• Budějovice,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    A Winter Cafe Day (with JORD)

    Ah, the half-term cafe date. We have a lot (a lottt) of annual traditions, but this one is perhaps the most simple yet satisfying one to inject a bit of magic into an otherwise humdrum winter Friday afternoon. Almost certainly I’ll have the afternoon off, so we’ll head out to a cafe. This time, we headed to Cafe au Chat de Noir, one of my favorites in town. The coffee doesn’t really blow your mind but more importantly: as soon as you step inside, you feel like you’ve been transported to a European cafe at the turn of the 20th century. At a time where hip, modern third-wave coffee bars…

  • Bad Ischl
    Austria,  Budějovice,  Christmas,  TravelTips,  Winter

    An Austrian Alpine Holiday

    As it’s the last weekend of the holiday season, so a perfect opportunity to share a little bit about 2019’s holiday season and our Christmas spent in the Salzkammergut. Before we left, we had a nice relaxing weekend wrapping up the work year and taking in some tunes and last punches in our beautiful square. On our way home from doing some Saturday morning errands, I noticed a tree in the park near our house full of fruits and things tied on with a sign. (Below, with the message “Christmas tree for homeless people – Have a beautiful Christmas”) I love when whimsy and kindness intersect and to see this…

  • Austria,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Thoughts,  Winter

    This Festive Season

    Sometimes people ask me if I’m going back to the States for Christmas and the answer always seems to be… no. Don’t get me wrong, I deeply enjoy being back in my hometown for the holidays, away from the big city bustle. Every year when we would get on that on-ramp away from Seattle, there was something incredibly peaceful about driving north on I-5 and watching the sprawl slip away. Driving around the island on Christmas Day, Sufjan Stevens‘ album always playing on the car stereo. The white skies, tall evergreens, the sea. Again, I have to use the word peaceful, but a certain, specific peace only this kind of…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Prague,  South Bohemia

    It’s November (Life Lately)

    Hi friends, happy November! For the first time in awhile, I did not manage to make the annual ‘Spooky Movies to Watch in October’ list. Shame, that. Just for anyone interested, we did continue with our October Movie series and watched in the following order over the course of the month: The Raven (1963) – A Vincent Price classic. Hokey but perfectly Halloweeny, and containing one of the funniest spooky scenes in cinematic history: a magic duel between Price and Boris Karloff (not in a monster role) from thrones. It has to be seen to be believed. ᇫᇫᇫᇫ The Babadook (2014) – Creepy, a bit dystopic, that feeling of losing…

  • Autumn,  Czech Republic,  Herbalism,  Lifestyle

    Mushroom Foraging on St. Wenceslas Day

    “Our Czech forests are overflowing with mushrooms.” — an actual line from a local news report St. Wenceslas Day (Sv. Václav) is one of my favorite Czech holidays. It’s right after the official turn to autumn, the school year’s right about to get into the usual swing except for this last holiday weekend to enjoy the simpler things about the start of the season. Normally, I like to visit some sort of happening to watch folk-dancing, browse the craft markets, have a glass of wine or if I’m lucky, burčák (Federweisser aka “fermented alcoholic grape juice” – a wine byproduct). I had every intention of doing that as we started…

  • Daily Life,  Expat Life,  Prague

    Small Kindnesses in Prague

    On a day early last month after recently having got back from the States, both of us had enough time to make it to Prague for an appointment and an afternoon of rainy cafe-going. It was such a cloudy grey day but as all of our business was to take place in Nové Město (New Town), I took it as a great opportunity to poke around a few places I hadn’t got around to yet, to stroll down some streets that I had never bothered to take. Even though it wasn’t “leisure” that brought me to Prague, I always believe in injecting a bit of leisure in everything. We passed…

  • Czech Republic,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Czech Republic’s Must-See UNESCO Sites

    sometimes it feels like you may have all but exhausted the travel opportunities in your immediate surroundings. when this feeling strikes, turning to a list of UNESCO heritage sites in your vicinity makes for some great trip (or even day trip) inspirado. i am unofficially trying to see all (or as many possible) of the UNESCO sites in czech republic. here are some that i’ve already checked off my list, and some more that i’m hoping to see in the future… PRAGUE’S HISTORIC CITY CENTER why is it UNESCO? it’s one of the most important and best preserved medieval city centers in europe! in few other places in the world…

  • Eats,  Life Abroad,  Prague

    Starbucks Abroad: Prague

    so, i can’t hide it. i’m from the seattle area and i love starbucks. i’ve worked for them for almost four years directly preceding this adventure. in fact, i was a barista trainer, teaching new employees the low down on how to make the perfect cup of coffee or latte. so, love it or hate it, it’s with me now… there’s no getting away from it. and visiting starbucks abroad really makes me feel at home. i can have a cappuccino or a macchiato any old day, but i can rarely get a good cup of christmas blend or a gingerbread latte, so it’s something special these days. recently while…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad

    My Own Private Náměstí

    české budějovice is a really beautiful city and has so many lovely spots: česka street, main town square, which is actually called přemysl otakar II náměstí. but currently my favorite place is a lovely little square called piaristické náměstí– piarist’s square. i had no idea what a piarist was until i came across the term mentioned in the good soldier svejk– a nickname for people belonging to: the order of poor clerics regular of the mother of god of the pious schools. this would make sense because this city has a loooong religious tradition, as it has been the seat of the roman catholic diocese since 1785. bam. so anyway, i’m walking to a lesson sometime…

  • Autumn,  Budějovice,  Life Abroad

    Dark/Light

    day two of unexplained power outage continues. arg. yesterday evening, i made swedish meatballs to celebrate leif erickson day (instead of columbus day) in the waning daylight on our gas stove lit with matches. it was funny to sit in the measly light of candles like the vikings must of done. today i took the plunge and had a cold shower. it wasn’t quite as bad as i thought. sort of reinvigorating in the middle of the day, to be honest! not a huge fan of the heat not working, but eh, we have blankets and tea. we will survive. besides the cold showers and no heat, i’ve actually been really…