Tuesday, February 18, 2014

have kids, will travel

traveling is tiring. traveling with children? let's just say it's good i love it (and them) so much.

this weekend was a four day for joel, so we headed to prague. we decided to take the train so we could get a compartment and the kids could run around, and it was only when we went to book the tickets that we realized we would be on a bus for part of the trip. and it was only on the night before we left that we realized we would be on that bus for 4 hours.

i'll let you recover from falling on the floor.

four hours, on a bus, with two very energetic children. i might have cried a little.

in their defense, they were perfect on the train and for the first 3 hours on the bus. it was that last little bit, getting into the city at 6 that they started to come unglued.

but i digress.

prague was a beautiful city, full of amazing, old buildings, many of which were gothic style, which i love so much.

on our first day, we took a tour through sandemans new europe tours. we do this tour in each city we visit, because they are free tours that are incredibly informative and usually hit the highlights of the city, allowing us to get our bearings and figure out what we really want to go back to. you would think that a 3 hour tour would be a no-no with kids too, but ours are suprisingly tolerant and both were fabulous during the tour. cora slept int he ergo, and bella is at a great age, where she was able to walk along and listen, seemingly enjoyed seeing the sights (though maybe not the ones we were interested in), and when she did get bored, she was easily satisfied with a bite of chocolate (i am not above bribery/rewards) or sitting on a step talking to a random stranger. a couple of times, we even busted out her tablet.

this tour took us through the main tourist areas, including a very preserved jewish village. i thought the history behind this area was possibly the most interesting thing of the weekend.

if you are traveling around europe, i highly suggest taking a tour with this company.

later in the afternoon, we went up to the prague castle to walk around. there is a beautiful gothic cathedral up there and we walked around the grounds and through the cathedral before heading back down through a vineyard.

day 2, we headed back to the old town and towards the charles bridge. it was significantly colder so we had to stop for hats and gloves!

the views from the bridge were beautiful, but admittedly, the cold had us not stopping very long in any one place. we booked it across and perused some shops, checing out all the amber jewelry and crystal, before heading back across the bridge to get lunch.

prague has several american restaurants, and while i used to scoff at people going to a european city, only to eat at american establishments, i ate some crow so i could eat some fried pickles and chicken wings with RANCH DRESSING (i cannot contain my excitement at that fact. real, american style ranch dressing!) at hooters. yes. classy.

in the afternoon, we headed to the vyserhad cemetery, which is in a walled in village high up on a hill. there is another beautiful gothic church there, along with stunning views of the city from the wall surrounding it.

our last day, we went back to climb up to the top of the astrological clock in the middle of the old town. we had a minor set back when bella threw her first breakdown tantrum of the trip. but after a little reasoning, we worked it out and headed up. more spectacular views and bella even found and named her own landmark-a spire seen from all around, which she named "the moom castle". the people around us were entertained by her overwhelming enthusiasm over seeing her moon castle. she even asked me to take a picture so she could show her friends. that girl is all kinds of special. love her.

we finally made our trek back to the train station to board that 4 hour bus. i dreaded the worst, and was pleasantly surprised when cora napped nearly the entire way and bella sat quietly beside me, playing her games. of course, that all changed once we got on the, but you can only expect so much out of two weary little girls, right?

now, off to take a nap......

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