Our plane to Budapest!
We were absolutely captivated by the beautiful city of Budapest and more specifically, it's beautiful parliament building! So incredible! We loved learning all about how the Danube River goes through the city making one side Buda and the other side Pest.
Our balcony from our suite hotel room! Pretty awesome!
Our first day there, we explored Pest side and saw this mosque. It's really fascinating to learn about Hungary's history and it's wars and how these ancient buildings and churches have been used for different religious purposes depending on who was in power at the time.
We then went to St Stephen's Basilica and had these AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL gelato cones! SOO delicious! We love ice cream!
After all our walking, we of course took some time to swing and play at the park. Our tour de playgrounds wouldn't be complete if we didn't. haha!
That night, we took a boat tour on the river. It was so interesting. We loved seeing the beautiful architecture along the way and plotting what we wanted to see over the next couple of days!
Saturday was WET! It was raining pretty hard! Laila enjoyed her rain boots we got her because we new we needed something to help as we tried to keep touring while we had Michael with us. We played in some puddles then got on the subway to explore Buda!
Mosaic tile roofs get me everytime! Matthias Church was no exception. The inside was unbelievable too. Amazing how much color there was even though it was dark and dreary outside!
After nap time, we went back to Buda side to hike up to the top of Gellert Hill.
It was a bit more windy at the top and a bit more rain started coming so after we enjoyed the views, we booked it back to the subway to get out of the rain.
Sunday rain was a little more mellow and it didn't keep us from enjoying a wonderful ward in Buda. I have loved finding the church buildings as we travel. They all have such wonderful character and take us to parts of the city we might not normally get to. Then we get to meet incredible people who are so willing to help translate for us and are so kind and welcoming. It's a highlight of every place we go.
One of my absolute favorite excursions in Budapest is when we got a babysitter through the hotel and went to Szechenyi Thermal Baths! Because the rain was a bit cold it was so fun to just be together and try out all the different indoor and outdoor pools. Funny story is that there were two sides of this pool in the picture. We got in one side after we changed into our swimsuits and the water was mildly warm- not quite the hot tub experience we were hoping for so we were a little disappointed. We decided to try out all the indoor pools and saunas. We enjoyed the hot ones! As we made our way back outside we thought lets try out the other side of the outdoor pool before we go home and that side was GREAT temperature! haha! We were glad we tried it! PERFECT date!
That evening, we went down to the river to see more of the beautiful Parliament building and found out that Red Bull was having their Air Race that weekend with the course right along the Danube. It was really cool! Harrison LOVED seeing the airplanes zoom by. Laila kept asking if we could leave because they were too loud for her. haha! That girl! It was really fun!
Love this family of mine! I'm so incredibly grateful we can have these adventures together!
Monday, Michael had meetings so the kids and I went on a wild adventure of our own! We went out to the zoo! We had a really nice time. It was warm and sunny but not near as hot as it was in Phoenix in July so we enjoyed being outside and seeing the animals. They also had a fun playground that the kids could run around for a bit. I have decided that my favorite travel arrangement when I'm out with the kids alone is that I prefer to have Harrison in the ergo and Laila holding my hand. The stroller gets so complicated with metro stations, stairs, etc. So the more hands I have available, the better. Fortunately, Harrison still likes the ergo especially forward facing so the arrangement works for us.
It's pretty incredible I get to have these play dates with my kids in such beautiful places!
Michael's meetings were all day and work dinners kept him most of the night too but he got to see this place lit up at night! So beautiful!
Tuesday before Michael had work, we went to Margarit Island that is in the middle of the Danube river. It has parks, playgrounds, the Grand Hotel, swimming pools, and a running track that goes around the whole island. It was actually a fun run for this not so great runner.
Michael had the last of his meetings that day so the kids and I crossed off a few last things we wanted to do in Budapest which included chasing birds (which is always on our list!), climbing to the top of St. Stephen's Basilica, and having the traditional chicken paprika for dinner.
She makes me so happy!
I felt super proud that me and the two kids made it all the way to the top by ourselves even though there seemed to be other adults that looked in better shape than me really struggling with the climb. It was a nice 'Go team!' moment!
The nice thing with climbs to the top is you are rewarded with view like this!
Inside the Basilica we enjoyed the immaculate details...
...we were a little grossed out that the mummified hand of St Stephen is still on display...
...But overall it was a great afternoon. We did treat ourselves to more rose ice creams as we listened to bells outside the Basilica. It was quite the charming European moment. I'll tell you what!
That evening, we found some DELICIOUS chicken paprika and both Laila and I loved it. Talk about a major win for that picky eater of mine! Harrison was a bit more fussy thanks to his bed time coming up but he enjoyed the bread and some cucumbers.
What a week! Budapest has definitely left an amazing impression on our traveling memories!