a gloomy saturday in budapest

Our first gloomy Saturday in Budapest. You can find my blog posts about our trip to Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic on my blog, in search of a thousand cafes. 🙂

in search of a thousand cafés

Friday to Saturday, September 22-23:  Four days in Budapest and this is our first, but only after Lufthansa carries us, miserably uncomfortable in economy class aisle seats, for 7:55 hours through a six-hour time zone change and across the north Atlantic to Frankfurt.

While airborne, I squirm and wriggle and try to sleep, but manage to snooze less than a half hour, instead captivated by a series of shows on the small screen inset into the seatback: first, a German-language movie Die Reste Mienes Lebens, in which Schimon lives his life following his pregnant wife’s death by clinging to a sentence his grandfather once told him, “Everything in life happens the way it should.” Second, Mama Mia and its exuberant ABBA songs delight me once again (how many times have I watched that movie?), although our destination will be nothing like the Greek island where that magical love…

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exploring reykjavík: hallgrímskirkja & old reykjavík

Here is a post about part of our day in Reykjavik. I won’t be reblogging any more to this blog, but if you’d like to read more, feel free to follow at https://catbirdineurope.wordpress.com/ Thanks! 🙂

in search of a thousand cafés

Monday, August 15:  We wake up to a rather gloomy day in Reykjavík, but at least it doesn’t seem to be raining. We’ve slept rather late, as we’re existing now in parallel universe with a four-hour time difference from home.  My friend Beatrice had earlier recommended potassium and magnesium to help us sleep, and, after taking it last night, I slept like a dormant volcano (snoring away of course, as Mike complains).  The fog I’m in and my resistance to get up could be from  jet leg, exhaustion from walking nearly 7 miles yesterday, or just being in a comfortable bed under a cozy comforter. 🙂

We find, to our surprise, that there is food in the common breakfast room.  We didn’t know that breakfast came with our Airbnb reservation. Quite a spread is laid out: ham, cheese, bread, butter, jelly, yogurt.  There is a carton of eggs, an…

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Here’s my recap of twenty-fourteen from my China Diaries blog. 🙂

china diaries

In twenty-fourteen, I: Got waylaid in Denver after snow and de-icing delays on a flight from Washington to Burbank, California.  Shared Sunset Rolls and Fire Dragon Rolls, Sapporo and warm saké, with my little sister Stephanie, and then met The Invisible Woman in LA.  On foggy Venice Beach, wandered past muscle men, tattoo parlors, surfboards and funnel cakes, and contemplated the medical marijuana advertised for sale.  Caught glimpses of adorable houses, with secret patios and lazy cats, on a stroll through the Venice Walk-Streets.  Went window shopping on Abbott Kinney Boulevard.  Drove six hours to San Francisco from LA through a parched California landscape to meet my friend Jayne. Laughed at the antics of harbor seals at Fisherman’s Wharf and met Monarch butterflies that looked like clusters of densely packed brown leaves at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Monterey. Drove 17-Mile-Drive at Pebble Beach

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making the most of a rainy day: a beach walk, brunch at el convento & the museo de arte

notes from north america

Tuesday, August 12:  Today the weather forecast is for sunshine in the morning followed by rain all afternoon.  We decide we’ll take advantage of the outdoors in the morning by walking to Quiznos for coffee and taking a long walk on the beach.

Ocean Park/Condado Beach Ocean Park Beach

Ocean Park/Condado Beach - to the west Ocean Park beach – to the west

We see a local man wading in the surf, and he’s quite a photogenic fellow.  Sadly, I’m always afraid to approach strangers to ask if I can take a photo.  I feel like it’s invasive, so I don’t ask.  I wish I could be bolder in this regard.

Ocean Park/Condado Beach Ocean Park Beach

Ocean Park/Condado Beach Ocean Park Beach

surf's up surf’s up

waves of the Atlantic waves of the Atlantic

the foamy ocean at Ocean Park/Condado Beach the foamy ocean at Ocean Park Beach

As we walk close to the point where our curve of beach ends, we can see Condado around the corner on its own arc of beach.

Around the point, views of Condado Around the point…

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weekly photo challenge: my 2012 in pictures

Here is my twenty-twelve recap from a nomad in the land of nizwa.

a nomad in the land of nizwa

Friday, December 28: Inspired by Robin at Life in the Bogs: Time in a bottle, and by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, I put together a collage of my life during 2012.  All in all, it was an amazing year.  It started with getting a new flat in Nizwa, at the Abu Nooh Building, in January.  Soon after, my sons came to visit me in Oman for nearly a month.  We explored from Muscat to Nizwa, and even to far-flung Salalah.  It was a great experience for them and helped us establish a special bond of shared experience.

Developing a close friendship with Mario was one of the highlights of my year.  We both love photography and exploring Oman, so we have spent countless weekend days gallivanting around the country.  We have driven through flooded wadis to Wadi Dam, through Wadi Mistal to Wekan, across the Hajar…

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