08 December 2011

Little Visual Pleasures

Here are two wonderful videos of Prague, my home-away-from-home.
(I wish I could say I was the videographer of these, but, I'm not)


Night in Prague from Metron on Vimeo.

Prague. from Marco Santi on Vimeo.

05 December 2011

Christmas in Prague is in full swing

Sorry I've been MIA for a while.
Life has been busy
and will only get busier with this glorious new season!

I've been spending my days dilly-dallying
at the various German Christmas Markets
around town;
listening to every Christmas song I can find; 
searching for the perfect poinsettia,
near-impossible baking ingredients, and
little do-dads for the flat

and my evenings decorating my humble flat
with simple, but festive delights;
Sipping hot wine and hot cocoa and various teas;
taking more baths than I have all year;
writing numerous wintry Prague postcards to send
as Christmas cards; and
watching tons of old Christmas movies
(Home Alone and Jingle All the Way are my favs)

and my weekends attending Christmas parties
in holiday dresses with gourmet meals to feast on; 
more markets;
cooking and baking for parties,
students, and friends; and
making lists and checking them twice!

And, this weekend we'll be taking a little day trip
to Dresden to see more "genuine" German Christmas Markets!

Then home, to Florida, it is for me on the 20th!
I am thrilled to spend 15 days with my family,
but am also dreading it because I'm not ready for it to come and go
quite yet.

05 November 2011

Lake Bled, a dream come true

Have you ever dreamt about somewhere and wanted to go there so badly
that nothing else compared?

Lake Bled was a dream come true for me.
My wanderlust has been quenched
(for the time being, at least).

Our October week there was breathtaking.
We paddled a boat out to the island, wandered around,
soaked in the amazing Julian Alps at every angle,
and took the boat back to the mainland.
(The boat resembled an over-sized gondola)

We hiked and drove down narrow, winding roads
during the days and ate out at nearly deserted restaurants
in the evenings. 

We stayed on a farm and had fresh eggs and milk every morning.
The smell of french press coffee 
and the sound of roosters and the pattering of rain
woke us every morning.
The thick fog clouded even the mountains
while we journaled and dressed for the day.

The area around Lake Bled truly is a peaceful place.
A place where fantasy and reality mix.

The locals farm and work hard,
but their homeland resembles that of fairy tales.

As Tim put it, "The Czech Republic is like Narnia,
but Slovenia is like The Lord of the Rings."

Well said. 

We were in our happy place.

04 November 2011

A French man in the Czech Republic

Last night I went to see Yann Tiersen in concert
at the Lucerna Music Bar in Prague
with some friends.
The performance was breathtaking.
The music vibrations, the lighting,
the sounds, the vocals, the melodies...
I can't describe it.

I sat there in awe, on the verge of tears.

Listen to him playing violin. You won't regret it.
Or listen to this, the whole band in unison.

We also indulged ourselves to a Korean meal for dinner
and decadent Czech cakes for dessert.

It was a night to remember!

I must say, even with the gray days and frowning people,
I do feel blessed to be in Prague
at this stage in my life.

Next week: The Phantom of the Opera at the State Opera House,
it's a ballet/opera in one!

23 October 2011

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, 
such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, 
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 
For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God 
used to make themselves beautiful."
~I Peter 3:3-5

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Winter is on it's way and I'm heading south

This past week has been one of my busiest.

Teaching. Monthly Pub Talk with my seniors. 
Lunch with friends.
Lots of coffeeshop lounging (our internet's been out).
a new Bible Study. Bellydancing.
Young Life movie night (ten of my students came!).
Drinks with the girls. Baking tons of pumpkin goodies.
Saturday mornin' market down by the river.
Sushi making. TV watching on a laptop with friends.
Pottery painting and pick-ups.

I need a vacation from my schedule!

On Tuesday I'm leaving the country
and driving south
through the Czech Republic and Austria
to Slovenia!
I am so thrilled. A dream come true.
An epic road-trip with two others
to a small lake village in the Julian Alps
for a week of relaxation and hiking and sightseeing
during my favorite season of the year!

Goodbye Prague!

11 October 2011

a stroll at Stromovka Park::the largest park in Prague

by Robert Frost 

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes' sake along the wall.

This past weekend I went for a walk at Stromovka Park with some friends
after attending an Expat Expo, basically an event for wealthy foreigners with families
to find all the English-speaking services in Prague...we did enjoy the free give-aways though! 
I got a henna tattoo on my forearm for free. :)

It was a wonderfully windy weekend with low clouds
and a light drizzle. Besides the walk in the park, I did get my lazy self out of the flat
to see two movies at the oldest cinema in Prague
and enjoyed some good conversation over a thick, hot chocolate at my favorite coffee shop in town
with my roommate who is about to leave me for the States in November. 

The week is now in full swing and I've got new students to tutor (in my flat).
Hooray for not having to travel to more homes!
And I've got a British guest speaker coming and talking to my classes about the British lifestyle.
I am so very excited!

10 October 2011

at home, a detailed look at how I've made this foreign place "home"

Here are some photos of my flat in Prague,
The meals I've been making, and the flowers I've enjoyed,
especially now that the weather has suddenly turned to a foggy, rainy fall.

The little things have kept me sane here.
Tea. Candles. Baking. Flowers. Color. Baths. Coffee. My warm bed. Books and more books.

I think I'll be able to survive a winter here again with these little joys.
And perhaps the occasional trip to the movies...

I went to see two this weekend! Midnight in Paris and One Day.
Both were glorious! I laughed and cried and remembered how much I love Europe
and wanted to fall in love after seeing these two films.

Have a happy week, even if it's a bit rainy wherever you are!


02 October 2011

Welcome October, but, please, can you begin fall weather since September insisted on finishing summer?

This weekend I cooked and baked.
It was somewhat relaxing...
The mornings here are cold, but the days are hot,
so I spent Saturday in my kitchen.

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I am excited for October!
I'm hoping to attend a bellydancing retreat
one weekend in the countryside with some of my dancing classmates.

Plans are also in the works for a road trip
to Slovenia {particularly Lake Bled}
I've only dreamed about this country since 2008.
And now it's becoming a reality!

Then, I've got some fun autumn/Halloween lessons
in store for my students.
Think Hocus Pocus and bobbing for apples
and chubby monkey and candy and dressing up.

Plus! I've got some interesting, new ways to get involved
with my church in Prague.
There's a lot to get excited about!

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Now if only fall would begin already!

Enjoy your week!


29 September 2011

"Thank you, Czech government, for a day off in the middle of the week..."


After sleeping in till 9am on a Wednseday morn
and having a slow, lazy breakfast,
I took the tram to Divoká Šárka with Kristen.

We hiked and took advantage of the nice weather,
with cameras in hand and backpacks full of 
fruit and books and sandwiches,
we set out at a slow pace to see the natural sights
of this Czech National Park right outside of Prague.

In the evening,
I attended a dinner party at the house of some friends.
It was a relaxing night as we chatted in their garden
and ate grapes right off the vine
while waiting for the grilled veggies and chicken to be done.

Their home will definitely be a regular haunt
in the winter.
With their immense collection of teas and books
and a charming fireplace in the corner.
I can already envision a soft snowfall outside on their veranda.

Okay, okay, I really am enjoying autumn.
It's actually really warm outside at the moment,
but I'm ready to curl up and finish Dorian Gray.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!
I'm ready for the weekend; this holiday
in the middle of the week has messed with my weekly routine!

But I loved it anyway!

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