• Summer

    still learning travel lessons, in brno

    i am learning to be a minimal packer, and i’m starting to feel pretty good about it. when i go on a trips for just a night or two, i can fit everything in a normal-sized backpack, for sure. i even pride myself on certain packing choices, for instance, my tiny slipper socks. i bring those for some extra comfort on the road, because sometimes you need something between winter boots and socks for padding around the room or property. also, my lightweight cotton bathrobe. easily doubling as an after-swim cover-up, it’s much nicer to throw on over pajamas or underwear when you need to run out to the shared…

  • Summer

    goodbye to winter

    last weekend, we had the final snowy and sub-zero temperatures of the winter. as winter isn’t quite over yet, it seems rather presumptuous to assert this, but a good look at the ten day forecast gives me reason to believe that the spring rumblings have officially begun. so what better than to do all the best winter things?after waking up in flannel sheets with doggie cuddles and a long leisurely breakfast of omelettes, we headed out to buy ice skates. as this was the last cold weekend and the rivers (malše & vltava) had frozen, i was darn well going to get myself ice skates as i had promised myself…

  • Summer

    march friday things

    hi guys, time for a friday things-style post. i don’t know if it is just that winter has gone on for what feels like unbelievably too long, or if it’s so so close to spring break, but i’m just not having it lately, guys. it’s hard to summon up the ire for my work, i need way too much coffee, and my enthusiasm is starting to wane. (alex and i have a joke that whenever one of us uses the the word ‘wane’, the other person has to say, in a garth algar voice, “waaaaayyyyne?” because this is who we are. alas, it’s one more week ’til our prazdniny (holiday)…

  • Summer

    what’s in a name?

    and now, for a post particularly about czech culture! specifically, the “name day”, or as they call it here, svátek. this is a day celebrating the saint that you are named for, or rather that also shares your name. like some other european countries with similar traditions, each day on the czech calendar has one or two names assigned to it. this day is celebrated as your name day. apparently, this day is like your second birthday. it is more often celebrated with children – perhaps some special treats, like a cake or pastries, maybe candy or small presents are given to celebrate this day. you can see in the photo…

  • Summer

    chilled to the bone in třeboň

    i have rarely felt as cold in my life as i did today. ohhh, that brutal winter temperature chilled me right to the bone, i’m sure.it seemed like a good idea to go to třeboň for the afternoon to go swimming at one of the famous spas, but when you go back into those freezing temperatures with damp hair and not the proper under(or over) garments, perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea after all. it was nice, at least, to have a wintry walk through trebon before stopping for chlebíčky (open-face sandwiches) at a café. after returning back to budějovice, i pretty much felt like i might die. just the…

  • Summer

    winter, lately

    so, it’s barely february, but i wanted to pop in and say “hi”! how are you faring this winter? it’s such a mild, washington-style winter this year – high-ish temps, grey sky for days (which is very un-south bohemian, really), fog here and there. i’ve just been focusing on forgetting my phone and spending less time with social media, taking zero photos, and honestly, it’s been really lovely. today was a “cafe day” – our halfway through the school year (pololetní prázdniny) day off tradition. we went to my absolute favorite cafe here in budejovice. unfortunately, they don’t allow dogs so we don’t go as often anymore. the coffee is good…

  • Summer

    christmas in the bavarian alps

    i hope you had a wonderful christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season! as i mentioned in my last post, we zipped away for five days to enjoy christmas in berchtesgaden, germany which is nestled literally between bavarian alps on every side and has a lovely and historical downtown. i’ve wanted to visit this town for years… really only a couple train rides from our little budejovice. berchtesgaden is only about fifteen kilometers from salzburg (really, just over the austrian border). you can take a regional bus from salzburg to get to berchtesgaden in fifty minutes, which is what we decided to do on the way there – it was…

  • Summer

    ten years later, in bamberg

    for the occasion of my mother in law’s visit, a little bit of travel was in order. not only was it her first time in the czech republic, but her first time in europe, so she was really eager to travel west to neighboring germany (a country of her ancestry) to set foot in the vaterland. even though we are really close to austria here, nope! germany it must be. but if you know me, you know that i had no problem with that. i also knew that she isn’t a big fan of major metropolises, and because bavaria is the closest region of germany to us, a specific city…

  • Summer

    friday things: february

    hi all, i’m at you for the monthly ‘friday things’ on the last friday of february! this has been such a busy (yet good) week full of hardcore language studies, teaching, chatting at a čajovna drinking the freshest japanese green tea, and thinking about some great books and stories i’ve read over the past week (and one terrible one, haha).  onward with some happy things & a piece of news! i suppose the news part is… 1) summer plans! i can say now that we are officially heading back to the united states for over a month this summer – it will be our “big trip” this year! we’ll be…

  • Summer

    valentine’s day (& why i’ll always love it)

    valentine’s day is the zenith in an otherwise cold and dark season. it’s nice to feel excited when february rolls around to celebrate this day of love. something i don’t get, however, is why people are so darn stanky about it. i mean, i see why a little bit on social media where everyone is posting photos of their significant other with mushy declarations of love.  to me, valentine’s day is not about just one person and has never been. i will always remember how my parents would surprise me with chocolates and other lovely treats on valentine’s morning every year growing up. or the time that my dad and…