+We finally have (mostly) figured out our washer! I’m not sure what most of the buttons mean, still, but the clothes are coming out clean, sans soap, and not dripping wet. Which clearly means we know what we’re doing and it’s definitely not a happy accident.
+ On Friday we headed to South Moravia, better known as Czech wine country, for a quick little getaway (as in, less that 24 hours getaway). We arrived in Mikulov, late, tired, sore from standing on a train for the better part of three hours as it was so packed, and promptly got lost. I’m not proud of the tiny tantrum I may have thrown as we searched for our hotel, but we found it, and immediately found out that the pension (which also had a pet wallaby…what?) also had a wine cellar. Evening saved! The rest of our time, in Mikulov and Valtice, was great. Both are cute little towns and I love me some wine tasting! We went to the Wine Cellar of the Czech Republic and immediately got tipsy because there were so many wines to try and we wanted to make it worth every penny we spent. Yes, we were those people at a wine tasting and it was a lot of fun. After, we made the not-so-wise decision to taste bercak, or young wine. That stuff goes down smooth and needless to say, I’m still recovering.
+ Next week we (somewhat unexpectedly) need to go to Berlin for our visa interview. We were originally scheduled for the end of October, but when a spot opened up earlier, we snagged it, as we need to get those long-term visas ASAP. I’m still unclear as to why we have to leave the Czech Republic to get a long-term visa here, but it is what it is, I guess. We also have to go back to Berlin in about a month to pick up the visa, assuming all goes well (and our visa handler is convinced that it will). Since the appointment is on Monday, we are going on Sunday to explore Berlin. Anyone out there been to Berlin have any recommendations? I need some!!
+ Speaking of travel, we are also starting to plan the Great Christmas Escape of 2014. I have a lot of ideas on where to go, because I always have ideas, but since we don’t know how long we’ll be in Europe, we are planning to spend almost every minute of our time off exploring more countries. Currently, I am thinking Germany-Liechtenstein-Switzerland-Belgium-Luxembourg, but I feel that may be a bit lofty. We need to narrow it down! I’d love to hear from you–where are you favorite places to spend Christmas and/or New Year’s Eve in Europe? I also would love to stay in Prague for Christmas, but I’ve heard it doesn’t always snow here, and I would love to be somewhere with snow. Okay, I need to be somewhere with snow. I’m spoiled by snow at Christmas and a non-white Christmas is a tough pill for me to swallow.
+ Almost every day, E and I look at each other and say “we live here! In Europe!” It doesn’t always seem real, even after two months. I am feeling more settled here. Looking back, I think that the first month was kind of magical–we were in our training program, which was hard, but we had a group of built-in friends, a place to live, and lots of extra time to explore. The second month, to be absolutely dramatic, was kind of awful, and I’m glad it’s over. It really hit me during the second month that we are here for the long haul (it hit me right around the time we signed our lease…) and I panicked. Few friends, and no desire to make new ones; new jobs to support us here that I did not feel qualified for at all; so much red tape to cut through in a language that refuses to stick in my brain; homesickness and the realization that I won’t get to go home until who-knows-when; and on and on. Now that things are more settled, I’m feeling giddy about being here again. I expect that will probably change…ooooh the roller coaster.
+ Does anyone know where we can go to celebrate Halloween here in Prague? I know it’s not a big holiday here (or a holiday at all?) but I’d like to celebrate somehow. If we do find somewhere to go, I guess we need to figure out costumes…what can I make with the clothes in my closet? And with E’s clothes? And black eyeliner and/or silver eyeshadow?
+ I went back to IKEA and it was WAY less stressful than last time. And I sprung for a fall candle! I love candles and fire and mostly they are the closest I can get to a fireplace. Someday, maybe!
+ Thank you to anyone who gave me ideas for one-pot meals! My aunt shared this website with me and everything looks amazing. I am trying to make this recipe but I have not been able to find basil, still! Maybe I can substitute spinach?? That’s pretty much the only other leafy-green thing I’ve seen besides romaine lettuce and iceberg.
+ I’m working with little kids right now and after only two weeks, I’m already feeling an illness coming on. Maybe because three kids at last count have sneezed on me? Despite this possible cold/flu/something, I really enjoy working with kids. I’m putting together a post about the hilarities of ESL teaching–expect that soon! Spoiler alert: one of my classes involved a live grasshopper. Kids!
+ Today we grabbed a coffee (my favorite Sunday activity) and rode a tram near the castle and the Charles Bridge. It’s a great way to see the more touristy sights touched by fall but without getting stuck in the crowds. This place really is beautiful, guys! We rode the specific tram I take to work, because it has a beautiful view of the city, and if you get a good seat, you can get a sudden view of the castle as the tram rounds a corner. It’s especially spectacular as the leaves start to change color. (I guess I’m one of those bloggers that talks about fall all the time now.)
+ This week, an old high school friend is passing through Prague as she travels through Europe. She asked for recommendations and sadly I still don’t know enough about Prague to really make recommendations…but I’m excited to see a familiar face!
What’s new with you? Do you have any fun plans for this coming week?