Saturday, 1 October 2016


I set the alarm for 5:00am but turned it off promptly. I woke again at 6:00 and we packed up Angelina in the beautiful morning light. I loaded the front seat with snacks and goodies that I let the kids pick out the day before at the supermarket. Gavin choose dark chocolate covered cookies and pretzels and Elijah choose a bag of pistachios and some strawberry pirate cookies (which he hated). I bought a huge stack of used french kids magazines and some mini sketch pads and markers for the back seat. After a few set backs we finally left the house and hit the road. The kids colored a bit before drifting back off to sleep. We drove through Germany, Austria and finally made it to Hungary. We stayed one night in Pannonhalma and visited the Benedictine abbey that is 1000 years old. It was magical. The library there was incredible, it houses over 350 thousand books. We did an audio tour and I loved watching Elijah walk around with his headphones on looking at everything so intensely. On the grounds there was an beautiful herb garden and a distillery for making essential oils, it was the most amazing smell ever. After our lovely afternoon at the abbey we got back in the car and drove a few more hours till we reached Debrecen. We booked a farm stay there but the GPS coordinates we were given were incorrect and we ended up at a house with razor wire fence and scary dogs. After driving way too long on a crappy dirt road we decided to call it a night and we found a motel. It was brightly colored with neon lights and had rows of ice cream trucks and limos in the parking lot. I had a feeling that it was a bit seedy, but the man welcomed us and fed the kids chicken and big fluffy pieces of white bread...and they had free breakfast. Somehow the owners of the farm stay found us there but we had already booked a room so they came back to get us in the morning. As soon as we arrived at the farm a lovely Hungarian grandmother fed us heaping plates of scrambled farm eggs and sweet tea. She showed the kids around the farm, they ran through the cornfields and picked dried corn off the cobs and fed it to the animals. They rolled old tires down a hill and spent the next few hours packing mud and grass onto their tire sculptures. After they were done playing she called us in for lunch and fed us amazing cabbage rolls and stuffed peppers, for dessert she served a beautiful rolled apricot cake. Gavin made friends with a poor little kitten that he drug around everywhere that afternoon, somehow despite his roughness she seemed to enjoy it. Elijah tinkered away with the screws and bolts and old egg cartons for quite some time. We went to an awesome swimming pool that evening with caves and bridges and waterslides and we all slept very soundly that night in our wood heated farm house.

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