June 12, 2016: A Day in Targu Mures

We had to get up and get moving this morning.  Dominica wanted to do some shoe shopping in Targu Mures before we went to Nikoli and Maria’s home for lunch.  Targu Mures is about an hour drive from Baita and the kids take forever to get ready to leave the house so it takes rather a bit of effort to get out the door in time for just about anything.

We had to be on the road by not much after ten.  The weather was nice and we had a fine drive down south to the county seat.  In Targu Mures we had been told that there was a shopping mall called the Promenade that would have plenty of shoe stores and stuff for us to the west of town.  It ended up being easy to find and we thought that it was very funny that this fancy American style shopping mall was located across the road from a coal power plant.  But in reality, malls are completely inward facing and have no views and shut you off from the outside world and are surrounded by ugly parking lots and so putting one next to the huge eye soar of a coal power plant is actually an excellent use of the space.  Save the nice stuff for places where people will look at it.  So quite smart, I think.

The mall was not huge by any stretch, but it had a fair amount of stuff including even a grocery store.  Lots of great looking restaurants in there, too.  Most with posted vegetarian menus even.

Dominica ended up being able to find a pair of sneakers from an outlet store at the mall.  She now has shiny gold sneakers that definitely scream “Romania.”

The shopping trip took us until around one o’clock and it was time to find our way to Nikoli and Maria’s house which is up on the hill overlooking the city near the zoo.  We did pretty well finding out way there.  Their house is new construction high on the hill over the city with amazing, commanding views over nearly the entire Targu Mures region.

We got a tour of the new house.  The house started buying built in 2012 and is mostly done but has some work left to go.  The views were just crazy so I grabbed the GoPro and got some shots as well as some panoramic shots from the iPhone.

Maria made lunch, which was cheese, caprese and grilled veggies for starters.  Then we had Romanian salad soup with cheesy polenta which is very good.  Then we had potatoes and corn breaded, fried trout which was awesome.  Mihai and Tudor taught us how Europeans eat fish by ripping off the tail and the head, then splitting the fish open and ripping out the bones to make eating it easier.  Although I am not convinced that my way still isn’t easier.

Lunch was great.  Then we sat for a little while waiting for the rain to lessen before we all set out for a walk, except for Tudor who had to go back to work, through the municipal park to the Targu Mures Zoo.

Targu Mures has one of the better zoos in Romania and they have an excellent city park system leading to it which is in just the most beautiful spot, is fed by public transportation, has loads of activities for the kids and lot of food including restaurants and what we would consider carnival style food in the States like fried dough, popcorn and cotton candy.  There is even a mojito stand!

We had a nice time at the zoo.  It was raining but we had brought umbrellas with us so that was not too bad and it did not rain very hard.  We got a pull behind cart to put the girls in so Nikoli and I took turns hauling the girls through the zoo.  They enjoyed getting to ride in the little cart.  It made for a lot of exercise for us, though.

We saw monkeys (I even got to pet one) and a lot of stuff. It is a decent zoo for such a small city.  By the time that we were done, though, the rain had picked up a lot and we were getting very wet.  Tudor ended up running up to pick us up and drive us back (as he had a van) so we did not have to walk the exposed final half kilometre back to the house in the rain.

We went back to the house and just hung out for the evening.  Mostly just standing out on the balcony looking out over the city.  The girls had a great time playing with everyone in the big, empty house.  They did not want to leave at all when it came time to be getting ready to go.  They wanted to spend the night, which we were invited to do, but without my CPAP and with so much to do this week to get ready to go back to the States we need time at the house.

It was ten when we left Targu Mures.  We drove Mihai down to his apartment downtown and then drove back to Baita getting in around eleven.  We were all really tired.  Pretty much everyone was off to bed as soon as they got home.  I stayed up working on getting videos uploaded to YouTube as there was a lot of stuff to get uploaded and we have a dedicated Don’t Forget to Pack the Kids TV page now.