Monday, July 7, 2008

4 countries in 1 day

So I am sitting here in Prague writing this. Seth is currently napping while Kevin and my dad go exploring and will come back after he is awake. We are staying in the Dunham's flat. No, not my family's flat (my maiden name is Dunham for those who don't know), but missionary friends of my parents from a couple decades ago, who obviously have the same last name. They were so gracious and allowed us to come stay here, even though they are currently in the US visiting. It is such a nice place! I am insanely jealous of her big kitchen.

Yesterday was an another adventurous day as we were in four different countries. We obviously started in Hungary and then drove to Vienna, Austria. We wanted to take my parents there so that they could see it, and it's only about two hours away. We were only there for the day. We were surprised at how many of the stores were closed on Sunday. I mean I fully support that and think it's great, but I was surprised only because it is tourist season now so I thought they'd want to be open to make money. Good for them for being closed! It just definitely limited what we could do. We had a nice time seeing the sights though.

We got back in the car and headed to Prague, Czech Republic. We drove through the capital city of Bratislava, Slovakia. We drove through hills and fields. The fields were completely yellow with sunflowers growing...beautiful! We also saw lots more windmill farms, which I love and had posted a picture of on my Picasa site last fall on our trip to Vienna via train. Much better and close up...

The speed limit on the highways is 130 kmh, which is about 80 mph. We were doing that or a little above for most of the trip yet being passed left and right as if we were sitting still! The high speeds combined with the way the cars weave in and out and cut people off made me a little tense. However, it was only about 4 hours from Vienna to Prague, so it wasn't bad at all. Good thing Kevin has been with the basketball team through some of these countries to know what to do with these toll roads. So different than the US.

As we were driving through all four countries, we passed through border control each time. Actually, as of December, Hungary is now officially the eastern border of the EU, so traveling between countries in the EU means no stopping at the borders to check papers! It made for faster travel times and less traffic build up. And I saw four completely different languages in one day, five including English but that's not foreign to me! I heard more languages than that too.

The plan to get into the Dunham's flat was to call their friend Marian who would let us in. I tried the number from Hungary before we left, and it worked just fine. When we got here, however, my phone would not work!!! It wouldn't even let me SMS him!!! (note: SMS is their version of texting) I seriously had no idea how we would get a hold of him or anything. Kevin navigated through all of these cities just beautifully. We missed the final turn because there weren't any signs to let us know that's where we needed to turn, but he and my dad figured it out. It was raining and getting dark, and I'm not exactly sure how we made it in a city similar to Budapest with streets that don't make sense to a foreigner but alas we did. There was some man here who spoke English and helped us find their building, and then later Kevin and my dad went out in the rain to try and find someone who spoke English who might let us borrow their cell phone to call Marian. After lots of trying (even asking at a restaurant), they finally ran into that same nice man again who let them use his cell phone! He was definitely an answer to prayer, and we appreciated his kindness so much. Actually, he is Polish and living here but also speaks English. We met up with Marian who helped us out immensely. He even gave us a parking spot in the garage beneath these flats, which is another huge help in these cities where finding parking is difficult. We chatted with him for a bit and then all crashed. We were all wiped out!

Also, I just have to say that Seth was one AMAZING kid again yesterday. I seriously don't know if there's anything he won't put up with! We left for Vienna at 8:30 a.m. and he was in his car seat until we got there. Then he was put in his stroller for the rest of the day and then put back in the car seat for four more hours until we got to Prague. Then we had to sit in the car since it was raining for almost an hour and a half to meet up with Marian. By the time we got in and got Seth to bed, it was about 11:00 p.m., almost 4 hours past his bedtime. That kid didn't whine or complain the whole time! How in the world did we end up with a kid like this?! Look at how happy he is at almost 11:00 last night!


Aimee said...

Such a good boy!! :) I'm so glad that he's been easy-going for you guys, it certainly makes for better trips! Hope you're having a blast with your parents :)

Susie said...

thanks your comment!
It's so good to see what you are up to - following the dream for sure! I'll keep checking in - I am missing our international adventure for sure, although it has been nice to be close to family with the new baby. That's great your parents are there - tell them hi for us!

Michelle said...

I am so glad you get to travel with your parents! I know that you are thrilled to have them there!

I agree that Seth is an amazing kid. Wow! To go through that whole day without complaining!

We started our second class this week- Philosophy of Ed. Hard subject, but GREAT professor!

Julie said...

Good job Seth! Eli was like this. We had a furlough in the States and drove from North Carolina to Minnesota and he did great for a 2 day car ride, only spending one night in a hotel.

Jasper on the other hand is TROUBLE. I am praying now for this one. I have been told the second child is usually a bit more off kilter...and Jasper is. We drove to Croatia and he did great going down, but coming back he cried until I took him out of his car seat and held him. I felt like a bad mom, but I couldn't handle his crying anymore...and it is a 9 hour drive. Thankfully we were all okay. Eli was great, Jasper...oh man!