Hey all! I’m stilling playing catch-up — shocking, I know — but I’m doing my best here. Here’s a blog about what I did in January as well as my travels to Budapest and Tenerife. Enjoy!

After my return from Amsterdam and Poland with Alex, he soon left to return to the US for a while and I was left to get back into the daily routine. Although I didn’t travel much, I was happy to fall into a routine with cooking, cleaning and planning everyday life. I went to a fun variety show, played bingo (which is like gambling), a techno club (am I European yet?), went shopping and got a lot of work accomplished. 3 weeks of nonstop travel will do that to you!

After several weeks of becoming adjusted to daily life and feeling a bit more centered again, Alex flew back in Madrid to spend a few final weeks with me before he starts with the Army. We celebrated his birthday in Madrid before heading off to Budapest and Tenerife the following weekends.

We really lucked out weather-wise (yet again) with beautiful weather in Budapest. It rained a little, but otherwise it was sunny and relatively warm!  We arrived in the evening so the following day we could get started bright and early. We started the day heading over the Buda side of the river and walked up to Fisherman’s Bastion. The views were spectacular and we enjoyed taking some photos and tried the Hungarian spirit, P├ílinka, which was a strong but sweet liquor. We then headed over to an underground WW2 hospital turned Cold War bunker turned museum called Hospital in the Rock. The tour was incredible and it was really cool to walk around and see how they took care of soldiers and civilians when the city was sieged. Afterwards we had a delicious Italian meal, headed back to the Airbnb and then went to a super fun cocktail bar called Szimpla Kert. The bar was decked out in different memorabilia, plants, and all kinds of wacky things (including an old car) and the scene was a lot of fun. There were a lot of bachelor parties which made the people-watching prime.

The second day we went to Pest to go to the Szechenyi Baths. It was a beautiful day so walking around in a dry swimsuit was actually quite comfortable! There were two baths and a lap pool outside as well as other spa treatments and facilities. There was one that was nice and warm and the other was a little cooler but had a whirlpool in the center which was really neat. Afterwards we came back to the Airbnb, showered, had dinner and then went back to Szimpla Kert again to enjoy the festivities. I was so happy to have Alex there with me so we could enjoy the experience together before he headed out!

After another week of work, Alex and I went to Tenerife which is the largest of the Canary Islands. Since the islands is huge and not easily accessible by bus, we rented a Jeep Wrangler (*swoon*) and were able to drive around the island during our short time there. We arrived early but were not able to check into the Airbnb until later, so we found a bakery near by for breakfast and enjoyed a little bit of sunshine at the nearby black sand beach! Once we were able to check in, we got a nice nap and then headed back out for dinner and a walk around the little town we were staying in. It was SO beautiful!

The second day we spent driving to Playa del Benijo which was really the setting of most of my dreams (I swear)! We had to drive over an actual mountain up winding roads and then directly down the hill into the town of Benijo. It was another beautiful day, although it was a bit chilly, but we were able to walk and ride around and try some of the local cuisine. We then came back to the Airbnb, watched the sun set on the black sand beach, got dinner and relaxed for the evening. It was so romantic for the both of us and I was so happy to have one last trip with Alex before he went back home for the rest of my time here.

Soon after I had to say goodbye to Alex when he flew back home while I went to work. It was so wonderful to have him back with me a second time before he starts his new career and I was so glad to celebrate both his birthday and valentine’s day together.

Coming up next: my blog about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Stay tuned!