The kids and I went downtown by ourselves today. While going into Budapest by ourselves is no new thing, I rode public with both of them by myself for the first time, which was new. :) I have ridden with one child by myself or with two children with Kevin but never with both by myself.
I had some sweet old grandmas who offered help several times when I was trying to get both of them on or off the bus at the same time. (The stairs on those buses and trams are really steep!) I also had someone each time get up from their seat and offer their seat to the kids and me.
I have said it many times before, but that is something I love about Hungary. People (usually) are so incredibly kind and caring for moms with young children. I have experienced it just about every place I go, and I have had nothing but lovely traveling experiences with young children in Europe. (I have not always had the smoothest of flights, but I have always had very kind people who were willing to help and go the extra mile...especially when I have flown by myself with them!) I had countless people today even stop and marvel at my kids hugging each other on the sidewalk or seeing their sheer delight in chasing pigeons on the sidewalk. (Although I did have one old lady who was mad at me on the bus, but I didn't fully understand what she was mad about, so I just pleasantly smiled at her and went on my merry way. Ignorance is bliss!)
Anyway, the main purpose I had in going downtown was that I needed brown sugar. It's not something they sell here in the regular grocery stores, so we have to go to the Asian market downtown where you can usually find it imported. I didn't feel like trying to find parking and navigating those roads that go every which way in that general area and are not easy to tell if they are one-way or two-way, with trucks that randomly double park and block traffic and yada, yada, yada. So I decided we'd take public. And it was wonderful.
We got our brown sugar with no problem and had a special treat of Burger King for lunch. The kids were delighted with their special lunch!
We then walked down Vaci ut. to catch the bus at the other end. I did this because it is a walking street (a major tourist street where you can always find English spoken), so the kids could run around without having to worry about cars. We just had to watch out for people, but it was a rather cold day with not too many people wondering around.
We passed the Ice Bar. It boasts the -1 C temperature and that it has ice furniture and everything. Not at all interested in that when the temp is like that outside, but I wonder in the summer if people might go there.
As you walk down the street, many stores and restaurants have signs that say "air conditioned" on the window. Again, not at all essential now, but because this is Europe and they just don't do air conditioning like the US, they are excited to let the tourists know that they have air conditioning and hope to draw in Western visitors who will spend money. (Not only is it expensive to have air conditioning, but many believe it makes you sick!)
We caught the bus back, and Kate was getting super tired.
But she was also being really silly. :)
We ended up heading to a mall because I have been looking for a table cloth that actually fits our table, and I just decided to do it because we were already out. Unfortunately, I have yet to find one with the correct length. Bummer. Anyway, while we were there, the kids saw a fountain and asked if they could go see it. As we were sitting their, I saw a sign for a French bakery and decided to check it out.
And guess what I found there?!
I realize that doesn't mean anything to Americans because you can go anywhere and get them. But they don't have them here. So it was a wonderful surprise and appreciated for the next few mornings. I bought them out...all four! And when I mentioned on Facebook about finding bagels, I had a lot of people asking me where to find them. It's the little things. :)
It was a wonderful day downtown with the kids, and I hope to do it with them again soon. Maybe we'll wait until it's spring and warmer as it would be more enjoyable not to have to bundle up. I am grateful for that wonderful time and just how precious they are. I have told them a lot recently to stop growing up!