Yearly Archive: 2015

Tuesday

10

November 2015

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Budapest Food & Drink

Written by , Posted in Restaurants, Travel

It’s no secret that I love food. My mouth waters at the thought of a ribeye steak cooked to a perfect medium rare, a slice of pizza with the perfect crust:cheese:sauce ratio, or a generous slice of my favorite chocolate pie. Maybe your thing is fried chicken or a giant ice cream sundae. Hey, maybe a juicy peach is what really gets you going. We all have foods we love because they’re just flat out delicious, but I’m a firm believer that the foods we love the most become our favorites because of the memories that lie within each bite. Whether it’s a mystery fried dish from a street vendor, a perfectly plated course at a Michelin-starred restaurant, or that long-time family recipe you used to make with your grandmother, good food becomes great food when there’s a story.

Budapest, Farmers' Market, Paprika

One of my favorite ways to get to know a city is by eating and drinking my way around town, seeking out local spots, and creating as many new memories as I can possibly squeeze into one trip. The streets and alleyways of Budapest were filled with so many great bars and restaurants, each beautiful in their own unique way, and when we set out every morning I was nearly giddy with excitement to see what was hiding around the next corner. A broken camera left me with less photos than I’m used to on a trip, but my heart and mind will forever be full with all the wonderful memories. We had a feeling we’d enjoy our time in Budapest but had no idea we’d love it so much. If a trip to Budapest wasn’t already on your travel radar, I hope my experiences inspire you to get there sometime soon!

Budapest, Neon Lights,

Eats

Borkynha
Sas u. 3, 1051

Borkonyha Winekitchen is one of three Michelin-starred restaurants in Budapest, and one of our favorite meals of the trip. As soon as we were seated our server arrived and offered assistance choosing one of their many Hungarian wines; after my first sip of a fantastic sparkling white he chose, I handed him the reins and he brought glass after glass to pair perfectly with each course. They offer a very reasonably priced set tasting menu but we opted to order several dishes a la carte to create our own. From the squid ink bread (that we nearly inhaled) to the silky smooth duck liver to the flavorful lamb and everything in between, it was one hell of a meal. If you’re not able to get a reservation, I’d still recommend stopping in and trying to grab a seat at the bar to enjoy a glass of wine!

Budapest, Borkonyha, duck liver

Budapest, Borkonyha, beef tenderloin

Budapest, Borkonyha

Zeller Bistro
Izabella u. 38, 1077

We dined at Zeller Bistro on our last night in Budapest and it was the perfect way to end our stay in this beautiful city. Zeller is a family-owned and operated restaurant and from the moment you walk down the steps to the warmly lit cellar, you can tell they are all fully invested in giving you a memorable dining experience. I spoke with Anna, one of the owners, to make a reservation, and we were given a run-down of the menu, specials, wine list, etc by the other owner, Peter. We even had the most adorable youngster, clad in a full length apron, show us to our table and fill our water glasses. It was seriously adorable.

The food was fantastic – made with Hungarian ingredients but not your traditional dishes. Many of their ingredients including sausages and their tasty “Crispy Small Fish As My Mom Makes Them” come from family and friends at nearby Lake Balaton. Their wines are from family vineyards, they have their own beer from a friend’s brewery, and they make a wonderful elderflower champagne that everyone receives when they arrive. If you’re visiting Budapest I can’t recommend Zeller Bistro enough, just make sure to make a reservation!

Budapest, Zeller Bistro, Crispy Fish

Crispy small fish from Lake Balaton at Zeller Bistro

Menza
Liszt Ferenc tér 2, 1061

We had lunch at Menza once during our stay, but could have easily been convinced to return if we had more time. They have a large outdoor terrace that is the perfect spot to grab a glass of rosé and people watch to your heart’s content. The interior has a very cool retro/mid-century design so be sure to take a trip to the bathroom if you’re dining al fresco. The menu is filled with delicious Hungarian and European classics with a modern presentation. Mike’s Schnitzel was fantastic – super thin and perfectly crisp breading, and I loved my Beef Stew with homemade noodles, but the clear winner was the Garlic Cream Soup topped with a traditional Hungarian Lángos (lahn-gosh). Lángos is a simple yet amazing creation – essentially a large circle of fried dough (think giant doughnut without the hole) that is typically topped with sour cream, cheese and garlic. The cup of soup could have been an entire meal, so if you’re ordering a main course I would plan on sharing because it will not be easy to put your spoon down!

Budapest, Menza, soup, langos

Budapest, Menza, Grilled Goat Cheese

Budapest, Menza, Schnitzel

Budapest, Menza Restaurant, Goulash

Bock Bisztró
Erzsébet krt. 43-49, 1073

We dined at Bock Bisztró on our first night in Budapest and we were very happy with this decision. Their wine list is filled with Hungarian wines we weren’t familiar with, so we left our selections in the hands of our very competent waiter who came back with several winners. The cuisine is Hungarian with a bit of Spanish tapas flair thrown in. We ended our delicious meal with a shot of Pálinka, a traditional fruit brandy, because, when in Budapest! (*On a Monday night the dining room was completely full by the time we left and they were turning everyone away who stopped in without an advance reservation, so I would definitely suggest calling or e-mailing ahead of time to reserve your spot.)

Budapest, Bock Bisztro

Budapest, Bock Bisztro

Costes
Ráday u. 4, 1092

Costes is another Michelin-starred restaurant in Budapest and while we didn’t get a chance to dine here during our visit, I felt they were worth a mention since they were next on my list had we of stayed another day. Costes offers tasting menus with your choice of courses and wine pairings. Dishes are beautiful and elegantly plated. Costes is a step or two above Borkynha in terms of price point but a bit more relaxed (based on reviews and articles I read before our trip) than Onyx, Budapest’s third Michelin-starred restaurant.

My Little Melbourne
Madách Imre út 3, 1075

Our absolute favorite coffee/breakfast spot right around the corner from our Airbnb rental, I was so sad to leave My Little Melbourne behind! Their chocolate-filled croissants were buttery, flaky, and filled with gooey chocolate, and their croissant sandwiches (pictured below) were so fresh and delicious – does anyone else feel like the simplest things seem to taste better in Europe?!

Budapest, Croissant, Breakfast, Sandwich, My Little Melbourne

New York Café
Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073

If you’re feeling fancy, stop in to New York Café for your daily dose of whipped cream and all things gilded. New York Café is located inside the Boscolo Hotel and while I wouldn’t necessarily make a special trip here, it is definitely a very cool interior to see if you’re in the neighborhood. Thanks to a bit of jet lag I was up early walking around town one morning and stopped in for a cup of coffee with the entire place to myself!

Budapest, New York Cafe

Budapest, New York Cafe, Coffee

Juicy
Hongrie, Dob u. 22, 1072

This teeny-tiny juice bar in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter is the place to go for all your fresh juice and raw/vegan/gluten-free treats. Juicy‘s tasty nectars are also sold at My Little Melbourne coffee shop nearby.

Budapest, Juicy, Juice Bar

Sarki Fűszeres
Pozsonyi út 53-55, 1137

If you spend any time exploring Budapest’s Margaret Island, Sarki Fűszeres is a cute little shop and café to visit nearby. Grab coffee, breakfast, and picnic snacks and wine for the island, or stop in for lunch and drinks on your way back.

Trófea Grill Étterem
Multiple locations

It’s not very often that I can recommend an all-you-can-eat (and drink) buffet outside of Vegas, but Trófea Grill Étterem in Budapest is definitely a buffet I can get behind. They’re a one-stop-shop if you’re looking to taste traditional Hungarian dishes, but they also have other offerings like sushi if that’s what you’re goulash-ed out. The beer, wine, champagne, and select cocktails don’t stop flowing until you say so – boozy buffet brunches are what afternoons are made for, right?! For only 20-22€/person, Trófea Grill is your best bet for a quick, inexpensive meal in Budapest.

Street Food Karaván
Kazinczy u. 18, 1075

Wandering the streets of Budapest, especially in the Jewish Quarter, it seriously felt like there was an amazing bar or restaurant around every corner – including a bunch of cool little spots tucked away in alleys like the Street Food Karavan. We passed this trendy row of food stands on our way to Budapest’s famous ruin pub, Szimpla Kert (see below), and stopped by afterwards to check it out. I went straight for the Lángos topped with goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and arugula; it was the perfect late-night bite to soak up the copious amounts of Hungarian rosé I’d consumed throughout the evening!

Budapest, Street Food, Karavan

Lion + Maven | Budapest

Gelarto Rosa
Szent István tér 3, 1051

With temperatures reaching the low 90s during most of our stay in Budapest, we made a point of working a daily gelato stop into our schedule. Gelarto Rosa was our first, and most frequently visited shop, and to be honest, we would have come back every day even if we weren’t dealing with record-breaking temps. Not only are their cones oh-so-pretty, their flavors were outstanding. My favorite was the basil-lemon; mixed with strawberry this was always the perfect refreshing treat!

Budapest, Gelarto Rosa, Gelato, Rose

Levendula Kézműves Fagylaltozó
Multiple locations

While their cones aren’t the rose petal masterpieces created at Gelarto Rosa, Levendula‘s gelato offerings definitely did not disappoint. They have several locations around the city including a small pop-up stand we found at Deák Ferenc tér. If odd flavors like Gorgonzola, Camembert, and Red Wine interest you, then Levendula is your spot. If you’re not quite so adventurous when it comes to frozen treats, don’t fret – Levendula has a solid line-up of other imaginative flavors that aren’t quite so out there. Fresh mint and raspberry was my go-to combo.

Drink

Caffeine Fix

My Little Melbourne
Madách Imre út 3, 1075

Mentioned above as our favorite spot for breakfast every morning, My Little Melbourne was also our go-to coffee shop in Budapest. They offer a full selection of espresso drinks and their brew bar next door deals exclusively in filtered coffee. They also offer a variety of fresh, raw juices from local juice bar JUICY as well as a variety of quality snacks – a great spot to fuel up before a day of sightseeing!

Budapest, Coffee Shop, My Little Melbourne

A few other coffee shops around the city that deserve an honorable mention…

Fekete
Múzeum krt. 5, 1053

Espresso Embassy
Arany János u. 15, 1051

Tamp & Pull
Czuczor u. 3, 1093

Bars

Boutiq Bar
Paulay Ede u. 5, 1061

Another gem of a find just a block away from our apartment, Boutiq Bar offers tasty, inventive, expertly crafted cocktails at shockingly low (compared to similar cocktail bars in Chicago and other cities we’ve visited) prices. Speakeasy, laid-back kinda vibe – a great spot to end the night.

Budapest, Cocktails, Boutiq Bar

Léhűtő
Holló u. 12-14, 1076

We were very pleasantly surprised to find several great beer bars in Budapest and LÉHŰTŐ topped the list as our favorite. Great selection of local and international craft beers and a lovely outdoor seating area – the perfect spot to grab a drink or two before dinner nearby.

Lion + Maven | Budapest

Szimpla Kert
Kazinczy u. 14, 1075

It’s nearly impossible to put into words the strange awesomeness that is Szimpla Kert. Szimpla Kert is Budapest’s first and most popular ruin pub – bars created inside abandoned, run-down buildings with unused outdoor space and decorated with an eclectic mix of vintage decor that many would consider garbage. We first explored Szimpla Kert one afternoon before heading out for dinner and I highly suggest a visit during daylight hours to fully appreciate this unique spot. At night the place is packed wall to wall but during the day it’s an almost quiet, peaceful spot to kick back and enjoy a beer or giant glass of rosé for under $2. Stay tuned for a separate post exclusively devoted to Szimpla Kert!

Budapest, Ruin Pub, Szimpla Kert

Budapest, Ruin Pub, Szimpla Kert

Gozsdu Udvar
Király u. 13, 1075

Have I mentioned that Budapest seemed to have an amazing surprise down every alley? Well, Gozsdu Udvar is no exception. This alley between Király utca and Dob utca is lined with bar and restaurants, all with outdoor seating along the alleyway. The perfect spot for a relaxed evening and a perfect people-watching perch.

Budapest, Gozsdu Udvar

DiVino Wine Bar
Multiple locations

If you’re looking to get a taste of Hungarian wine, or just relax and people watch outside of St. Stephen’s Basilica, DiVino Wine Bar is the perfect place to stop. They also have a second great location in Gozsdu Udvar.

Budapest, St. Stephen's Basilica, Divino Wine Bar

Hops Beer Bar
Wesselényi u. 13, 1077

Another great beer bar in Budapest with an impressive line-up of craft beers.

Csak a jó sör
Kertész u. 42, 107

We stumbled upon Csak a Jó Sör (Only Good Beer) on accident while in search of another beer bar and we were shocked when we walked up to order and saw Founder’s All Day IPA on tap! Somehow a little keg had made its way all the way from Michigan to Budapest! This shop and bar carries an impressive collection of craft beers from around the globe, bartenders are very friendly, and the small space and vintage couches made us feel like we were back home having drinks in a friend’s basement – if we had a friend with an insane craft beer selection.

Budapest, Beer Bar

Thursday

22

October 2015

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COMMENTS

Budapest: Where To Go, What To See, What To Do

Written by , Posted in Travel

Mike and I have been home from our trip to Budapest and Kraków for a little over a month now and as I’ve been sorting through all my photos and rounding up our favorite spots, I find myself already dreaming about a return visit to each of these wonderful cities. We spent 5 nights in Budapest and 4 nights in Kraków and while we felt this was plenty of time to hit the big “to-dos”, we could have easily extended our stay in each cities and found plenty to keep us busy. From history to architecture to food and culture, these two cities offered everything we hoped for and then some.

The first question everyone has asked us, before and after our trip, was why Budapest and Kraków? The simple answer is word-of-mouth. Here and there we’ve had friends or fellow travelers mention Budapest and Kraków as two European cities that they really loved, so this year we decided to see for ourselves. Both cities were also incredibly inexpensive which was a definite plus!

Budapest, Ferris Wheel

We started our trip in Budapest, arriving on a Monday morning to a small studio apartment in District VII that we rented via Airbnb. The apartment itself was great – clean, modern, and comfortable – but the location of the apartment proved to be its best feature. District VII or Erzsébetváros (Elizabethtown) is, in my opinion, the best area to stay in Budapest, and our apartment was right in the middle of it all. There were a seemingly endless amount of unique and interesting shops, restaurants, cafés and bars right outside our front door. District VII is where you’ll find Budapest’s Jewish Quarter as well as many of the city’s famous Ruin Pubs – previously abandoned buildings turned bars and clubs. Our apartment was also steps away from Deák Ferenc tér, a major hub for public transit around the city – so when we wanted to venture out it couldn’t have been more convenient. We paid a ridiculously inexpensive price of $250 TOTAL for 5 nights and would have happily paid much more.

Budapest, Deák Ferenc square

Cooling off during Budapest’s 90 degree heat wave at Deák Ferenc tér

Budapest has everything you could ask for in a major European city – a river, a castle, beautiful churches, bridges, monuments, museums, an opera house, a central market hall, Michelin-starred restaurants, shopping…the list goes on. I’ll cover food & drink in a separate post because we did a LOT of eating and drinking, now it’s onto the main topic of this post…where to go, what to see, and what to do in Budapest.

Sightseeing

Trabant Tour with My Personal Budapest

When planning our trips, one of the very first things I do is look into tours of the city. On Bali and in Berlin we road bikes, in Prague we opted for Segways and a food & culture tour, and in Budapest we decided on a tour by Trabant. Some may consider the Trabant an inefficient relic from the days of the Eastern Bloc, but we loved this cute little car and our fantastic tour guide, Balázs!

Budapest, Trabant

I found My Personal Budapest via TripAdvisor and booked an entire day tour with Balázs Ackermann. Balázs owns several Trabants that he has updated and restored on his own and he also uses them for his acrobatic car stunts (we stayed on all 4 wheels during the tour)! He picked us up bright and early from our apartment and we were off to explore the city. After a morning hitting the highlights, we headed outside the city to Balázs’ home where we met his parents and enjoyed a delicious traditional Hungarian meal prepared by his mother. We then made our way back to the city where we ended our day with a “Hidden Gems” tour where we visited several spots off the beaten tourist path. We loved this tour and thought it was the perfect way to get a great overview of Budapest, thank you Balázs!

Budapest, Gellért Hill

View of the Danube from Gellért Hill

Danube Boat Ride & Wine Tasting with Taste Hungary

For our birthdays this year, my brother and his fiancée went the experiences over things route and planned a sunset wine tasting for Mike and me while we were in Budapest. Experiences over Things wins every time – this boat ride was so fantastic and was easily our most memorable experience in Budapest. We lucked out and there ended up being just one other couple on the tour with us, so the four of us had an incredibly intimate experience. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable about Budapest and all the great Hungarian wines we were tasting. The sunset followed by the glowing lights along the banks of the Danube was completely unreal; as we sped along and our captains blared “Thunderstruck” over the tiny boat’s speakers, we knew this was something we would never forget.

Budapest, Daube Boat Cruise

Budapest, Sunset, Danube, Castle, Chain Bridge

+ Szechenyi Baths

The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are one of the largest thermal baths in Europe, with their water supplied by two thermal springs. The water is said to have medicinal properties due to its natural warmth and the abundance of minerals found in the water. There are many thermal spas in Budapest, but Szechenyi is the largest and most popular so that’s where we decided to go. It felt a little like we were hanging at public pool in Budapest, if public pools had a pricey entrance fee and were housed in a Baroque palace. It was a great place to spend an afternoon relaxing after walking around the city for days, although the stag party in attendance added a hint of Las Vegas party pool atmosphere.

Budapest, Széchenyi Baths

+ Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere)

Our first stop bright and early on our Trabant Tour, Heroes’ Square is one of the largest main squares in Budapest and where you’ll find the statues of various Hungarian leaders.

Budapest, Heroes' Square

+ St. Stephen’s Basilica

A beautiful Roman Catholic basilica, St. Stephen’s Basilica is where you’ll find the supposed right hand of Stephen, the first King of Hungary.

Budapest, St. Stephen's Basilica

+ House of Terror

The House of Terror is a museum that features exhibits relating to the Communist regimes that once controlled Budapest and Hungary as well as memorials dedicated to the regime’s victims. The exhibits were interesting but there was something missing that made it just an ok museum for us. There were English printed papers to read in each room, but we may have gotten more out of it if we understood Hungarian.

Budapest, House of Terror Museum

+ Shoes on the Danube

A touching memorial right in front of the Parliament building, Shoes on the Danube was created to honor the Jews that died in Budapest during WWII. Here Jews were lined up by Arrow Cross militiamen, ordered to take off their shoes and were shot at the edge of the water so their bodies would fall into the river.

Budapest, Shoes on the Danube

+ Hungarian Parliament Building

A striking building that you can’t miss, the Hungarian Parliament building is best viewed from the river below or across the banks on the Buda side from Fisherman’s Bastion. They offer guided tours if you’re interested in checking out the inside.

Budapest Parliament, Sunset

+ Chain Bridge

One of several suspension bridges that connects the Buda and Pest sides of the city, the Chain Bridge is easily Budapest’s most famous bridge, and the one closest to the castle.

Budapest, Chain Bridge, Buda Castle

+ Hungarian State Opera House

Despite the fact that the Hungarian State Opera House was just a few blocks away from our apartment, we didn’t end up making it there. They offer tours at 3pm and 4pm daily and the inside is supposed to be beautiful. A great option for a rainy afternoon.

+ Castle Hill: Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya), Matthias Church

Just across the Chain Bridge you’ll find Castle Hill, home to Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya), and Matthias Church. They offer a funicular ride to the top, but we opted to avoid the lines and make our way up on foot. This is a great area to spend a day – great views, shops, and architecture. If you’re an early riser I strongly suggest taking in a sunrise from Fisherman’s Bastion.

Budapest, Fisherman's Bastion

Lion + Maven | Budapest

Budapest, Fisherman's Bastion

Budapest, Matthias Church, Colorful Tile

Gellért Hill, Liberty Statue

We took the easy way up Gellért Hill via Trabant and the views from the top were stunning. Here you’ll find the Liberty Statue, or, as our tour guide described it, a giant Hungarian bottle opener.

Budapest, Liberty Statue

 

Deák Ferenc tér

Deák Ferenc tér was just a few blocks from our apartment so we ended up here multiple times throughout our stay. The square is filled with young people and there are several restaurants and bars lining the perimeter. At night everyone had a drink (or bottle) in hand while they jammed out to the evening’s entertainment.

Budapest, Skateboarders

Budapest, Deák Ferenc square

Budapest, Deák Ferenc square

+ Imagine Budapest Tours

We didn’t take a tour with Imagine Budapest, but I stumbled upon their office while shopping one day and had to give them a mention. They specialize in various themed tours that sound really cool, definitely worth a look!

+ Just walk!

One of my favorite things to do in any city we visit is to walk around with no destination in mind. Budapest is an incredibly vibrant, lively city with something interesting waiting around every corner. I stumbled upon shops, buildings, and farmers’ markets that I never would have found in any guide book. I loved all the different architecture around the city – Budapest has everything from Art Nouveau to Gothic to Roman and more, with an interesting contrast of Communist-era buildings in between. Let yourself get lost for an afternoon and see what you find!

Budapest, Danube, Blue, Sunrise

Budapest, Pink, Architecture

Budapest, Communist Style Buildings

Green door, Budapest

Shopping

+ Central Market Hall

I love to shop and when I’m traveling I make it my goal to find unique, locally-made gifts and souvenirs to bring home. This has proved to be surprisingly difficult in other large European cities we’ve visited because every shop seems to have the exact same touristy things! This was not the case in Budapest and I was in heaven. The Central Market Hall is where I found nearly everything I brought home – true Hungarian paprika, ceramics, lacework, crystal, Christmas ornaments…the list goes on, and on, and on. The first floor of the market is like a farmers’ market, with meat and produce counters lining the walkways. The second floor is where you’ll find all the goods as well as a food counter to fuel up while you peruse. There is a basement as well but I didn’t get the chance to venture down there.

When it comes to the goods, no price is necessarily a set price, so come prepared with cash and be ready to bargain. It’s a bit overwhelming at first and not every stand has high-quality products, so my advice is to make a lap or two before buying anything then go back to pick out the things you really liked. The building itself is also very beautiful and makes for great photos!

Budapest, Central Market Hall

Budapest, Central Market Hall, Duck Liver, Foie Gras

Budapest, Central Market Hall

Budapest, Central Market Hall

Budapest, Central Market Hall

Budapest, Central Market Hall

Budapest, Central Market Hall

Budapest, Central Market Hall

Budapest, Central Market Hall

+ Rozsavolgyi Csokolade

The most beautiful chocolates you ever did see, their bars are sure to win over your family and loved ones back home, and make sure to grab a truffle or 5 for yourself.

+ Printa

Stylish and unique little gifts and souvenirs, with a cute little section of children’s goods as well.

Budapest shopping, Printa

+ Culinaris

If you’re doing any cooking on your own in Budapest, this is a great shop to check out for specialty ingredients. I went into it thinking it would be Hungarian focused, but it definitely is not. At Culinaris you’ll find high quality ingredients from around the world.

+Bortársaság

If you’re looking for wine, specifically good Hungarian wine, Bortársaság is where you’ll find it. We tried several different wines that we loved from Sauska winery and Bortársaság had a plentiful supply.

+ Arioso

A cute little shop and café on Király Street where I found some beautifully packaged candies and soaps made locally in Budapest.

+ Memories of Hungary

A bit on the touristy side, but Memories of Hungary did offer a few neat souvenirs to bring home.

 

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for Part 2 featuring everywhere we ate and drank in Budapest!

Monday

31

August 2015

0

COMMENTS

Emerald Isle

Written by , Posted in Travel

Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Beach, Dock to the beach, Ocean

Last week my family and I spent the week walking back and forth along this pier. From our house to the beach we walked; those were the only places we needed to be, and it was exactly what we all needed.

Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Beach, Ocean, Sunrise

I can’t remember the last time I went on a true, no agendas, beach vacation. Our trip to Kauai a few years ago was probably the closest thing in recent years, but we stayed pretty active on that trip so it doesn’t really count. This year our destination was a beach house on Emerald Isle, and it was perfect. We spent our days lounging on the beach and our nights enjoying each other’s company, all with the steady, hypnotizing sound of waves gently lapping against the shore. We woke up early for a sunrise or two, took long walks along the coastline, stuffed our faces with amazingly fresh seafood, caught up on our reading, talked, played games, and did something that none of us had really done in quite some time – relaxed.

Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Beach, Ocean, Sunrise

Life has been hectic as of late, and some days and weeks feel like it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. Mike and I recently bought a home in Chicago that we are completely in love with and several weeks ago we began the first of several major renovation projects. I never knew how many shades of white paint existed. It is crazy exciting but at times also incredibly stressful. In the end it will all be worth it, but until then I’m just trying to focus on that light at the end of the tunnel. A week at the beach definitely helped.

My little piece of the internets has taken a back seat to everything else going on in my life, and to be honest I’m not all that worried about it. I started this blog back in 2010 as a passion project, an outlet for a creative side that I was only then just starting to discover, and I intend to keep it that way. If I don’t feel like writing, I won’t write. Simple as that. For those that have stuck around through the silence, thanks for hanging in there. You’re in luck, because as I write this I’m somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean, bound for Budapest. We’ll be in Budapest for 5 days followed by another 4 days in Kraków, and I am SO EXCITED I can barely contain myself. Stay tuned.

Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Beach, Ocean, Sunrise

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