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Me, Myself & I

Me, Myself & I, Travels

Our Budapest Adventure!

We are back from 5 days and 4 nights of the greatest BabyMoon anyone could have asked for.  Budapest straight up stole my heart.  I also ate some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life, and am actually afraid to step on the scale after 5 days of pure straight binge eating.

Where to Stay:

Hotel Parlament****  which is part of the Continental Group. The Continental Group also owns Palazzo Zichy, and Hotel Moments Budapest. 

Hotel

Hotel Parlament is located on the Pest side of Budapest, which is the ‘fun’ and more lively side, so obviously a perfect fit for me 😉 

This is the nicest hotel we have ever stayed in and we had the most beautiful room.

Funny story, Jeremy put the wrong address in the GPS , and when we arrived at what we thought was the hotel, we were terrified because it was in a super rundown area with houses with bars on the windows.  I was like, NO CHANCE we are staying anywhere near this area.  Finally we were smart enough to check the address again, and realized we weren’t even close to the hotel. I’ve never been so relieved haha.  When we finally pulled up to the real Hotel Parlament, we were SO happy.  The staff was so friendly, the breakfasts every morning were delicious (and free!)

pictureofbreakfast

and the location was perfect to tour all of the best areas of Budapest without having to drive anywhere.  If you are ever in Budapest, you HAVE to stay here!

What to Eat:

Breakfast: 

I found our Hotel Parlament**** breakfast to be better than any place we went, including a Michelin Star Restaurant.  

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Lunch: 

Hotel Araz (Araz Restaurant):  The Hotel itself is really cool, and located in District 7 (the Pest Broadway Area).  It was an old bath house from the 1900s that they redid, but yet still managed to keep some of the original decor.  We took a tour of the Hotel and it was gorgeous, with a cafe, infinity pool and spa, gym, and delicious restaurant.  Jeremy was brave and tried the Hungarian Specials:

Goulash Soup

Goulash Soup

Mangalitza (Traditional Hungarian Pork)

Mangalitza (Traditional Hungarian Pork)

I had:

Farm Chicken with Creamy Potatoes

Farm Chicken with Creamy Potatoes

Both of us LOVED the lunch so much that we even asked for a picture with the Chef (who just happened to have the coolest hat on I’d ever seen)

Chef

We would definitely have come back here for dinner had we had more time, but the lunch is perfect because it is quick, has great prices, and incredible food.

Lucky 7 Burgers: Although we didn’t have time to eat here, I really wanted to check it out and have heard amazing things.  Next time we go, we will definitely make it in for lunch.

Dinner:

If you are in Budapest, you MUST eat at Es Bisztro at the Kempinski Hotel.  Firstly, the location is amazing, and right outside there are lots of high end shops, as well as little local sellers with different foods, drinks, and souvenirs.  

Jeremy again was more adventurous than I was and had:

Spring Pea Veloute with Goat Cheese Crisp

Spring Pea Veloute with Goat Cheese Crisp

 

Herb Rib eye Steak. (this was the best steak he has ever had)

Herb Rib eye Steak. (this was the best steak he has ever had)

I opted for a much more Americanized meal:

Burrata and Heirloom Tomato for my starter

Burrata and Heirloom Tomato for my starter

 

... So I got Fried Chicken Fingers and Fries. Don’t judge me.  It was amazing.

… So I got Fried Chicken Fingers and Fries. Don’t judge me.  It was amazing.

The atmosphere is really cool in Es Bisztro It is casual, hip, but also had live classical music playing.  A really cool vibe!

Dessert:

BITE: The closest thing I have found to Cinnabun in Europe.  It was so good, that we got 8 to go the day we left.  The workers actually had to ask us several times how many we wanted, because I’m pretty sure they’ve never seen two people ask for 8 of them before.  I don’t regret that decision at all.

What to Do:

Our absolute favourite was our Authentic Hungarian Cooking Class with Kitchen Pixie We were picked up at our hotel by Gabor, and taken to a beautiful building from the 1900’s.  Inside we met Marti, and for the next 5 hours we made great friends with these two, while learning to cook real Hungarian food.  I am not a huge fan of cooking, but somehow these two made it one of the most fun experiences we have had!  

Our Menu

Our Menu

 

We were supposed to be cooking….

We were supposed to be cooking….

 

Us and Marti

Us and Marti

 

Us and Gabor

Us and Gabor

 

I currently hold the record for highest crepe toss at Kitchen Pixie I dare any of you to go and beat it!

Finished Product! 

Finished Product!

 

We will truly never forget this experience.  If you are in Budapest, I highly suggest doing this.  It is so amazing to sit and talk with Hungarians about their culture, and lives, and we truly felt like this was the truest Hungarian experience we could have had.  They also do Market Tours, Wine Tastings, and will also make private lunch or dinners for you and your guests.

Szechenyi Baths and Palmahaz Spa: The Szechenyi Baths are one of the most famous things to do in Budapest.  There are 15 indoor pools heated naturally from an underground well, and two giant outdoor pools.

The gorgeous building was built in 1903 and has a rich history, especially of pools, that were built specifically for aristocrats.  

Because I’m pregnant, I couldn’t go in the pools because I didn’t want to risk hurting the babe, but Jeremy had an amazing time switching from pool to pool, and trying out the many different Saunas.

pic-pool

The highlight for me, was the Palmahaz Spa They have a gorgeous relaxation room upstairs which is covered in greenery.  You almost feel like you are in a jungle.  

greenery

Here we relaxed in hammocks, and got massages together.  The whole day was truly blissful.  If you want to experience a Hungarian gem, you must go to the Szechenyi Baths and Palmahaz Spa, and ask for the tour from Palmahaz!

Silverline Cruise with Folklore Dancing: Budapest at night might be the most beautiful time.  

parliment

Jeremy and I had a blast on this cruise.  The music was beautiful, food was really good, and my favourite part (of course) was the Folklore Dancers.  I love seeing different cultures style of dance, since I grew up as a dancer.  

It was super entertaining and they even had Jeremy and I up on stage dancing at one point!  I’m sure the audience loved seeing a 6 month pregnant girl in a tight black dress and 6 inch heels bouncing around hahaha.

EUrama Tour: Your classic city tour, but with a more personal feel.  Our guide Aggie, was knowledgeable, funny, and spent 3 hours telling us all about the city and answering any questions we had.  I’d suggest doing this the first day of your trip so you know what areas you want to spend more time exploring!

At the beautiful Chain Bridge on our tour

At the beautiful Chain Bridge on our tour

Royal Thai Massage: Another fantastic afternoon spent relaxing.  Jeremy and I got traditional Thai massages, and it was romantic, and soothing.  They were really gentle with me and conscious of my pregnancy, and I felt like a million dollars after.

royal-thaiThe Spa is located in a mall as well, so you can get some shopping in before you get pampered. Best of both worlds!

All in all, I give Budapest a 10/10.  Aside from a minor knee injury (which actually had me limping around for 2 days and then magically got better… so bizarre, I will tell you about it in my 23 Week Pregnant Video Diary) the trip was perfect.  I will definitely be seeing Budapest again, and hope that this inspires some of you world travellers to go visit it yourself!

Love Ash

xx

Me, Myself & I

Earth Day Friday!

Currently: Sitting on the floor trying to organize everything for my taxes… It’s the actual worst job in the world. SAVE ME!

Wearing: Grey Nike Sweats and a Blue Tank

Eating/Drinking: TinyTea from Your Tea. I’m on day 2 of my detox and dreaming of a large cheese pizza

Plans for today: Taxes for the next couple of hours.  I have to get a run in today, and then a candle lit (earth day so we are turning off the lights) movie night with my sister-in-laws!

Currently Watching: 48 Hours Hard Evidence.  I don’t even know why I watch this because every single time I convince myself that there is a murderer in my house.

Current Stress:  I’m hungry.  Taxes suck.  & Oakley is currently experiencing Paraphimosis.  I won’t get into detail about what that is because it’s SUPER disgusting, but I have a feeling I will end up at the vet at some point today.

Cuddling with: Oliver and Oakley

Doggies

Hair: High bun

Make up: None

Voila 🙂

PS Remember it’s Earth Day!  Do your part to show the earth we love it! (Plant a tree, Turn out the lights, Make sure your sink isn’t leaking, Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, Go Meatless for a week etc.)

Me, Myself & I

Photos from March

Here are some new pictures taken in my backyard by the talented Jordan Letkemann. We were outside playing in the snow and decided to have a last minute photo shoot! I felt like I was in my own little Snow Globe :).

Who else is ready for spring to arrive?! I know I am!

Ash
Xx

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Me, Myself & I, Travels

Leggat Does London

If you follow my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you already know that I spent New Year’s Eve in London, England with my husband.  We only had 4 days off, but we made sure to do everything we had wanted to do while we were there. I decided that I would blog today about the great (and not so great things) that we did while we were there, so that if any of you are thinking of going, you know what to hit and what to miss.

Seeya Sweden, Next Stop England!

Seeya Sweden, Next Stop England!

Hello London!

Hello London!

(Rating – Excellent, Good, Average, Poor)

Where to stay?

The Hub by Premier Inn at Covent Garden

Rating – EXCELLENT

Location is right downtown. Room is small but has everything you need. Extremely affordable. The staff is accommodating and knowledgeable about the city.  They knew we were celebrating a special occasion so they had chilled champagne delivered to us as well as free breakfast throughout our stay.  We will definitely be staying with them again!

Shower with rainfall spout and forward sprayer.. Heaven when you need to warm up after a long day in the rain!

Shower with rainfall spout and forward sprayer.. Heaven when you need to warm up after a long day in the rain!

Champs <3

Champs <3

What to do?

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Rating – POOR

So I had heard a ton about the fireworks in London on New Year’s.  I have to say, we were disappointed.  It took us an hour and a half of walking (what felt like 20k) to find the location we were supposed to enter, as we had tickets to see the fireworks from the Waterloo Bridge.  We were sent in 100 different directions from the workers who seemed unprepared and uneducated about the event they were putting on. When we finally made it, the fireworks lasted about 10 minutes, and then we had the hour and a half walk home with 400,000 other people all being dispersed into the streets.  If you go to London on New Year’s, I’d suggest skipping this.

Freezing Cold after walking around for hours, but happy we finally found the bridge we are supposed to be on.

Freezing Cold after walking around for hours, but happy we finally found the bridge we are supposed to be on.

New Year’s Day Parade

Rating – EXCELLENT

One of the highlights of our trip!  We were invited for brunch at 1 Whitehall, where we had a delicious English breakfast and some champagne.  We then went to the street where we watched 3 hours of cheerleading, marching bands, magician acts, floats, miniature horses, and SO much more.  It was an absolute blast and something I will never forget.  This is a MUST DO if you are in London for New Year’s Day.  I will definitely be back next year, and might even be a part of the parade 😉

1 Whitehall Outside

1 Whitehall Outside

Loving this day!

Front Row ready for the parade to begin!

Front Row ready for the parade to begin!

About to be interviewed at the New Year's Day Parade

About to be interviewed at the New Year’s Day Parade

They're making fun of me because I'm cold. They assume Canadians live in igloos I think ;)

They’re making fun of me because I’m cold. They assume Canadians live in igloos I think 😉

London Eye

Rating – AVERAGE

Both Jeremy and I found the London Eye to be overrated.  The views from the top are very beautiful, but it really wasn’t worth the money to take a 20-minute ride around the Ferris wheel.  Positives are that the line up moved very quickly and there weren’t a ton of people stuffed in the pod with us.  I’d suggest seeing the same views from any of the bridges that cross the Thames River.

The London Eye from the bottom

The London Eye from the bottom

Oh Hi Big Ben

Oh Hi Big Ben

Cruisin'

Cruisin’

Ice Skating at The Tower Of London

Rating – EXCELLENT

A really fun activity in an unbelievable setting.  Another unforgettable experience.  We ice skated behind the tower walls where Henry the 8th had Anne Boleyn beheaded.  Legend has it that you can still see her roaming the tower at night holding her head in her hands.  Thankfully we didn’t see anything like that haha, but to skate around knowing the history surrounding us, was definitely a thrill.  I highly suggest this if you visit London in the winter.

Our first view of the Tower of London. There is a really creepy vibe here.

Our first view of the Tower of London. There is a really creepy vibe here.

So grand and eerie. Pictures don't do it justice.

So grand and eerie. Pictures don’t do it justice.

The hubs and I having the most incredible time.

The hubs and I having the most incredible time.

Original Bus Tour

Rating – AVERAGE

It was kind of hard to rate the bus tour as we only got to ride the bus to one stop before I lost the tickets (classic Ashley).  We went back to the information center, but they were unable to issue us new ones, so if you do decide to do the hop-on-hop-off bus tour DO NOT LOSE YOUR TICKETS!  From our brief time on the bus, it seems that it is best if you sit upstairs as the tour guide is extremely hard to hear from the bottom.

London By Night

Rating – EXCELLENT

Another one of our favourites.  This is an hour and a half bus tour showing you all of the best locations in London at night.  In my opinion, going at night was much better than the day, because you can see everything a lot clearer, and there weren’t hundreds of people standing in front of every attraction.  Our tour guide was incredible and funny, and this is where I learned the most about London.  I definitely suggest this tour if you don’t mind not being able to get off at the stops, and just want a tour of the major highlights of the city.

Absolutely in love with the architecture here

Absolutely in love with the architecture here

Big Ben & Parliament

Big Ben & Parliament

Must See:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Big Ben & Parliament

  • Tower of London
  • London Eye (but don’t bother riding it)
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Westminster Abbey

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In total, our 4 days were pretty jam packed, but I hope this helps anyone who has a short stay in London to weed out what the MUST-DO’s are!

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year!

Love always,

Ash

Xx