• Summer

    DAILY PHOTO: upper panská street my second favorite street in české budějovice, a purely pedestrian lane covered with cobblestones and lined with bright colored cafes, hostels, shops, and restaurants.  HAPPY FRIDAY, all! looking forward to sushi and sunshine in my weekend.

  • Summer

    what i love about “home”

    české budějovice isn’t what i consider HOME home, but it certainly is my home for now and it’s important to think about and remember why i chose to live here and what makes it great. i’ve thought of plenty reasons, but here’s my ten favorite things about good ol’ CB. 1. i LOVE my flat i could easily spend days holed up here in this haven of english speaking, great cooking, and ornate early twentieth century architectural detail, but force myself to get out once and awhile. we really got lucky! the flat next door is vacant as it’s being remodeled, so we don’t have to worry about being too quiet…

  • Summer

    czech eats + winter lately

    south bohemia, a region of central europe that used to be part of germany but now remains in south-east czech republic has a very rich history and traditions. and of course, food is a large part of people keeping their traditions and culture alive. after over a year in the czech republic, i’m not a huge fan of traditional czech meals like goulash, bread dumplings, and pork everything… in fact i’ve vowed to eat very little to no pork in 2014 ‘cause, well, i’m just bloody tired of it! and i’d rather eat other things. but there are many other south bohemian food items i have taken an interest in….…

  • czech culture,  Daily Life,  Eats,  Expat Life,  Language Learning,  Travel,  Winter

    Makin’ Plans

    although it may seem too early, january is an excellent time to begin travel planning! the weather’s pretty crap (ours is hovering just above freezing with never-ending slush rain) making it both tough and undesirable to venture out on day or weekend trips around the region. best thing to do: trip research with a nice steaming mug of tea. and try not to hide out in the house… too much. the first item that is looming over our heads, or at least mine is THE WEDDING: when the heck is it going to happen? planning a wedding when you live abroad is daunting and really almost impossible when we don’t…

  • Christmas,  Czech Republic,  Expat Life,  Milestones,  South Bohemia,  Winter

    Christmas + A Big Surprise

    veselé vánoce, friends! my second czech christmas is technically still underway (as people traditionally get the 24th-26th off work) and it’s magical. this year my mother has joined us from far away washington state and we’ve been doing a whole lot of wandering the cobblestoney budějovice city streets, last chance advent markets, and of course: eating a TON of food (i may have gone overboard with grocery shopping, perhaps to make up for what is now known as our poor czech christmas last year) and a lot of relaxing before our trip to salzburg tomorrow. and, oh yeah……. i got engaged! alex and i have had a few chats about marriage before, both…

  • Budějovice,  Christmas,  czech culture,  Life Abroad,  Winter

    St. Mikuláš Eve

    st. mikuláš (nicholas) eve, celebrated on the evening of the fifth of december in many european countries, is nice, but a holiday i don’t yet quite understand. we have nothing like it in the U.S. i asked a czech friend, “so it’s like santa visiting?” to which she replied, “no, we have that on the 24th when jezizek visits”. so basically, it’s a freebie christmas holiday. chalk up another reason why celebrating the holidays is wonderful in europe. i know in germany, st. nikolaus visits and puts fruit, sweets, nuts, and other treats in the shoes of good children. well, here in czech republic, it’s a bit different! the fifth…

  • Budějovice,  Christmas,  Daily Life,  Life Abroad,  Winter

    December/Prosinec

    ahhh, my favorite time of year is here again! and this year i’m not taking classes and studying like mad so i can really enjoy it. the first snow of the winter fell last week and boy, it was perfect. light fluffy swirling snowflakes: my favorite! got into the spirit and ordered myself an early christmas gift of this pine mason jar candle. (big candles are not a thing here) the path from the bus stop to the plant i teach at (my usual monday and tuesday morning) also, the first place i taught last february, always in the snow. we’ve come full circle! an excellent start of the season.…

  • 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,  Daily Life,  Eats

    Hallo-Week

    hello listopad (november) in czech republic. i’ve seen you somewhere before. oh yeah– it was last year when we moved into you! yes, we arrived on a train from berlin fraught with worry and anxiety over an incident with the ticket checker and also our failure to follow instructions and meet our contact person at the correct place and time at hlavni nadraži (central station), prague. finally we were whisked away by taxi and shown to our simple apartment on kolbenova street, vysočanska district (prague 9). boy, that day was a culture shock. and going to one of the many chinese restaurants to realize we couldn’t say anything… not a lick…

  • Autumn,  Daily Life

    Lately, Fall Pt. II

    this has been a weird week. the weather has been strange (highs of 20’C some days!) and been thinking a lot about the czech republic. one day loving it, the next, exhausted by the stares of crabby old people. thinking about friends, about relationships, about life, about home….. but at least it wasn’t as weird as last week with no electricity, hot water or heat! so thankful to be warm. preparing now for a nice little weekend in eastern bavaria! i haven’t been to bavaria in years, and i’m rather looking forward to a little shopping, some mugs of helles from a famous old brauerei, rich history and architecture and…