So last night we went out for a Christmas dinner with Nusi, Tommy (which I spelled the way we would in English or else everyone would pronounce his name wrong!), Zsolt, and Gabi. It was so nice, even with a slight miscommunication. Nusi wanted to treat us, which was doubly nice. We got to go out to eat twice this week at very nice restaurants and both times we were treated out. Of course we had to pay for a sitter both times, so it wasn't a free evening. But still no complaints. We went to Óbuda to Új Sipos Halászkert. That section of Budapest is quite charming with its little city square and mini Christmas market and ice skating rink out in front of the restaurant. We had such a fun time with our friends. And the wind blew just as the guy took our picture, of course only affecting my hair. :) It was cold!
And this afternoon we headed back to downtown Budapest. The Christmas market was incredibly crazy when we went two Saturdays ago (no surprise), so we thought we'd try going during the week. It was MUCH better today, and we didn't have much difficulty wheeling Seth around in the stroller. We left right after lunch and came home after dark, which I guess isn't saying much since the sun goes down at like 3:00 or something ridiculous like that. Anyway, it was beautiful as always. I love this city at night. So gorgeous!
I haven't been to many Christmas markets across Europe or anything, but from the few around here I've been to and what I've heard from others, they are all pretty much the same. I mean they'll sell different things depending on where you are, but they look the same. It's basically a lot of the same wooden booths set up in some major touristy part of the town with Christmas lights strung wherever and lots of local trinkets sold and local food eaten. Here's a bad shot but gives you an idea of what all of the wooden booth things look like.
They have these HUGE skillet type things where they cook all kinds of food at the Christmas market. It smells delicious, but we always go for the bread thing that we love so much. They also sell lots of mulled wine -- forralt bor ("boiled wine" in Hungarian). And here is a picture of the food you will find at the Budapest Christmas market. They certainly love their home-made sausage in Hungary. Pork is huge here.
Did you notice the sign is translated into English? This is in a very touristy spot so a lot of things are. I love to read their translations sometimes because they can be off and you look at it, not quite sure what they're trying to say. That always cracks me up.
We walked down a few streets here and there just to look around. I did find my favorite store has a shop downtown and not only in the mall. Thanks Audrey for letting me know! I had no idea where it was, but we happened to stumble upon it, and I was so glad. We of course went inside, and I ran into a guy from English class! I immediately recognized him and he recognized me as well. What a small world! I mean I wouldn't be surprised if I saw anyone from English class in the grocery store in town or anything like that because they all live in Diósd. As a matter of fact, I have seen people at the Posta and even just walking around town. But to run into someone in the huge capital city in one of the tiniest shops...Very cool. He said he really liked the store and we chatted for just a minute. Anyway, I thought that was neat.
Then tonight we had dinner over at Andrea's house. She is our Canadian friend who also had us over for Canadian Thanksgiving back in October. She had a bunch of us over for dinner tonight, and it was such a nice time. And I must take a moment to say once again what an amazing kid we have. Seth missed his afternoon nap since we were downtown. He usually will fall asleep in the stroller or in the car on the way home. Not today. He was wide awake, enjoying everything in the city today, and he literally yacked the whole way home about who knows what. So no sleep. But he was running around like crazy and having a blast at dinner. I was expecting him to have a melt down from no afternoon nap, but he did just great. He gets energy from being around people. Must be an extravert!
...All that to say we had such a great day!
Oh, one more thing...The other day I said that I was making peppermint patties. I got a few comments and a few emails asking how to make them. You can find the recipe here. Michelle posted the recipe on our cookbook site, and she got it from another teacher here who got it from someone else, etc. Let me just say that they are a lot of work, especially when compared to the ease of opening up a bag of York Peppermint Patties. None of those things here, so I decided it would be nice to try and make them. I am helping host a baby shower at the end of January and thought that these would be good to have there, as well as to give to some people for Christmas. They are very yummy, and in the end, I decided they were worth all the work! They wouldn't be as much work if I weren't such a perfectionist either. Ha!