Pat Kaufman

Joined October 2015
  • Day20

    Tampa, Home!!

    November 5, 2015 in the United States

    We left Frankfurt a half hour late but got home an hour early!! Such a pleasure on what was to be a 10.5 hour flight. Had no trouble sleeping, a wonderful 10 hours and enjoyed our cappuccinos this morning. But the fridge is empty. I wish a breakfast buffet would magically appear!

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  • Day18

    Frankfurt, Enroute Home, Day 14

    November 3, 2015 in Germany

    Slow morning until our car service to the airport at noon. Smooth flight to Frankfurt airport where we will stay overnight to take the Lufthansa direct flight to Tampa. Beats a very long journey with two stops other airlines. Two other couples from the Tauck tour are doing the same, although to other cities. Well have dinner with them later. Unless anything noteworthy happens, this will be my last entry. I'll be glad to be home for a while.Read more

  • Day17

    Budapest, Finale Day 13

    November 2, 2015 in Hungary

    Poor Georges is still sick. He wanted to sleep in. So I was free to go out with Janet. She's been talking about going to the baths which interested me before the trip and so we agreed we'd regret not going, since its a Budapest highlight. We chose the Geller Baths, supposedly renowned for the decades old tiled rooms and stained glass ceilings. Those didn't disappoint. We enjoyed the outdoor hot pool& sauna and moved indoors to the steam room and two hot tubs, each progressively hotter. We could use the large cold water pool without wearing bathing caps, which was fine by me.

    Janet was quite thrilled with it all and so I'm glad for her sake. I wasn't so impressed. I didn't like the crowds, although we always could sit. I did wonder about the sanitation, and hope I didn't pick up anything. And so now I won't leave Hungary, feeling I'd missed out.

    Afterwards we went to the nearby central market where I bought foie gras and truffles, which were unbelievably inexpensive. Returning to the hotel about I was surprised Georges was still in bed. He had thought he'd take a ride on the Ferris wheel in the park across from our hotel, something which makes me claustrophobic and avoid. And then he was going to visit the synagogue museum. But he just didn't have the energy.

    He rallied a bit for a walk to a kitchen store where I bought spatzel makers, like Georges mother used. And we had an early dinner in the hotel...one last treat of pur favorite dishes.. Pumpkin soup, goose liver with mushroom risotto and goulash soup. I have to find a recipe for that. Georges had it several times during this trip.

    Then Georges crashed (in bed) and I packed. Don't think for a minute that he wheedled our of packing. I'm worried that he's still fluish and I prefer to do the packing anyway. Its an engineering feat to get everything into the suitcases, and I really didn't buy much. Glad I resisted the leather bags at the marketplace. When something is too cheap I get suspicious...And Janet agreed. At my point in life I should buy because a really love it. I own too many things that "were good buys."
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  • Day16

    Budapest, Parliament Day 12

    November 1, 2015 in Hungary

    The Tauck tour is over and we're on our own until we leave on Tuesday. Georges is still not feeling well. It was nice to sleep in and have brunch. We went for an inside tour of the beautiful Parliament building... A group of 50-60 people with one guide without the Vox boxes that Tauck used (we heard our guides through earpieces). Hardly mattered because the guide had little to say. Bottom line: the interior is very beautiful, in similar Gothic design and guilt as many of the buildings we've visited.

    We went with Janet, a widow from Cincinnati whom I got to know during the tour. Afterwards we walked around the neighborhood and headed back to the hotel. Georges was beat and only wanted a hot bath and rest. Janet and I luxuriated in the hotel spa. We couldn't book a massage but enjoyed the aromatherapy steam room and sauna. Id actually spent a couple hours here on Saturday after our morning tour.

    The day ended at Reteshaz, a Hungarian cafe with outstanding foie gras, goulash soup, cucumber salad and the best duck (leg) I've ever had. Yesterday's guide, Liz, said that Hungarians drink a glass of wine everyday, don't believe in cholesterol and enjoy the small pleasures in life. After all, we re going to die anyway so enjoy the journey.
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  • Day15

    Budapest, Final Dinner

    October 31, 2015 in Hungary

    We just returned from a BEAUTIFUL dinner at Rhe Academy of Sciences for a delicious dinner: foie gras, mushroom soup, veal steak, chocolate gateau. We were entertained by classical musicians in a private environment frequented by Nobel Prize honorees. We exchanged contact info with other guests whom I hope to see again. No pictures because I used my good camera. A magical end to a wonderful tour.

  • Day15

    Budapest, Pest tour, Day 11

    October 31, 2015 in Hungary

    Yesterday, Bettina (Tauck) gave an optional walking tour of the area surrounding our hotel to help get pur bearings. I was pretty tired and Georges still draggy, so we ate from the food stands on the pedestrian walkway behind the hotel...not good and overpriced.

    This morning we were on the bus at 8:30am..blah..for a three our tour that drove us all around the "Pest" sides....historic monuments allover. We got out for a rour of the Opera House, gorgeous. After viewing the main rooms we were treated to another one of Tauck',s "surprises", a lovely performance by two opera singers while we gathered on the great staircase. Oh my, it is little treats like this that contributes to an exceptional vacation.Read more

  • Day15

    Budapest, Parliament, Day 11

    October 31, 2015 in Hungary

    After the opera, the busses took us to the beautiful neighborhood housing the exquisite Parliament buildings where we had a walking tour for about 45 minutes. Liz filled us with historic trivia from the Communist regime and modern day life. We walked past the American embassy, fenced in since the Iraq war.

    She talked a bit about her own family, including her parents who were arrested by the Communist regime. She and her husband, an engineer. Live a modest life with their son who attends the "third best high school" in Budapest, stressing the importance of education. She decided as a young adult to stay in communist Hungary, not wanting to me a refugee. On the contrary, her son has the freedom to study and live anywhere. She values culture and loves opera, accessible at 5Euro seats. Her family lives in a 3 room, 500sq ft apartment and, therefore each room has multiple purposes. Her commentary was humorous and poignant. Her parting words: "we all will die eventually, so enjoy the journey."Read more

  • Day14

    Budapest, Lunch Day 10

    October 30, 2015 in Hungary

    After our walking tour, we went to Var a Speiz restaurant near the castle for a traditional Hungarian lunch: salad, veal goulash and spaetzle and cake. We sat with Carol, a very interesting retired school teacher from Laguna Beach who has traveled extensively including a nine month journey around the world, She doesn't like planes so ahe took the Queen Victoria over and another transatlantic cruise back.Read more

  • Day14

    Budapest, City Scenes Day 10

    October 30, 2015 in Hungary

    Since I took many beautiful shots of the city, I'm putting them in one update because each entry is limited to six pictures. The most beautiful vista is from Castle District, looking across at the "Pest" side of the Danube. But the first shot was taken when we disembarked on the Pest side (first picture.)

    I'm so glad that's where our hotel is. These are all taken with my phone camera so I could upload them to this journal. They are pretty good but I took many more with our good camera which has a wider lens.Read more

  • Day14

    Budapest Castle Hill, Day 10

    October 30, 2015 in Hungary

    After the marketplace, our busses took us across the Danube to the palace district in "Buda" side. High up on a hill, the views were incredible. Most of Budapest was bombed during WWII And has been rebuilt. We walked for an hour with our guide, Lis, through the cobblestone streets, up into the walls before she took us into the neo-gothic St. Mathias Cathedral. Such a beautiful interior with lots of mosaics, it seats 6000.Read more

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