31 August 2011

My last evening at home

Well, everyone, I'm on my way back to Prague.
It's been a great few weeks in the states, so much so
that I've gotten re-accustomed to the American way of life
and I'm not sure how I'll readjust to European-city life. 

On my flight over the Atlantic I sat smushed between 
a woman from Virginia who read gossip magazines and drank
white wine the whole time.
(She told me she doesn't fly much, but she's on her way to Dubai....?)
and a Canadian girl who slept and held her mother's hand.  

I'll soon be in Prague where I'll have lots of errands to run and people to meet
and a new room to decorate and lesson-planning to do and a birthday
to celebrate. It's going to be a whirlwind of a week...
so I'll post again after the mad rush of the beginning of the school year
and the readjustment period where I'll hopefully settle back into my Prague routines. 

Until then, enjoy my last evening at home with me:

I love my lake,
and Florida skies,
sand-hill cranes,
and Spanish moss,
my dog, our canoe,
bonfires, and
my family.

Until December. :)


09 August 2011

my autumn wanderings: the road leads north: south: east: and west.

Walk with the dreamers,
the believers, the courageous,
the cheerful, the planners,
the doers, the successful people
with their heads in the clouds
and their feet on the ground.
Let their spirit ignite a fire within
you to leave this world better
than when you found it.
                                               * anonymous

Here is my list of destinations on my itinerary for this fall.

image credits
Berlin in September to support a friend running the Berlin marathon.

the Czech countryside for for some weekend retreats
with YoungLife and my Bellydancing studio
and hikes and bikerides with friends.

image credits

Slovenia in October. My dream destination since 2008.
I'm tempted to do this trip solo...

Paris in November.
Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

image credits

Dresden, Germany for a day to explore its famous Christmas markets.
I still haven't been yet, even though it's only 2 hours from Prague.

Paris photo credits here and here

Czech photo credits

Where will the road lead you this autumn? 

08 August 2011

"Picnics are a quintessential European experience"

Some of my favorite memories from the last few months
have happened at picnics.
It's the best way to spend quality time with friends
while sitting on a hill or at a picnic table
chatting and eating and laughing
with an amazing view in the foreground. 

As Rick Steves says, "picnics are a quintessential European experience."
He is spot on.
Especially with the brutal winter Europe experiences,
picnics are essential once the wind ceases and the trees start budding.
In Florida, I took the sun for granted, but in Prague, 
it is non-negotiable,
if the sun is out, we're having a picnic. 

image credits

at the largest park in Prague

Prague Castle in the distance

Letna beer garden, Old Town in the distance

image credit

So go out and try it the European way...
have more picnics!
Solo ones, family ones, group ones, couple ones,
occasion or no occasion, picnics are worthwhile,
especially if you want good travel memories.


06 August 2011

Charlotte, NC: Addison & Sadie: my two most favorite little girls in the whole wide world

This past week I got to spend time with my little 2nd cousins.
It was a glorious week of all things girly
with lots of time spent at the park and in bathing suits.

We ate cookies and marshmallows, drew and colored,
watched old Disney animated films that I hadn't seen in years,
played outside,
played inside,
and used my body as a walking jungle-gym. haha

It was a nice time to stop and relax and not fret about the coming year of planning and teaching.
It was a nice time to remember children and childish ways.
My past
and their present. 

I love these girls.

Addison had a little admirer at the park.

They made a new friend too.

Running in the rain in the front yard. I love summer!

I know you love my little 2nd cousins now too!


03 August 2011

Go figure, I've still gotta hand-wash my clothes even when there's a dryer present...

I am loving playing with my different settings on my camera!
And I am loving using a dryer in the U.S....when I can at least. 

It's crazy thinking about how I've lived without a dryer, without a dishwasher, without A/C,
without a car, without cable or a TV in general for the past year...

All the "necessities" that we Americans take for granted. 
They really are just variables! 

Pick your favorite convenience and go without...you might find you like it! ;)


02 August 2011

A future is all a little girl has to hope for

When I was ten I went to a summer camp where we wrote down our dreams for our futures and sealed them in a little box that we then decorated. Thirteen years later I opened the box and this is what I found:

My mom's and my own charm bracelet when we were little girls.

anything is possible.

So, here's the outcome of these dreams, thirteen years later:
I am not an actress and really have no desire to be one.

I've never lived in a 2 story house, but I do currently live in a flat on the 2nd story.

My parents do have a pool; we got one in 2006. We live on a large lake,
not pond.

I am unmarried, with no promising prospects on the horizon. But we'll see. 
I am hopeful. 

No children as of yet.

I've never been to Colorado, but I currently have some good friends living there 
and some who are from there, 
so a vacation to that side of the country is impending.
I have, however, been half-way across the world.

My family has various canoes and kayaks-but none with a motor.
I wonder if that counts? I'll have to ask my ten-year-old self.

And, lastly, I do not currently live by my parents.
I am hopeful that in the future I will, but as for the next few years
I think Europe has claimed my 20s for herself. 

It's so interesting how we hope for certain futures when we're children,
but as we grow older our actual dreams really do change and shift 
into new ones. 

What were your childhood dreams?

01 August 2011

An evening spent at St. Augustine beach

After our downtown wanderings we slowly retraced our steps back to the car
and drove to the beach
where we people-watched
and played with our cameras
and danced in the water
and jumped in the sand.

It was the perfect ending to our reunion with St. Augustine.

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