Never left Hungry in Hungary

Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
Trip End Apr 30, 2012

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31:

After a short 3 hour train ride, we arrive into a brisk Budapest, a city that is known for its communal hot baths and thick goulash. A quick stroll got us to our next hotel, and due to the lack of double rooms available, the manager was forced to give us the family suite (such a let down, who wants upgrades anymore). He apologized, but we reassured him that we will somehow learn to cope with the excess space. After we put our stuff down, we trip-advisor a place to eat and then walk downstairs where the manage decides to put his cop hat on and ask us several questions too many regarding our dining choice for the evening.. We tell him our plan, ask if he suggests better, and then with a slight roll of the eyes and shrug he tells us that the all you can eat buffet right down the street (where you get exactly three hours to consume 4X your weight in Hungarian cuisine--so tempting, I know) is a much better choice than our quaint cafe that got #5 on trip-advisor in Budapest and was also hosting a live band that night.. We kindly took his suggestion, nodding enthusiastically so that we could make it out the door before midnight, and headed off to the cozy cafe rather than the stomach-bulging budapest buffet. 

We enjoyed an extremely pleasant dinner that included caprese salad, stuffed chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, feta and spinach, and pork medallions.. After excellent conversation (still bringing up interesting topics after being with each other for 744 hours straight, we toast to completing half of our trip without losing hair and gaining emotional scars… And of course such a celebratory gesture would not be complete without me clumsily knocking over my wine glass to a shattering death that left the entire restaurant forming thought clouds reading "Stupid Americans….never can leave a place without a loud exit".. Lets just say, I apologize profusely and then bust out of there swearing to only put on my jacket from now on outside with a good 10 yards in every direction free of glassware or anything valuable.

April 1:

Two important things to know about Budapest are this: (1) it is one the cheapest places in all of Europe due to their struggling economy (2) they are extremely hospitable.. Combining these two personality traits in mind, Bridget and I decide to take advantage of the situation and go on a FREE (still feels weird to say this word since the last time I used it was back in 6th grade when I received my last "free" honey roasted peanuts on a southwest flight) tour from a very lively Hungarian who wore capris with woolen leggings (only in Europe). He took us around for 2 and a half hours, giving us a brief history lesson and highlighting urban legends that are both true and false. He did a brilliant job at explaining how Budapest came to be (not sure if you know, that there was a town called Buda and then to the east of it a separate town called Pest, so when they created a bridge joining the two, they decided to get real creative and put the two words together--genius to say the least), and also described how everyone on the tour's home country is somehow connected to Hungary--Cleveland is the second largest city where Hungarians live (who would have known? Well now you do I guess). It was a great tour that was only made better by the word FREE preceding it, but we ended up giving a tip since tips are the only way the company makes a living (budding philanthropists, I know). As the tour came to a close, both Bridget and I rubbed the balls of a Horse Statue for good luck (I kid you not, it is a city tradition that if you are unlucky in love and single, rubbing these round spheres below the belly of a stallion will make your future that much brighter…lets just say they were spotless and overly shiny after Bridget and I had a go at them, gotta accept all the help we can get). We also somehow got to talking to these two girls who just happened to meet on a tour that asked if Bridget and I wanted to join them for dinner at the second BEST restaurant in all of Europe (saying no to this would be comparable to just looking at the great wall of China without actually walking it--an extremely foolish mistake)… So we joined an extremely entertaining native blonde Texan (Hannah Hyatt, distant relative of the Hotel chain but not close enough to Paris Hilton to assume the title of BFF) who is currently teaching english in Madrid, Spain, and Laura, a refreshing soul from Ohio that just finished her study abroad program in the South of France and is determined to keep Ohio in the review mirror, moving to europe permanently to work in the fashion industry.. After snapping some more shots of places that were not covered on our tour of Budapest (bigger city than falsely assumed), we head to the famous restaurant where we enjoy an excellent dinner in Hungarian cuisine and discuss the topic which has accrued as many miles as mom's Volkswagon Bus "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus", making the chapter of Ex-Morons the main focal point… Lets just say, the dinner lasted for almost 3 hours and I am pretty sure on the first paragraph in the book was covered--this topic will never get old.

We then parted ways, exchanging facebooks and pictures, heading home to a tango session with the parents where Bridget somehow intercepted someone else's conversation since the only image that appeared on our screen was of a man sitting in a car, focusing the camera on his lower body so the face was unidentifiable (not like we would have known anyhow)… We knew these shenanigans were not the work of the Garrehy clan, so we finally got great connection and chatted over the greatest invention ever created..facetime.
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