18 May 2010

autoškolas and tour guides

 This last Friday we took our first driving test at an autoškola (auto school).

We drove a Škoda (a Czech brand of car), which you see here.  Complete with a little autoškola sign on top of the car to let everyone around you know you are in training.  Fun, fun!  Seems kind of funny being a 30-something in the car!

In Czech, Škoda is a name, but it also means "it's a pity."  What a name for a car!

This test was to see if we were good enough of a driver to bypass the class time.  Luckily, both Jerry and I passed.  Phew!!!  From what I understand we now have to take the written test (it's in Czech, but we'll have a certified translator to translate the test) then one more driving test with an official to see if we indeed know our stuff and then hopefully we'll have our Czech driver's license.

Saturday I got to play tour guide!!  My friend and fellow Hannah's Prayer board member, Kristi had a colleague bringing some of her students to Europe on a class trip.  She asked me if I would give them a tour of Prague.  I am truly no tour guide.  I love finding the back alleyways and I can get ya to just about any store.  But, my ability to remember historical facts and events is nil to none.  So, I commandeered my friend and colleague, Denise.
 This is right up her ally and something she loves to do.

 I learned a lot by touring with her on Saturday!

And I had a great time meeting new people.

After we took them around in the morning we made our way to a Czech restaurant to give them a taste of Czech cuisine.  My lunch was Czech gulash and knedleky (dumplings).  It was so yummy!

The restaurant hired this guy to come around in traditional dress, talk with the customers and allow them to take pictures.  Excuse the photo quality.  I had my little camera that has poor lighting in a very dark restaurant.

What a fun day!  I love touring our beautiful city of Prague!!

12 May 2010

Swagger Wagon

I came across this on a HP friend's blog I frequent and had to share!  Nothing like making minivan driving look cool!!  Ha!  Love it!!

I'm a newbie when it comes to putting videos on blogger. I selected the smallest window and it's cutting it off on my blog, sorry about that. Have no idea how to fix it.

10 May 2010

Mother's Day at a Cermic Market in Beroun

A couple of weeks ago I had to ask a fellow colleague when Mother's Day was because I wasn't sure.  It is not a widely celebrated holiday here, although known. 
Twice a year in a little village outside of Prague, called Beroun, is a ceramic market set up in the town square.  Once in October and once in May.  We already had plans on Saturday and since church is in the evening for us we decided to make a Sunday morning of it.  This will be the last one I get to go to with our upcoming move.  I was (still am) under the weather, but I had to go!!  I realized it was on Mother's Day, but I thought "What better way to spend the day.  A girl's day out!"  So, my friend Julie & I hopped on a morning train for Beroun and arrived around 9:30 to do some shopping.
Our first stop was the ladies room at the Beroun train station.  Hee hee!  Usually I wouldn't mention it, but as we stood there waiting our turn (you know how ladies' rooms are....even in another country!) I began to giggle when I saw this.


Ok, I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but they are selling gifts and clothing out of the restrooms!!!  I guess if they are going to have a cash register in the restroom (in many places in Europe you must pay to use the facilities) then why not?!  Cracked us up!!
On to the square and a pretty one at that!

Here is Julie doing a little shopping action! 

We browsed the ceramics, but there were several jewelry kiosks and we stopped at every one of them.  All but one were handmade jewelry, which we both love!

We had Bramborak (a potato pancake) and ham sandwich.  I have no idea what this thing was called and actually, I didn't care for it at all.  I usually like potato pancakes, but sometimes a tad too much garlic (ok WAY too much!) is added for my taste.  I had to followed it up with something more tasty, my favorite Czech pastry, the trdlo.  Yum!!

Julie had seen some necklaces she really liked and after perusing the market she wanted to go back to take a second look.  They were necklaces made out of recycled glass.  Taking a second look I decided I REALLY liked these necklaces and needed wanted one.
It took both of us several minutes to decide exactly which one we wanted.  We kept finding more and more we liked!!  I finally settled on this necklace with matching earrings.

 I love the name of the product, Lucky Waste.  We had a great chat with the owner/vendor.  She was great!  And she even gave us some other colored necklace strands to change out the colors.  One thing that you are unable to see in the picture is there's white writing in the glass.  It looks so cool!
 Julie & I had a great day together!

02 May 2010

Czech Poliklinika

So you've probably heard me talk about us getting our Czech driver's license to make it easier to get our Spanish driver's license and be able to drive upon our arrival in Spain.
The first step towards getting a driver's license is to get a check up to show you're healthy.  Off we went on Friday to have our exam.
Mind you, I am not a fan of Czech poliklinikas (clinics).  They smell funny, look dirty and often times have paint peeling from the ceiling.  This particular one did not, but I've seen others that did.  Not to mention that this particular poliklinika looked like it had church pews from the 1950s gracing the hallways!  Ha!

And I didn't have a chance to take a picture of the hole in the floor under one of the "pews" where our translator was sitting or one of the broken benches.  
I didn't think it appropriate to take pictures during our "physical."  I will say that the inside of their exam room/office was much nicer looking, as was the lobby.  I just couldn't get past the smell though.  You know that hospital smell in America?  It's worse than that!!!
The exam took all of 30 seconds for each of us (me and Jerry) and I couldn't believe that was it!  They didn't even check our eye sight.  Only asked if we wore glasses.  The sestra (nurse) checked our breathing with a stethoscope and then took our blood pressure.  That was it!  I guess that makes us fit to drive!
After our exam, since we had our babysitter keeping the kids, we headed to our favorite coffee shop, Gloria Jeans.  Then we headed to lunch with our colleague, Megan to one of our favorite restuarants, Maly Buddha, for some crab springrolls & prawns.
We were close to where Angela & I had taken the kids through the orchard, so I thought I'd show them the route we took.  We had to go "off path" a little bit.

It is such a beautiful cobblestone street with great views!

01 May 2010

Out On The Town

After our retreat was over, one or our team families stayed a few extra days.  The first day me and the kids tagged along with them to Prague's tv tower, otherwise known as the Baby Tower.
See why we call it the Baby Tower?

Have a look closer!

A Czech artist by the name of David Černý put babies on the tower (not sure how that came about).  The locals liked it and the babies became a permanent fixture.  The tower has one of the best views in Prague.

Michael snapped this photo of our neighborhood.

 I didn't bring a camera and he did a great job of capturing my kiddos (while Angela stood behind and held the kids on the ledge.  Ha!)!

The next day, Michael was one sick guy.  I hated for their last day to be spent inside and we didn't NEED our 6 kids to be cooped up, even if Michael couldn't go.  So, us 2 mamas got brave and went out on the town.  And did you hear me say "SIX KIDS!!!"  I don't go very far with my 3 alone, so the fact that I was suggesting this was a major step forward for me!  Ha!  And I later realized that because of my confidence, it made Angela confident to do it!  Ha!  I suggested to Angela that we take the funicular up to the top of Petřín Hill.

 There is a beautiful walk over to the castle with beautiful views.
When we got to the funicular there was a huge tour group, so we decided to wait.  I knew there was a little play area right around the corner.

 We let the kids play and then decided to go check out the line.  We had to wait a short time and soon found ourselves loading up on the funicular to the top.

 There are some beautiful gardens at the top and with the trees and flowers budding it is a great time to take a stroll......or run in the case of our kiddos!  Ha!

 We found another little play area and made another stop.
Here we are in front of the Observation Tower on Petřín Hill, a mini replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
 I decided we could walk down the hill.....me forgetting how steep it was, but the kids did well and we shot through an orchard to get to "Mickey Ds" a little quicker.  It was a gorgeous walk down.
I should have known that the McDonald's by the Charles Bridge would be a mad house with little to no seating.  There is a small courtyard behind the McDonald's and we headed back there with the kids.  It was disgusting back there!!  There had to be layers of dirt and food with probably the occasional homeless finding it as a refuge in the cold (although we didn't see any).  While I went to order, taking Angela's 7 year old to help me, Angela found some paper to put down for the kids to sit on.  It was not ideal but in this area of town there was really no where else to take them.  But, we made the most of it and some Italian students fell in love with Angela's littlest even stopping to take pictures with him.  It was kind of humorous!

 We were so proud of ourselves for making it through, even though I had a peak of frustration with our McDonald's situation (mostly mad at myself for thinking this particular McDonald's would be doable.  Oh and maybe that 2 of our kids dropped their burgers on those nasty steps.  Ha!).
We caught a tram and made our way back home to give our kids some rest.
We had a great time with our house guests even though they left a little of their sickness behind.  Ha!


  Deeper - adj. 1. extending or situated relatively far down from a surface: a deep pool. It's been a long time since I've ...