Hello! I apologize to all three regular readers of my blog. It’s been quite an absence. I have very good reasons for it, though, and since the fate of the world luckily does not depend in any way on my regular postings, I’ll be forgiven, right?
First, there was Szent Istvan Day, August 20th. Our flight home from Barcelona landed right on a Hungarian national holiday, named for Saint Stephen. Among other things, the blackened, withered hand of Steve is brought out to the streets of Budapest for all to see. If you don’t feel like waiting until August, you can check it out at the St. Istvan Bazilika. However, in August, in addition to the hand, there are lots of fireworks and festivities and food stands in the streets. Our friends Jaclyn and Rob, who have an enviable view of the Danube River from their flat, generously hosted a few friends for the holiday.
Shortly after this holiday, I started to prepare for my parents’ visit to Budapest. I don’t know if blog-words can adequately express how excited I was for my parents’ trip. They’ve traveled extensively through the US, but they’d never stepped off American soil prior to this (not even Canada or Mexico). When we learned we might be heading to Budapest, one of our big checkmarks in the “pro” column of our “Should we move overseas?” list was that we would be able to introduce Europe to our relatives who might not otherwise have made the trip. For my dad, in particular, I know it’s been a lifelong dream to visit the Czech Republic, the country of his ancestors. So the fact that we currently live so close to Prague (7 hours by train, 5 by car) is a big bonus!
Before my parents arrived, I embarked on what some might call a completely insane cleaning spree. I think my conversation with Richie went something like this:
Richie: I don’t think I’ve ever seen you clean like this before.
Me: I did this EXACT cleaning routine two weeks ago.
Richie: Well, I’ve never seen you go this crazy.
Me: Yes, because normally you’re at work when I go this crazy.
Richie: I thought you just watched bad television shows and went shopping with Sophie while I am at work.
Me: Well… yes… that too.
Amidst the cleaning, I was frantically checking e-mails from my parents, as the Lufthansa strikes threatened to ruin my happiness. I went to sleep on Monday night blissfully unaware of anything going wrong, and woke up Tuesday to a series of emails from my parents describing their flight cancellations and subsequent rebooking issues. Luckily, they were able to rebook their flights for a similar schedule that got them to Budapest only three hours later than their originally scheduled arrival.
We’ve spent a wonderful two weeks together, and my parents are currently snoozing away, awaiting their 9 am flight back to the US tomorrow morning. I’ll be back with an update on our travels and local sightseeing adventures, but while I have some free moments, I wanted to jot down just how blessed I feel right now. Not only do I have the opportunity to live in this beautiful city, but I have wonderful parents who set aside worries about international travel to come see us (and the grand-dogs… they make really adorable “please come see us!” faces on Skype) and we were able to go see Prague, which is something I’ve longed to do since I was a little girl and my grandfather first told me the story about how his father stowed away on a boat to come to America with his love, my great-grandmother. Would I have been able to make that trip with my parents if it hadn’t been for our little Budapest adventure? I don’t know. So amongst the thousands of blessings I’ve had since we arrived here six months ago, I count that as one of the very best.
Don’t worry – my next post will have far more photos and far less sappiness 🙂