying in our apartment while we’re in Vienna and Ljubljana. Then, we decided to splurge and go get a Thai massage! It is way more affordable here, and was just a nice way to spend our last low-key day before our travels.

Afterwards, we stopped for a burger at Deep Burger, just around the corner from our apartment. Don’t go. The food was good, but the service was really bad. The one waitress was hardly ever even at the counter, and always made it seem like a huge deal if we came up to order more, and got our order wrong each time we ordered another drink. Also, at the end when we wanted to pay, she asked me to use cash even though I could clearly see a credit card machine. This was the worst food experience we’ve had throughout the whole trip.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful: we went home, I worked on the blog, we packed for our trip, I did yoga, Skyped with my dad, took Bartley on a long walk and HAD CHIMNEY CAKE FOR THE FIRST TIME.  Photo credit from here.

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Day 14-15/34 Eastern Europe Trip

Budapest – Saturday: Happy to be “home!”

Today, we wanted to have some time on our own. I woke up, did yoga, and had breakfast at Mozsar Kavezo. The Boyfriend slept in and ate leftovers. In the afternoon, I spent sometime at the apartment, and then headed out to take Bartley to a park. The Boyfriend went to see a movie.

On my way to the park, I stopped for a to-go salami sandwich. I didn’t expect much, since it was less than $3, but it was seriously good! I could tell the ingredients were fresh and it was the perfect amount. It’s weird to go on an on about such a simple sandwich, but we just don’t have cheap food that actually tastes good, readily available back home.

So, as I was walking Bartley to this park, I went through an interesting block, and wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. Ironically, the streets were Szép (which means beautiful) and Magyar (which means Hungarian). The buildings on these streets were mostly vacant, and the few people I saw seemed to pay special attention to me and Bart, and anyway… we just wanted to get out of there.

When we finally got to the park, we discovered it didn’t allow dogs. This is one really strange difference here: dogs are allowed in almost every cafe, bar, and restaurant… but NOT in many of the parks. So strange! Thankfully, there was a cafe next door, so I ordered a lemonade and continued reading my book. Another difference – boy, do they know how to make lemonade here! So delicious, full of fresh fruit, basil, mint, you name it, it’s just the most refreshing thing ever. On the hottest days here, we always try to find a place with lemonade.

On the way home, I stopped near Deak ter at this cool outdoor area for more reading. After about thirty minutes, the wind really picked up, so I headed back to the apartment. The Boyfriend and I got back around the same time and shared about our days. I am NOT complaining because this is obviously an amazing vacation… but I think at this point we were both a little fatigued from the busy trip we’d just had, and maybe a little tired of each other? Basically… we were a little grumpy. 😀

That evening, we walked down a street we hadn’t walked down before, and found a delicious pizza spot, and called it an early night.

Sunday

In the morning, I woke up early and went to Szimpla Market to get delicious, fresh food for sandwiches and snacks for the week: salami, eggs, goat cheese, sandwich bread, raspberries, tomatoes, hungarian paprkia, green onions, korozott (of course), and homemade yogurt. YUM. I went back to the apartment and cooked breakfast!

At this point, The Boyfriend and I were both annoyed, because the internet hadn’t really been working since getting back from Prague. We reached out to our host, and hoped she’d be able to help us soon.

Turns out breakfast wasn’t too filling – whoops – so we decided this would be the perfect time to have cake and coffee… so we set out in search of reasonably priced cake. Once outside, we realized it was the best weather we’d had in a long time, and promptly turned around so we could get changed for laying out in the sunshine by Deák Ferenc Tér instead! We grabbed a blanket, our books, and headed that way, stopping for a cheap salami sandwich en route.

We enjoyed several hours of reading in the sunshine – it felt so warm, even though it was only 70 degrees – ha! You can drink in the parks here, so we just bought a few beers and enjoyed ourselves. I finished my second book of the trip.

We went home and slept a while – day drinking is so rough sometimes – plus, our internet was even worse than before. After waking up, I was determined to go somewhere and finish getting caught up on the blog. Mozsar Kavezo had pretty crappy internet. At this point, I was beyond frustrated. Our host had replied saying she couldn’t help call until Monday, which was understandable, but we were both really annoyed with the situation.

The Boyfriend and I worked together, and we figured it out! We had restarted the router a couple of times already, but turns out what we needed to do, was unplug it for about fifteen minutes. I spent what was left of the evening updating the blog, and went to bed feeling way more accomplished than I should have.

Day 09/34 Eastern Europe Trip

Budapest

The Boyfriend’s Birthday!

For The Boyfriend’s Birthday, we did a lot of things we’ve already done before. I guess we’re cultivating our “favorite spots!” Plus, we had such an adventurous day yesterday, what with all the hiking, and the next few days are going to be very busy for us, as we’re going to Bratislava, Brno and Prague. A restful day was in order.

We started at Két Szerecsen, the place we went to breakfast our first morning here, and had  a repeat of this delicious feast.

IMG_20180616_104413Then, we went went back to Kazimir Bisztró, the place with the lovely outdoor patio from a couple days ago, and worked out some train ticket stuff for our upcoming excursion.

The next item on the agenda, was something The Boyfriend found himself, and this was definitely the highlight of his whole day: we went to this place called Bors, an eclectic street food spot, with Star Wars decor, rap music, funny guys yelling in the kitchen and at the cash register, and OH delicious food. He got one of his favorites, a pulled pork sandwich, and thinks it’s the best one he’s ever had. 🙂 This place was basically designed for him.

Sidenote: While I was waiting for The Boyfriend outside of Bors, I had this adorable exchange with a little Hungarian girl:

Girl: Do you speak Hungarian?
Me: Egy kicsit.
Girl: Enligh?
Me: Igen
Girl: I like your dog. Where are you from?
Me: Texas
Girl: Oh, that’s really nice. How old is he?
Me: Twelve
Girl: …Me too!

We went on to talk more about her dog, Popi (short for Popcorn!) and her name (Kata). It was really cute.

We stopped at Karavan (the hipster food truck court) so I could get langos, and we ate together. Then, we stopped at Racskert (the hippie food truck court with a lot of vegan options) for drinks and book time.

By this point, it was about 6 PM, and we figured we’d better pack for our trip… so we headed home. It was a little stressful making decisions: did we bring Barley’s large kennel so we had the option to go places without him during our trip? Did we only bring his soft kennel, but take him everywhere on our trip, in order to save luggage space? Did we need to buy all of our train tickets in advance? We ended up opting to bring his hard kennel, not only for our own convenience, so we could leave him at the Airbnbs occasionally, but also for him. This is a LOT of walking for him, so it’s good to have the option to let him stay back and rest. As for the train tickets, we only bought the ones from Bratislava to Brno, and Brno to Prague because it was really easy to do it online.

We went to bed early, nervous and excited for our next few days.

Day 08/34 Eastern Europe Trip

Budapest

We slept in a little and decided to go back to Most Bisztró, this time for their weekend brunch special. We were able to get two “menus,” basically combos. These are really popular here, even in restaurants. We picked bellins for drinks, I got a savory french toast that came with sour cream, tomatoes and hungarian paprika (SO GOOD), and The Boyfriend got The Hungarian Breakfast – sausage, bacon, over easy eggs, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, alllll mixed together. For dessert (which I completely forgot about by the time it arrived) he had raspberry yogurt, and I had some kind of hungarian cheese cake. WOW.

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The Boyfriend’s breakfast. I didn’t snap a photo of mine!

We decided we definitely needed to work off that breakfast! The cool front had lingered, so we thought – what a great day for a hike! A friend of mine sent me some info on good places to hike around Budapest, so we decided to try it out. The area is called Budakeszierdő. The reason was chose it is that you can hike to this amazing lookout point.  Even though it was pretty far away from the city center, it was super accessible by bus.  I just can’t get over how amazing the public transportation in here! There truly is no need to have a car.

This trip was particularly exciting because it was Bartley’s first time using public transportation. (Other than the trip over the pond, of course.) We brought him in his soft kennel, so we wouldn’t have to pay the price of an extra ticket, and so we wouldn’t have to muzzle him. He wasn’t the most comfortable, but all in all, he did great. 🙂

It took about 50 minutes to get there, and as soon as we arrived we knew we’d made the right choice.

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We meandered down many different trails. until we made it to the base of the final climb up to the tower.

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And wow oh wow were the views spectacular… These pictures just don’t do them justice.

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Here are some more pictures from the trek back down.

 

When we made it back to our starting point, we got dinner and I think it’s actully the best dinner I’ve had the whole trip: fried pork, homemade potato chips, and cucumber salad. Mmm.. The Boyfriend had grilled sausage and chilled marrow soup. We also tried a beer we haven’t tried yet, from Slovenia.

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When we were just about to leave, we noticed perhaps the most beautiful view of the day, right behind the restaurant!

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PS… There was a wedding reception going on inside the restaurant. We couldn’t stop laughing when we heard, Summertime Blues by Alan Jackson. How insane to hear that atop a mountain in Hungary – and a karaoke version, no less! Next on the “playlist” was Killing Me Softly. So random!

When made it “home,” we were super tired, so we just stayed in and relaxed.

Day 07/34 Eastern Europe Trip

Budapest

The Boyfriend and I decided to explore the city on our own some today. I woke up before him, walked Bartley, bought a bag large enough to carry my computer in (SO annoying when you end up leaving something at home that you actually end up needed while traveling) and some pogácsa for a breakfast snack.

When I went back to the apartment to grab my laptop (now that I could actually fit it in my bag) The Boyfriend was ready to head out as well. We ended up going to grab coffee together, and I posted pictures of our travels to facebook while he read. Oh! I almost forgot! It rained last night, and it brought a crazy cool front with it. Today’s high was 62 degrees, while yesterday’s was in the lower 90s! We were in a bit of a shock, but it was also a nice change.

The playist at the coffee shop was ridiculously awesome. Think early 2000s Slow Dance: You and I Collide by Howie Day, All of the People by Lifehouse, and BEAUTIFUL SOUL BY JESSE MCCARTNEY just to name a few. Wow.

Then, we went our separate ways. I took Bartley to explore, and The Boyfriend went to grab Pho, something he loves and I don’t. After a bit of walking, I discovered Kazimír Bisztró. Even though it was chilly out, I loved the patio, and happily set up camp there for reading and internetting.

The Boyfriend joined me a couple hours later, and then I ordered the most interesting thing I’ve ordered so far: smoked cheese, with a salad and sundried tomatoes. I thought for sure I was ordering a sandwich. Nope. That is just a slab of delishously smoked cheese.

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I told myself I’d only eat half of it. Nope!

That evening, after working out (since it became clear we weren’t going to get our 20,000 steps in today) and a snack, we ran some errands. We needed basic things like toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags. After, we grabbed a drink at our neighhood Mozsar Kavezo, and did some research about Ruin Pubs.

We decided on Koplug, a Ruin Pub just a 5 minute walk away. However, once we got there, we realized it wasn’t really our scene, and went to a quieter pub next door called Patent. It was the perfect choice.

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We had LOTS of drinks, enjoyed the random playlist – Paramour, Panic at the Disco, Artic Monkeys, Linkin Park, and Tove Lo. At some point, we realized we were quite hungry, and headed to the Karavan food trucks next to Szimpla.

The Boyfriend got the same pork burger as last time. I got pasta that was WAY too spicy, we had a waffle with vanilla pudding and strawberries for dessert. Okay… I had the waffle, but I shared a bit… 😉

PS A couple nights ago, after I had already fallen asleep, The Boyfriend heard a ticking sound that was annoying him. He finally located it, and it was coming from one of the breakers…. because I hadn’t switched our converter/adapter back to adapter after using it as a converter with my hair straightener, when I plugged it back into the power strip. WHOOPS! So glad he heard the sound and figured it out before anything happened!

Day 06/34 Eastern Europe Trip

Budapest

Due to staying out SO late… today we slept WAY in. At some embarrassingly late hour, I went down and grabbed coffee and croissants for us: two lattes, one pesto/prosciutto croissant, and one cheese croissant. Delish!

We continued to have a pretty lazy day. We bought our train tickets that we’ll need for some of our later travels, Vienna to Ljubljana and back. Then, we decided to take a closer look at our finances and make sure we weren’t over-spending. Ironically, the place we picked to do this, turned out to be a huge tourist trap. We paid more for this mediocre meal than we have for ANY other meal thus far. :/ That aside, I’m proud to report that we’re in good shape! We’ll cut back a little now that we’re in the swing of things. 🙂

We went back to the aparment, and just continued to keep things calm. (This was probably our slowest day so far.) JUST when we were supposed to be getting ready to bus over to the Castle District, The Boyfriend fell asleep. 😀 It didn’t really matter though, because the buses come so frequnetly. Yay public transportation!

We took the bus to Clark Ádám tér, and started our journey up to the Castle District. We decided to hike rather than take the funicular up, because you have more opportunites to take in the view… but I think we hiked up the wrong side. It was still a nice trail though. IMG_8812.JPG

We didn’t really know what order we’d see things in, but our goal was to see: Buda Castle, Matyas Church, and Fisherman’s Bastion… and enjoy the breathtaking views of Parliament and Pest from each stop.

First up, was actually this incredible view of Buda and the sunset.

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Next was Buda Castle, and the views from its perspective.

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Next was Matyas Church. Wowzers.

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At this point, we were hungry, so we stopped at an outdoor cafe for some drinks and a “Hundog,” a delicious grilled sausage topped with Sauerkraut and seasonings.

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Finally, we made it to the Fisherman’s Bastion, and enjoyed the views from its persepective.

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By this point, it was past 11:30. Twas definitely time to head home and walk Bartley and go to bed. 🙂