As Tara mentioned, I recently paid a visit to Eastern Europe for two weeks. My company manufactures cell phones in this region and a quality problem was discovered with the model I'm working on. To test the true "global" capability of my Global Positioning System, I took pictures in each city I visited, including the layover stops on my flight (Zurich on the way to Hungary, Frankfort on the way home). Check out the map...
Once I landed in Budapest, I picked up my rental car and drove off into the countryside. My destination was Komárom, a small town on the Hungary-Slovakia border and home to both Nokia and Foxconn production factories.
I spent the whole week working in the Foxconn factory but was able to escape for the weekend to Vienna, Austria. The trip was only 150KM, check out the map below. The city was beautiful and I captured a few of the highlights here.
The Christkindlmarkt at Vienna’s City Hall (the Rathaus).
The Votivkirche Church
City Hall from the park
I returned to Hungary for another week of work and continued to sample new local eateries each night. Several of my hosts were actually Slovakian and enjoyed crossing the border (Danube River) at night to the more lively, Komarno. Here we are eating a traditional Slovakian dinner in a restaurant located inside the old fort. Items I was encouraged to sample included Tripe (cow stomach lining) and Knuckle (pig ankle). Good thing there was beer to wash it all down!
The Bridge connecting Komárom, Hungary to Komarno, Slovakia
Dinner with Ervin and Juraj (Mike Myers look-a-like!)
A few other random shots from my trip. Enjoy!
An old WWII fort
The road to my hotel. I haven't driven on snowy roads in years!
Well, Lauren and I (Tara AGAIN...SHOCKING RIGHT?!?!?) did not taste any of the famous San Francisco Treat, Rice-a-Roni, on our trip, but we did sample some delicious meals. We will get to that later.
Let me start by saying that I am glad quite a few of you have commented on my glorious writing style and how fabulously entertaining I am, because you are going to get a lot more of me. This is because Justin does not seem to have the time to write blogs for the project he has volunteered himself for. Therefore, for the benefit of him being able to keep his glorious new camera, GPS finder, webcam, etc., i have taken it upon myself to be a sweetheart and do his job for him. Now if that isn't dedication, I don't know what is.
Anyway, I digress. Lauren and I ventured to San Francisco for the weekend while Justin was off gallivanting around Eastern Europe and eating such delicacies as bone marrow and venison. (More on that later in the week). The first stop we made was in Fisherman's Wharf, where we checked out the Harbor Seals...
Such hosses, and so smelly, but so cute. Whilst on Fisherman's wharf, we tried some San Francisco seafood, some San Francisco donuts, and some San Francisco cookies. SICK!!! Needless to say, this weekend was NOT one to diet. Here we are in Fisherman's Wharf...
Kind of cute if I don't say so myself. It was a gorgeous day, but quite windy and cold!
Moving on...to get home from Fisherman's Wharf, we decided to take a rather untraditional method. Already that day we had ridden in a car, plane, BART/Subway, and a Cab. Mind you, we had only left my San Diego house 5 hours earlier. That's a lot of transportation for one day! So, to head back, we decided to take the famous Trolley.
Is this Mary Tyler-Moore-esque or something to anyone? I totally feel like we should be on the intro to friends in this photo. Anyway, we boarded the trolley and immediately Lauren made a new friend, who also enjoyed taking photos of himself--the conductor.
To this day, I don't know his name, but he took a liking to Lauren and proceeded to call her his girlfriend throughout the entire trip. He repeatedly yelled out "How you doin up there honey!" every time we stopped. The people on the ride were very amused. Here they are together...handsome couple, I do say:
HOT! The ride was enjoyable until we reached Union Square, where we proceeded to shop for at least 6 hours straight. By the time we were done, we were both dead exhausted, but still had dinner reservations and needed a DRINK badly. So, we got dressed up and headed out to Betelnut for Mojitos, First Crush for giant amounts of Tapas, and a bar I can't remember the name of in our hotel for dinks.
Ok so these are the last photos we took of the trip. We did a lot after this but it mostly consisted of shopping sooo....not interesting. I leave you with a glorious sight that was seen whilst on the trolley...
Yes, the University Club, where the flags of all members' colleges are posted. Don't be jealous that I went to an Elite and glorious university. It's not my fault I'm a genius.
So as Justin started to explain, we took a trip to Arizona over Thanksgiving weekend. After our lovely roadside stops at the Desert Tower and such towns as Yuma, AZ (I cannot believe people live here, fyi), we finally found ourselves in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale is like a gigantic retirement home. Although beautiful, it is also one gigantic stripmall/Supermall after the next. It is also completely dead after 9pm. So, on our first night there, we ventured out to the "Town Center" which was an oversized partially outdoor Somerset. We ate at a place called Cowboy Chow and then moved on to find the most horrible thing I have ever seen:
Yes, that there is an Ohio State helmet, along with a Florida Gators helmet. Lest you forget--last year, these two teams played in the National Championship in the Fiesta Bowl IN Arizona. Which Michigan SHOULD have been in if they hadn't been sooo afraid of a rematch between OSU and UM. Anyway, I digress. How we stumbled across the Fiesta Bowl museum is beyond me, but needless to say, it was not a pleasant experience. And this year, we play the Gators in our new year's day bowl, which I'm sure will add up to yet another loss on Michigan's lovely 2007 resume.
The next day ,we headed off to Sedona, which is by far the most beautiful place I've ever seen. These pictures do it no justice. The colors were much more vibrant, deep reds and oranges that just aren't visible here. The map shows the "off-road" area around Sedona that we explored!
We took a PINK JEEP ride to get out to all these places (very masculine for Justin FYI). We climbed rocks and boulders and ventured to the backwoods. Ok, maybe not, since this is a giant tourist attraction....but still.
Please note that we are wearing boots, scarves, gloves, etc etc etc. It was NOT warm, contrary to popular belief. It was blistering cold and windy. And by cold I mean 50 degrees. So what if I'm from Michigan?
Overall, a glorious trip had by all. And, the firesky resort was beautiful. Here we are enjoying it.
--Guest writer Tara Adams because Justin is in Budapest Hungary and has no contact with the outside world, even to do his blog, so his lovely wife must take over all responsiblities for him
Justin (& his loving wife, Tara) roam the countryside recording their escapades using state-of-the-art photographic and geo-positioning equipment (thank you Sony). Destinations include but are not limited to: California, Chicago, Michigan and Arizona.