• 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…

  • Life Abroad,  Travel,  Yearly Recap

    Year of Life & Travels: 2019

    Hello all! Hope you had beautiful holidays if you were celebrating! The Czech celebrating period seems to go for about two weeks so I am still enjoying the beautiful downtime, lit candles, all of our decorations and tree – this time is honestly one of my absolute favorites of the whole year, even though Christmas is over. We’ve just had a nice holidays in the Salzkammergut lake region of Austria, not very far at all from Salzburg (but in the smaller villages). I will post about it soon but I wanted to get to the annual and much anticipated (by me, if nobody else) ‘Year in Life and Travels’, 2019…

  • 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…

  • Austria,  Autumn,  Language Learning,  Thoughts,  Travel

    Language Progress + Thoughts on Solo Travel

    “That was a really good lesson. I felt like we sort of… are getting it now, you know?” A moment Alex and I shared after our Czech lesson today. We started taking Czech language seriously in autumn 2015 – that means it’s been now over four years of really studying the language. Before that, I had taken a couple classes sporadically the year I first arrived although they didn’t amount to much as I was a total beginner in a class with people who clearly had some sort of grasp on the language and a teacher who couldn’t explain Czech grammar in my native tongue. Four years of serious study!…

  • 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…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism

    How Does Your Garden Grow

    A couple of weeks ago, we had the most beautiful late October day you could ever dream of. Even now, in the late afternoon the sun is already setting, I couldn’t help think as I walked home with a basket full of vegetables from the garden plot for the second to last time this season how lucky we were this year with this beautiful Indian summer I keep raving on about — this sort of weather would even be out of place for late September, let alone October. Readers may know that this summer was the first year I had my own garden plot in the earth to work with…

  • 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,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Lifestyle

    Photo an Hour – An October Weekday

    I haven’t done a ‘Photo an Hour’ for years, but as I was enjoying my pumpkin pie oatmeal that day, I just thought gosh, I think it’s time for another one! This was on the first day of October, a weekday, and what I thought was the final day of summery weather this season (I would be wrong – our Indian summer is going strong!) So this post is for all the daily life blog post lovers (like myself). Be the post you want to see in the world, I think someone famous once said 😉 I woke up at roughly 7:15 or so this day. Took the dog out,…

  • 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…

  • Expat Life,  Language Learning

    Adjusting, pt. II

    Last Monday afternoon, I walked out of my building, onto the street, and along one of the main streets of the center of town where pedestrians and commuters of all sorts are walking to or from their various activities — lunch, school, work, and I heard Czech language all around me (wot’s this?). After almost seven years in this country, that caught me off guard. I know, kinda stupid. But I had just spent the weekend in my home, watching films (#octobermovieseries), spending time with English-speaking friends, reading American newspapers. I was tucked in my warm and cozy oasis of English and culture and loving every second. However, as the…