Budapest at Christmas & New Year's

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We initally wanted to go to Prague or Vienna, but with sticker prices coming in at $250-$300 per night for rentals we had to rethink our plans.  A friend mentioned Budapest.  I said, where??  Isn't that like Eastern Europe??  My hubby on the other hand went bonkers.  So, I started my research and was I ever surprised.  Not only is it a beautiful city, but my god was it reasonable!!  We scored a beautiful two story apartment for 1000 Euro..for 2 weeks!  Including Christmas and New Year's.  Yeah, that pretty much sold me.  
I couldn't wait to get there.  The Christmas markets, decorations, snow (well, for a day).  It was all I wanted for Christmas.  On the advice of yet another friend, we booked a Christmas morning brunch at the Four Seasons.  It was incredible.  The food, the mimosas, the food, the mimosas.  
Speaking of food...there wasn't a single restaurant that we ate at that we didn't like.  From traditional Hungarian food to sushi.  Home runs every time.  We had an absolute blast.  
So, in this post I just wanted to focus on the Christmas stuff.  I'll post more about being out and about in Budapest.  The markets were flat out awesome.  I couldn't get over the booths that were preparing food.  And all the cute little handmade gifts.  The absolute best find were the rolls and rolls of Poppyseed rolls.  It didn't even occur to me that I would find them there.  Why is it such a big deal?  Well its a special treat that I only ever got at Christmas when we visited my grandparents in Ohio.  (which was maybe every other year...increasing to much longer stints away.)  Its not always easy to find the ingredients you need to make them, so it's not something we ever got very often.  These rolls scream Christmas to me and best of all, it made me feel connected to my family.  So, yeah...happy me.
We had a huge scare on Christmas Eve though.  It's tradition in our family to get dressed up and have a huge Christmas Eve dinner.  That day we were just wandering through the markets getting last minute stocking stuffers for Santa to put in the girls' stockings.  At 2:30p, they started to shut down.  And....cue panic.  Oh my god!  We don't have ANY food for dinner and most importantly wine!!!  Matt and I sot off in separate directions.  He hunted down wine and I went scrambling for food.  (some how we managed to keep the kids with us)  I wasn't the only one.  The large booth in the pictures below (with the yellow lighting) was still open and people were barking out orders.  I scored some killer looking pork and a couple of sauerkraut dishes.  But, hubby wasn't having any luck with wine...so I darted into a bar (dragging Lily) and asked the bartender if he would sell me a couple of bottles.  What a nice man, he did.  In about 20 minutes we managed to salvage Christmas Eve dinner.  It wasn't what I had hoped to make, but hell, I was just happy we had food!  
Christmas morning arrived and Santa had found us in Budapest.  The tree wasn't overloaded with gifts, but the girls were happy with what they received.  Then it was off to brunch.  Everything was really lovely.  We even got to Skype family and they watched the girls open some gifts.  Happy day.
For New Years, well, we could have hung out in the square and partied with all the people, but instead, we put the kids to bed early, watched sports bloopers on TV and totally missed the midnight mark.  Ah, but we had champagne.  Not a total loss.  :)
All in all, it will definitely be a memorable Christmas and New Years.     
Christmas Market

The Four Seasons Hotel and the one day of snow

Inside the Four Seasons

 Christmas Eve, Morning and my beloved poppyseed roll

Christmas Market

around town


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