Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We went to the Budapest Zoo with the Beattys earlier this month.  Gary and the kids have only been one other time, two years ago when Sienna was just 4 months old.

DSCN6122The kids had a blast and enjoyed seeing so many animals.  Thankfully it wasn’t an extremely hot day and there was a nice breeze blowing throughout the zoo. 

DSCN6028However, this orangutan kept putting this cloth on his head (presumably because of the heat).  It was quite amusing to watch him.

DSCN6138There were a number of baby animals such as these lion cubs above (all snoozing) and this adorable elephant below.DSCN6048

DSCN5935Ethan was more into the petting zoo part than Sienna was.  She mostly wanted Gary to hold her.  She was fine to hold her hand out sometimes, but wanted Gary to be with her.  However, she did pet a python snake.  Go figure!  Even now, she talks about how the snake was nice to her (because it didn’t bite her).

DSCN6085Unfortunately the kids are too young to appreciate seeing this snake shed its skin.  How many times do you get to see that during the process?! 

DSCN5985I was a little concerned when Sienna started pointing to this peacock and getting her finger closer and closer to its head and then it started moving its head toward her finger.  I pulled her finger away before something happened to cause her to fear peacocks for the rest of her life.

 DSCN5998We had a great spot to eat lunch, sitting by this pond.DSCN6015After eating, the kids enjoyed watching the pelicans, turtles, and ducks (including baby ducks) swimming around.  And we found out that a pelican will eat banana.

DSCN6144A great day that is still being talked about, weeks later, by Ethan and Sienna.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Neighbors and Fruit Picking

A few weeks ago our neighbors came over to pick apricots.DSCN6307While they were picking their kids joined ours in the pool.  DSCN6331Even though our kids don’t know Hungarian and Sebi and Bogi don’t know English they all enjoy playing with each other. 

Sebi and Bogi started out playing in their underwear, but their mom brought over swim suits for them to put on.  I think she did it because our kids were wearing suits. Typically Hungarian children would not be wearing clothes to play in their own pool. Maybe American kids typically wouldn’t either, but there is definitely a cultural difference between America and Hungary in how children are clothed at public pools and beaches.

After our neighbors left Ethan wanted to pick some cherries.  DSCN6338This was helpful to me since I freeze and dehydrate them.DSCN6351Trying to get all of the cherries within reach

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 4th

We had a fun, full day on July 4th!  The Custers invited us over for lunch and for the kids to play in the pool.DSCN6180It was the first time our kids have been in a pool this summer. They had a blast! 

DSCN6187I’m not sure what all Ethan and William were talking about, but I overheard Ethan tell William not to take the plug out because all of the water would go out of the pool.  It looks like William is thinking hard about this.

DSCN6197Sienna finally decided to eat after playing in the pool.

We went home long enough for Sienna to take a nap and then headed over to the Stirlings’ house for their annual 4th of July cook-out.  There were over 80 people there (actually fewer than last year).  I always enjoy talking to different people and the pot-luck style of salads and side dishes.  Gary enjoys these things too, but he also enjoys the American drinks that you can’t get here such as A&W Root Beer.DSCN6237The kids enjoy the games with water balloons.  Al, the host, pictured above, told me later that Ethan would ask him after each game if there were more water balloons.DSCN6248Sienna’s idea of the water balloon toss is that you toss it on the ground and if it breaks then you’re a winner.

DSCN6270Near the end we sing patriotic and American folk songs. The kids weren’t into the singing so much.

DSCN6290The kids are all gathered around with lit sparklers.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Our Kids and Czech Kids

On the way back from Poland we stayed at a Pension in Czech Republic.  It was basically a restaurant with 3 rooms for guests.  They had a playground outside, and it seemed to be the happening place in the little town.  Ethan jumped right in with playing with some Czech boys.DSCN5778It didn’t bother him one bit that he couldn’t understand them or that they couldn’t understand him.  He just loved having some “big” kids to play with.  Gary asked one of the boys how old he was, and he said eight.  DSCN5776The funny thing is that Ethan wore both of the boys out. We have experienced this a lot. Many times Ethan is around elementary aged kids, middle school kids, and even high school kids and they talk about how he tires them out.

DSCN5773Sienna was also playing with some kids in the sand box.  These other two little girls are Roma (Gypsy).  Gary heard the one in the blue dress saying that Ethan was speaking “Gypsy”.  Gypsies often speak the language of the country that they are in, but there are also Gypsy languages.  We figure that she has heard someone speak Gypsy, and because Ethan was speaking a different language from Czech that she assumed it was Gypsy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Parks, Fountains and Sienna’s Own Street

Gary’s class finished in the early afternoon on the last day, so we were able to go into the city for some sightseeing.  First we went to Lazienki Park which has a statue of Chopin (he was from Warsaw) as well as free concerts.DSCN5653The kids enjoyed the animals more than hanging out at the free music concert.

DSCN5600Ethan and Sienna liked feeding bread to the ducks,   DSCN5620and they tried feeding the peacocks bread too, but the pigeons quickly came to take part in eating. DSCN5656 We saw a number of people feeding squirrels, but they were more interested in nuts than the bread that we had.

DSCN5677Gary saw on a map that Warsaw had a street named Sienna, and spelled the same way as we do (the city in Italy is spelled differently), so we thought it would be neat to get Sienna’s picture made by the street sign.DSCN5671

Afterward we went to an area with a large water fountain that we figured the kids would enjoy.  We thought it would be fun to eat dinner and sit by the fountains.DSCN5748 As we got close to the fountain there was a ton of traffic and a four-lane road blocked off with barriers for people to walk through.  Come to find out there was a concert in the area of the water fountain.    We arrived probably an hour or more before the concert began and left after a couple of songs (the concert began at the kids’ bedtime).DSCN5703There were barriers in front of the fountains, but the kids enjoyed seeing all of the people walking around.DSCN5692For those of you who don’t live in Hungary, you won’t know the significance of the picture above.  It’s the pizza box!  Yes, Poland had Domino’s Pizza, something Hungary does not have!  And Gary loves Domino’s Pizza.  Ethan always picks the cheese off of his pizza (he doesn’t like cheese), but he actually ate this pizza, cheese and all!  It was a great evening sitting in the park watching people, watching the water fountains, and eating Domino’s Pizza!  And the weather was perfect!