We decided to spend Hank’s very first Father’s day at lake Balaton. This would be our last visit to the lake or as it is also known as, “ The Hungarian Sea”. Lake Balaton is one of the largest lakes in Europe and luckily we only live about an hour and 20 minutes away. As we head down the road, I start to see the beauty in things that I never saw before. Its amazing how your view on life changes when certain events occur. After we learned that we would be leaving Hungary, Im taking greater appreciation of the place we have called home for the past year. Some of the things I complained about seem irrelevant and the things that used to be a burden have become thing I want to remember. For instance, having to always have cash at restaurants, remembering to bring your own bags to the grocery store, having to call a translator for every piece of paper we receive in the mail, or not being able to read anything. I almost took a picture of the milk today because I never want to forget how different and cool things were over here. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to go back but leaving this place is going to be difficult. This is where we spent our first year of marriage, where we traveled all over, and where my son was born. There isnt much we can keep from here either. We sold his crib and I gave away alot of his baby clothes to a Hungarian Mother in need and some Boeing families with little ones. His bouncy seat he spent about 3 months curled up in is no longer ours. All these memories are only in my mind ( and the 1.5 million pictures I have). My friends and family are so excited to have us home and back in Charleston. Coming home has proved to be very challenging. When we left, we sold our house, 3 cars, a business, and most of our furniture. Only one of us returns with a job and meanwhile Im wondering where I fit back in Charleston. I’ve been out of the wedding “game” for a while and I feel out of the loop. So I’m job hunting already but still unsure of how to leave my baby whom Ive spent every waking moment with. I guess you could say the move back home is definitely bittersweet… (pause, I need wine now…)
So, we arrive in the village of Tihany which is a little peninsula that juts out into the lake. We first find parking which is always an ordeal but get pretty lucky. This town reminds me of a little beach town. They have restaurants lining the streets and unique little shops that sell antiques, lavendar and of course paprika. We eat at a pizza place that was some of the best pizza we have had while in Hungary. Usually pizza is made with a weird cheese and had corn on it… yeah. After we head to the church, Benedictine Abbey which was founded by Andrew I. He is buried in the crypt below the church. Pretty fascinating and the view from the church is outstanding. You can see so much of the Lake. The lake is the most beautiful mix of green and blue, it almost looks like the Caribbean. Our next stop is to try to find the Monk’s residences. Its also called the Hermit’s Place (BARÁTLAKÁSOK). It is where Greek Orthodox monks created places to live among the rocks in between 11th-14th century. Well of course, I just HAD to see this. We find the trail and Hank parks the car and goes to look. It doesnt look like hardly anything and certainly a stroller would not work. He meets a Hungarian hiker along the way who spoke perfect English and let him know that it was definitely a hike to get up there but worth seeing. He told us about a short cut with we somehow managed to find. Now let me say this. This “trail” was literally a tiny walk way through the woods on a slightly steep hill. We decided to do it, take turns holding Cruze and huff it up the “mountain”. By the way, we are all wearing shorts and flip flops. We felt like the worst parents. This hike was literally a HIKE. There were mosquitos the size of honey bees, it was rocky, there were stairs and it was LONG. We made it to the caves. Totally not worth it, or at least after the hike it didnt seem like it. Luckily Cruze thought this was fun and he clapped his hands the entire way… We were drenched with sweat and wondering if anyone would find our bodies if we didnt make it. After it was over we headed to Balatonfured which is a touristy little town on the water where most of the marinas are located. We had daquiris and a cheese plate and sat outside on the water. We walked around, bought a magnet as a keepsake, watched a dance competition, got some Gelato, and then found the fountains… oh Cruze LOVES the fountains. I decided to be a cool mom and not worry so much and let him strip his clothes off and play in the fountain. Sucess! He loved it and as a mom there is nothing better than seeing your kid clap his hands in excitement! It was such a beautiful day but from the hike and all the walking around the towns we were ready to go home.
I had such a great day and just another one to put in the memory books. Cruze is going to be really mad that he doesnt remember any of these things, so I took lots of pictures:)