Strolling Through Sites of Budapest

Hello Everyone,

I went to Budapest, Hungary for almost three weeks to see my family. This was my first fall in Hungary in 10 years. I am so thankful for life and my wonderful husband that we were able to make this happen. This was a much needed trip! Can’t believe how many fantastic things have happened to me during this short period of time. But I will tell you all about those later, in another blog post.

[RELATED: Budapest Christmas Markets & Rooftop Baths]

This post is strictly about a day of strolling on the streets of Budapest with my sister (Petra) and her boyfriend (Peti), trying out new bars, doughnut shops, and spending some quality time with each other ūüôā And, since we walked everywhere, it was a pretty good work out as well. (The pictures were taken by all three of us)

At the end of the day my feet were throbbing. It was only then that I realized how much we walked. I took 21,288 steps, walked 9.56 miles, and burnt 3,330 calories. All the stops are linked (just click on the names), so if you are interested in their schedules, buildings or the history, you can read more about those as well. (Can’t include them in this post, because that would make for the longest blog post in history)

Stop # one: Hungarian State Opera

Stop # two: St. Stephen’s Basilica

Stop # three: Deak Ferenc Square

Stop # four: Budapest City Park

Central Park of Budapest ūüėČ

Peti took a picture of Petra…

…taking a picture of me, taking a picture of…

…this.

‚̧

Stop # five: Vajdahunyad Castle

Seeester ‚̧

Stop # six: Heroes’ Square

Stop # seven: 360 Bar

Stop # eight: F√°nki Donuts

Stop # nine: Gozsdu Udvar

As soon as we sat down, I felt all the miles in my feet. It was very hard to get up and go home. For dinner we had Pad Thai.

Have you ever been to Budapest?

What’s your favorite city?

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5 + 1 Lessons We Learned From Moving Across The Country

Hi Everyone,

Our little family is going over a giant change at the moment. We packed up our stuff and moved from the West Coast to the East Coast.

(I am currently blogging from a laundromat and the ladies who work here are busting Backstreet Boys on the speakers and this is the best thing EVER) Here I am trying to talk about serious topics and all I can do in my head is sing: “IIIIII WAAAAAANT IIIIIT THAAAAAAT WAAAAAY!”…”YOU ARE … MY FIIIRE! THE ONE…DEEEESIIIIIIREEEEEEE…YOU AREEEEEEEE”)

Sh*t. Totally lost my train of thought.

I have moved 12 times in my life, including five cities and two countries. You would think, I am an expert in moving and starting over but that is not the case at all. I am horrid at saying bye to people and I also get attached to things. We spent the last couple of days in Arizona saying goodbyes (yikes), packing and visiting our favorite places for food and coffee.

Ben’s mom came to help us pack and drive across the country. Without her, this would have been an even harder task to do and I am not sure we could have done it. She was a huge help! So let’s see what are the¬†5 + 1 lessons we learned from moving across the country

5 + 1 Lessons We Learned From Moving Across The Country

  1. IT  MADE  US  REALIZE  WHAT  THINGS  ARE  IMPORTANT

    We started packing four days before we left. I mean, it is not like we were moving out of a mansion. We had a one bedroom apartment. We looked around in the beginning of the summer and made a conscious decision that four days were going to be enough time.  But where did all the extra stuff come from? I swear every time I put one thing away, 35 other things popped up; we had way too many things accumulated in just a short two years. We will try and be a little more aware of this in the future. What I am saying here is that we will stop being crazy hoarders. We decided not to get a UHaul and move with only the things that fit in two cars. Originally it was a financial decision but it turned out to be a pretty great de-cluttering process.

    Lesson learned: No more hoarding and next time maybe start a little sooner?!

  2. FINDING  AN  APARTMENT  FROM  ANOTHER  STATE  SUCKS

    I could’ve guessed this was not gonna be a Nutella bath(whatever that is but it sounds great). This one turned out to be a huge stress factor for both of us this past summer. Finding an affordable and safe place from 3000 miles away that is close to work and dogs are allowed was not easy. Even though, we had a huge help from Ben’s brother who checked out a couple places for us, this was still a pretty stressful process. Not fully knowing where we were moving to tripled the already freaked out butterflies in my stomach and it did make a huge impact on my everyday mood.

    Lesson learned:¬†Sometimes I just have to accept the situation as it is and make the best out of it. No need to stress if I can’t change anything. We did our best at trying to find the best place for us but we could only do so much from the far. But like everything, this also turned out just fine at the end.

  3. BE  COMFORTABLE  OUTSIDE  THE  COMFORT  ZONE

    I spent very little time inside of my comfort zone in these past three weeks. Packing up our entire lives and saying goodbye to some of our things was saddening, closing the apartment door behind me in Arizona and going off to the absolute unknown was scary. Driving for days in strange areas was stressful. But there were two nights when we stayed at family along the way which made it so much easier! We had plenty of friends who were cheering us on from far and asking how things were going. I know social media and technology can be super overwhelming sometimes but being connected to the world when we were in the middle of nowhere was pretty darn awesome.

    Lesson learned: Everything is going to be fine. There are always people along the way who support you from near and far. Taking a deep breath and taking one step at a time is key.

  4. NO  NEED  TO  ACT  TOUGH

    Moving is stressful. Leaving our lives behind, our friends, our jobs, our steady incomes, and our home was a b*tch. We picked up our lives and placed them 2567 miles away. For a long time I tried to look at it only as a fun and exciting adventure and pushed the sad feelings aside until I felt a constant “ball of stress” in my throat. At one point I physically struggled with breathing. What the heck would be so wrong with a good old cry? Nothing. There is nothing wrong with letting the stress out. Instead of feeling like a burden on family and friends, these are the people we gotta rely on the most. I know I would do the same for them if they needed me.

    Lesson learned: Don’t hold the stress back and use the support system that is there for you. We are so thankful for everyone who helped us out along the way!¬†‚ô•

  5. SAME ¬†COUNTRY, ¬†DIFFERENT … UHM … EVERYTHING

    It is crazy that we moved in the same country and we are facing culture shock. Everything is different! People have different accents, they do their grocery shopping at places we have never heard of, their temperament and driving is different, and they eat different foods. The buildings and the architecture is different, the spaces are smaller, and the cars are more Europe like (Lots of people in Arizona have giant trucks).

    Lesson learned: Different is not bad. Gotta be open to new things and embrace the unknown.

  6. GOTTA  STOP  COMPARING

    After a couple days I realized I was doing something wrong. I kept comparing everything to Arizona. I was constantly comparing our new apartment to our old apartment, the new areas to the old areas, the new stores to the old stores. After I stopped doing that I started realizing all the awesome things that surround us now and all the cool places we have yet to discover.

    Lesson learned: Stop comparing. Period.

Questions for you:

  1. Have you ever made a big move?
  2. What helped you deal with the stress?
  3. What is your favorite part about moving?

Devil’s Bridge Hike, Sedona

Hi Everyone,

This week is going so fast, I can barely keep up with it. This past weekend, we visited Devil’s Bridge in Sedona. Before we leave Arizona we wanted to make sure to check it out because we have heard great things about Devil’s Bridge and the amazing view. It for sure did not disappoint!

The hike itself is pretty easy, not to mention that it is FREE. Make sure to take plenty water with you because it can get pretty warm in Sedona. Parking gets a little tricky. We got there at 8:30 am and got lucky enough to take the last available spot. (By the time we were leaving, people were parking on the side of the road it got so busy.) We had to park in the first parking lot which added another 2.1 miles to the hike. The total hike came out to be 5.8 miles. You can only drive up to the second parking lot if your car can take extreme off-road situations.

Devil’s Bridge Hike

Price: FREE! No parking fee, no permit.

Parking: Gets a little too busy as the day goes on. It paid off that we went early in the morning. And if you don’t have a high-clearance¬†4 wheel drive, you can only park in the first parking spot.

Hike level: easy to medium. Really not too bad at all, the last 400 feet¬†gets a little steep with lots of stairs but you can always take a quick break when your legs¬†feel like they are on fire ūüėÄ

View: Unbelievable

You can find details and more description about the area on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Website!

Follow our adventures at http://www.myredtravelshoe.com

Questions:

  1. What is/ Where is your favorite hike?
  2. Do you like hiking?
  3. If you could go on one road trip, where would you go?

When Echo’s Path Crossed Ours <3

Last week Echo got a little sick and while I was at home with him, I couldn’t help but think about the first time I met him and the way his path crossed ours. I remember like it was yesterday. In one way, it was a snap decision because I got him while I was on a trip for work but the truth is that¬†we were considering getting a dog for a long time.

We should get a dog – said the heart / Don’t be an idiot – over spoke the brain.

What a constant battle. We went through months and months of pro and con list writing, asking for other’s opinions, looking at puppy pictures on Pinterest (mostly me!!!)..etc.

I had to move to California for about two months but¬†we agreed we will bring the topic up again when I get back. But then plans changed a little…

My roommate in California had a gorgeous husky and she was thinking about getting another one. Oh no…puppy fever is back… I, of course went with her to visit shelters because let’s be honest, I am not strong enough to stay home. We looked at photos online, talked about puppies for hours, it was heaven… but hell at the same time (Can we just adopt all these wonderful, button-nosed babies who are so desperately in need of a loving home?????).

And then one day I came across a picture of a tiny, dirty-white, fur ball. I knew we were in big trouble right away because that puppy had to be ours.

Echo’s Advertisement

We were looking for a small dog so we can travel with him/her easier. I called my husband right away, forwarded him the picture and he said let’s go and check out the puppy. The place was an hour away, I got there 30 minutes before closing time.

Oh gosh, what am I doing? – I thought as I was nervously standing in front of the door to see my little guy. Yes, he was my little guy and I felt it in my heart. It was a done deal.

They brought Echo out, he was twice as big as on the picture. All his siblings were adopted by 2.5 months but he was still here at 4.5¬†months old.¬†I think he was waiting for us! ‚̧ Here is skinny, scared, little Echo the first time we met!

They¬†put him on the ground and the little clumsy dog that I already had so much love for, started sprinting across the room, back and forth, he ran into my legs, wiggled his butt, playfully jumped around me, slipped on the floor, tripped in his own feet, stepped into a water bowl, tried to jump up on the bench but fell…he just couldn’t stop. My heart was full.

I love him – I whispered under my breath

I picked him up, but he couldn’t stop moving (Echo still has this ability up to this day). He was soft, warm and a true love bug.

I couldn’t take him home that night but my roommate and I went back to get him 2 days later. We prepared for the puppy’s arrival, went to Target to get a leash (that Echo destroyed in a month…and then he destroyed another one and another one), bowls, food, a toy! My roommate was truly the best and the biggest help throughout the entire time! She is one of the nicest people I have ever met! I am so thankful for her!

This was Echo’s first toy ever! A frog! I got him a frog because my friend’s nickname ¬†(who I missed so terribly much and whose room I was living in)¬†was frog.

THEN….

AND NOW….

I was in love with Echo from the first moment I saw that picture of him. It was so hard to go to work and leave him behind. In the mornings we spend some time out in the backyard. Echo loved his husky friend, Pepper!

I took so many pictures of him and kept sending it to my husband. Here is Echo sleeping, here is Echo eating, Echo laying down, Echo sitting, Echo breathing etc…

Look at that cute face ‚̧

Mom…I think i have to pee.

Echo loved sitting in front of the house watching people

Eventually we headed back to Arizona but had to make a stop half way there…Our first visit to PetSmart…or I mean…Puppy Heaven on Earth

The first morning after we got home…best friends right away!

and our very first hike that day. It was a short one, Echo was scared to walk far from the car but we got 0.5 miles in ūüėÄ Oh, how things have changed since then haha

And the first bath time…Echo LOVES bath time. He used to go into the tub by himself after his first bath…

Echo is now a year and a half old, he is smart, quick, always happy, loves hiking and a huge advocate of unconditional love. He keeps giving every day and even though it is not easy to raise a dog, I am so happy we made the decision to get one. I am also very happy we didn’t do it earlier. Having a dog comes with a huge responsibility and I don’t think we were¬†ready for it before but now I couldn’t imagine our¬†lives without him.

Questions for you:

  1. Do you have any pets?
  2. Are you a cat or a dog person?

Please follow our adventures at My Red Travel Shoe. 

Echo, Snow, a Fun New Magazine, and Lots of Eats

Hello Everyone,

It is April and we just had a snow storm last night. I am just gonna leave this as my opening sentence. I am not complaining, this is just something that had to be mentioned.

Currently, I am sitting at the best spot ever. I can’t believe I have never taken advantage of¬†it before. Looking at beautiful snowy mountains, with a cup of coffee, perfect spot to write this recap post. Or actually….a really bad spot for writing a recap post. I keep staring at the mountains without getting any job done.

Last Tuesday, we made one of our favorite Hungarian dishes for dinner, called layered potatoes (Rakott Krumpli). It is pretty much a multi leveled ‘potato-sour cream-sausage-hard boiled egg’ deliciousness¬†with cheese on top. Like most Hungarian dishes, this is not on the light side either, but once in a while, you just gotta indulge. (I will post the recipe soon;) )

Before bed I was trying to teach Echo how to crawl. It was not going too well. I tried to present the idea for him and how to do it but he tilted his head to the side and looked at me¬†like: “What can possibly be your¬†problem?” Then started chasing his tennis ball. I would say round 1 was a fail.

side note: he needs a haircut.

On Wednesday I worked all day. Didn’t have much time until the afternoon but wanted to make sure I get a little work out in. Every week I try to run twice (at least) and do yoga 4 times. It has been a little hard with all the traveling on the weekends, but I try to stick to this system most of the time. After work out I was hungry, so I made a little snack plate.

It had half of a chocolate chip cookie (home made, sugar less, so good!) apple and banana with peanut butter, some plain yoghurt with honey and popcorn. Could not be any more random…I think if someone who is a culinary expert would see what food combinations I use sometimes, he/she would run away crying.

After the above mentioned delicious meal, I went on a walk with Echo to one of the trails. We didn’t go too far, but it was nice to be outside and Echo loved running around.

When we got home, I snuggled up on the couch and read Bella Grace. My friend showed me this magazine and I am IN LOVE. The magazine comes out quarterly. It is 160 pages and there are ZERO paid advertising in it. They already had me at no advertising. I get so tired of flipping through magazine pages and only seeing parfume and make up advertisements. I get bored and usualy just put the magazine down. But with Bella Grace, it is 160 pages of pure information, great stories, and inspiration. The magaizne’s purpose is to show and help find the extraordinary in our ordinary lives, to embrace imperfection, the mess, and celebrate every day’s small victories. Oh so goooood! The stories are all written by bloggers and carefully picked by the editors. The whole magazine just screams comfort and cozy!!! My kind of stuff ‚̧

This is also from the magazine, this is pretty much my life in a quote:

For dinner we made cheese quesadillas and a quinoa- baked cauliflower mix. It was pretty delicious. Again, what a random mix.

Thursday morning started a little early. After I did some work in the morning, I made a rice cake – fried egg breakfast with some cereal, strawberries, and plain yoghurt on the side. I have been on a green tea roll lately.

After breakfast I went to Barnes and Noble, looking for a book. The book I was looking for was out of stock¬†but I really wanted to find a good read so I kept looking. I found Megyn Kelly’s book, Settle for More.

What an amazing read! So far I have been enjoying it a lot. I read a little slower in English, I have to process the information a little bit more to get the full picture, but it has been doing a fantastic job with grabbing my attention. She is such an intelligent and strong lady! Great inspiration! It is available on Amazing too for 50% off!!! I can highly recommend it, if you are looking for something!

When I got home, I packed some lunch, grabbed my new book and took Echo to the park. The weather was a little too windy so I couldn’t really enjoy the sun, but I bundled up and started reading. It is nice that I can just sit in one spot and Echo brings the ball back to me. Between each paragraph I threw his ball,¬†and while he was running after it, I just kept reading. This is our new favorite thing to do.

In the afternoon I went to Sprouts to grab some ingredients for dinner and some epsom salt…not for dinner.

Lately my muscles have been hurting pretty badly; I play tennis almost every day, try to run twice a week and do weights and yoga too. A good mix of epsom salt and baking soda can do wonders (I heard) so I decided to give it a try and made a warm bath. I don’t know if it was placebo effect, the eucalyptus and peppermint scent, the hot water, or it actually works, but I got out of that bath feeling a lot better. I will¬†keep using it.

For dinner we made pizza muffin roses. It is a quick and delicious dinner option.

On Friday morning we woke up to some snow. I left for North Dakota but apparently it snowed 6 more inches during the day haha. I see all those posts on FB and Instagram about spring, it made me laugh a little when we had to scrape the window in the morning. But the thing that made me laugh even harder was the fact that it was warmer in North Dakota.

On the way there…

I found an awesome (oh gosh I just thought of¬†a terrible word joke…pawsome) mug at the airport at Caribou Cafe.

The trip felt a little too long; I was tired¬†and very excited to get home. Sunday night Ben picked me up with a rose and a slice of carrot cake. ‚̧ What a lovely, thoughtful man, I don’t know how I got so lucky.

For dinner we had take out. Mediterranean salad and glazed chicken flatbread. We were gonna go grocery shopping but we had another snowstorm so we decided not to.

Echo and I grabbed Starbucks this morning (how cute is that cup?) and then went to the park to read and chase some tennis balls.

Hope you all had a fantastic week! I would love to hear a little about it!

Questions for you

  1. What was the highlight of your week?
  2. Anything exciting coming up?

Visit http://www.myredtravelshoe.com and check out our new website!!!:)

5 Ways I Workout with My Dog

Having a dog is great for many reasons one of which is that they can motivate you to get up from the couch and go outside. Looking at it the wrong way, it can be annoying as hell but with the right attitude and mentality your daily walks can be part of your workout routine.

When we got Echo, he was only 4 months old. He was not potty trained so I had to walk him once in every hour. I did get frustrated a lot of times because I felt¬†like I couldn’t get anything done. Just when I sat down and started working it was time to go again, or he started chewing on a shoe¬†and I had to get up to pull it out of his mouth. I couldn’t wait for that stage to be over. But to be honest, I just had to realize that this is part of having a puppy and I just have to suck it up and make the best out of it.

Old and crappy attitude:¬†I don’t have time to workout, I have to walk Echo…I don’t want to go workout, I just walked Echo…Awww, I don’t want to leave Echo alone, I can’t work out…

New and better attitude

Walking with your dog can be a perfectly good workout actually. With some creativity, it can be a pretty fun time. We come up with weird/funny workouts every time, so it is definitely new and not the usual boring routine that I have been doing for a million years. Invite some friends along, go with your husband, wife, significant other and have a fun time!

1. Walking

I love walking. Obviously, the nice weather is kind of key, but walking clears my mind, takes stress away, and it is an activity I could do for hours without even noticing it. And walking miles tires Echo out too and as we know a tired puppy is a happy puppy!

FOR A 130-POUND PERSON, WALKING AT A MODERATE PACE — SUCH AS WALKING THE DOG — BURNS 60 TO 70 CALORIES PER HALF-HOUR OR 120 TO 140 CALORIES PER HOUR. FOR A 200-POUND PERSON, IT BURNS 90 TO 100 CALORIES PER HALF-HOUR OR 180 TO 200 CALORIES PER HOUR. -LIVESTRONG.COM

2. Lunges and Squats

So easy to incorporate lunges and squats while your dog is sniffing around. Maybe just doing 3-5 lunges at a time but that will add up pretty fast. I used to shy away from doing this in the day light but then I got into a mood where I just didn’t care anymore and it feels pretty great. Our dog park is also a little hilly, so doing walking lunges while Echo fetches the ball is kind of a good workout.

3. Jogging and Chasing the Ball

Walking is fun and jogging is not so much. But I have been forcing myself to run more lately. Echo loves jogging next to me, his little legs are working so hard. We don’t need to go far for him to tire out. This might be a little different for people with a German Shepard…I am guessing. Also, chasing the ball can be a pretty fun game, I sometimes tire myself out before Echo gets tired.

4. Weight Lifting

Again, this might not be for you if you have a great dane, but I can pick up Echo and do squats with him or step ups on a bigger rock or bench. Or for example he loves being my plank buddy. #coachecho

5. Hiking

Echo loves hiking…to be honest Echo loves everything but hiking is a fantastic leg workout and cardio too for us. A couple months ago we hiked a mountain in Arizona and it was only about 2 miles up but I was struggling big time. I thought I was in a good shape but had to stop multiple times. Plus with hiking comes beautiful scenery!!!!

This was taken at Bryce Canyon

Benefits

  • Going on longer walks or constantly discovering new areas can be so much fun! Be a tourist in your own city, get out from the usual and boring route and go see something else!
  • Longer walks will tire your pup out and you will have a couple hours to be productive.

  • You will have a better relationship with your dog and a stronger bond. They appreciate and feel the love. Again, a tired puppy is a happy puppy!

  • Walking has a relaxing effect on me. When the weather is nice and there is no rush so we can just walk and look around is the best time. Look up to the sky and enjoy!
  • It is a great way to meet people. People who walk their dogs are usually very social and when the pups meet and greet each other, you can exchange a couple nice words and¬†smiles.

Tips

  • Make sure when you are going on a longer walk, you will bring water for both the puppy and yourself. We got an awesome¬†pop-up travel bowl¬†for christmas two years ago and we use it all the time.

  • Pooping bags!
  • Only walk in safe areas, definitely don’t go by yourself on long walks at night.
  • If you can, take a walking buddy with you! It is way more fun when someone else is there too!

DON’T FORGET TO REWARD YOURSELF AND YOUR LITTLE BUDDY AT THE END!

Echo and I love to stop for a coffee after some of our long walks. He always gets a little cup of whipped cream with doggie treats!

 

*FIND NEW BLOG AT WWW.MYREDTRAVELSHOE.COM*

Hi Guys, I moved

Hi Everyone!

This is me. You know, the blog. I decided to pack up my stuff and move over a couple blocks.

If you want to see my new home, check it out at¬†¬†www.myredtravelshoe.com. I got some new “couches” and “big screen TV” that I watch lots of Netflix on. Oh wait…I can’t do that, I am just a blog…

But either way, stop by to check me out!

ūüôā