Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Kids Arrive - Christmas Week in Romania

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It was a busy morning putting last minute touches on the apartment and preparing three holiday meals.  In the afternoon we took a taxi to the airport, met the kids and then got the rental car.  It didfn't take long to settle in the our large apartment.  In the Lucido/Peres family tradition we had a Mexican pre-Italian dinner of lasagna and a huge salad.  The next night we had a Mexican feast of enchiladas, carnitas and the appropriate side dishes.  And for Christmas day a traditional turkey and all the regular American goodies.  Our son Rick and his wife Susy brought along her mom and god-daughter.  It was the perfect holiday.
Rick had three helpings...
Patricia ate almost all of the rice all by herself.  
The makings of a cherry and orange chutney.

On our first day together we did the Royal Family Walking Tour featuring a few palaces, some lovely plazas, and great architecture.  It was still cold and there was quite a bit of ice on the sidewalks.  The holiday bazaars where open and the girls enjoyed moments of shopping.

On Christmas Day we headed out for a bit of fun on the ice.  It was first time skating for Susy and Sara.

We enjoyed our Christmas turkey and then walked over to Parliament Plaza for the Christmas Bazaar.  The place was crowded and the kids fell in love with the dessert crepes.

On the 26th we headed out of town and drove five hours to the Village of Brasov.  There we checked in to a really sweet Airbnb...

The following day we were met by a local guide and taken to three historic sites.  The first was Peles Castle, the summer home of the royal family.

 Alex was a pleasant guide and we enjoyed the full day of his company.

 From there we drove to the tourist hotspot of the area, Bran Castle and former home of Vlad the Impaler, alias Dracula.  The castle was not oranate at all, had been the summer residence of many generations and once inside there was barely a mention of the bad guy...so a big hype to sell the wine and fake teeth...LOL...and a great castle nevertheless.

 We left the castle and traveled a bit further to an ancient fortress high atop one of the hills.  It was late in the day, cloudy and overcast, but the visit was worth it.

 We spent the next day exploring the old city of Brasov with its great buidlings, shops, and historic monuments.

 The Black Church dating back to the 1200's.
 Old City Hall, now a museum.
 Another holiday bazaar and lots of shopping.

 Catherine's Gate, entrance to the old city dating back many centuries.

 Our last stop was the village of Sibiu to visit the Open Air Museum.  We staying in a pretty tight apartment with a one burner cooktop that still whipped up a decent fried chicken dinner.  The museum was huge, it was gold, and most of the buildings were closed...yet it was a great walk and lots to see.

 At the end of the day we ventured back into the old square and enjoyed a great dinner while visiting the city center.

 Some of the dormers look like eyes.

 Bobbie climbed to the top of the church tower...not me.

We drove back to Bucharest on New Years Eve, had dinner at a Greek restaurant, and enjoyed the fireworks from the balcony of our apartment until well after midnight.  The kids departed at 3AM and we settled back to being empty nesters once again.

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