As a photographer we all know what the “golden hour” is, as a parent on the road it is somewhat different. The “golden hour” is now that few minutes of pure silence between when both kids are asleep and we have the power to keep our eyes open. Usually Colleen and I just look at each other, say nothing and occasionally weep a little. haha
So I’m really in catch up mode already. We actually landed in Belgrade, Serbia yesterday but I’m doing my best to keep the blog intact and I don’t think I could ever be a full time writer or a bloggist. Unless I grew a short ponytail, trimmed my beard and got a cat, I suppose. You know those guys, you’ll find them sitting on park benches cross-legged and they often clean their eye glasses thoughtfully. They look like they write a lot, and where do they get the sweaters?
So for now, I have my patented travel beard started and I’m aging at an unprecedented speed and only blog when I have a golden minute. Over the past five days we managed to get from Sighisoara to Sibiu by train, stayed the day and left the next for Timisoara by bus and then spend two nights in Timisoara before having to be at the train station for 5:20 am for a train to Belgrade. Doesn’t that sound exciting, and like real travel? Normally I’d be all over that but it’s a little tougher these days. I found that I have the two best kids on the planet. Keir has been doing pretty good, but has a little cold and seems more fussy then Wynter was in Asia when we brought her. And Wynter, wow! She continues to amaze me. Over a seven hour bus ride she was near perfect. In fact she was better than the crazy lady in front of us that was yelling at the bus driver about 4 hours in. We couldn’t make out the yelling and antics in Romanian or the hand gestures but the gist of it was that the driver needed to get his ass in gear or she was going to kill him, or she was playing “Pat-a-cake Pat-a-cake, baker’s man”, again my Romanian sucks but I do know my pat-a-cake.
What we realized and have tried our best to do was accomodate the kid’s schedules. I’m no pro at parenting, but after the few years of practice we have learned for us that schedules do matter. With that being said, kids are resilient and as long as you can provide the necessities, like food and rest and play at the appropriate times, they’ll be fine. But, but, you should see what happens when you miss that window. You could be here in Yugoslavia, or at grandma’s house, it doesn’t matter. Those little angels can become an angry dictator in mere seconds…I’ve been calling Keir Chairman Mao lately when he loses it, and for Wynter, well I’m too afraid to call her names. haha
So to be blunt, they have been great, but it’s taken some work on our part, and compromise. I won that Ipod touch at WPPI and it’s been the best tool on this trip. I upload a few Dora shows on it and it really buys us some time when we’re in a pinch. And two days ago we brought Wynter to a playzone at a mall in Romania so she could play with some friends and let some steam out…hmmm, that reminds me of a good story actually.
So picture Wynter and I playing at the Playzone, you know those elaborate mazes of stairs and slides that are all cushioned. Well Wynter and I are running around, playing, chasing and laughing and she sets her sights on the “ball pit” and dives in (more of a stumble and face first actually) and I see her howl with laughter and I jump in after her. We laid in there for a few minutes just throwing the balls in the air when abruptly I get this terrible whiff of something unearthly. My eyes pop extremly wide open and I ask Wynter “did you poop your panties?” She very seriously says “no poopy”. That’s when I got really scared, if she didn’t go poopy that means there is one, or maybe more, poopies hidden in here. If anyone has seen the original Star Wars you’ll remember the trash compactor scene. I had just become Luke Skywalker and I was really nervous. It was like the ball pit closed in on me and I was helpless to get out without stumbling through to the edge. That may have been the second worst thing that happened that day. The worst was five minutes later when Wynter admitted that it was her. I’ll leave out the details but let’s just say I couldn’t get my hands clean enough to enjoy our ice cream treat later on.
So, onto the Romania adventure. haha This entry is the last from Romania before moving to Serbia. I really loved our stay there, the people were fantastic to us and it was a dream come true to see Transylvania. And although people may think that the weather was a negative, we were fine, we had light snow and then sunny days and almost always above zero. For me personally I loved the look of the buildings with the snow on the roofs. It really had a great feel and added to the mystique.
The last two towns we visited were Sibiu and Timisoara. In Sibiu we stayed at this lovely little hotel/B&B called Casa Baciu. It was only about a five minute walk from the square and had a second room for Wynter to sleep in. When we can it’s great to get a room for her. It allows us to chill with the lights on while she hits the sack. The room was fine, albeit pretty cold at night but the service from Anka was exceptional.
The town itself was lovely, as are they all. This fantastic large square surrounding a church (which is common throughout part of Romania) and a great clock tower overlooking it. I’d like to let everyone know that Wynter walked all but the last section of stairs herself, then plopped herself on the last landing and looked at me and said, “I heavy, Daddy carry me”. I guess she realized how heavy it is to carry herself up stairs. haha.
As you can see from some of the shots how lovely it looked with a small blanket of snow on it.
From Sibiu we had a stop over in Timisoara. I’m never one to tell someone not to travel to a place but let’s put it this way, I didn’t care for it and didn’t like the vibe. If you want to see it for yourself, awesome, but I’m not saying I’d go back. Again, the service at our hotel was great and it’s just about enough to overlook most other things when the people are so great. Thanks again to Daniel from the Hotel Central, he was super friendly, helpful and I don’t think he sleeps! The hotel itself lacked some love (albeit spotless, and had great location) really felt like the rooms Jackie and I frequented in China years ago. This room was painted a soft green with nice square features. haha. My personal favorite part of the room was the TV. I really don’t care and I’m not picky, but I’m allowed to make fun aren’t I? Along with the ambience of the decor and room itself, I had hoped when turning on the TV I’d catch a cozy fireside chat with Stalin then fall asleep to the national anthem.
Jokes aside it was still a great stay and I’m glad we got to experience a small part of it.
Enjoy the photos and I’m happy to say that the cool weather seems to be over and I’m finally going to enjoy some great weather from now on (fingers crossed).
All the best from Belgrade,
A two month trip with two children as we backpacked through Eastern and Western Europe.