Thursday, 23 October 2014

Day One: Prague

Waiting for take off.
In the air!
Flying was interesting. At our local airport,  there was much fuss about Swamp Fire, our signature farm seasoning, that I was bringing to my friend as a thank you gift. My joke that it is "the bomb" but not "a bomb" was not appreciated. Neither was my observation that my boarding gate was C4. Also, at each check point I was taken aside for "special" treatment and reassured that I do not fit the profile of the Panty Bomber.  Not something I was able to find online with a quick search, as the underwear bomber is not someone who looks anything like me.  Still, I made every connection, sometimes breathless and last to board.

I was relieved and travel weary when the plane landed in Prague.  Thank goodness for good friends, seriously. I was so happy to see Adrienne! All the way around the world for a hug. It took me two years to follow through on a promise, but I did it. Well worth the effort.

 And this is the neighbourhood that I spent most of my time in. This particular pub had fantastic gnocchi in spinach cream sauce, so good I hope to make it soon for the family. Mmmm, mmmmm.

Mostly, day one was just getting settled, and day two the same. 

People keep asking me why I went. I answer a couple ways:
One: it was my pig escape money goal. Every time Chad needs help with escaped livestock and swears at me, I get 50$. Ha ha. This is no longer an issue and it actually did not generate enough money for such a trip.
Two: Bucket list, true. Going to Europe was a long term goal. Living there was actually a childhood dream.
Three: In grad school, I had a nursling when I should have been taking the semester abroad in Italy that other Architecture students were required to do. I have always felt this was a gap in my education. This short trip is far from filling that gap, but I have a lifetime to do so.
Four: A vacation? I feel so guilty even allowing myself to admit this outloud. I grew up poor. Free lunch poor. Taking a trip like this is a luxury I don't deserve. It makes me one of them, the not poor. That is a hard thing to swallow, especially after our new transition to grow our farm in which we will have to use government programs for health care and the like. Confused? I don't want to admit we'll be poor or admit we were well off enough to send me on a European vacation. 
Five: Opportunity knocked. The set of circumstances that made the trip affordable all lined up.
Six: It was a personal reward, if I followed through with sending my work out into the world and it was accepted for publication, I would do this. I would have earned this.
Seven: Travel unravels us in ways that are intangible. I needed that unravelling at my seams so I could take up the pieces and reassemble with stranger threads.

Details of the trip budget, since this is the next question I get:
Ticket: I watched flight prices for more than a year, fluctuate. I could have gone to Priceline and a round trip ticket I scoped out was $600 but not refundable and lots of layovers. I opted instead to fly AirFrance/Delta and even pay an extra $75 each way to fly out of the Atlanta hub. Ticket total was around $1300 with all the fees ect.
Passport: $200 with the fees and photo and new driver's license required. That's its own story.
Food and Museum fees while there: $200 for ten days.
Train: less than $20. It was 220 crowns I think and I am too tired to do the math. 1000 crowns=48$.

Lodging was free- stayed with Adrienne the whole time. Huge savings and pretty much what made the trip doable and worth it. She was a guide and translator, and really made the trip fun and local.

The weather was perfect, warm and sunny or overcast and cool (perfect for photos). Fall was full of colour too.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Get ready for it

I'm back, weary from travelling, with 1000+ photos to sort and share, many many stories to tell- including but not limited to getting on the wrong train in rural Czech Republic, the encounter with the drunk French guys, swearing in 16th century Scottish at a brutish ex-pat, touring the infamous and miraculous chapel of bones, and paddle boating near the Prague Castle.

Wait for it. It will be well worth it.

Until then, I am buried in midterm paperwork, laundry, and farm business....not to mention sleep to battle jet lag.

Here's a wee taste to tide over.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Full of Wonders

The world is so big. I used to think this was a childhood thing. That the world was as wide and as big as all I could see from my highest tree swing. It's bigger. So much bigger. It gets bigger everyday.

We spent the day at the Science Center exploring. The girls know what to expect, go right to their favourites, but is all pretty new to him. We avoided it mostly when he was little because of germs and vaccination season (shedding), and flu season. Now, I think, we can navigate the place on a not busy weekday and also he's over the whole licking things phase (I think/hope).

We spent the day runnning full speed ahead through life and everything. CAVES! SNAKES! STARS! OOOOOOH LEGOS! ROCKET SHIP! Everything was good and better and wonderful.

Pretty much. That's our life these days.

Fresh Made Beds

Fresh made beds. We used to totally ignore making beds. Why bother? But ever since I got my favourite bed out of storage and set up, furniture arranged how I like it, and the room just right? I want it made every morning. So, it gets made. And laundry placed on it to be folded? Gets folded quickly.

Making this a daily routine has helped my spirit lift and get the rest of my day organised.

Bonus? I posted the pic on FB and got so much love! I mean, I love the space and the colours, but hearing compliments is always a nice thing. Thank you all!

I'm getting ready for a pretty big trip here to visit a friend and give her a big hug. We've been gearing up for it for months, but everything fell into place and I leave in 6 days. Wow.

Still to do: Pack freezer meals for Chad and the kids. Clean Holly's room. Clean out both storage rooms. Set up weight bench in one and desk in the second. Take clothes to charity. Pack. Again. Clean camera. Print tickets.

Back to work!