A little Buda, a lot of Pest: Days 4-6

Isn’t it amazing how, as soon as you complain about something not working properly, it fixes itself? *Sigh* Life.
Anyway, to continue:

Sunday, Day 4, dawned ungodly bright and early. Saying we were used to it would be true, and unfortunate. But, we were on vacation and getting early starts is kind of necessary.

After breakfast at Frohlich Bakery (slowly becoming our favorite place to eat), we met up with M&E for a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter.

We met in front of one of the many drinkable fountains in the city – it turns out that Budapest sits on a naturally pure water source, so all the decorative fountains have drinkable water! And yes, we saw many people filling their water bottles from lions mouths and, ahem, other bodily openings.
Our guide Zoltan was informative, funny, and native-born Hungarian who lived in the Jewish Quarter despite a lack of religious credentials. The Jewish Quarter, it turns out, is home to many non-Jews because it is so centrally located within the capital. It also happens to be the center of the party scene in Budapest and is home to the famously infamous Ruin Pubs.

(I maintain what I said in my previous post about how nice everyone is – they could be even nicer if they would just be a little quieter while wandering the streets in their drunken dazes)

After 2.5 hours, Hubby, Nooshkin, M&E and I backtracked to the Dohanny Street Synagogue for a look inside. We decided against an official tour and just wandered around taking pictures of everything.

The interior of the Dohanny Street Synagogue

The interior of the Dohanny Street Synagogue

A close-up of the Aron Kodesh (where the Torah is kept)

A close-up of the Aron Kodesh (where the Torah is kept)

The cemetery in the courtyard

The cemetery in the courtyard

There was even a guestbook that you could sign so the synagogue would always remember and cherish your visit…that’s not weird in the slightest.

During the morning tour, I learned that Franz Liszt was the Shabbat Goy at the Dohanny Street Synagogue and played the organ during services!

Yup, accurate.

Yup, accurate.

How crazy is that?!

Once that was done, we all headed back to our respective abodes to relax and get ready for the wedding!
Which was on a boat in the Danube River with Buda Castle in the background.

The couple was gorgeous, the party went all night, and a good time was had by all. The craziest part was, they hired a second wedding planner who took care of the Kosher food for us and M&E. Actually, that isn’t so crazy once you really think about it.

Especially because they kept eating our food....

Especially because they kept eating our food…

What is crazy is how everyone seemed smitten with Nooshkin…nope, also not so crazy.

Day 5 was my plan. We were taking a roadtrip through the Hungarian countryside to Nyiradony, which is about 20 minutes Northeast of Debrecen, which is 2 hours from Budapest. It’s the village where my grandfather was from.
More about that in a different post.

Day 6 was devoted to shopping til we dropping. Which we were incredibly successful at (we are kind of professional). And, of course, taking more pictures of the sites around us.

Before we knew it, it was time to pack everything up. While the trip was wonderful, it was also incredibly exhausting – to the point that, fairly frequently on day 6 Hubby and I would look at each other and say “Yeah, I’m ready to go home”

I guess that is the best sign of a successful trip. That, and the swag we brought back 🙂

Currently Grooving On: Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody

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International Woman of….something

The Restless Mama family is going to Budapest!

Our dear friends J&E are getting hitched, and they graciously invited us so we naturally graciously accepted.
Hungary is one of the many countries we want to visit anyway, so this is the perfect opportunity to cross it off our list.

I cannot guarantee posts while abroad, but who knows? Maybe there will be some restless moments (ha, yeah right).

At the very least there will be lots of pictures when we get back.

Crazygonuts Family Fun Times!

Also known as LAK’s wedding week extravaganza.

The family has returned to their places of origin, the happily married couple is currently on a trip that may-or-may-not resemble a honeymoon (I mean, they are currently not in the country, but they are in Seattle, so…..), and the mountain of laundry is now merely a molehill.

In short, we now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

*insert sound here*

*insert sound here*

Excepting, of course, the two presentations I need to present this week. And the requisite term papers that go along with those presentations (even though they aren’t due for a few months). And our international trip next week, which requires only some preparation. And job hunting because, well, consistency.

But still. *Deep, contented sigh*

Pa is fond of saying really corny dad things, and his catchphrase is “When’s the last time this whole family was together?” And truth be told, it had been a while. About 2 years, to be exact – since Other Brother’s wedding.

Although we have multiple email and whatsapp chains, because my family gets together like this we tend to get on each others’ nerves really quickly and really often. It’s almost like we regress in age and space, back to before the in-laws and offspring and BA degrees (of which we all have). It provides us a second chance at the childhood we experienced together, because for us those jokes really don’t ever get old. There is nothing like taking a joke out of storage for the first time in 7 years, and realizing it’s still hysterically punny.

We also get the chance to make new jokes and memories, without any pretense. Our collective memories revolve around moments like this, which make them more potent. All those Friday night dinners we had together as a family are a huge blur – but the last two weekends will be remembered for a while (and not just because they are freshest).

But, it also provides us the opportunity to talk with each other about the things that really matter. The technological threads are there for the usual day-to-day mundanities, so when we are all physically in the same place we can get right down to business.

So although it was crazy, and stressful, and absolutely hellishly nuts – it was nice to have the whole family together again for the first time since the last time.

*pause* Yeah.

*pause* Yeah.

OH, here are a smattering of pictures. Because of course. Enjoy.

Yup, totally normal.

Yup, totally normal.

Nooshkin and DaNiece meet!

Nooshkin and DaNiece meet!

Fun times at the beach

Fun times at the beach

Three men and a baby!

Three men and a baby!

Nooshkin and DaNiece

Nooshkin and DaNiece

Hubby and the Other Brother

Hubby and the Other Brother

LAK was surprised by her bestest friends.

LAK was surprised by her bestest friends.

Getting ready

Getting ready

Pretty girls

Pretty girls

The Restless Mama family

The Restless Mama family

A Final Countdown, of sorts…

My brain has entered that unholiest of places. My very being is slowly succumbing to an endless barrage of ticking and tocking, of incremental increases in stress levels, and in copious consumptions of rum.

Except, the rum is always gone.

Except, the rum is always gone.

I have entered…The Countdown Place. [thus endeth the melodrama]

I should explain, elaborate, and exhale.

When I first quit work I had set myself a time frame for everything that I needed to do. And, except for finishing my seminar paper (of which I have currently 0/25 pages written and only 3/18 articles read in their entirety…), and getting my drivers license (which is entirely the fault of the Fercockt DMV in this country for changing the rules every five seconds) and finding a job (which has been mentioned somewhat at length here and here) I managed to do everything.

[thus beginnith the panic…ith]

Obscure pop-culture reference FTW!

Obscure pop-culture reference FTW!

Anyway, as soon as the time frame had passed I got all up in my head and only recently am beginning to come out of it.

And NOW, there is a lot more that is about to happen in the next eight weeks.

I have two-and-a-half weeks to finish my seminar paper before the next wedding. And then I have another two weeks before LAK’s wedding – and those weeks will be a flurry of wedding-related activity. But, there will also be wedding-related activity in the first batch of two weeks.
Then, after LAK’s wedding, I have another two weeks before our friends’ wedding in Budapest (oh yeah, I may have completely forgotten about that with everything else that’s going on). So, I also have to plan an international week-long trip in the next six weeks.

Not to mention the usual tasks of job hunting, license getting, nooshkin minding, apartment attending, and school.

I am hoping that once everything resolves, or as soon as there’s rum, I will be a much more fun person to hang out with. But for now, I guess I better get to work…

Currently Grooving On: All 3 Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtracks (for some reason they really help me focus on writing seminar papers)