December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

This being New Year's Eve and a Wednesday I chose a festive door from our trip earlier this year to the Eternal City. It looks festive, mysterious and cheerful - befitting for the last day of the old year and in anticipating the new.

December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful Christmas!

December 17, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

The door here is almost an excuse, what I had hoped to convey was the mood. Yes, we are still in Rome and this little 'alley' is along side of the Spanish Steps where you can come up to the top in a less crowded fashion with some colorful spots along the way. There is a wine bar, a restaurant and fine porcelain shop at the top.

The intimacy of the small alley, the curves, the steps and certainly not lastly, the colors of the buildings that glow like melted gold in sunlight.

December 10, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

As long as I'm here looking and it is Wednesday, let me post a beautiful door from the city of Rome. The photo was taken during our annual spring vacation.

December 06, 2008

The Dark of the Morning

For some reason (perhaps the rain clouds) it is as dark at 7 a.m. as if it were the middle of the night. The weather is mild but it had been raining every afternoon and during the night for the past week. Strung my 'icicle' lights indoors and the combination/contrast of the dark and bright things got philosophical. I would like to wish you all a wonderful week-end for whatever you set out to do. Maybe Kenny Rogers will help you also to set priorities. How many of you remember this song?

St. Nick's Day

Some places he is called Santa, others St. Nicholas and in Hungary the man in red who comes riding in a sleigh is called Mikulas. Unlike in the US, he is celebrated on his own day, December 6th. According to custom children clean their shoes before going to bed and put them on the window sill where Mikulas will come during the night and good boys and girls will receive treats while the rest will get switches placed in their shoes.

Were you good this year? Don't forget to clean your shoes before going to bed and leave them on the window sill for Mikulas to find them.

December 02, 2008

Slipping off quietly

My brother phoned to tell me that Mother passed away quietly at 9:30 this morning. She was an amazingly compassionate, energetic woman who was never too tired to make our favorite dish. She had been sick for a long time and had suffered much. She is now at peace. It will be a lot tougher for my brother - the two of them were very close. This is a picture of my Mom and my son on his last visit to her.


Just noticed that my blog passed the one-year mark in November! Is it me, or do the years really go by faster and faster?

As much as I've enjoyed finding and posting the shots, visiting your blogss and reading your comments - I am afraid that I will be tapering off from daily postings. As you know by now, the only thing in life that remains constant is change. New directions require energy, attention and so I will have to divert from here to put elsewhere. Know how much I've enjoyed sharing this year with all of you and occasionally I will surely be back and visit - but it will not be as in the past.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season. Keep a balance in your life so you can enjoy what the holidays are intended for.

December 01, 2008

Theme Day - Circles

Being in the middle of Europe there are a number of countries that surround Hungary. Some of these countries are, as is Hungary, members of the EU but have not yet adopted the Euro as their official currency.

For my circles I've emptied my pocket of the Zloty (from a trip to Warsaw), Sk from Slovakia, Kc from Prague, Euro from Rome, a dime from the US and domestic Hungarian coin samples. Let's see the interpretations of others for this theme day - have fun!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

November 29, 2008

5th Hungarian New-Wine and Cheese Festival

Vajdahunyad Var (pictured) is the location for the festival this year in beautiful City Park. Although it is raining, the weather is at least milder.

In addition to the festival, today is the first day of Advent and Christmas lights will be lit for the first time this season throughout the city. While in City Park there are many other options for entertainment: the ice skating rink (the first in Budapest) is open for young and old, restaurants, Szechenyi baths, the Zoo, Hero's Square and the famous Gundel Restaurant.

Rainy Week-End I would rather remember beautiful Sorrento in the spring. The hotels on the cliff overlooking the harbor.

November 14, 2008

Nice to be Back

Although it was drizzling at times when I drove back to the village, I took the 'high road' literally. There are some incredible homes on what used to be grazing land - guess some of it still is for their horses.
Driving past these palatial homes, I got up above the village into the vineyards. Take a look at what someone made their week-end work 'home' when there is a lot of work done with the grapes. Rather than go home, just spend the night.

November 02, 2008

Dear Friends and Visitors

Due things beyond my control, I will be away from my computer until approximately mid-November. Know that I am thinking of you even if I can't read you. Like the Arnold said: "I'll be back."

November 01, 2008

Theme Day: Books

Please visit the other blogs participating in this theme day. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Ararat, Australia by freefalling, Arradon, France by Alice, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Bali, Indonesia by Anak Dokan, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Bangkok, Thailand by UberSand, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que, Chandler (AZ), USA by PattheAZRealtor, Chapel Hill (NC), USA by missleah, Chateaubriant, France by trieulet, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Evry, France by Olivier, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Helsinki, Finland by PPusa, Herne Bay, Great Britain by Han, Lil n Caz, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Islip (NY), USA by Bettye, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Karwar, India by Yogesh, Knoxville (TN), USA by hope, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Madrid, Spain by Tr3nta, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Manila, Philippines by Hilda, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Menton, France by Jilly, Milton, New Zealand by Milton Daily Photo, Milwaukee (WI), USA by karl, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by snapshutter, Molfetta, Italy by saretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Moscow (ID), USA by Sherry, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Murcia, Spain by usuahia, Napa (CA), USA by katester, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New York City (NY), USA by Kitty, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Elsa, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pensacola (FL), USA by P J, Philadelphia (PA), USA by Stephanie Craig, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Reykjavik, Iceland by Vírgíll, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Roanoke (VA), USA by Tanya, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salem (OR), USA by pearls, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Seoul, South Korea by Phil, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Tauranga, New Zealand by Lisa Sarsfield, Telluride (CO), USA by mtsrool, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Toulouse, France by Julia, Trieste, Italy by Rob&Piero, Turin, Italy by Livio, Verona, Italy by Valeria in Verona, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Woerden, Netherlands by Marcel, Yakima (WA), USA by katney, Yellowknife, Canada by Arctic Dreamer,

October 29, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

Although not as flashy as the wrought iron gate from last week, there is something very elegant about this. Wood is very expensive now in Hungary also, and this is one way of showing affluence in a small town.

October 28, 2008

Reliable Service Providers

This upbeat and helpful gentleman is the Hungarian representative of UltraFrame Winter Gardens. Not only is he reliable but he checks on his clients to make sure they are happy with the product and if a deadline is too close, he's been known to roll up his sleeves and help out to make certain the job gets done on schedule.

Only work well done can bring a carefree smile like this on a face of a person! Well done!

October 27, 2008

Photographer's Opinion

I can take no credit for this photo as it was borrowed from the site of MOMMO.HU. but the fellow you see on the photo above was a prominent statesman until his scelaton's began to fall out of the closet. He was exposed to have been a spy in the former regime and had left office voluntarily before having to do so. He now runs a consulting firm.

That is not what is funny about this photo but the banner behind him. No idea what it actually read, but the portion that shows on the photo when read together (szarszag) simply means the smell of excrement.

October 26, 2008

The Deryne Bistro

This Buda restaurant had become a landmark in the life of the city. The location is great, so is the atmosphere, furnishing, food and service.
This is their newest chef, who is quite a colorful person on top of being very talented. My daughter and I enjoyed one of the best meals there last week.

October 25, 2008

The Small Benefits of Networking

There are a number of expat events at any given time in Budapest. This particular one was complete with a chocolate founain. You can imagine there was a crowd around it.
Then again, there are friend and contacts you can make that always makes for a pleasant evening.

October 24, 2008

Family Dinner

With my daughter visiting it was a wait-and-see about where she would be willing to go with me. Luckily, she did concede in coming to visit my cousin in Nyergesujfalu, 12 km from Eszterfom. There are her husband Denes, my cousin Zita and their youngest son Gabor and my daughter and I. We've had the restaurant virtually to ourselves so it was even more enjoyable.

October 23, 2008

Taste of Indonesia

A charming little restaurant in Buda, is close to some businesses, a major hospital and public transportation. It is a serene island with an atmosphere of a place far away. Its owner is a former singer from Indonesia who is now married to a Hungarian and exchanged the place of wonder for strange Budapest. Love, they say, is blind.

October 22, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

...and what a door and fence it is. If I had to guess, the owners may have something to do with the crafting of these gates and advertise in such a way. Whatever the case may be, it is stunning.

October 21, 2008

Full Moon

Tried several versions of this shot before settling for this one. It is in the garden with the moon just above Orhegy. While the 'night shot' gave the photo a bit more visibility, it was also BLURRED - which is why I opted for a darker but clearer view.

October 20, 2008

Fall is Not Only in the Air Now

There were photos during the spring of the street where the cats and I are now making our home in the village. Fall is now definitely upon us - it is visible on the street and in the garden. Time to take up the bulbs, spread mulch, wrap the roses.....

October 19, 2008

Fogged In

There had been photos of the Basilica in Esztergom on this blog before, but this time the shot is shrouded in mysterious fog and the photo is taken from Slovakia. Ordinarily, this is a beautiful spot to view the structure and the hillside from but the fog had not yet burned off. Considering the fact that it is a Sunday, thought the subject would be appropriate to visit again. Hope you are having a wonderful week-end!

October 18, 2008

A Stop in the Countryside

This wonderful bakery/pastry shop is in a difficult location in Pilisvorosvar on the way to Budapest. One must encounter a steep driveway to get in-out from there onto a road that is constantly streaming with traffic. I was in no hurry for once and took a chance. Had not been there for months and was pleasantly surprised at the improvements. There is even a small decorative pond by the outside seating area. This alone would have made the stop worthwhile. You should have seen the pastry I packed up to take home as my daughter arrived for her visit. No, no temptation shots!

October 17, 2008

An Old Fashioned Stove

Once upon a time peasant houses were outfitted with such stoves. Occasionally they were built in a corner so part(s) of it would be in other rooms also giving them heat. There is a 'bench' that one can sit on and keep their back warm. Just imagine sitting around winter evenings when there was no TV, video - but lots of time for conversation. It must have been very pleasant especially after a long day working outdoors.

October 16, 2008

Foggy Morning Finesse

What greeted me yesterday morning on the yard would have been called 'pea soup' by a Brit. There was heavy fog! A couple of hours later went out again it looked better and I've noticed that the moisture that collected on the cobwebs made them seem much prettier than they would ordinarily appear. What do you think?

October 15, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

It would look a great deal nicer without graffiti but there are enough grand details to make this a beautiful sample of Budapest doorways.

October 14, 2008

Still Outdoors

This cafe is in a revamped section of District 7. There is no room for sidewalk seating, but there is a friendly bench where at least one person could enjoy their morning paper with their cup of joe.

October 13, 2008

Folk Dancers

Yesterday we went by a harvest festival and caught glimpse of the dancers. Unfortunately, the photo quality suffered some but it does illustrate the motion.

October 12, 2008

Outdoor Cafe

Soon the outdoor cafe's will be packed up for the season and we will anxiously await spring to be able to enjoy the great outdoors with our favorite libation.

October 10, 2008

An Outdoor Wine Tasting

A good start to the week-end when the Second Annual Palinka and Sausage Festival will be held in Budapest. This is an outdoor wine tasting in the vineyards of Etyek.

October 09, 2008

The Great Hunter

Ferko succeeded in catching a mouse and Gigi is forced to sit and watch as he plays with his toy.

October 08, 2008

If It's Wednesday, It Must be Doors

You may call her an old 'has been' but I bet, it was a vision of simple beauty when it was new.

October 07, 2008

Do Not Pass

Our bus was the first to arrive at the scene of this accident back in the spring. Most of us ended up walking home to the village rather than wait for hours for the police and ambulance to complete their work. Passing on impossible stretches of road is one of the most dangerous habits of Hungarians - so many examples, but the lesson is not learned.

October 06, 2008

Farmers Market

Shopping list in hand, it is one of the final great days to go to the farmers market this fall. This is one of several operating in the city and the fight is on to save it as the powers that be are planning to do away with it and put a parking garage under the park and use the buildings for upscale rental. These plans would not look good with a simple farmers market next door. How sad to get so civilized...

October 05, 2008

A Feast Fit for a King (and Queen)

This is a grill platter for two in a country restaurant a short distance from Esztergom. The garden area used to face a branch of the Danube...until the highway was brought through directly next to the restaurant. So now, the dish is more worthy of the attention than the scenery. Bon Appetit!

October 04, 2008

Comfort Food on Saturday Morning

One of my favorite memories from college days is the fried egg sandwiches I used to order with soup. Nothing more than an omelet on toast with mayo, tomatoes and lettuce leaf if there is any.
How is your Saturday morning?

October 03, 2008


Indeed! and what a week it was. Don't you think it is worth celebrating that another day, week had come to a conclusion - we've survived and are ready for an equally great week-end! Wish you all a wonderful, constructive, restful, cozy week-end!

October 02, 2008

Harvest 2008

It was not a pretty day by any means. Although it did not rain, the threat was there and the wind was strong. Jokes kept us warm as we proceeded on both sides of the rows.
There could be no complaint this year about the bounty - no frost or rot damage to the crop.
The better looking clusters saved from the press were going home with the harvesters' table.
A glance at the scenery - in better weather we would sit under the walnut tree and enjoy the afternoon sharing food and stories - but today, we hurried home.