Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Reading" to Ammah

So Ammah and Grandpa are here, I have pictures from things we've done with them, but just haven't posted them yet. The monkey loves reading stories with Ammah, and honestly I was eagerly awaiting his "reading" (reciting) of one particular book. He has a book that combines shapes, adjectives, and animals together...
But there is one page in particular that he has decided is something totally different. And me, being me, I can't help but laugh every.single.time - so it just perpetuates. Here is the page in question
Then you open the page with the oval and this is what appears...
Now why or how he got the word "Iguanas" confused with this particular "word substitute" I'm not quite sure - except to say he is (still) learning a lot of new words and their meanings (he's 3 you know) and all I can think is that he confused them once, which took me by surprise and made me laugh, and now it's stuck. So needless to say I was wanting to capture this reading. Unfortunately he had read the book to her before so she knew what he was going to say, but still...I'm glad I was able to capture it. And since I know you're dying to know what word he switched "Iguanas" with - I will now let you watch the end of the "reading" (reciting)...Enjoy the laugh!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Budapest, the Final Day...

Day 3 started bright and early - 6am the monkey was awake and ready to go...well, ready to get up...it still took a little bit of time to get him dressed and fed and out the door (he's gotten to the stage of wanting to wear his pj's as long as possible). We decided the first stop would be St. Stephen's Basilica - named after the 1st king of Hungry.
You can't really miss it - it's kinda big and imposing...in a good way.
The ground in front of the basilica was beautiful...and the monkey had fun he was a train - with sound effects included! So we ran around the patterns - occasionally bumping into each other and then he decided that he would go into the church with me! He's gotten to where he'll sometimes go into churches with me but he doesn't always want to, unless it's Christmas time and there's a nativity scene...
And um - WOW was this basilica worth going in! You see, there comes a point when you go into so many different churches/cathedrals/basilicas...and they're all pretty and slightly different - yet somewhat the same. This one was definitely worth going in.
We didn't actually get to see the relic of the right hand of the 1st King of Hungry (I think it was his right hand), but we just enjoyed walking (somewhat quickly through) and enjoying the beautiful paintings. The monkey really like the ceiling panel of God (above)...he stood looking up at it for about 3 minutes (which in 3 yr old time is a lifetime)...
A beautiful organ was in the back - one of the prettiest organs I've seen...
A closeup of the angels at the front of the basilica...
Cherubs above the pulpit...the monkey liked those two little guys too.
The alter...
Oh, it's just a simple candlestick...in gold, because really, shouldn't all candlesticks be gold?!
One last picture of a smaller dome - because the monkey was making a run for the door - like pushing the door open to get outside!
But I did get this last one for anyone who is interested....
Then it was back outside - where even the gates were beautiful!
And more trains to play (again with sound effects) as we got a hold of daddy and sent him into the basilica to look around - because it was definitely worth seeing (and he agreed).
"Mommy!! Look it's the Washington Mom-u-ment!!" That's right folks, apparently to this kid all obelisks are the Washington Monument (pronounced: Mom-u-ment) Now before you think "WOW! This kid is one of the smartest kids alive" - he has a book with 1 pg of 5 things found in Washington DC, one of those 5 things is the Washington Monument, another is "the White House - where the President guy lives"...so really the only obelisk he knows is the Washington Monument...but he is a little smart. ;)
After the basilica and running around we decided to go get on the double-decker bus and go back to Heroe's Square as well as walk around City Park...(we rode past it on the bus yesterday but didn't get out to see it up close)...this kid loved having his own earphones once again! (In fact he wanted to take them with him when we got off the bus...because even though he has his own pair they are not black...and apparently he wanted a black set of earphones!)
The backside of Heroe's Square - don't worry we will be back to see the square itself but first more exploring!!
So first we ventured back towards the big park...letting this kid play and run allowed us to see more things...
When we came across Vajdahunyad Castle - we had no clue what this place was when we ventured into it...
But it was fun to walk around...the museum wasn't open yet - and to be honest, we wouldn't have gone to this particular museum - but it was still fun to walk around and through the "fake" castle grounds.
Because really any kind a castle (real or not) that is surrounded by a moat, and has you walk through this entrance - it's a pretty fun place to explore!
See my kid walking up to this building all by himself...I think he might've ruined the picture for the lady getting her picture taken - because he walked right up to the door and started knocking, trying to see if anyone answered. No one did.
Then he decided he'd pet the animal...because he's brave like that.
I turned away to get a picture...but luckily he was still there when I turned back.
In fact, he had convinced Rusty to come up and pet the animal with him!
Of course he had to show and tell him how to pet the animal, because daddy didn't know! It was really cute to hear his directions about how to pet the animal.
Another building - which was part of the castle-museum...they were all just really pretty buildings.
Then it was time to move on to another section of City Park - where this large building was...it was yellow on both ends - and that's actually the part of the building that really stood out to me...
so I had to take a picture, and then later I found out it was Szechenyi Bath - which is one of the "grandest baths in Budapest"
But a 3 yr old could care less about a "bath" when there is a pirate ship to play on!!
Of course, no park is really complete until the scary dude dressed a little like a clown is walking around selling balloons....
The monkey paid absolutely no attention to the clown, instead he noticed a motorcycle to ride!! So of course he went for that...and when there is a "partial" clown on the loose in the park - it's really not to leave your kid on their own...so daddy went with him!
After playing and running around a little more it was time to head out to Heroe's Square and see it up close and personal. On one side of the Square was this beautiful building - the Museum of Fine Arts, and on the other side was an equally beautiful building (sorry no picture though - I just couldn't do it justice - because I was trying to capture the mosaic on top not just the building) - the Hall of Art (there is a picture if you go to that link though).
But Heroe's Square - at the center is the Archangel Gabriel at the top of the column and the 7 Chieftains - who helped create what is now Hungary - surround him at the bottom.
And surrounding are the column - on both sides - are Kings of Hungary as well as other important historical figures...
To see it all together is very impressive! After all, this is the biggest square in the city! The monkey had fun running around and meeting new friends - there was another family there with 3 little kids - and all of the kids were having fun running around and chasing each other/running into each other. This square is pretty much another place for kids to run and play! (Have I mentioned how child-friendly this city was?!)
After that adventure the monkey was starting to run a little low on his battery - but we figured we'd skip a nap again and just put him to bed early - since we were going to have to wake up super early to get to the airport and catch a flight...so it was off to find food!
And then off to play and really wear him out...it worked too! He climbed...
He walked...a little unsure at first but he soon became more confident!
And he slid...
And then he repeated...
And he had a blast!
He was tiring himself out and all we had to do was help him climb up and make sure he didn't hurt any other kids...(Playgrounds in Europe are very much of the mindset of "If your kid is too little, this is not for them. If your kid is lazy, this is not for them." - there are very few playgrounds with "baby swings" or with "ramps/stairs" up to the slides and other things - they are usually always things that kids must climb...on this one - this part only had a rope ladder where the first rung of the ladder was at the height of the monkey's chest - so we helped him get started)...
He met some other kids, some spoke English, and he played with them while we talked with the parents...
And he had an absolute blast! And then all of a sudden he was exhausted, and ready to go home...
So we went and got some dinner and took it back to the apartment to eat (when it's 2 people eating and one of those people is 3 - it's easier just to get take away or to stop at the food festival to get food rather than going to a restaurant for a sit-down meal...next time I go to Budapest - I will eat more than Chimney cakes - although there is nothing wrong with only eating them...they are sooo good...) before this exhausted child crashed at 5:30 pm!!

Bonus: The next morning we had to wake him up at 3:40 am to get him up and out by 4 am so we could get to the airport for our flight. This little seasoned traveler did so well - checking in, going through security, walking through the airport, waiting at the gate, waiting in line in a garage outside to walk out to the plane...
Getting on the plane and getting settled...no complaints or whining the entire flight - he sat "emailing and texting" and doing other things on his iPad, while mommy dozed...
And when the flight landed he waited patiently with us while we got the bags and waited for the bus to take us to where we parked our car...(okay he was running a little bit - but he was tired and he's 3 - so that was being pretty patient!)
Amazingly he stayed awake the car ride home (and we made a stop to get some groceries!) and he was still awake for another hour after we got home...when all of a sudden he said "I'm tired, I want to go to bed!" And he was so excited to go to bed - because he was home and he got to sleep in his Lightning McQueen bed!! But ask him where he wants to go and his response is "Let's go back to Budapest!!" I think we all agree with that statement - it was a great city, and a great family vacation!