Yes, we've made it to Hungary and we have actually been here almost 2 weeks!
Just to recap the trip:
We left Tampa International Tues. Jan 20th around 5:30pm (we thought the irony of the day was hilarious to be leaving the States) and headed to Tennessee where we boarded a half empty plane to Amsterdam. We went through customs in Amsterdam(which was easier than customs from Canada to the US boarders) and then flew into Budapest, Hungary.
Novalie and Eden slept 8 of the 9 hour flight over. Novie actually had a whole row to herself and only fell off once :) No turbulence the whole trip and no motion sickness or crying spells from the girls, the trip was as close to ideal as we could possibly wish for, now for dragging two kids plus 4 carry-on's, 4 personal items, double stroller, two carseats, diaper bags, toys, 2 laptops, 4 winter coats plus ourselves and what was left of our sanity through 3 airports is a whole other post of whining which I will save for later.... :) Anyways we made it through our flights and through customs with no major drama. We arrived in Hungary Wed. afternoon, tired, jet-lagged and lost. No one in the Budapest airport spoke English including the gentleman from WOL who picked us up. We came with 10 suitcases/bins plus everything I mentioned above and had no clue how to get it out of the airport! It took about 30min. for us to find someone who understood enough English to find us a porter and point us to the exit of the airport so we could find our ride "home" it was not quite the welcome I was expecting...but I also knew there would be no parade or balloons waiting for us either :) We paid the porters in US currency which seemed to bring a BIG smile to their faces (later we found out we paid them alot and the exchange rate is currently the highest Hungary has seen in about 40 years). So we found our ride, he was holding the WOL shield :)
Now I will try to tell you about our first week but truthfully it was extremely surreal. We were majorly jet-lagged (which means you are so tired you forget to do normal things like put on your deodrant and eat) and trying to remember everything our new WOL family was telling us about our new house. They could have told me it was infested with snakes or didn't have running water and I probably would have smiled and said, "Okay, sounds good." Needless to say we dropped our bags took a quick peek around our new home and dropped into a deep "Sleeping Beauty", passed-out, sort-of nap.
Here is our new kitchen, the biggest one I've ever had!
So, our new house is NOT infested with snakes and we have running water!! Of course! we are in Europe! not a 3rd world country :) Our new home is beautiful! All linoleum hard wood flooring in the rooms and tiles in the kitchen and bathroom (real tile) :). The house is cozy, warm and has alot of windows to let the winter "sun" in which deceives us into thinking it's warmer outside than it really is.
It's 2 bedrooms with high ceiling s and alot of space. Here is a strange Hungarian fact for you: if you say a house is 3 rooms that literally means 3 rooms. So we found out that our house is actually a 3 room house, it includes all rooms you live in, which of course would include the Living Room :) Also a closet is considered a room! No matter how small or large the closet is it's counted as a room, so we still only have a 3 room house...we have NO closets! Kinda strange and different but we have Wardrobes coming this week. I know I will step into each one and see if Narnia and Aslan are in the either side, I'll let you know what happens :)
Our yard is amazing and I can only dream and imagine what it must look like in the spring. I think I'll have my hands very full with the upkeep of all the veggies, fruit, nuts, plants and flowers. I will feel like Mary in the Secret Garden. I've been told I'll have help and I've been reading up online how to prune the grape vines :) Now I just need to learn how to can all the grapes, raspberries and veggies so we have them all year around. We also have a wine cellar but I have a feeling it will be used for storage ;)
The Wine Cellar
The village we live in To'almas is a very safe town to live in. I can walk around with the girls and not worry about being attacked, at least by humans, there are scary, stray dogs everywhere. I was told to fill my pockets with rocks, I guess that's supposed to scare a ravaging beast...
We can walk to the pedatrician, Doctor, Meat Market, The Castle, WOL property, 3 different stores, post office, ATM, pretty much everything we need is within a 10-20min walking distance, even the ice cream shop :)
We've made several shopping trips so far and finally got a microwave! Boy was that tricky heating up baby food, bottles and food...doable but tricky. I praise the Lord for our microwave!
I think in the days ahead I will have more time to blog, life inTo'almas seems to be pretty laid back and slower paced than the States.
I also learned that is costs between $300-$400 dollars for a Hungarian to get their drivers license! Yikes! Now I know why they walk or ride bikes everywhere!
More to come later....time to sweep and mop, which is a daily task with no carpet and muddy roads.