• 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,  Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Winter

    The Best Natural Cold-Busting Remedies

    Hi friends. This autumn cold season has hit unbelievably hard this year. At one point last month I think everyone I know was either sick, getting sick or just getting over a cold. Really nuts. But! Will you believe — and I swear this is true — that this fall alone I nearly got sick FOUR TIMES (as in, felt that initial tickle in the throat, started sneezing, runny nose, etc) but managed to turn that around sometimes within HOURS? It can be done! I wanted to pop in today and share just how the heck I have managed that — the quick answer is due to herbal remedies! I…

  • Budějovice,  Winter

    here we snow again. photos of the green (well, white) stretch of park that is wrapped around the northern border of the city center, na sadech. only a few minutes walk from my house. today: staying warm, planning a sunny summer sweden holiday (ahhhh), and overcame my fear of czech post offices.  it’s not soooo bad!

  • Prague,  Winter

    scavenger hunt

    in mid-january, alex’s family asked us to do a scavenger hunt of certain things as part of their family birthday activity back in michigan. we went looking for some of these things in prague, especially since we had a lot of time on our hands then…. here is what we found. the stipulation is that we must appear in each photo to prove we were there. a traffic light a flag as big as a table (hard to tell from this, but it’s true) something(s) yellow a fast food restaurant (that time i actually had a panic episode in the mustek metro station right before this) a bus (this on taken…

  • Budějovice,  Winter

    still winter

    sure it may be mid-march, but it ain’t spring! currently, it’s snowing again. with no wish nor reason to venture out today, i will likely be practicing german, reading books, tea drinking, and un-stretching my favorite wool sweater, blasted thing. here are some photos of a sunnier time but no less cold time, two weeks ago when alex and i ventured out to some lakes in the north part of the city, Ĉeskê Vrbne.  i really had never seen an entirely frozen over lake before that day.

  • Expat Life,  Winter

    how to just barely get a visa

    the past forty-eight hours have just been sort of a blur of long bus rides.  we traveled to bratislava for the second time to pick up our visas, but it wasn’t all quite as simple as that.  to obtain our visas, we had to show documentation that we have paid for at least six months of czech insurance, and could only pick up the visas within a half hour window.  the bus we wanted to take that would eventually get us home before midnight would leave less than two hours from the visa pick-up time. recipe for stress! after barely making the bus TO bratislava in the first place, we…

  • Life Abroad,  Teaching,  Winter

    english teaching success story

    i think the months of december and january and all the uncertainty and stress about finances, jobs, and visas has all culminated to make up this week: the most successful week we’ve had since arriving in the czech republic. i received notification that my trade license (visa) is ready to pick up– legal to live and work in europe! obtained two new lessons: convinced one student to sign on for eight more weeks of lessons with me after a trial lesson! made verbal plans with landlords to remain living here in this beautiful flat for at least SIX MORE MONTHS for an amazing price. (something i’d been worried about since we moved…

  • Budějovice,  Winter

    any day now

    this past week has been a good one– one that pushed my comfort zone and made me nervous (as i had my first classes) but i think the more i teach the better i’ll feel about it! i’ve been patiently awaiting a ton of things it seems: my visa notification and a couple of packages from the U.S. that have not arrived for whatever reason.  arghhhhh. a great week for alex though, as he got his visa notification and had an excellent first full week of teaching kids.  he says “it went as expected”, which i think means it went well. above are some photos of budejovice from this week.…

  • Daily Life,  Eats,  Winter

    snowy sundays

    awoke this morning with the intention of creating an amazing mexican brunch a la señor moose, my favorite ballard mexican joint.  created chilaquiles with ingredients i had already– basically fried tortilla squares under variety of diced vegetables, two eggs topped with sour cream (erm… plain yogurt) and jalapeños, served with horchata lattes.   this yielded a big thumbs up from alex, who could not believe he was enjoying eating a mushroom, a pepper, and an onion in a single bite (three vegetables he used to dislike). it’s near impossible to get food mexican food here, and they barely even sell mexican spices.  at nicer grocery stores you can pick up…