Monday, June 20, 2016

Trip to Sopron, Hungary and surprise party for Finny

After a slow start (mornings at Lisi and Manfred's house were too easy to enjoy...eggs, coffee and good conversation greatly reduce motivation to get out!), we headed out for a little drive around our old local spots. One place we spent a lot of time when we lived in Mattersburg is Sopron, in Hungary.

There were a few reasons...the forint was really cheap, so everything was super affordable back then, there were a couple of restaurants we enjoyed, the movies in the little "mall" were shown in English with Hungarian subtitles instead of dubbed (and they were crazy cheap)...and, there was the rodelbahn Bob to partake in..!

Maria and Johann could never figure out why no one stopped in at their lovely restaurant...
We headed into Sopron (the kids weren't too impressed) and our first stop was the mall we used to go to...our old grocery store was gone (it was a strange place...some days there was just NO produce or NO meat. At all. And the produce was always odd looking, like reject fruits and vegetables. Did I mention it was cheap?). In its place was an H&M, so that is a good indication that things had changed somewhat.

We went up to the cinema and found that all the movies are now in Hungarian! What?! Our guess is that the cost of dubbing has likely gone way down. So, since our Hungarian hasn't much improved since back in the day, we gave the movies a miss...

We stopped by the rodelbahn and it was closed for cleaning! Wait, would we completely strike out in Hungary? No, the lady at the front desk assured us the cleaning should take around half an hour, but no promises.

With time to kill, we decided to hit up one of our favourite spots, which was within walking distance, the Hubertus. The prices had gone up for sure, but they still had my most craved dish: garlic cream soup served in a bread bowl. Eric nearly ruined this one for me years ago (and again now) by comparing the texture to phlegm, but I am not deterred (well, I am mildly deterred, but super stubborn).

The soup was just as good (and phlegmy) as I remembered.

With that done, we headed back to Bob to rodelbahn ourselves silly. Still cheap and still super fun, we bought tickets for the kids to go three times and we went twice.

You ride the little sled up a pully, hauled through a sun-dappled Hungarian forest. Very nice.

When you reach the top, the downhill track starts (obviously). I thought the kids would take it easy on their first go...but they really didn't.

We were happy!

On our way back to Mattersburg, I dropped Finny and Lukey off with Eric at the gym for a U12 training session, while Molly and I headed back to Lisi and Manfred's with some contributions to the surprise party they were planning for Finny's birthday (the next day).

This, apparently, is Joey in Euro-mode...which is very Blue Steel from Zoolander.

Lisi, who realized quickly that Finny was feeling alternately super excited and a little sad for her birthday (she loves, loves, loves her birthday, but was feeling far from home), decided to throw her a surprise birthday BBQ. Complete with decorations and two (!) homemade birthday cakes (one made by Lisi's mom and one made by Manfred's mom). She felt totally spoiled. And, since she has always wanted a surprise party, she was super, duper excited.

Lisi thought of everything. The Ollrams even gave Finny a chess set! It was such an incredibly kind thing to do...our little 12 year old felt very special. And Lisi really went above and beyond her hosting duties to pull this off!

Plus, the evening was really, really fun. We felt so at home and it was such a treat to have a great evening with friends.

A huge thank you to the Ollrams and the Vickerys for making Finny's day so special and also for giving us such a great night!

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