One American habit that I lost when I lived overseas was saying “I’m so busy!” [Try this out sometime: send an e-mail or a text message or have lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a few weeks. Ask them, “How have you been?” If they’re American, I guarantee you the response will include the phrase “so busy”.] My Budapest life was designed with intent to be not busy. But as we wrapped up our lives overseas, flew back to Dallas, and returned to our lives in America, I quickly reacquired the busy-ness. Here’s the photographic recap of what we’ve been up to.

I cohosted a baby shower with my Budapest lovelies for our friend Julia, who’s having a baby boy in June:

My girls (plus Oliver!)
My girls (plus Oliver!)

Richie and I participated in a “family photoshoot” with the crew of expats that won the NAWA Quiz Night in April. The theme was… well, there wasn’t really a theme, other than “wear what you want”. Naturally Richie wore his sheikh costume that he acquired in Abu Dhabi a few years ago.

We certainly are the definition of a motley crew.
We certainly are the definition of a motley crew.

I had a last meal at my all-time favorite Budapest restaurant, Két Szerecsen, with my gorgeous friends from Germany.

The picture that Kati and Alina didn't want me to post (sorry ladies - it's too cute!)
The picture that Kati and Alina didn’t want me to post (sorry ladies – it’s too cute!)

We had a going-away party at Pata Negra. My first ever visit to Pata Negra was on the day that we arrived to Budapest, and I left the restaurant in tears (without my dinner) due to the stress. It later became one of our favorite places, despite the unpromising introduction. It’s only fitting that we had our farewell meal there, with yes, more tears!

The lovely women of Budapest that came to our farewell dinner
The lovely women of Budapest that came to our farewell dinner

We visited the Gourmet Festival in Millenaris Park with Sophie, Reiner and Oliver (somehow I ended up with a million photos of Oliver and none of anyone else… typical with adorable kiddos!).

Oliver prefers Richie's sunglasses over his own.
Oliver prefers Richie’s sunglasses over his own.

On Monday, May 25th, the movers hired by the Firm arrived to pack, box, and tape everything we own. They sent five men to pack a 140-sq meter apartment, and they finished in about 5 hours. I guarantee it would’ve taken us a week and it wouldn’t have been nearly as neatly done.

I originally called this organized chaos, but I'm just going with chaos now.
I originally called this organized chaos, but I’m just going with chaos now.
Moving, part 2.
Moving, part 2.

On our last night in Budapest, we had dinner at Bock Bisztro, a restaurant known for its twists on Hungarian food. it was featured on the tv show “Bizarre Foods”, and while the food I’ve always ordered has been fairly normal, poor Sophie was treated to the sight of this dragonesque claw on her plate.

This claims to be a chicken. I think not.
This claims to be a chicken. I think not.

Afterwards, to cleanse our palates of said claw, we went to our favorite wine bar for a glass or two of wine. Our flight was at 6 am, meaning we had to leave our apartment around 4 am – and with all our last-minute preparations, we decided to stay up the entire night. Our friends helped us on our mission to stay awake just a little longer!

Our last night in Budapest!
Our last night in Budapest!
This photo was taken shortly after the men gave a jar of salsa to a homeless man, who promptly licked it, declared it too spicy, and dropped it on the cobblestones.
This photo was taken shortly after the men gave a jar of salsa to a homeless man, who promptly licked it, declared it too spicy, and dropped it on the cobblestones.

And then we headed to our apartment for a last roundup of our belongings and a very short nap before we headed to the airport.

Dori and Archie were kind enough to see us off, and before they met us at the airport, they took this last picture of us in front of our apartment building. Sniff. Farewell, Oktogon 3.
Dori and Archie were kind enough to see us off, and before they met us at the airport, they took this last picture of us in front of our apartment building. Sniff. Farewell, Oktogon 3.

Our flights to the USA were uneventful. We were able to fly business class on the way back, which for Richie is nothing special these days, but this was only my second time (the first was when we moved TO Budapest). I’ve gotta say, having fully lie-flat seats, delicious food, and champagne is a great way to make sure you don’t have jetlag when you return from overseas. We came back refreshed and easily readjusted to our new time zone. That is – if you consider waking up at 6 am “adjusted”, which I generally do NOT.

The biggest help to feeling normal again? These two.

PUPPIES. I missed you.
PUPPIES. I missed you.

After being without the dogs for six months, it was wonderful to be reunited! They were very confused when my parents left without them (I think they had a really great time with the “grandparents” and with their poodle friends Gabby and Bailey!) but they have quickly returned to their decadent lifestyle of snuggling and chewies and treats.

Next time on the blog: the perils of house-hunting in a seller’s market. Stay tuned.

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