The snow never stopped us! Budapest, we thank you.

Birthday Budapest.

In true Bambi & Bear fashion, arriving back in England post Tenerife had already given us the holiday blues, while our relationship was blossoming and our bank accounts were still strong; the looming of Christmas festivities, birthday celebrations, work obligations (and for those of us less-fortunate than to have a completely able-body) hospital appointments, meant that the next month, understandably was looking hectic. I know, your heart bleeds for us. But with Mexico a mere six-weeks away at this point and the countdown in full-swing, I figured we just might get through it; however Bear had very different ideas in mind… Sneaky, sneaky.

Considering we have spent pretty much every minute of every day together since we met, I still don’t really understand how his Ninja like abilities managed to escape my spy-like radar but this surprise left me feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.

Making the transition from mid-to-late twenties (and one of the oldest in my friend-group) had me in a bit, (emphasis on the bit), of a half-assed birthday high. Don’t get me wrong, there was a countdown and a wonderful birthday meal at my favourite restaurant with a gathering of some of my favourite people but I just wasn’t feeling it this year – we had such bigger, better things ahead that I just wanted it to be Christmas already, for family to arrive, for fairy lights and giving gifts.

“Pack an “overnight bag” gloves, a hat, a scarf and SWIMWEAR?!” (For those of you who know me, there are no overnight bags in my world, only over-filled, indecisive, stand on while you zip-it-up and hope it doesn’t burst open bags… What can I say, I like options and I lack planning…) so upon receiving limited instructions and strict size limitations you can understand anxiety was at an all-time high and questions were rising. It was the randomness of my outfit list that I struggled with, but despite my protest little to no other information was given, a bag was packed and in true girl fashion despite the wrap-up-warm outfit criteria I still managed to squeeze in one, (ok three) of my favourite dressy-outfits and heels.

I LOVE surprises and while Bear has the ability to want to surprise me, he is usually guilty of the immediate tongue-slip. We had previously discussed the possibility of visiting our Southern-dwelling friends, so I assumed London (one of my favourite cities) and a spa/hotel stay was definitely the plan. Think you can pull a fast one on me, huh… Well Bear can.

The night before said-secret-celebration had been blocked-off in my calendar Bear seemed a little… tense? I understood it, he had planned a surprise, it was cold, clearly it was a drive away because let’s face it I’ve figured out where we’re going at this point… Snow had settled and roads were chocca, but we’d still make it and it would still be wonderful I reassured him, secretly hoping we’d wake up and all the snow would be gone because Raynaud’s means cold-weather is NOT my friend, as much as I like the way my tan reflects against it. It was only when I noticed the constant weather obsessing and airline checking… light bulb moment. I realised we were planned for bigger-and-better things.

AND Ta-dah despite an extra-early wake up and a wait-and-see or in this case, check the departure board on arrival, we made the slow and steady journey to London-Luton airport. I’d like to say we were both in un-forced states of excitement but we’re only human. However despite a slight delay and worrying amounts of snow on the runway we were on our way to BEAUTIFUL Budapest. He had been listening! This ladies, is a Keeper. I had gone in to lengthy day-dreams about visiting Budapest for some time, it was firmly on the bucket-list as a must visit at Christmas, destination for me. I’d researched Budapest history, I’ve heard stories from friends who had visited, it has Christmas markets and historical architecture in abundance. It just seemed to have everything I want in a city-break without you know being an English city. I had looked to go myself many a time, but there was always Christmas plans and time slipped away as it does. But we were on the flight, we were going, I was giddy with excitement. I clearly was unaware of how often but, this is proof if you don’t subtly and consistently hint you don’t get. (I joke, I’ve never dropped a subtle hint in my life.)

Arriving in the city took my breath away, through the whole taxi-journey to the mystery hotel I was hanging out the window like a dog with a dry-tongue and oohing and aaahing at pretty much every building. We arrived at a truly beautiful, grand building where an usher was bustling me out of the taxi and I was in awe. The hotel foyer had a grand piano, the biggest Christmas tree I have possibly ever seen, and was flooded with chandelier lightened class. The building had been renovated and restored, it was historical and beautiful. There was a spa, a highly-rated restaurant. Boxes, ticking anyone? And despite being mid-December, arriving to fourteen-degree heat after departing a few hours earlier from minus- temperatures and snow was just dreamy. Wrap up warm he said. Kudos for your-flippant ability to pack, I internalised.

Bags dropped-off and off we went. Ok, ok, so perhaps there were part of the kit-list I shouldn’t have ignored even my most sophisticated and smallest of heels meant the odd-excuse to sit and enjoy a tipple, or eventually hunt down a local pharmacy for plasters. But I was powering through the pain, and ever-circumference blisters because there was just so much to see! Despite the fact I knew we would be here for the next four days, I just couldn’t get enough!

Bambi tip: Always look up. Much like Amsterdam, all of the good stuff is at the top of the buildings.  

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