Europe Trip: Zemplén Kalandpark Bobpálya

Europe Trip: Zemplén Kalandpark Bobpálya

When we are in Hungary, besides staying with Dédi, our favorite place to stay has always been with our dear friends Péter and Csilla and their boys (our godsons) Gergő and Dávid. We usually stay with them for a few days, but that is never enough time together, so they often journey out to Dédi’s house to visit us while we are there as well. On this particular day we met up at Dédi’s house and our friends took all of us on a grand adventure.

Our first stop on the adventure was the Zemplén Kalandpark.

Dédi and Péter and the boys all trying to share one umbrella.

Dédi and Péter and the boys all trying to share one umbrella.

Waiting in line and listening to safety instructions.

Waiting in line and listening to safety instructions.

Located just 10 kilometers from Sárospatak, the Zemplén Kalandpark (Zemplén adventure park) is nestled in the beautiful Zemplén Mountains. The park itself offers year round attractions including adventure trails/ropes course (like the one we did in Budapest), nature trails, playgrounds, and a ski resort in the winter. The day we visited, we were there for one thing. The bobpáyla, or bobsled. At 2275 meters in length, Zemplén Kalandpark’s Bobpálya is Hungary’s (and the overall region’s) longest bobsled track. It is fast, it has gorgeous views and – did I mention that it’s fast? At some points the track has a 10 percent grade, so you can really get going. Thankfully each car has a set of brakes that the passenger can control so you can your car go as slowly as you would like.

Big Guy and Dávid Getting situated in the cars.

Big Guy and Dávid Getting situated in the cars.

Gergő and Mat getting ready to go.

Gergő and Mat getting ready to go.

The boys were all eager to test out the bobsleds but I decided to hang back with Péter, Csilla and Dédi to take pictures. Of course, the boys all had so much fun on their first run that they convinced me to ride along on the second run (after several reassurances from Csilla that it wasn’t nearly as scary as it looked). It was exhilarating and I’m glad that they talked me into doing it! When you are racing down the track, everything goes by in a blur, but the ride to the top of the track is slow and you really get the chance to take in your surroundings and see the beauty of the foliage in the Zamplén Mountain region. It was well worth the trip.

Little Man said it was the scariest thing ever and then asked if he could do it again.

Little Man said it was the scariest thing ever and then asked if he could do it again.

David loved it!

David loved it!

Big Guy and Dávid after their first run.

Big Guy and Dávid after their first run.

And on their second run

And on their second run

Gergő looking very serious

Gergő looking very serious

Little Man and Mat on their second run

Little Man and Mat on their second run

Finally me and David... we did it!

Finally me and David… we did it!

A Little Fan for a Little Space

A Little Fan for a Little Space

David and I are in the middle of redoing our home office. It’s a pretty small space and it is crammed with a ton of shelving so the already small room can feel even downright miniscule. Also, because of where it is located in our home, it is the hottest room in the house. In the middle of our redo, we were searching for the perfect ceiling light and David was lamenting on how cool it would be if we could install some sort of ceiling fan, but I refused because a ceiling fan would overpower the room and there was no way we could possibly find something that was the proper scale.

But then he did.

David poured over the internet in search of exactly what he was looking for and he finally discovered this cool pendant fan from Kichler. The Terna LED Pendant Fan is only 15 inches in diameter and is absolutely perfect for even the smallest space. Honestly, it doesn’t even look like a fan and you could even hang several of them in a kitchen as pendant lights.

The fan comes in three different finishes.

The fan comes in three different finishes.

Our fan arrived last week and as soon as we get some of the other projects in the room sorted out, we are going to have it installed. David’s excitement over our fan grew even greater this morning when he was reading twitter and discovered that one of his favorite sites, Gizmodo, had just reviewed our fan. He pointed it out to me and said, “See, I told you this is cool.” I’ll let you know how the install goes.

We chose the Brushed Nickel finish for our fan

We chose the Brushed Nickel finish for our fan

*all images via

Europe Trip: In the Garden

Europe Trip: In the Garden

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When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dédi has this gorgeous vegetable garden that puts most of the gardens that I have seen to shame. When the boys first saw it, one of them exclaimed, “That’s not a garden, it’s a little farm!”

In the garden with Dédi and one of her sisters and sampling peas

In the garden with Dédi and one of her sisters and sampling peas

Dédi and her sister supervise as David and Mat work the land.

Dédi and her sister supervise as David and Mat work the land.

Can you tell that they are related?

Can you tell that they are related?

Dédi works the garden every day alongside her sisters and some of her nephews. They grow everything that they need on a day to day basis like peppers, squash, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and so much more. And those are just the vegetables. She also has a wide variety of fruit trees and flowers, including the prettiest hydrangeas I have ever seen.

Little Man learns to give each plant just enough water.

Little Man learns to give each plant just enough water.

He quickly got the hang of things.

He quickly got the hang of things.

Big Guy discovered that working the land is a lot harder than it looks.

Big Guy discovered that working the land is a lot harder than it looks.

They all caught on pretty quickly

They all caught on pretty quickly

They get an early start (like 4:30 in the morning early) to avoid the hottest hours of the day and they seriously get more work done in those early hours than most people do in an entire day (no wonder they are all so fit). The boys got a small taste of just how much work it takes to tend a large garden as Dédi taught them to pull weeds, use a hoe, water each plant just enough and so much more. Their favorite part was getting to sample the various vegetables right there in the garden. Their favorites were the peas, cucumbers and cherries.

Dédi teaches Big Guy the proper technique for picking cherries

Dédi teaches Big Guy the proper technique for picking cherries

Showing off a cherry

Showing off a cherry

While we were staying with Dédi, the boys spent at least a little time in the garden each day and some days, like the day all of these pictures were taken, they spent a great deal of time there. Gardening with Dédi helped teach them just how much work goes into growing their food and why it is important that they not waste their food. The boys were also excited to learn that David used to work in the garden alongside Dédi and his grandfather when he was a little boy. David has always wanted to have a property big enough to house a fairly sizable garden and after spending time in Dédi’s I can see why.

Enjoying life in the garden

Enjoying life in the garden

I think David would be perfectly content to do this every day.

I think David would be perfectly content to do this every day.

Everyone hard at work.

Everyone hard at work.

Finally calling it a day.

Finally calling it a day.

Europe Trip: Dédi’s House

Europe Trip: Dédi’s House

Happy Monday! Flashing back to our European adventure, I now take you to our favorite part of our trip: Dédi’s house. Dédi lives in northeastern Hungary, not far from the Slovakia border, which is my absolute favorite part of Hungary. The countryside is gorgeous with rolling hills, sprawling grasslands and fields as far as the eye can see. To David this area is one thing: home. Traveling to northeastern Hungary for him is akin to me traveling back to Colorado. He may no longer live there (and hasn’t for decades) but it will always welcome him back with open arms.

This is the view when driving into Dédi’s village. Isn't it stunning?

This is the view when driving into Dédi’s village. Isn’t it stunning?

When we got off of the highway at Miskolc and turned toward Dédi’s village, you could feel a shift in David’s whole demeanor. As we passed each village on the main road we would tell the boys, “four more villages to Dédi’s house…. Three more…. Two more…” They were so excited they could hardly stand it. The anticipation was nearly too much to take. And then, before long, we were there. We had finally arrived and, just like David, we all felt like we had made it home.

Look at that face! Pure joy!

Look at that face! Pure joy!

Big guy exploring Dédi’s house and the grapevines along the rear peasant-style house.

Big guy exploring Dédi’s house and the grapevines along the rear peasant-style house.

Little Man sitting on the porch swing.

Little Man sitting on the porch swing.

Dédi’s house is nothing short of magical and I do not use that term lightly. It may not be a sprawling mansion or have every modern day convenience, but it is filled with the one thing that money cannot buy: Love. The home is so filled with love, it is actually overflowing. Dédi took the little guys and Mat on a quick tour of the house showing them where Nagyi and Tete (David’s parents) lived when they were first married, where David and his cousin Kori used to climb trees and search for frogs and where their great grandfather used to feed the pigs. Each piece of furniture, all of the embroidered linens and every memento, they all have a story and we love to hear Dédi tell about all of them. We walked all along the property through Dédi’s sprawling vegetable garden and through her fruit trees. The boys were beyond fascinated with the old pigsty, chicken coop and outhouse.

Little Man playing in the sour cherry tree.

Little Man playing in the sour cherry tree.

David with the large bowl of raspberries that awaited our arrival

David with the large bowl of raspberries that awaited our arrival

Big Guy standing outside of the summer kitchen.

Big Guy standing outside of the summer kitchen.

As we reminisced, Dédi helped with our laundry and they boys were excited that we got to dry it the “old fashioned way” on a clothesline. Of course as soon as we had the clothes drying on the line, the rainclouds started moving in and we had to move our clothes in under the eaves that are sheltered by Dédi’s grape vines. We got everything moved just in time and as the rain trickled down outside, we sat in Dédi’s big summer kitchen and had a delicious meal followed by all of our favorite desserts. I guess I should clarify what I mean by summer kitchen. Dédi has a small kitchen in the main front house and a larger kitchen in the back of the house in what was the original peasant-style house. The main house was build much later and has a more modern layout that is conducive to a more modern lifestyle. The original house, which is very common in that part of Hungary, is made up of a long building that is broken into sections. The front part of this building is usually a large kitchen area, the middle is an apartment living area that is generally broken into sleeping quarters and a sitting area and the back is a garage (it was most likely a barn/stable in its original incarnation). This layout would have been extremely practical when the houses were originally built, but they aren’t particularly favorable for modern day lifestyles. Today, the area of the old peasant style house that gets the most use is the kitchen because it is large enough to fit a lot of people and it is the perfect place to host visitors (and Dédi gets a lot of visitors).

Hanging the clothesline.

Hanging the clothesline.

Hanging the clothes out to dry.

Hanging the clothes out to dry.

Moving the clothes under the eaves.

Moving the clothes under the eaves. The boys in their matching track suits. 

All of the baked goodies.

All of the baked goodies.

The following morning we accompanied Dédi to a church service at the village church that is just a short walk from her house. I love this church because so much of David’s family history is rooted there from weddings to christenings and even funerals. It is the church where David was an altar boy and where he and his cousin Kori used to get in trouble for giggling during the mass. The old priest, of whom I was so fond, sadly passed away since we visited last and there is a new priest that has taken his place. Traditionally, the young children would sit in the front of the chapel, the women would fill the back of the church and the men would all sit up in the balcony by the organ but as village life has changed and evolved, so has the seating arrangements of the church with most people intermixed in the main chapel and few people climbing up into the balcony. Dédi has her favorite pew that she likes to sit in and she was very proud to have our whole group with her on this particular Sunday. She usually goes to the early mass, but we had slept in and woke up with just enough time to make it to the late mass.

Posing before heading off to mass.

Posing before heading off to mass.

Dédi and her boys and Mat looking like a Secret Service agent.

Dédi and her boys and Mat looking like a Secret Service agent.

Seriously... can't you just feel the love in this picture?

Seriously… can’t you just feel the love in this picture?

I didn’t take any pictures of the interior of the church on this trip, but here are some shots from our last trip to Hungary that will give you an idea:

The front of the church and the altar (that's my dad, who was with us on the last trip)

The front of the church and the altar (that’s my dad, who was with us on the last trip)

The rear of the church and the organ.

The rear of the church and the organ.

Dédi showing us her special pew.

Dédi showing us her special pew.

Isn't this painting just beautiful?

Isn’t this painting just beautiful?

Anyway, I have to get to work but I’ll have more of the trip tomorrow. I hope you’re having a great start to your week!

Europe Trip: Visegrád

Europe Trip: Visegrád

I have fallen way behind on my European Vacation posts, so before summer arrives again, I thought I should get to the rest of our trip. So, now I take you back to where we left off in Hungary.

The fortress in Visegrád

The fortress in Visegrád

Visegrád is a small town north of Budapest situated between Szentendre and Esztergom that sits along the Danube right at a bend in the river which is called Duna Kanyar. It has one of my favorite castles in Hungary which is referred to as Fellegvár meaning cloud tower in Hungarian. It has, hands-down, one of the best views in all of Hungary.

The view from the castle down to the river.

The view from the castle down to the river.

With two of my guys

With two of my guys

Big Guy and David

Big Guy and David

The guys taking in the view

The guys taking in the view

The Romans built a fortress at Visegrád during the reign of Constantine the Great which was later destroyed by the Mongols. After the Mongol invasion, the town was rebuilt and in 1325 Hungary’s King Charles I (known as Károly Róbert in Hungary) made Visegrád, which was his hometown, the royal seat of Hungary (The royal seat was later moved to Buda by Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary and Croatia). During the reign of King Matthias Corvinus (Hunyadi Mátyás) the King made Visegrád his summer home. The castle was occupied by the Ottomans in 1544 and aside from a short period of time from 1595-1605 it remained in Turkish control until 1685.

Walking along the path

Walking along the path

More of the view

More of the view

Another shot of Mat

Another shot of Mat

Visegrád was one of the castles I toured when I visited Hungary for the first time several years ago and because of its proximity to Budapest it is a must-see if you are going to be spending any time in the Hungary. They have done a great job of restoring the castle and they have demonstrations in activities such as archery, adorable little souvenir shops and wax museum in the citadel that gives you an idea of what life would have been like for those living in the castle. Mat and Big Guy were absolutely in love with the castle and Big Guy commented that he wished that he could have lived there (I’m sure Little Man would have loved it too, but he had fallen asleep on our way there so David’s Aunt Kati stayed behind with him in the car).

Posing by on of the castle archways

Posing by one of the castle archways

Looking down from the top of the castle tower

Looking down from the top of the castle tower

Windows

Windows

One of the displays

One of the interior displays

Big Guy posing with the statue of King Béla

Big Guy posing with the statue of King Béla IV

Here I am making friends with the King and Big Guy making friends with another dog

Here I am making friends with the King and Big Guy making friends with another dog

After our castle tour was complete, we made our way to the riverside town of Szentendre. It is a lovely tourist town littered with adorable shops and restaurants. “Fő tér”, Szentendre’s Main Square was absolutely packed with people on this particular night because they were setting up for a music festival. Deciding to avoid the crowds we opted to stop at one of the restaurant terraces for a late afternoon snack of lángos. If you’ve never had lángos, I can assure you that you are missing out on one of the best foods in the world. It is a Hungarian specialty where they deep fry flat bread dough and then smother it with toppings (my favorite is garlic, sour cream and shredded cheese). Mat took one bite and asked, “Where have you been all my life?” It was a hit. After our snack, we made our way toward the Duna and took a long walk along the river before returning to Kati’s house in Budapest.

Little Man's lángos

Little Man’s lángos

Walking along the Duna (Danube)

Walking along the Duna (Danube)

Mat and Big Guy taking in the sights.

Mat and Big Guy taking in the sights.

I hope that you’re having a happy Friday!

Things I Love: Minted {Sponsored Post}

Things I Love: Minted {Sponsored Post}

Wedding season may still be months away, but it is never too early to start thinking about your save the date cards. People’s lives are busy and plans get made months in advance, so the earlier your guests know your wedding date, the better chance they will have of making it to your big day. My good friends over at Minted have just introduced several new designs into their line of save the date cards that I absolutely adore. The designs are especially great because if your friends and family are anything like me, they will be saving your save the date cards to go into their scrapbook and everything that Minted offers is absolutely scrapbook worthy. I narrowed down a few of my favorites, but seriously, I don’t know how anyone picks just one!

This is a selection of graphic save-the-date options

This is a selection of graphic save-the-date options

These are a few of my favorite photo save-the-date cards

These are a few of my favorite photo save-the-date cards

I am in love with the back of card options!

I am in love with the back of card options!

It was really hard to make my selections, but if I had to narrow it down to one of each type of cards, these would be my winners:

My #1 Graphic Choice. I love everything from the script font to the gorgeous flowers!

My #1 Graphic Choice. I love everything from the script font to the gorgeous flowers!

The relationship timeline wins this one for me. Its a great way to give guests a peek into your relationship.

For Photo Cards, the relationship timeline wins this one for me.

I have been smitten with Minted for quite some time (if you couldn’t already tell). Some of you are already quite familiar with the company (and I have your gorgeous Christmas cards to prove it) but for those of you who aren’t yet acquainted with Minted, allow me to introduce you.

MINTED10

Founded in 2007, Minted is a crowdsourced design marketplace. What exactly does that mean? It’s simple: Independent artists submit their designs, everyone in the Minted Community votes and the winning designs are then sold by Minted. How cool is that? The best part is that anyone from those with art degrees to the creative stay-at-home-mom is free to submit their work! As someone who works in the design field, I think that it is extremely important to support independent designers and when you purchase from Minted, you are doing just that.

When the lovely people over at Minted reached out to see if I would be interested in reviewing some of their products, I jumped at the chance because not only is it a company that I know and trust but their products are just too great not to share. With everything from stationary and cards for every occasion to limited edition art prints and home décor it is easy to lose track of time while perusing all of their beautiful wares. Plus, their quality is truly top notch, so you can rest assured that you are purchasing a superior product. For several months now I have been toying with the idea of turning the long wall at the top of my stairs into a gallery and I’m currently obsessing over these four prints:

Forest Snow by Yao Chen

Forest Snow by Yao Chen

Birch Woods in Winter by Four Wet Feet Studio

Birch Woods in Winter by Four Wet Feet Studio

The Lord's Prayer by Jennifer Wick

The Lord’s Prayer by Jennifer Wick

Heart Snapshot Mix by Minted - I know several people that have these and they are just too cute for words!

Heart Snapshot Mix by Minted – I know several people that have these and they are just too cute for words!

 

If I ever decide what to do, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, head over to Minted and check out their selection. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Right now they are having a promotion on all wedding invitation and save the date cards that runs through 1/12. See the Minted front page for more details.

 

***This post was sponsored by Minted. All product selections and opinions are my own.***

 

 

Welcome 2015!

Welcome 2015!

Happy 2015!!! Can you even believe that it is already a new year? Where does the time go? I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season full of love, joy and happiness. The end of 2014 was just lovely in my house.

The boys decorating my tree and posing with a tree at school.

The boys decorating my tree and posing with a tree at school.

Christmas Tree Shopping

Christmas Tree Shopping

Our Christmas was extra bright this year because we got to share it with many wonderful out-of-town guests. David’s cousin, Kori and his family are here visiting from Hungary for the first time so we had a big Christmas party with David’s aunts, uncles and cousins in the days leading up until Christmas. My grandpa, Aunt Debby, Uncle Steve and my cousin Mat (who you all know from our European adventure) joined us for Christmas at my parents’ house this year and Grandpa, Debby and Mat were also able to stay through the New Year. Needless to say, my children did not spend many nights at home over their winter break (I actually think it was only one… Christmas Eve). This year also marked my niece’s first Christmas so we had a wonderful celebration!

Celebrating with David's cousins

Celebrating with David’s cousins

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Big Guy got a basketball hoop for Christmas and enjoyed practicing with David and Steve.

Big Guy got a basketball hoop for Christmas and enjoyed practicing with David and Steve.

Of course, December also brings our annual Hungarian sausage making party. For the second year in a row David and I hosted the party at my parents’ house. This was B.J., Mat, Debby, Steve and grandpa’s first time making hurka and kolbasz and they had a blast learning the process. My in-laws also loved taking command of all of the extra help in the kitchen. We finished even faster than we did last year, so I think we are finally getting the hang of things. This year we stepped a bit out of our comfort zone and decided to smoke some of the kolbasz for the first time and it turned out amazingly well!

Mixing kolbasz

Mixing kolbasz

Making hurka.

Making hurka.

Posing with first time sausage makers, Debby and BJ

Posing with first time sausage makers, Debby and BJ

In other food related news, David and I learned to make his mom’s famous stuffed cabbage this year! It is no easy task but the reward was well worth all of the hard work. To give you an idea of just how complicated this was, the recipe calls for 18 pounds of sauerkraut! When I was in Hungary over the summer Dédi also gave me several of her baked goods recipes and I decided to be brave and put some of them to the test. I had a couple of flops, but for the most part they turned out surprisingly well and David has made me promise that I will make them every year.

My very first stuffed cabbage!

My very first stuffed cabbage!

The Christmas season is always extra special for me and David because we were married at the end of December. This year we celebrated fourteen years (how is that possible?). To mark the occasion, we went to see the last installation of the Hobbit with my dad, Mat and the boys and later that evening David took me out to one of our favorite restaurants.

Celebrating 14 years together.

Celebrating 14 years of marriage.

New Year’s Eve was spent at my mom’s annual NYE pajama party. Everyone, except Little Man made it until midnight. He tried his best, but just couldn’t quite stay awake. He was upset that he didn’t quite make it but I’m sure he will have better luck ringing in the New Year in 2016.
January started off a little bumpy. I woke up New Year’s Day feeling great only to be sidelined by a terrible stomach bug that lasted for a few days. Seriously, I spent two days lying on a blow up mattress in my mom’s family room because I was too sick to move. My kids, of course, thought it was awesome because they said it was like indoor camping. Thankfully, no one else caught whatever it was I had.

This is how I like to ring in the New Year

This is how I like to ring in the New Year

New Years Eve Celebration (I swear we're normal)

New Years Eve Celebration (I swear we’re normal)

We are slowly adjusting back into our scheduled of work and school. I miss our late nights and long leisurely mornings, but there is something nice about getting back into a routine. I hope that your 2015 is off to a great start! I’ll be back soon!

MLS Cup

MLS Cup

On Sunday we had the opportunity to go to the MLS Cup Final and we had the best time. We are huge LA Galaxy fans and it was awesome to see them win the championship again (you can see this post on the last time we went to the final). The last time we went to the MLS Cup it was a big day because it was David Beckham’s final professional soccer game. This time it was the final game for another of our favorite players, Landon Donovan.

David picked up Starbucks the morning of the game.

David picked up Starbucks the morning of the game.

David and I went along with my brother, our boys and Big Guy’s good friend from school. We arrived early and took in all of the pregame festivities where the boys loaded up on hordes of free goodies companies like Bimbo Bakeries, Home Depot and Microsoft. Unfortunately I forgot to grab my camera on the way out of the house, but thankfully our new iPhones have pretty good cameras built in (seriously, what did we do before iPhones?). Most of these pictures were taken from my Instagram and David’s Instagram.

Posing with two of my favorite guys before the game.

Posing with two of my favorite guys before the game.

My guys.

My guys.

David and me before the game started.

David and me before the game started.

This was Little Man’s first professional soccer game and I was surprised at how interested he was in the actual game and how easily he could identify his favorite players (both boys are huge fans of Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez). It was an exciting game and actually went into overtime. There were several tense minutes and I feared that the game would end up going to penalty kicks but in the end, the Galaxy came out on top and it was a great way for Landon Donovan to wind-up his career.

Little Man got to see his team with the championship at his first pro soccer game.

Little Man got to see his team with the championship at his first pro soccer game.

This was Big Guy's second MLS Cup

This was Big Guy’s second MLS Cup

 

BJ celebrating the win.

BJ celebrating the win.

We won!!!

We won!!!

Trophy Presentation

Trophy Presentation

Seeing (RED)

Seeing (RED)

AppsMainBanner

Some of you might have woken up this morning with the apps on your iPhone looking a little different than usual. My clash of clans looked like this:

clashofclans

That’s because in honor of World AIDS Day (December 1) Apple and several top app developers are teaming with (Red) in the fight against AIDS. From November 24 (that’s today) through December 7th all proceeds for (RED) themed content from the participating apps will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. David and I have been supporters of (RED) for years (as you can see from these pictures below) so we were very pleased to learn about this collaboration. You can learn more by reading Apple’s press release here or check out the (RED) website.

Our family wearing our (RED) gear.

Our family wearing our (RED) gear.

Europe Trip: Skanzen

Europe Trip: Skanzen

The boys posing next to the sculpture outside of Skanzen.

The boys posing next to the sculpture outside of Skanzen.

David’s aunt Kati is a teacher and for years she has taken her class on a field trip to this awesome museum called Skanzen not far north of Budapest in Szentendre. It is an open air ethnographic museum examining village and farm life from the 18th to early 20th centuries. It is so much more than your standard brick and mortar museum. They currently have close to 400 reconstructed buildings (they actually take the buildings from villages and reassemble them at the museum just as they had been in the village) and several hands on activities for kids. The boys had a wonderful time learning how to tool leather and how to making key chains.

Kati showing off Skanzen.

Kati showing off Skanzen.

Watching the leather demonstration and Skanzen's wind mill.

Watching the leather demonstration and Skanzen’s wind mill.

This kind gentleman was demonstrating  how to tool leather.

This kind gentleman was demonstrating how to tool leather.

Little Man was excited to watch Big Guy make his key chain.

Little Man was excited to watch Big Guy make his key chain.

Story time with lamb puppets. David translated for me and Mat as the lady told the story.

Story time with lamb puppets. David translated for me and Mat as the lady told the story.

These bee hives were on display at a bee keeper's home.

These bee hives were on display at a bee keeper’s home.

Skanzen has a large restaurant by the main entrance and a few places where you can buy refreshments, but you have to be on the lookout because several exhibits have small bites that you can sample (we tried both a traditional Hungarian bread and a gingerbread). The boys decided that their favorite area was the Great Plains exhibit. I’m pretty sure this was thanks in large part to the working bakery that sells traditional Hungarian pastries. I can assure you that we purchased and consumed more than our fair share of baked goods that day!

The bakery (our favorite spot)

The bakery (our favorite spot)

Walking through one of the regional exhibits.

Walking through one of the regional exhibits.

The boys praying in one of the churches (this one was tiny).

The boys praying in one of the churches (this one was tiny).

The museum paints a clear picture of what it would have been like living in the villages more than 100 years ago. You get to see how homes were laid out and decorated and volunteers help explain how a family would have lived depending on what part of Hungary they were from and what sort of job they had within the community. We were even encouraged to sample fruits growing on the fruit trees. It was cherry season, so David was in Heaven!

A cherry tree full of fruit.

A cherry tree full of fruit.

Outside of the blacksmith's shop.

Outside of the blacksmith’s shop.

Using one of the blacksmith's tools.

Using one of the blacksmith’s tools.

Mat decided that he liked this house the best.

Mat decided that he liked this house the best.

And this is the one my guys picked.

And this is the one my guys picked.

Posing in one of the regions.

Posing in one of the regions.

Big Guy too.

Big Guy too.

The museum is huge and can easily tie up a whole day but if you’re in Budapest with kids or if you like history this might be the perfect place for you. In addition to their permanent exhibits, they also have great temporary exhibits, a cool shop with souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else and festivals throughout the year.

Of course, the horses were a hit with Big Guy (he asks for one nearly every day)

Of course, the horses were a hit with Big Guy (he asks for one nearly every day)

There were a bunch of piglets resting in the mud.

There were a bunch of piglets resting in the mud.

The boys enjoyed all of the hands on experiences.

The boys enjoyed all of the hands on experiences.

One last shot of my main guy.

One last shot of my main guy.