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Making a Trail

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

We are home. Four months of traveling, done. At some point I want to count how many miles we traveled and countries we visited, but today isn’t that day. Even though our epic travels are over, we fly to San Diego tomorrow to apartment hunt.

We’re sitting in the lounge in the Budapest airport. We have a short flight to CDG then direct to SFO. Looking back to being in the US for a prolonged period of time for the first time in four months! It has been a crazy ride.

Best to everyone back home.

We toured around Budapest today. This city is much more impressive than I anticipated. The food is good, too.

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We visited a hospital/bomb shelter that was built into existing underground tunnels under the old castle hill. It was a good intro to the dynamics of Hungarian history from pre-WWII to the departure of the Soviets. During the tour, they piped in bomb raid sounds to the tunnels that gave you an eerie sense of what life might have been like during the allied bombing campaigns of WWII. No pictures allowed inside, but I’m glad we went. Becky got her medical history fill for the day too 🙂

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Oh, and I got to hang out with a Golden Eagle. Best €6 I’ve ever spent.

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We’re off the boat tomorrow. I’m excited for terra firma, a flexible schedule, and exploring even more of this great city.

We cruised up the Danube into Budapest around 11pm last night. It was probably the most stunning introduction to a city I’ve ever had. The way the glowing presence of Budapest’s impressive architecture was reflected in the water is something I don’t think I’ll soon forget.

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We’re all still alive, happy and healthy, but we had to shed our sea legs for bus legs–my least favorite kind of legs–due to a drought situation on the Danube River.

Regardless, we made it to Vienna bus and all. Today we went to the zoo. I took more pictures of a panda than I care to admit, I waited way too long for a polar bear to come out of his enclave, and I exceeded the acceptable levels of adult excitement when I saw cheetah cubs. We just got back from a Mozart-Strauss concert. It was fun. I’ll get some pictures up soon. It was just tricky for a bit there.

Much love to everyone back home.

P.S. River day tomorrow, so I’ll be headed to the upper deck. 10’s or bust!

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We have tried to stay ‘on message’ during our cruise; this means following our ship itinerary to a ‘T.’ For some of our fellow travelers this advice, such as dressing up for the Captain’s dinner, is taken with a grain of salt. Regardless, I need to ask this guy where he got his high crew socks.

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Our time in the Netherlands went quickly, everyone just liked it so much. Amsterdam was great, and a fun reminder of a place I lived in for a hot minute more than 7 years ago during law school (I’m old). Our highlights included the Anne Frank House and seeing some classic windmills in action.

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We’re on the boat now. Amsterdam was beautiful. I’ll try to get some pictures up shortly. I was quite sick at the beginning of our trip here, hence no blogging.

The people of Amsterdam love their smoked meats and pickled fish. There are numerous herring stals around the city. The locals can’t get enough. They tilt their heads back, hold the herring by the tail and drop it in their mouth. It’s reminiscent of feeding a seal at sea world. The smell of pickled herring immediately reminds me of the bait I used when fishing with my dad as a little kid. Accordingly, I gag uncontrollably if I even think about eating the stuff.

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I give Asia the edge on street food options.

We just arrived into SF safe and sound. We are exhausted after a long 18+ hrs of flying, but happy to be back in the good ole’ USA for a few days.
Things we have missed:

– our friends and family
– ice cubes
– potable tap water
– toilets that take TP
– speaking English
– ESPN and black coffee (you can guess who that is)
– San Francisco!

More posts to come, as we leave on Friday for Europe. 🙂

Becky and Mike