Yummy Europe

We are here, we have arrived. As I type this, I’m looking out the bedroom/office window and can see the peaks of neighbouring homes (red tiles) and green gardens. There are electrical cords too, but let’s skip over that feature. Hungary:Home. We are here.

The past two weeks has been such a lovely disconnect. Big Z couldn’t say the same, I am guessing, considering he worked for quite a bit of the trip. However, we still crossed Europe quite happily and still managed to see the sights.

[warning, I’m feeling lazier than usual and will not be checking for typos. Read on at your own risk. Editing may come later as a result of post-posting shame]

Nice was *happy sigh* so nice. Between the thunder storms and work deadlines, we managed to stroll along the promonade and soak up quite a bit of ambiance. Essentially, we were able to – ten years later – revisit the site of our first meeting. There was Villefrance-sur-mer that I tend to never stop talking about.  Stepping off the train, I immediately recognized the roads and turns taken on our original visit. Ten years later, and it’s still deeply impressed in my mind.

Ten Year Anniversary Catherine and Zsolt

This is a small, old fishing village where the buildings are ancient and painted in the Mediterranean colours of pinks oranges, greens and browns, and they are lined up very closely together to help block that beating sunshine.

Beach

Hot damn, look at us! Why can’t my hair do this more often?

We wound through the streets and made our way towards the beach. Ten years ago, Zsolt had not brought a towel along with him for the day – so, even though I didn’t actually know him – I let him share mine. Hormones and adventure mixed together created quite a different Catherine than the world had ever seen before, back then. So, during our recent trip we shared a towel again.

Then later in the day, we visited an old Nice ice cream parlour where the waiters have been, both times, not so lovely. Hot milk for me, ice cream for Zsolt. It was pretty special, actually. Pinocchio is really the spot that was our first ‘date’ in that it is very date-like. A guy and a gal can’t share a strawberry ice cream dessert (eaten ten years ago, before I broke it off with sugar) and still decree it wasn’t a date.

Later that evening, while walking down the beach promonade and listening to the various buskers serenade us – saxophones and cellos – with their karaoke backups, we debated the spot of our first kiss. Thank goodness for facebook – we were able to look it up and then revisit the exact location the following evening.

FirstKissTenYearsLAter

So talk about your nostalgia!

Following this was another flight to Milan. (We had flown from England to Nice and had mucho, mucho turbulence. On the flight to Milan, our seat was at the very front of the plane. Turbulence happened again and my hands started tingling then going numb – I was going into shock, I think. Or just having a panic attack. However, I didn’t not tell anyone this…at least, I didn’t tell anyone official. The airline steward was kind enough to let me know it was perfectly normal and would be over in 5 minutes. See, they should always do this. I’m far better when someone official explains what is happening, rather than 20 minutes later come over the speaker and say ‘oh, we had some turbulence but it is done now.’)

Anyhow, Milan. Mostly, we saw the train station. And in the train station, we met some very rude people. Ugh. This made me grumpy. But again, deadlines had to be met! On the day of our flight, we woke early to walk around the city, and I think the visit was salvaged. Zsotl had some soft, flurry lemon flavoured pastry that the clerk said was the best in Milan and had a wonderful reputation. My sugar-free self was just a bit envious, but I admit: I licked it, and it was good.

(Props to Z for allowing me to lick your food before you eat it)

And now we are here. Back in the real world, but not the real world. Anna, my mother-in-law is struggling with my eating habits: no flour & no sugar flying the face of all common Hungarian sense. She doesn’t use the internet, so I’ll have to give her some ideas. It’s a very strange dynamic, her kitchen, and I try not to get involved as much as possible. however, the other night she asked if I want to eat pizza for dinner, so I think we’ll need to work on the challenge together.

And speaking of food! I just learned that Zsotl’s sister Anita has a lovely blog sharing her spin on recipes – creating food for those living with diabetes. The food is all diabetic friendly, often gluten free and certainly low sugar. Go and see for yourself. She’s the Dessert Room (Desszert Szoba).

You’ll need to select the English translation via the google widgit. It’s in the right hand column. AND she takes all the photos by herself. She’s a damn food artist, and I never knew it!

From Anita of the Dessert Room

Okay, that’s all from me. I know I promised sentimental posts – and I reckon this didn’t deliver. Remarkably, I was quite composed during the entire visit – except for this part:

We’re walking hand-in-hand down the beach side promenade, having just left Pinocchio‘s ice shop. Just as we’re nearing the Negresco, Zsotl stops and begins telling me that he’s so incredibly happy, and that I’m the love of his life, and everything is so much better when we are together. And he just says all this stuff, and it’s almost better than a wedding proposal how it tumbles out and his stopping makes it such a moment. So of course, I want to cry, but rather just throw my arms around him and bury my face in his shoulder and hug, and hug, and hug.

It’s funny, in the movies I guess they’d have us making out like crazy as the camera spins around us, but in realty all I really, really wanted was to be as snuggled into him as possible. And then of course, share a kiss. But it was his stopping and our hug that I’ll remember. What a romantic man.

P.S. Oh my god, Anna is frying bacon and I can smell it from up here. Whatever she’s making, I want to eat it.

 

 

Nighttime Waves in the Middle of the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2

We’ve had smooth sailing on the Queen Mary 2, except for the waves that kicked up last night. In the evening prior to dinner, Zsolt and I were down in the games alley near the bottom of the ship, staring out the windows with other guests and saying along the lines of: “Look at that! Woah! Here’s another!” as the waves coming off the ship collides with waves approaching from the oceans for robust claps of water that shot spray high into the air. It was powerful and wonderful.

4

But then, later in the evening, as we lay in bed and rocked back and forth – suddenly, I no longer found it so wonderful. There was some point where we suddenly seems to tilt a little too much in the other direction unexpectedly (to me at least), and this was startling. So I opened my eyes and began to worry.

And that is what I did for quite a while. I worried. I lay in the darkness and thought about how we were literally in the middle of the Atlantic all alone. How this massive ship looked like a toy boat against the spread of Atlantic all around us. How one employee had been saying that in the winter, they’d once sailed through 12 meter waves, which was quite scary (yesterday waves were about 4 meters high). How if the ship flipped, we’d be stuck. How if we went into the water, we’d freeze and drown. How many things could go wrong? And part of me waited just in case the alarm signal went off, and we’d need to jump out of bed and grab the life jackets.

Zsolt was sound asleep throughout all of this, totally minta bunda – which is Hungarian for ‘like a fur’ as in, like a bear hibernating in the winter. As in, it really wasn’t a big deal and I was most certainly over exaggerating.

And the logical side of my mind realized this over exaggeration. Only hours earlier, I had been thrilled with the sight of those waves, and was loving watching them slam and crash together. It was beautiful.

The logical side of my mind also said: Hey, you are in a warm and comfortable bed, next to the person you always want to be next to, and you are on a gorgeous holiday – enjoy it, lady.

To which I replied: WE MIGHT TIP OVER!

To which the logical side said: then deal with it as it comes, and go to sleep in the meanwhile.

And then I had to agree with myself. It reminded me very much of the later-coming September scans. This time I’ll have my chest scanned and my head. I am, of course, very nervous about with may be seen – particularly since the news wasn’t happy last time. So you know, I dread September and that is the truth.

But at the moment, I’m on the way to Hungary with my husband. It is our 10 year anniversary since having met, and we will be stopping by Nice – the place we met – to be sentimental and romantic and possibly get a tan on the beach.

Perhaps I should extend my experience on the boat to that in life: deal with it as it comes, and just enjoy in the meanwhile.

It’s a challenge to let the logical and the emotional meet in one place. I am still scared of the scan. I am still nervous of nighttime waves . . . but then, so many wonderful things are happening all around today. And sometimes, I have to make my body and mind realize that worrying won’t do anything. It won’t make the ship sail better, and it won’t help the scans to come.

After trying a couple restoration yoga poses, I finally settled into sleep mode and began to think about Romeo and Juliet. The actor troop here on the boat will be performing it today, and Zsolt would like to catch the show – never having seen it done live. I began thinking how way back in high school, grade 10, I was lucky enough to play Juliette in a classroom dramatization. It was the death scene. I worth a skirt and dress shoes, which looked clunky under the white sheet they draped over me as I lay there ‘fake dead’ while Romeo threw his life away over a miscommunication. Then I got to shot myself in the head with a foam Nerf gun, and fall to the ground – trying to hide my fit of giggles.

The teacher said I, and my friend Derrick who played the priest, had done particularly good jobs in acting the parts. Based on this single compliment back when I was 15 years old, I have always quietly held the belief that I’m a damn good actor. Of course, I have not tested that hypothesis ever since.

And then, I realized, I’d forgotten all about the waves, and was finally ready to fall asleep.

One thing about the past, it is certainly useful when distractions are needed.

So that is the story of big wave-like metaphors, and trying to fall asleep.

P.S. We are having a lovely time.

P.P.S. This post brought to you by my man Zsolt, who has been working much of the trip and I’m literally snagging some of his precious internet minutes. Thanks babe!

P.P.S Picture time!

Queen Mary Southampton to New York Queen Mary 2 Queen Mary 2

Wedding anniversary :)

This is the summer of moments, my friends. Today is Z’s and my six year wedding anniversary. We went to the Little India lunchtime buffet to celebrate. Now we are back home being not-so-romantic by getting back to work.

BUT you know what is romantic? Visting the place we met ten years ago. And that is exactly what we’re going to be doing this summer. So get yourself ready for some sappy storytelling love-infused posts.

In the meanwhile, to my dearest husband, happy anniversary. You are everything, and I think we’ve done a fantastic job of never forgetting how much we mean. Nagyon Szeretlek!

 

Zsolt and I