April Fools Day 2018.
We boarded a plane in Baltimore, Maryland. It made a quick stop in Newark and then we were off on our first overseas flight as a family! We landed in Vienna – final destination Papa, Hungary. I can’t believe this is really happening!
The children’s excitement was palatable and contagious. With every thrust of the plane Willow exclaimed, “We’re in Hungary!” Beau stared out the window, studying the landscape. Didi was interested in the people – “I think they’re speaking German!” she’d say, and she was right! Most of the people on the plane were heading to Vienna, and Austrians speak German!
The kiddos were thrilled about the drinks, snacks and meal on the plane. Although it was an overnight flight, they didn’t sleep much. At one point I had all three children sleeping on me! Derek and I juggled trips to the potty and napping tots for 7 hours, but it was all worth it when we arrived.
Exhausted but excited, we were greeted by our friend Ben with a shuttle to Papa! First impressions of the region on the two hour drive were:
- The landscape isn’t so different from home. I think I can get used to this!
- Beautiful windmills!
- Crazy driving. Woah. Winding, bumpy roads. I don’t know if I can get used to this…
- They have animal overpass crossings!
- We just traveled 20 years back in time…
Our home for the next few weeks is a place called Papa Support. Its basically a compound where people can stay, events, community activities and meetings are held, and you can rent a car if necessary (which it is for us). Our apartment here has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a full kitchen, a giant sun room, and a lovely patio garden area with two little turtle friends in a pond.
We are still utterly delirious, as it was mid-morning in Papa and we were operating on brief dozes on the flight, so we all ended up crashing for a few hours. We awoke in time for a nice walk to the main square for dinner at the Galleria, gelato on the walking street, and playground fun by the Catholic Church. It may only day one, but we feel very lucky to be here, and it already feels like home. The community of around 30,000 people feels quaint and welcoming. We have a lot to learn, but we look forward to exploring and discovering more about our new hometown and the region!
WELCOME TO PAPA!