Copenhagen

Last week was the week of vinterferie, aka winter-break in Denmark. It means that schools are closed, daycares hold open with limited staff, most of people take off work and go on either a ski holiday, or a bathing holiday. We didn’t take off work, but as it happens my husband was recovering from flu, and I caught some cold, so we were mainly working from home. But we decided to take Friday off, and go for a mini holiday of 3 days to Copenhagen!

The most important thing Copenhagen has for us is my husband’s sister and her family, but we also have other friends there, and besides, it is a lovely city to visit anyways. Instead of staying at my sister-in-law’s, crowded up in their little house with our kids, plus their kids, including a small baby, we decided to book a hotelroom, and live like kings πŸ˜€

We stayed at Wakeup Copenhagen Hotel, which I can highly recommend to anyone, who is interested in staying in Copenhagen comfortably and somewhat cheap(er than the usual Danish prices), and close to the train station. Plus they have excellent breakfast… yummie. We had a family room, which really is two double rooms opened up together, and the kids absolutely loved the idea of having their own room with their own bathroom. In fact, when my husband for some reason decided to use their bathroom, he got told off by Cherry very bad πŸ˜€ But the best thing in the room for the kids was the view: right at the train tracks! They spent most of the time sitting in the window, spotting trains. And, yes, before anyone of you freaks out, like my mother-in-law seeing this picture, we checked a zillion times that the windows cannot be opened before we let the kids sit there, and yes, one of us was always sitting with them…

Trainspotting

We spent Friday afternoon at the place of our friends, where my husband could rest on the couch under the blanket, sipping tea, continuing his recovery, and the kids could play with our host’s daughter, and her very exciting toys.

Saturday we went to my sister-in-law, where I finally met my nephew for the first time πŸ™‚ He is so charming and beautiful, even though he had a rough day because of an aching belly, I totally fell in love with him πŸ™‚ You can easily understand why, if you take a look at his picture, here he is :

Here he is

See, I told you πŸ™‚ We had a lovely day with them, a lot of talking, laughter, kids playing, walk to the playground, my sister-in-law’s fantastic cooking… I really hope we can see each other soon again.

Sunday morning we got up, Paddington demanded breakfast, so we hurried down to the breakfast room, then we checked out of the hotel, that made Cherry a bit sad, because she really loved to stay there. We had to promise to her to come back again at some point πŸ˜€

We made our way downtown, and took a sightseeing boat around the channels of Copenhagen. We were thinking a lot in advance, what can we do in a big city with two small kids who can only tolerate a limited amount of walking, and would like some fun experience. First we tought of Tivoli, but that is unfortunately closed until the spring. Walking the streets is not fun for anyone with small children, so we decided to take the boat ride, where we can be seated, while seeing a lot of the city, plus the children were amazed by the fact that we are sailing in a boat, and there are other boats, and swans and seagulls and ducks around us, and we are going under bridges.

So the boat ride was a great fun for all of us. We went through Christianshavn, which is a network of channels built by king Christian IV. following the example of Amsterdam.

Christianshavn

We also saw the Queen’s Palace, the Opera, the State Theatre…

Opera

… and the Little Mermaid.

The statue of Little Mermaid stands alone in the sea, quite a long walk away from everything else, and of course people are willing to take the long walk along the sea just to see her. Which is nice, because a long walk is very healthy, the landscape is beautiful, and the walk can be very pleasant in good weather (which is not common in Denmark). So they arrive there full of expectations, to find this itsy-bitsy-tiny-little thing sitting on the stone, and most of them get disappointed. Yes, the Little Mermaid is little.

I have only seen her twice, now and a few years ago, and both times from the back, from a boat. Here is the best picture I’ve got of her, even tough the boat went really close to the shore, and I zoomed all I could with the camera, this is the best I got:

The Little Mermaid

After the boat ride we headed home, because Paddington basically fell asleep sitting on a bus, so it was clear the kids had enough of experience for a day, and besides, we had a 4 hours drive ahead of us.

I can say we had a wonderful time in Copenhagen,it was a good bonding experience with my babies, getting out of the everydays, and I realised again, how fun it is to go to places πŸ™‚

London

So, my husband and I have been to beautiful, busy London πŸ™‚

Beautiful London

 

Out of the 4 days, the first and the last were lovely sunny, and the two days in between them were rainy and sad. On 1st of January we got so soaken wet, that we decided to spend the whole afternoon in a nice and warm cinema, drying our jackets and socks πŸ™‚

rainy and sunny

 

Unfortunately, the New Year’s Eve party that I booked with much enthusiasm, turned out to be the rip off of the century… We were very disappointed with Altitude Events and their London Sky Bar. First of all, after paying 185 pounds per person, we had to eat our buffet dinner standing up against the wall, together with a lot of other nicely dressed people, as the organisers decided to put in 5 (five!) tables in the room, and only a couple of extra chairs for the 1200 guests they were expecting… After being locked in the reception/dining room for 2 hours, standing, my husband and I sneaked up to the 28th and 29 th floor, where the actual party was promised to take place. Here we learnt that only those few are allowed to sit at the very few tables, who booked them in advance, for extra money. On the 29th floor we found a few benches next to the windows. As one of the first few arrivers, we were able to take seat, and from that spot we didn’t move for the rest of the evening, that’s 3 and a half hours, in fear of loosing our spots. Music – were none. Drinks – only after paying an extra ridiculous amount per drink. So there we were, after an uncomfortable dinner, just sitting, talking to some other people around us who were also complaining about the whole event, some of them trying to complain to the manager, but he didn’t care, drinking our expensive, but bad quality drinks, no music, limited view of the city (while perfect panorama view was also promised – I didn’t see a glimps of the fireworks), and watching women of all age (between 20 and 70) getting drunk, while trying to balance on their extremely high heels, and not being able to sit down. It was a very bad night, and we felt cheated. People, never book anything at Altitude Events!

New Year's in the Sky...

 

Even though New Year’s Eve should have been the pinnacle of our visit, the “party” didn’t take away our spirit. We had a very good time apart from that one evening.

We have been to the theatre: we saw Mojo, and it was very funny, I really enjoyed it. Obviously, none of us being native English speakers, we had a few blank moments, but overall we understood it pretty well, I think πŸ™‚

We walked the streets of London a lot.

We had our squirrel moment in St. James’ Park, but when he realised we have no snacks on us to give away, he just left us where we stood πŸ™‚

Squirrel Moment

 

We walked along both the South and North banks of the Thames (not in one day, naturally πŸ™‚ ), enjoying the sunshine, and the momentary good weather.

Sweet Nothings

We saw some hearts being locked up:

Locked Hearts

 

The sunshine and warmth made us feel like spring, and it even confused the roses at St. Paul’s Cathedral, some of them were blooming at their best.

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Of course we spent some money on clothing and some on books. I am actually very proud of myself, that after finding the 5 storey bookshop of Waterstone, I managed to overcome myself, and only bought 3 books, thinking about the weight limit of our suitcase…

Finally, as the last thing, we visited Hercule Poirot’s place of living πŸ™‚ We are both big Poirot fans, and looked up the address of the house that they used as a facade in the series – it was quite close to our hotel. It was on a surprisingly small square, half of it was under construction, but still, it was the one πŸ™‚

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Now we are relaxed and recharged. We returned to our children with some Disney shop findings (Cherry recently has been claiming that she is a fairy princess, so she got a Tinkerbell gown…), and it was fantastic to find them running to my arms… I have missed these little bandits πŸ™‚

 

Little til London

Among all the Christmas preparations we cannot forget New Year’s Eve, which my husband and I are going to spend in London πŸ™‚ I have London on my mind a lot, probably a lot more than Christmas. I am longing for London. And it is of course mainly because of the excitement of visiting this wonderful city again, and all the fun things we will experience there, as the theatre tickets have arrived, and our New Year’s Eve venue booking is confirmed.

But a little voice inside me cannot stop thinking about the 4 full days and nights spent without the children, for the first time in the last 3,5 years. As a dedicated, loving mother, probably I should be full of worry, full of concern, full of guilt. But I am not full of those things. I know the kids will be completely fine and happy with their grandparents – what kid would not be? To be honest, no matter how much I love my children, I cannot wait to spend just a few days without them… I am especially looking forward to that 4 slep-through nights in the nice and quiet hotel room! Even with us will be staying out late, celebrating New Year’s Eve and etc, I am pretty sure I will get much more sleep than I did in the last few weeks…

I don’t really know what’s up with them, usually my kids are very good at sleeping. But not recently. It can be the winter cold and the stuck little noses, but our nights became nightmares for me. First of all, Paddington doesn’t want to fall asleep in the evenings, and when he finally does after much struggle, he wakes up again quite soon, and marches over to our bedroom, to take his place up between his dad and me. Cherry follows him in the early morning hours, positioning herself on my other side. Both of them insist on sharing my blanket. “How does it feel to be the favourite one?” – my husband asks from under his lovely, unshared blanket, with a cruel smile on his face… πŸ™‚ But it is not mainly them coming over and sleeping in the big bed that is disturbing – actually I like it, despite all the kicking and poking it involves. It is what’s between the two of them settling down in Β our bedroom. “I am thirsty, I need to pee, I cannot find my pony, my car, my favourite sleeping toy, my pillow, my sleeping socks, I want my socks off-on-off-and on again, I don’t want to sleep, I wanna go downstairs, I am crying and I don’t know why, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy…” – now that’s what is bothering me. As you see, I am not getting too much sleep, and this combined with my work, an upcoming exam, and the very busy pre-Christmas period, makes me a coffee-craving zombie with huge black bags under her eyes…I am not used to this kind of treatment – I want to sleeeeep!

Ahh, London… ahh, lovely, unbothered nights πŸ™‚

In the meantime, I am still receiving every idea of how to Β best spend a chilly winter day in London, what is the best place for a snack, for a dinner, for a cup of something, etc. with a lot of gratitude πŸ™‚ Don’t be shy, bombard me with your suggestions πŸ™‚

London on my mind

London, Baby!

My husband and I, as a couple, have not many chances to spend quality time alone. Grandparents and other family being so far away, and baby-sitting not really being a costum in Denmark, we cannot go on date-nights, we cannot spend a weekend away, just the two of us, and don’t even mention travelling…

The last time we were somewhere together, was about 3,5 years ago, the summer Cherry was very little, and my sister-in-law and her boyfriend took care of her for a weekend at their home in Copenhagen, while my husband and I flew to London and spent two days in this wonderful city. It was a nice, eventful and romantic trip, with theatre, fantastic weather, lots of sightseeing and shopping. We loved London, and we had a wonderful time there. It was also very successful from another point of view… well, how should I put it… hmmm… Have you ever wondered how Paddington got his nickname? Yes, 9 month after London we became parents again πŸ™‚ And this also means that we haven’t been able to go for another trip since then.

But! We have been thinking a lot lately that we really need some away-time soon, and when my parents announced that this year they can spend both Christmas and New Year’s Eve with us in Denmark, living with us for two weeks, leaving us with the possibility of getting away while leaving the kids and the dog to the best persons to take care of them, we took the chance right away. We are going away for New Year’s, yeahhh baby πŸ˜€ Plus, we are going to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary between Christmas and New Year’s, plus we would like to celebrate our new jobs too. We deserve this! πŸ˜€

Looking at the possibilities from the nearest airport, instead of going somewhere warm, sunny and expensive, we opted for London again (well, cheap flight tickets and short travelling time are hard to argue with πŸ™‚ ). And by this time I already have the hotel booked in the City, we chose the theatre play we would like to watch, and are about to make our choice about where to spend New Year’s Eve.

We are going to have 4 days there. And obviously it is going to involve some shopping (I am already looking for visiting the best bookshop in the whole World – hope we won’t have to pay for a too heavy bagage on the way back…), and probably some sightseeing (we would like to visit HMS Belfast), we will still have a lot of time left to spend in this huge city.

To be honest, we are not the type of people who like to go for the usual tourist thingies. Of course we tried the London Eye last time, but we agreed that we were both too scared to try that again :D, and we would never spend a long time standing in queque just to see a bunch of wax figures, or paintings for instance, just because that’s what tourists do, if you know what I mean. When we are in a different place, we would like to see how it is to live in that place. Instead of the conventional attractions we like to find out what locals do, where do they like to go, how do they spend their free time, etc.

Last time we were in London, we were wandering around in different parks and hidden little streets, along the Thames a lot, but obviously this time it is going to be a little less warm, and probably we should find some indoor activities. As a matter of fact I know, that there are quite a few people reading this blog from the UK, and London itself. So I turn to you πŸ™‚

What are your favourite places, eateries, pubs, bars, hidden little tea- and coffee shops (craft shops, yarn shops πŸ˜‰ ) in London, where do you go with your friends to have some fun, etc?Β 

Oh, please, feel free to bombard me with your ideas πŸ˜€

I am so excited and so looking forward to this trip πŸ™‚

London Collage

Beautiful Wien

On our way to Hungary and on our way to back we spent a few hours in Wien each time.

On the way there we only had 2-3 hours, so decided to concentrate on one thing, and that one thing was the SchΓΆnbrunn Castle. We have both heard about it before, and seen it on TV when watching classical music concerts from Wien – mainly at my in-laws. I can tell you this: it is amazingly beautiful!!!! Well-trained and traveled Japanese tourists gasped and cried out loud of joy at the sight of the palace gardens πŸ™‚ I mean, just look at these pictures:

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It was a very nice, warm day, and the place was very crowded. I saw a lot of runners – can you imagine doing your runs in a place like this? I am doing mines jumping over horse- and cow-poop πŸ˜€

On our way back we had a little bit more time, so we hit downtown Wien. Starting with a lunch, visiting the butterfly house, dragging two hysterical toddlers all along the main walking street, climbing up to the top of St. Stephen’s Dome, having an ice-coffee, and finally taking a ride in a horse-carriage.

Scnitzel

 

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Note: No matter how bad-ass you are, no matter how stressed and in late you are, if you get stuck with your car behind a horse-carriage, and a 4-year-old blonde little girl starts to smile and wave at you from it, you smile and wave back to her, always πŸ™‚

Horse-carriage

Holiday at Balaton lake

Hello, I am back πŸ™‚ I haven’t posted for about 2 months now, but I have a good reason: we have been to a fantastic 3 weeks holiday with my family, then my Mum came to visit us for an additional 3 weeks! And if I can, I rather spend the time with my family and live in the now, than write about it.

But summer is over, it is officially fall, and the temperature dropped significantly in the last 2 days. Rainy, windy, and I am thinking about turning the heating up in the house… :S

So, perfect time to review our summer, and post some sunshiney pictures πŸ™‚

We have conquered the 1800 kms of distance between my new home, Denmark, and my old home, Hungary in many different ways is the last couple of years. We have done it flying from Copenhagen, flying from Billund, and driving the whole way, making breaks in Germany. Β But this year we have tried something new: the train! Since we needed the car once in Hungary, the option of flying was not an option anymore. Driving the whole way is very exhausting, and with two kids being restless in the back of the car, we usually have to stop at least once for the night, therefore also quite an expensive option. But this year we heard about a nighttrain that goes from Hamburg to Wien, and where you can just drive up with your car, park it, then find your couchette, and comfortably spend the night sleeping, sparing 1200 kms of driving and gas.

Nigthtrain

The kids were obviously overexcited about sleeping on the train, and it actually went quite well.

Nighttrain

This way of travelling granted us the option of having a few hours both ways to discover the wonderful city of Wien, that I am going to have a separate post about πŸ™‚

Ruincastle

After arriving to Hungary, we had 2 beautiful week at Balaton lake, which is also affectionately called “tha Hungarian Sea” by all the good Hungarians πŸ™‚ The lake is huge, full of small villages all around, mostly holiday places. This is where all the Hungarian children camp with their schools in the summer. I also basically spent all my childhood and teenage summers by the lake. So it was clear that this year we meet up there with my parents, and we booked a summerhouse close to the lakeside. My brother came to visit us there with his girlfriend for a few days, one of my aunts came and a friend of mine with her boyfriend.

These two weeks were fantastic, the kids enjoyed it splashing around in the shallow water, playing in the sand, spotting trains that ran right outside our house, and being spoilt by the grandparents πŸ™‚

Cherry in the water

Paddington in the sand

waterbikes

swans

For the kids’ sake we went to a Circus one evening. It was a great show for the kids, parrots flying, horses trotting, acrobats jumping up and down, linedancers, magician, elephants, camels, and lions. Poor lions… They looked beaten and drugged, but I guess that’s how it goes in a circus, terrible. But the highlight for the evening for us was when a horse with wings attached to its back came around. I couldn’t take my eyes off of my daughter’s amazed face, and she couldn’t take her eyes off of her dream of a pegasus coming true…

Cherry and the pegasus

One day my husband and I escaped the summerhouse, and went for a one-day-selfspoiling to Zalakaros Thermal Bath. We made some little calculations, and realised, that we haven’t spent a whole day together, just the two of us, for almost 3 years… So I guess it was high time! I can tell you that, I wouldn’t be sad if someone told me, I will have to spend the rest of my life drifting in the warm thermal waters of Zalakaros… It was such a relaxing day.

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After Balaton, we spent a few days in Budapest, at my parents place, before taking the train back, this time, together with my Mum.