Safe, Sound, Sleepy

I’m in Budapest, staying at the Hotel Gellert, on a hill in Buda, right by the river. Once I find a wireless hotspot (I’m at an internet cafe in Pest at the mo), I’ll post the story of the two days in Tiszaroff for Jon-Eric’s wedding, a period your humble bloggist would probably do better not to publicize. But hey.

Some

Some pictures

I live out in the woods, as mentioned in previous posts. It’s only about 25 miles from New York City, so I can get my urban vibe on as necessary. This morning, I opened the curtains in my bedroom and saw the following scene in the backyard:

And that’s part of why I love living out here. Not paying rent is also nice.

Last week, my family came out to visit from St. Louis: brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces (four-and-a-half and one, respectively). On Wednesday, while the Nets were in the process of bollixing things up with Kenyon Martin, and while the unspeakable kept on keeping on in Darfur, I went with my family to the Toys R Us in Times Square, so Liat could spend some time in heaven.

She and my brother Boaz rode on “The Big R”:

They also met a dinosaur:

They didn’t give him a funny name. Liat was too overwhelmed by the two-story Barbie store, where she found her true calling: fairy princess.

We went on from TRU to the Plaza Hotel, where Liat got to live out her Eloise fantasies. Unfortunately, my pictures from there aren’t any good. Appreciate the good things. God is Love.

In the MausHaus

I just landed in Orlando for the Parenteral Drug Association‘s annual meeting. It was my seventh flight this year. Fortunately, I don’t have any air-travel till June, when I head out to the BIO show. For some reason (possibly the coffee I had before the flight), I was pretty wired into the turbulence we had on takeoff and initial ascent.

But I mellowed out after a while, read most of Radiance, by Carter Scholz, and listened to the Pod for a little while. Boy, with Radiance, 100 Suns, and Intelligence Wars, you’d think I’ve started to pick up on a trend.

Correction

Turns out the ferry was to Picton, through the Marlborough Sound, which was the eeriest experience I’ve ever had. More to come.

We drove from there to Nelson. Yesterday, I went for a three-hour hike in the Abel Tasman National Park, followed by a visit to The Grumpy Mole, where one of the other members of the tour lived up to his Australian stereotype by drinking 15 beers before shifting over to screwdrivers for the rest of the evening. Said evening, note, comprised less than 4 hours. One of the other Australians was surprised by my behavior that evening. “I thought you’d be more… aggressive,” he said. I think, based on the way I’ve portrayed myself to some people, that he was expecting a Begbie-esque experience last night. Well, there’s still time in Queenstown…

Today was a drive down to Kaikoura (where I am now), to be followed by an evening drive to our destination, Christchurch. Took some wonderful pix yesterday during the hike, and some funny ones during the evening out. But the camera got doused in the sink this morning, and I’m hoping it’s just the battery that’s messed up. I’ll find out when we check in tonight. Grr.

(My New Zealand pix via Flickr)

Etc.

In other news, I’m having a nice, relaxing time here. Been using SPF 30 sunscreen, so I’ve been okay thus far. Except that I seem to have sunburned the top of my head, which is pretty irritating (in more ways than one). Can’t really douse one’s hair with sunscreen, so it looks like I’m going to have to pick up a baseball cap sometime.

Hasta.