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Matthias Church in Budapest, Hungary

Living The Q Life

Located in the heart of the Buda Castle District in Budapest is the historic Matthias Church. The current church was built in the 1400’s in the Gothic architectural style, but it was extensively remodeled in the 19th century. The original church was built around 1015, but nothing remains of the original Romanesque architectural style. The Matthias Church sits in front of the Fisherman’s Bastian, which is the wall with towers that surrounds the Danube River side of Castle Hill. The church is clearly visible from the Pest side of the river, especially with its colorful roof.

DSC_0018 Matthias Church

DSC_0305 As Seen from the Pest Side of the Danube River

DSC_0017 The Holy Trinity Statue

The church is named after King Matthias, who ruled Hungary in the 19th century. The church has been the site of several coronations as well as royal weddings, including both of King Matthias’ weddings. Unfortunately, there was…

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Salmon with a Spicy Pepper Sauce

Living The Q Life

During our trips to Mexico, we have always enjoyed having seafood cooked with local preparations. Not all food in Mexico is spicy and this recipe isn’t overly spicy, but it does have a little bit of heat. Although you can certainly use a fish other than salmon, we found that salmon was able to hold up to the bold taste of the creamy pepper sauce. We have often made a hollandaise sauce to go with salmon, but using the peppers provides a different alternative. With the summer months coming, the salmon could also be grilled instead of pan-seared, but pan-searing it does create a nice and crispy skin. We found this dish to be extremely delicious and relatively simple to make. It is also the type of dish that can be made for a more formal occasion or a simple weeknight dinner.

DSC_0533 Blistered Anaheim Peppers


  •  2 Salmon Filets –…

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Off to Russia- The Transsiberian Dream


Russia had long been the pipe dream on my list of travel goals,the white nights of Saint Petersburg,Transsiberian Train and its candy-colored cathedrals taunting me with their unreachable points. It seemed so unattainable—I’d only known a few people who’d gone, none of them traveling solo, and the winter looked brutal. I’m a notoriously independent traveler with little patience for the cold, so I knowing that I couldn’t handle a Russian winter, I made plans to visit in April’19. But the solo travel seemed more difficult to wrangle.

I remember falling in line at Russian Consulate in Kolkata very early in the morning without even brushing as I reached by train that day to apply for visa. The officer looked at me as if I am some kind of weirdo dropping by chance but she was generous.”So,you are flying by Aeroflot”, She asked and I nodded in a yes to which…

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#GourmetGoals at Grand Velas Riviera Maya

AAA Five Diamond, all-inclusive excellence awaits in the Mexican Caribbean at Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Aside from offering expansive accommodations with striking ocean views or mystical garden vistas, this locale offers guests a plethora of activities, like the award-winning SE Spa for adults, exclusive state-of-the-art teen’s club and baby concierge for little ones.

This family-friendly paradise will also please all discerning palates alike with its one-of-a-kind dining and an array of restaurants led by world-class chefs…including Cocina de Autor, the AAA Five Diamond all-inclusive restaurant at the hands of world-renowned celebrity chefs, Chef Bruno Oteiza and Chef Mikel Alonso. (One of our favorite on-property experiences!)


Also new to this culinary haven? An ancestral tasting experience 60 feet underground in one of the destination’s relatively undiscovered cenotes. Cenotes, for those unfamiliar, are deep natural wells or sinkholes typically in the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula formed by the collapse of limestone…

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Bratislava Castle in Slovakia

Visited this beautiful Castle on June 9th.

Living The Q Life

Sitting on the hill above the city of Bratislava is the historic Bratislava Castle, the Bratislavský hrad in Slovak. The original castle dates back to the 13th century, but it was obviously modified many times over the centuries. By the early 1800’s, the castle was in a state of deterioration and was being used by the military for barracks. It was also damaged more during the world wars, but in 1953 the decision was made to restore the castle to its former glory and it is now a popular tourist site within the capital city of Bratislava.

DSC_0361 Two of the Four Towers

DSC_0362 Castle Garden

DSC_0358 View from the Castle

We visited the Bratislava Castle in May, so the gardens were just beginning to bloom, but we can certainly can imagine what they must look like in the summer months. The castle itself is a rectangular building with four towers, one on…

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The Wine and Beer of Hungary

Living The Q Life

We had heard in advance of going to Hungary that it was known for the wine that it produced and we certainly weren’t disappointed. In addition to having several wine regions that produce very interesting wines, we also discovered that Hungary has a craft beer scene, at least in Budapest, that is very similar to what we have in the United States. We also went to a specific wine tasting with a charcuterie board where we learned about the various wines as well as the history of Hungary.

IMG_0097 The Dreher Lager

IMG_0685 Wine Tasting

IMG_0678 Many Varieties of Local Wine

The region that we heard the most about for producing excellent wine was Eger, which grows both red and white varieties of wine. As far as red wine from Eger, the Bull’s Blood or Egri Bikaver was really good and came with an interesting back-story. Legend has it that in 1552 a…

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St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest

We had the pleasure to attend Organ Music Concert on May 17th. Just fabulous!

Living The Q Life

One of the focal points for any visit to Budapest is the St. Stephen’s Basilica. Located in the Inner City District, it is in the heart of the old town region with all of the restaurants and shopping. Visiting the basilica is free, but there is a recommended donation of 200 Ft (~2 euros) for entering the cathedral. The inside of the cathedral is quite beautiful with all of the ornate gold arches and wonderful domes. Another highlight of the basilica is the observation deck, which has spectacular panoramic views of the city from a different perspective than those of the Castle District or the Citadel.

DSC_0181 The Front of the Basilica with the Bell Towers

DSC_0228 One of the Ornate Interior Dome

DSC_0203 Focal Point of the Basilica

DSC_0302 View from the Observation Deck

DSC_0186 Golden Arch

DSC_0299 Roof of the Bell Tower

We actually visited St. Stephen’s Basilica twice, once on a rainy day…

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Fisherman’s Bastion in the Castle District of Budapest

Living The Q Life

The Buda Castle District is one of the most popular locations to visit in Budapest and the Fisherman’s Bastion is definitely one of its most unique features. Built in the late 1800’s, the Fisherman’s Bastion has some interesting architecture that is both in the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque styles. It is basically a wall with towers along the edge of Castle Hill that surrounds Matthias Church and has wonderful views of the Pest side of Budapest, the Danube River, and the Parliament Building. Because so the Castle District is so popular, you will likely find the area to be very crowded, especially due to the river cruise ships that stop in Budapest and give their passengers a day to tour the city.

DSC_0048 The Largest Tower of the Fisherman’s Bastion

DSC_0060 Statue of Stephen I of Hungary

DSC_0054 View of St. Stephen’s Basilica

There are seven towers in the Fisherman’s Bastion that represent the…

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