• Summer

    at winter’s end

    maybe this is far too optimistic for me to state at the beginning of march – this time last year when the ponds and rivers were frozen over – but the forecast here in the czech republic now seems firmly rooted in comfortable temperatures… dare i say it, springy? march has never been an easy month for me, but i actually see spring is on its way. 17°C (or warmer!) days becoming more frequent, wearing the shoulder season jackets in favor of the big bulky winter coats, sunglasses, drinking a cappuccino outside … i can feel it! although winter has treated me very well this year. it was one of…

  • Summer

    february city hangs | prague & linz

    it’s been such a great month so far! i thought january was good, but february seems even better and the fact that we just had our semester break and i enjoyed most of a week off work was just the thing. i was thinking i’d head to prague on sunday, the second day of the month, until  there was a “severe snow advisory” (??!) warning and decided not to mess with that. (besides, a friend of mine had to spend the night on a train last autumn when she insisted on traveling in heavy winds! trains + inclement weather = not going there) instead we went on monday when there was…

  • Summer

    january lately

    ah january, time to hunker down with a candle, cup of tea a stack of books and your favorite tv shows and films. or my favorite winter activity: i call it the ‘read-nap-read’ (or “the reading nap”) on a cold sunday afternoon with falling snowflakes outside the window. it’s typically hard to grant myself time to do those things, but winter does give me permission! what have you been enjoying? i’m making my way slowly through a little life (and all of its seven hundred something pages) as well as chunks of other books also on my nightstand.  i’ve also been watching a bit of ally mcbeal season 4 (the…

  • Summer

    nyepi: a quiet new year

    while i was at iceland airwaves, i managed to catch ólafur arnalds’ much-buzzed-about set on the first day at kex hostel in reykjavik, and he played a beautiful song called nyepi. while i enjoyed the song, the message behind it made much more of an impression on me: nyepi is the balinese new year’s “day of silence”. (have you heard of it?) arnalds explained that he lives there much of the year and had recently participated in this day of silence in which the city actually turns off the internet, no electricity is used, no travelling is permitted, no work, nor music or loud noises, and people generally just sit…

  • Summer

    a simpler sort of christmas

    hello all, i hope you have  had a magical christmas wherever in the world you celebrated it, if you are in fact celebrating, that is. once again, we had a truly czech christmas here in budejovice. normally we get almost two full weeks of holiday for christmas, and we opted to stay put this year mostly because 1) iceland, which i felt was almost like a christmas in and of itself, but also 2) our visa issues (from receiving it to reapplying for our next) making us a bit lighter in the wallet this time of year. but no matter, we had decided to fully embrace a simpler sort of…

  • Summer

    hello, winter

    hi! solstice greetings! do you like to do anything to observe the solstice? every year in summer, we have a picnic that i like to try and make go on for as long as possible. but in the winter, it’s about turning more inward. ideally, i would go for a walk in the woods and soak up every bit of those precious sun rays that shortest day of the year (some nature element is important here – to connect with the earth), and then spend the evening indoors watching a movie lighting all the candles in the house. one particular winter solstice (our first in europe) it happened also to…

  • Summer

    december, lately: a lot going on at the moment.

    whoa, what a big few weeks it has been! in the wake of receiving our visa extention in october, alex and i had been furiously studying to make sure we aced our elementary level czech exam, which is far too expensive to re-take (not that we even have the time to do so) but fortunately, three and a half hours later, we victoriously walked to the bus stop with our certificates! we did it! not going to lie, but this little (big?) victory has instilled some major confidence. i think it is deserved confidence, for all those times that i doubted myself and didn’t want to try speaking czech, or…

  • Summer

    imagine peace on viðey island

    as one of the main reasons we went to iceland was to celebrate my mother’s birthday as a family (which luckily happened to be directly after iceland airwaves ended), i started thinking of something memorable we could do together. one of the first thoughts that came to mind was a day trip to viðey island. you may remember how much i like tiny islands? having been to flatey (which is only just a tad bigger) in the west fjords on my last trip, two years before. it is really not often talked about, but there there are a handful of tiny islands in the kollafjörður bay (of which viðey is…

  • Summer

    airwaves glory days

    i just had one of the best weeks of my life in iceland. now, i don’t want to get this crooked: it’s not because iceland “the vision”, magical fairytale place you hear mentioned all the time these days. reykjavik is a cold, dark (in the winter), windy place. it’s sprawling as all get out. it’s not always picture-perfect colorful buildings. even so, i have ended up falling in love with this city and country whose culture and music i so revere– that icy, treeless grassy nordic island. that’s what this ‘best week’ business is about. it’s also chalked up to the festival of my dreams (iceland airwaves – an annual mostly icelandic…

  • Summer

    spring prague staycation

    our spring prázdniny (holidays) last week were so nice! after recovering from brno, we had some great days at home (i actually had a few lessons) and finally had time to do around-the-house stuff and some social visits before heading to prague for a day or two. the reason i was so excited to go there was to stay in the gorgeous nicholas hotel which happens to be in our old hood of malá strana (i can highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere a bit nicer in this area, also equipped with kitchenette). but before we checked in… a bit of shopping. alex’s birthday is coming up very…