Today was going to be a lazy day in Budapest for a couple of reasons. One, the weather isn’t that great, overcast and the occasional drizzle. Second, we went to the Szechenyi Baths to relax, and to see how Hungarians relax on the weekend. These are the, described by the concierge at the hotel, “the nicest, most popular, and most expensive baths in Budapest.” I’m not going to argue that point, seeing it’s the only one we’ve been to and will go to. But it was great. The baths are heated by hot springs, which are all over Hungary. They have three pools, but one was closed. So they had the “swimming” pool open, which was 80 degrees, and they had the “hot” pool open, which was around 100 degrees or so, and was packed. It’s like a hot tub for 500 people in which most people are just sitting on the steps people watching while they relax. Others float around, while some vets to the scene play chess on built in boards on the side of the pool. The hot bath would actually be a lot hotter, since the water coming from the spring is actually 180 degrees, but then is mixed with cold water at the surface.

We hung out there for about 3 hours. That was just enough time for the hot water to suck the life out of us and relax every part of our body. I think some locals must spend 10 hours there at times. Some people didn’t move the whole time we were there, but they grew up with it I suppose. From there we took a walk back to the hotel down Andrassy Street, which is the “Champs Elysee” of Budapest. It has all the high fashion stores, and is designed just like it. On the way back, we picked up a pastry that they sell all over this town which looks like a funnel cake, but not like we are used to. It’s an actual funnel, kind of like a hose wrapped up, with cinnamon all over it. It’s delicious and very cheap. That along with enormous pretzels seem to be the most popular street food around here. We could have eaten 10 of them.

yes, this felt amazing and was over 100 degrees!

yes, this felt amazing and was over 100 degrees!

We finished the night out at dinner at a restaurant recommended by the hotel. Today is Annemarie’s 29th birthday, so I figured it was the least I could do and take her out. She had a great dinner, and enjoyed her grilled goose liver and venison. I did enjoy my goulash soup, and my rooster (tastes like chicken), but not my dessert so much. I though strudel was supposed to be sweet?  Maybe not, who knows. We also didn’t like the fact that the sommelier for the restaurant asked what we liked…and then pointed out the most expensive wine on the list…for a type of wine we didn’t like? Not sure what he was thinking, other than discontent after I said I’d pick one myself and took the wine list from him. He also brought us a drink that locals like to have called Palinka. It comes in bunch of different flavors, but honestly hits your throat like whiskey. Not a fan, and we thought it was given to us as a good gesture by the restaurant. No, it wasn’t. They also brought us water, but was it on the house? No. Gotta love it when you have to pay for water. Annemarie also was ticked because they had no problem bringing us all types of things to drink we didn’t want, but then when our wine glasses were empty, no one came to fill the. Note, we ordered a bottle, but they wouldn’t leave it on the table, so we always had to wait for them to come around, which wasn’t often. Ok, rant over. Food ok, good wine that we chose, bad service.

We enjoyed getting a Skype call from my family today back in Pennsylvania, on top of all the calls for Annemarie’s birthday. We had been asked if our marriage was still strong after being within 5 feet of one another for the last 3 weeks or so. We said yes, but the hotel here in Budapest must have thought we needed a break. They hooked us up with a suite, but as you can see in the picture below, must’ve thought we needed a break from one another. So I’d like to adjust my comments to aunt, uncle and grandmother and say that our marriage is doing great, but currently, we are experiencing a trial separation…of 12 inches! 🙂

It only took 9 countries to put space between us :)

It only took 9 countries to put space between us 🙂

Ok, going to watch the rest of the UNC/Oklahoma game, yes we get it live here, and find some good places to hit tomorrow in case we head over to Slovakia and check out Bratislava. Cheers!