i love making lists. at any given time, there are so many thoughts flying around my brain that list making is really the only way to harness these ideas. normally, i do this offline. i feel odd putting myself out there too much on the internet (really!), but i thought this time (only?) it might be fun to share with you a peek of my spring to-do list. so now that it’s spring (happy spring! how great are all of these extra daylight hours?), here’s what is on my mind….
a day on the river
as i mentioned briefly talking about my hopes for this year, no year is complete without a little bit of boating on a czech river! last spring i so much enjoyed rafting with friends… it took much less pressure off than canoeing on the vltava ourselves (which was a liiiiitle bit stressful) so i can’t wait for some good ol’ fashioned czech outdoor activities to commence.
outdoor music festivals!
this is typically a summer thing, but there is a lot of good music that goes on around south bohemia in the spring, including a festival that is essentially our kick-off to summer! ahh, the warm nights of late spring are some of the best days of the year.
not only festivals, but any warm outdoor days or evenings at a cafe are perfect for spring, too.
visit a botanical garden
it has to happen at least once per year… especially if it falls around my early-may birthday, the best time to visit a garden in my personal opinion! there are so many good ones within a couple of hours from here: the troja botanical garden and botanical garden near karlovo namesti in prague, and this wonderful one not far away, in austria’s danube river valley…
get my balcony garden up to snuff
i love all manner of plants, flowers, and trees, but man, teaching yourself how to garden hasn’t really been easy! (how many basil plants have i killed now?) last year my container garden game was strong, but this year my herbs will be even bigger and better, and my choice of vegetables to grow even more suited to a space that gets maybe three hours of light per day. isn’t that always everyone’s garden goal though? (kind of like christmas!) shoot for the stars!
go to the spa
when i say spa, i don’t mean getting a massage while soaking a vat of tiger lily water or something like that (although… sounds nice). i mean more like the german use of ’bad’ (baths, spa), meaning a pool complex (with natural water) and sauna access! i just didn’t get around to going this winter, so it definitely is going to happen this season. i would go every week if i could! (above, szechenyi baths in budapest)
hiking and exploring in the forest
although you see me going on a lot of city breaks here and there, man, i do love a good woodsy cabin holiday to getawayfromitall. the last time we did this was about a year and a half ago, and these sorts of holidays (consisting of hiking, exploring, and relaxing at a chata or pension) or always so incredibly relaxing. i am fortunate we live so close to the šumava national park (in the very southwestern part of the country, bordering germany and austria) so we’re headed there next month for a long weekend… with our little furry buddy this time.
go to a place i’ve never been before
i feel like i’m always saving up money for something. it’s particularly difficult for me to sometimes find the intersection between “i want to go everywhere!” and “man, it would be nice to have some extra cash”. one great way to remedy this is day-trip excursions! we used to go on these all the time the first year or two that we moved to the czech republic, but as we’ve realized we’re staying (for awhile, at least), our weekends have devolved more to relaxing at home instead. so, i have two ideas of a possible destination to hit this summer… one is a beautiful natural locale here in south bohemia and there other is one of the largest cities in the country that neither of us have been to yet. we’ll see which wins out! (above, gorgeous rožmberk nad vltavou)
get my shoes & clothes repaired
ohhhmuhhgawd, this was on my fall to-do list. which “fell away” as the season wore on! this is a boring but necessary thing that absolutely must happen this season, period!
make springier meals once fresh local produce is more available
ohh, how i love celebrating the change of the seasons and eating locally! there isn’t really much yet in terms of new and local spring produce (although i did spy an empty box of ramps at the store last week) but i’m ready for something fresh and green again! lend me your butter lettuce and your asparagus! tired i am of root vegetables, give me something new!
this week i tried a fabulous recipe from the my new roots cookbook – essentially, it’s a cous-cous salad with beans and an amazing tahini dressing, eaten in red cabbage leaves. i too was skeptical about eating what is essentially a ‘cabbage taco’ because of how strong i know the taste of cabbage to be, but i was so surprised at the mild flavor of the red cabbage vs. green cabbage. a perfect recipe for those pre-spring days where we don’t have much produce yet… and it only took thirty minutes to throw together. (alex approved – he says he would eat a rusty fender if there was tahini dressing on it)
the return of al fresco meals
particularly on our balcony. here is a photo from last year’s first outdoor meal with the surrounding trees and foliage not looking a day past february first… because that’s just what happens here in continental europe in march (and much of april).
picnics and afternoons spent in the park
lastly, when i think about spring, i think about sitting in the grass, barefoot, grass between my toes and making daisy chains… whiling away an afternoon. i used to do this all the time as a university student while reading my textbooks, mostly because i had a bad habit of falling asleep anywhere indoors (perpetual library sleeper, here) so the fresh breezes of spring and the scent of the cherry blossoms on the quad always kept me awake. last year, our first 21°C (70°F) degree day was the very last day of march… so i hope these beautiful spring outdoor times are coming soon!
what is something on your spring to-do list this year (whether big or small)?