Saturday, January 3, 2009

And ma in her kerchief and I in recap...

There was a list, right? Of all the things we were going to do this Christmas vacation. You probably heard it. I came up with it off the top of my head the first time someone asked about our plans, and just kept repeating it until school was out: “Annie's folks are coming, so we'll probably just hang out around Bratislava and see the sights. Get lost in old town, check out the clock museum, maybe take a day trip to Devín Castle or Modra.”

Honest folks, I didn't mean to lie to all of you. I'm all broken up about it. We were playing it pretty loose; it was my best guess at the time. But, look, it's been an even better vacation than all that, so just stay with me, okay?

The semester ended with the big faculty kapustnica party(story and recipe elsewhere) and a mild cold for Annie and me, but that was over pretty quickly so we'll just skip forward to Christmas eve.

Picking up Annie's folks from the Vienna airport was a bit of holiday road comedy and tense action flick rolled into one, with lost luggage, a barely-missed train, and a perfect last second surprise, bursting through the doors of the Malý Kostol for the last verse of the recessional. Miraculous Christmas-day luggage delivery. "I haven't missed it. The Spirits have done it all in one night." Delicious feasting with the Haugs and assorted Slovak missionary personnel and families, and God bless us, et al. More or less.

Next came a whimsical jaunt to Hungary for a surprisingly successful and satisfying whirlwind tour of Budapest. After Paul and Sue secured free rooms at the “controversial” and ridiculously awesome Budapest Hilton, it was pretty much full steam ahead. At this point, I can really only reconstruct what happened from the photos. Apparently, we took a train to a magical castle high in the clouds. Also, we caught the tail end of the Christmas market, saw La Boheme with helpful Hungarian subtitles from boxed seats at the opera, were attacked by falcons, froze our tuckuses off in the castle district... Annie, please jump in if I'm missing anything.

The rest of the break was a bit more sedate:
shopping at Ikea and Tesco, snacky New Years Eve and fireworks, quick visits to Vienna and old town, all back in time for church on Sunday and Paul and Sue's flight home on Monday morning. Whew.

Now this update itself has taken up nearly a day of what Christmas break remains, and so I must bid a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a see you next week.


Pastor Annie said...

What else to add about Budapest ... We also found the most awesome shop for beautiful handmade and painted gifts ... and a well converted into a wine fountain.

Sue-s said...

What could be more wonderful than spending the 12 days of Christmas with Annie and Sean in Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria? It's my first day back at work and I'm trying to hold on to the glow as I let go of the cold that lingered on in my tuckas. Lovies, Momes