Prague, day 2

Our second day in Prague started much more well-rested than the previous. We enjoyed a great breakfast at the hotel – eggs, fruit, yogurt and granola started the day off right. We headed to the market right next to our hotel to purchase some fresh apricots for a lunch-time snack, then headed off towards Prague Castle!

On the way to the castle, we again passed through Old Town Square, and were again blown away by its beauty! The weather was incredible – 70s and a bright, blue sky. It made the buildings and incredible scenery even more impressive! Even better, we were some of the only people in the square since it was still early. What a great way to enjoy the view! We made our way to the Charles Bridge, and were again almost the only ones there. What a treat! We enjoyed the incredible panorama of the city for quite a time before continuing on to the castle.

After treaking up the hill to the castle we were immediately treated to a stunning view of the city. Quite the reward! Also, we somehow got incredibly lucky and arrived just as the changing of the guard was occurring! We were able to see it occur, which was quite a treat. We explored the area a bit before heading into the ticket booth to get set up for the day.

We decided to spend the entire day at the castle, so got the ticket with the most options. We were really glad that we did – we were able to see so much! We started in St. Vitus Cathedral, which was extremely beautiful. While we were in the space, a tour group that was clearly an extremely well-trained choir treated us to some early music from the center of the space. It resonated off all the walls – such a treat! It was truly exceptional. We continued on to the Old Royal Palace, where we were again treated to stunning views of the entire city of Prague. This area was where kings were crowned, and had lots of interesting information about the governance of the area in previous eras. St. George’s Basilica was next, which was a medieval cathedral. Much smaller than the others, the decor in here was simple but the space was still stunning and beautiful. We took a lunch break then, and had some protein bars and the previously-purchased apricots. this was enjoyed in the Royal Garden with spectacular city views. Quite a lunch break!

After lunch we went down the Golden Lane, a space that was previously occupied by servants, but has been restored to demonstrate what typical Czech houses would have looked like at various times in history. I really enjoyed this one! We ended up going to the Powder Tower, which had a lot of history about the Czech military, and the Rosenberg palace, which was where elite orphaned/poor women studied. Both spaces were really interesting!

On another stroke of good luck, there was a millitary demonstration happening in the afternoon at the Castle. We noticed signs in the morning, so wanted to stay to see that. Both of us were glad we did! We observed elaborate, and very impressive, demonstrations by members of the military on both motorcycles and by foot.

We ended our afternoon by wandering back towards the bridge, but stopping to listen to some traditional street music along the way. We took a break at our hotel for a while to plan our itinerary for the next few days, and then headed back out for dinner. We found a lovely place quite close to the bridge where we enjoyed pasta and beer. Finally, to end our day we got trdelníka traditional dessert in Prague. We wandered back across the bridge at dusk and got to see the castle all illuminated – quite a site! We headed back through the square again, which had quite a different vibe from our morning visit. And now, bed.

Prague, day 1

Our trip from Boston went quite smoothly – long, but basically uneventful. I didn’t sleep much on either flight, so arrived quite tired. A highlight was the fact that we were traveling on Swiss air, so we got chocolate at the end of each flight! Very exciting. We met some friendly travelers on the shuttle bus from the airport into the city center, then went separate ways as we searched for our hotel. We were able to find the location without too much difficulty – it’s really close to the Old Town Square! After we put our things at the hotel and took a quick break, we decided to get our bearings and venture into Prague!

We wandered into Wencelas Square, which was the sight of many previous revolutions. The architecture was beautiful – both Teddy and I felt like it reminded us of the “glam” Hollywood days. Everything looked a bi old-timey, but very awesome. We found our way over to the train station, and managed to get our tickets for the overnight train from Prague to Budapest, so both of us felt much better after that!

Finally, we headed into the Old Town Square of Prague and saw the famous Astronomical Clock. Just as I expected, it was awesome! It was really colorful, and is so interesting! The entire square is beautiful, but we were both too tired to really enjoy it. We managed to keep our eyes open for a dinner of pizza, green beans and beer, then went straight back to the hotel for a nice long sleep. 

Afternoon in Burlington and back to MA

I spent a lovely afternoon and evening with Salka and her roommmates – we picked dandelions to make this tincture with her boyfriend, and spent a large portion of the afternoon preparing the greens. We gathered a LOT, despite our initial troubles with finding a place that didn’t spray their grounds! I’m looking forward to trying the final product. I’ve never used it before, but I’m optimistic.

Later in the evening, Salka’s roommate Alisia made an amazing feast for dinner – taco salad! I’ll have to remember to add that one to my rotation; it was amazing! We started with some rice and ground beef, then added any toppings. Alicia prepared: grated carrots, salsa, corn, diced avocado, sour cream, re-fried beans, limes and tortilla chips. I might be missing something – there were SO many toppings! We enjoyed our meal outside on a beautiful evening as the sun was going down, sipping Ithaca beers and relaxing. It was a wonderful evening! It really felt like summer had arrived.

Salka and I finished up our evening doing more prep for the dandelions, with Friends playing in the background. Now that’s my kind of evening!

On Thursday morning I left bright and early to head back to Watertown for a brief meeting with my future boss. That went well, and I’m getting more excited to start work! I’ll be happy when I’m back to a routine again – things have been vague lately, and I don’t always love that for too long. After the meeting, I spent the remainder of the afternoon preparing things for my upcoming trip. Hostels were booked, tickets were determined, progress was made!

To finish off the lovely evening, Teddy and I celebrated my graduation by going to the Top of the Hub for dessert! The view was pretty awesome. We saw fog rolling in, but by the end of the evening it was clear and we got an incredible view of the sky line! I particularly enjoyed being able to see planes taking off and landing from the airport! It was such a spectacular view. We enjoyed great live music and decadent dessert. It was a lovely celebration!

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View from our table at the Top of the Hub

Burlington

Yesterday afternoon I made the trek up to Burlington, VT to visit Salka! She is currently dealing with a few work things, so I’m relaxing at home. This afternoon we plan to meet up with her boyfriend and pick flowers, take a walk and stop by a few stores downtown.

Yesterday evening we got amazing pizza from a place right around the corner from her house. We enjoyed that with some Headdy Topper beers and chocolate for dessert. Dinner doesn’t get much better than that! We stayed up late catching up with life – we haven’t seen one another since New Years so there was a lot to discuss! We went to bed late last night and started off this morning with homemade pancakes and fresh strawberries with big cups of coffee. I always have such a wonderful time in Burlington with her, and this time is no different! I’m looking forward to another fun and relaxing afternoon with her.

Things are more under control around here. I’ve been taking it easy after the whirlwind that was this weekend. Seeing all but two members of my family always is fun, but the circumstances made it a bit emotionally overwhelming. Nana’s funeral was beautiful, and was certainly an excellent tribute to her life. It turned into more of a celebration of family, which she would have loved. It certainly took a lot out of me, though, so Sunday was spent relaxing on the porch.

Today I’ve had a productive day getting the arrangements ready for the trip. Things are starting to fall into place – a lot still needs to be done, but I’m getting there!

Another happy piece of news – I got all of my grades back for this semester, and I’m all clear. Good to go for graduation! I’ve finished with a 3.8 GPA – I’ll take it!

Tomorrow I’m hoping to head up to Burlington to visit Salka, and to iron out more trip details. Let the productivity continue!

 

Side note: I’ve decided to allow myself to take a break from running until after my trip/move/starting new job. I needed to make a conscious decision to tone things down. I need to give myself permission to not be frustrated with myself for putting that on the back burner. My goal is to develop a new plan of action starting the week of June 9th.

The last day, part 1

Tuesday – ridiculously stressful day. I was at work all morning, during which time I was attempting to coordinate all the presentations for class later, as I am the TA. At the same time, William and I were attempting to finalize everything for our project. Then I met with Rick in preparation for class. After that, I actually had to attend class and do my presentation, which I felt went quite well. After that, I rushed back to my apartment to attempt finishing my packing job. This was thwarted by the roommate. Unsurprising. Eventually the parents arrived to help me finish throwing everything into a car, and we went over to Watertown to see an apartment. It was a great place, but not for me. I walked away feeling very unsettled about where I wanted to live, completely overwhelmed by the day. So overwhelmed, in fact, that I didn’t even get to properly celebrate being completely done with classes!! Hooray!

Wednesday was a bit calmer, but I still worked myself into a great tizzy about trying to find an apartment. Boy, this process is stressful. I spent the vast majority of the morning not working as I was supposed to, but rather looking at apartments online. I was able to get on the phone quite a bit, which was helpful. I’ve been in the process of setting up quite a few places to view, so I’m hoping that one of them will work out! On Wednesday evening I went into Cambridge to stay with Teddy for a few days. Given the parking pass situation, it was just a bit less complicated.

Thursday, today, was my last day at the VA! The first of the lasts. My co-workers got me a cake, which was so thoughtful. I’ve never had a “last day” at work before, but it was a bit awkward. I didn’t really feel like I had anything to be doing, but also didn’t feel like I could leave that early. After the party I tied up a few lose ends, emptied out my desk, and headed out! Now I’m down to two jobs.. Progress is being made!

This evening I saw another apartment, and Teddy and I enjoyed some Game of Thrones with dinner. I then spent a good chunk of time grading papers in preparation for my meeting with Rick tomorrow morning. This week has been stressful, but I’m certainly glad that tomorrow is Friday! I have some busyness on the agenda, but I’m excited. One day closer to true freedom!