Monday, September 3, 2018

We're Going to the Baltics!

As those of you who read my blog know, I love Budapest.  For many reasons: architecture, food, music, wine, and more.  In general, I really like Central and Eastern Europe.  This interest began in 2001 when I had a Fulbright to a small city in Romania called Sibiu.  It culminated in 2009 when Tony had a Fulbright to TImisoara Romania.  In our various trips to Romania (Fulbright gigs), we came to know and love Budapest--because it was so close and affordable--and  then other cities, such as Prague, Vienna, Krakow, Bratislava, and more cities in Hungary. 

Readers of this blog will  also know that I am enamored of turn-of-the-centry architecture, particularly though not exclusively, Hungarian.  So when I read somewhere that Riga, Latvia had the most Art Nouveau architecture of any city in the world, I knew I had to go.  (Actually, I doubt that claim, or at least I think it must be per capita, because Budapest still has a LOT of secession architecture and it is a much larger city).  I had also at one time wanted to visit Tallin, Estonia because it has such a beautiful old town, another of those relatively few cities with an intact medieval core. Researching a visit to Riga and Tallin, I discovered that most triips include the third Baltic state, Lithuania, especially its capital city Vilnius. 

Three small countries, out of the way, (relatively) off the beaten tourist track, Central Europe, lots of architecture.  I was hooked.  I raised the subject with Tony who always says yes.  And voila.  We had our November trip.

EXCEPT we encountered major house renovation (another well trod topic of this blog).  So we delayed making a final decision until we knew what this was going to cost us. 

BUT we recently found out that the insurance company was going to cover the cost of the floor.  (This is another very long story which some people have  heard too much of.  I won't go into  the details except to say that it was a long battle to get them to agree and that my former experience as a technical writing teacher really came in handy--that and my stubborness).  So voila again!

We will be gone the first two weeks in November. (Yes I do know it will be cold, but it will not be crowded with tourists).  It is  an adventure and something that we better do sooner rather than later.  And the prospect of a trip lifts my spirits.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Doors and Floors: Dared and Done

For all  those who have followed our doors and floors saga from afar and for all those who have suffered through my endless re-tellings from nearby, here is the ending.

On last Thursday, the doors arrived.

On Friday installation began.

However, it wasn't finished on Friday, so we  spent the weekend in a cave-like version of our house.

We also spent the weekend clearing  out the room where the floors were to be installed soon.  All of it landed in the guest room, which Mags and Ken were due to inhabit in exactly one week.

On Monday the doors were finished and on Tuesday the floor installation began.

Tuesday:   tearing out the old floor.

Wednesday: building up the subfloor:

Thursday:  putting in the new  floor:

Friday morning, still  putting in the new  floor.  Installers leave about 12:30.  I dash over to the house and start
moving stuff from the guest room to the living room.  About 2:30 our guests, Ken and Mags, arrive and everything looks great.

Later in the week, we are celebrating at the Fitz.

The whoe thing  lasted from when we found out in mid-May until the third week in August.  Three months of uncertainty, decisions, waiting, waiting, waiting.  To all the many people in the Keweenaw who listened (and listened and listened) to my tale of woe, I offer my serious gratitude.  And now doors and floors are done, and we can start the second, more settled, part of summer.