Thursday, August 16, 2012

Weekly Roundup

Listening: Silennnnnnnce. well, as close to silence as one gets living smack dab in the middle of a massive transport hub in a capital city.
Eating: Polished off an Anglicky Rohlik from the bakery this morning (cheese, carbs and bacon make any morning significantly more bearable, I believe), and am looking forward to a trip to Makro later for sushi fixins... and a vast array of baking supplies!
Feeling: Relief at only having once class left today. Phewwww. 
Loving: Yesterday's Skype chat with Steph, during which I got to see a preview of what her cooking show would look like should Food Network ever pick up the fabulousness that is her cutting strawberries (and then shoving them in her mouth while her iPhone is held at a rather unflattering angle, but then, what's the point in preparing food if one cannot enjoy it wholeheartedly and with reckless abandon?). Also how quickly the weeks seem to go to get me through to another fabulous weekend (though also hastening the end of summer, so mixed feelings on this tbh).
Hating: nic! Okay, I'm getting slightly perturbed by all the people out with their little clipboards taking surveys for one of a bajillion different reasons who give me death stares when I say "Prominte, nemluvim cesky" (okay, so I guess that sentence doesn't terribly help), but get outta my way people. Places to go.  
Wanting: Baking goodies - pans and tins and sheets, oh my!
Needing: I wouldn't be averse to a nap right now...
Thinking: My brain is jelly. No thoughts. Summer mode. Wish I had vacation to match this.
Planning: What to bring to the UK next week, weeeeeeeeeeeee!

Saturday, Donut and I headed to Ještěd, the highest point of the Ještěd-Kozakov mountains near Liberec. The weather gods were not smiling on us, so I conceded to putting on a long sleeved teeshirt, thinking this would be fine. I swapped my jeans for capris fearing I'd be too hot. (It's soooooooo hard to be fashionable and outdoorsy, amirite?) So off we went in the car, Donut shaking his head and going "I told you it was going to be cold. This is the top of a mountain. Why don't you ever listen? Why are you such an idiot when we do athletic, outdoorsy type things? When will you learn" (Well, not really, but I'm pretty sure most of that was running through his head, in Czech obviously) Thankfully we stopped at a mall to grab cash and upon sticking my ankle out the car door realized I'd be absolutely frozen. So while Donut went off in search of a bankomat (there is your czech lesson of the day!), I headed off in search of heat-retaining attire. Massive sale at Intersport? Don't mind if I do! Found myself a ridiculously obnoxious hot pink jacket and off we went.

In the words of Melissa Gorga, 

As we're driving up and I'm muttering "Hellllllllllll no I am not climbing that mountain!" I realize it's going to be mighty chilly at the top.

Thankfully, there is a cable car that whips you up to the top, though I should note that whilst in the coziness of this cable car, I did see a weeeeee child scaling the rocks and the very top. Show off. 

Brrrrrr - it was frigid. Ice! Ice in August! What??? (Although, in retrospect, I suppose this could have just been a shiny wet rock... hmm.) We had a hot chocolate at the very retro restaurant at the peak and walked around to check out the views (you can see Poland! And Germany! Though I cannot tell you where in the miles upon miles of fields the Czech Republic ends and another one begins.), and I read the little plaque that claimed that Vaclav Havel made the last televised broadcast to a free Czechoslovakia from the TV tower there before the invasion of Soviet forces. 

There's me, in my snazzy new jacket. 
Here's Donut, giving me a heart attack. 

From here we began our hike down hill. Said hike would have gone a lot faster had I not been blessed with the grace of a drunken flamingo. 

Thankfully, Donut has come to expect my coordination and the slow pace of our outdoor maneuvers, so he just laughed, took pictures chronicling my attempts to get down the side of a mountain without turning into a human avalanche, and scouted out a naturally grown snack for us.

It's all very Hunger Game-y, isn't it?

I'll tell you what ti vole (2nd Czech lesson - it's dude!), those Czechs are pretty resourceful. I, as a suburban American, was naturally somewhat dubious about this little amuse bouche, but after ensuring that Donut hadn't seized up and died, down they went. 

Eventually, mercifully, we made it to the bottom, where, as I am starting to complain about how much this downward jaunt was hurting my legs and hips, we came upon a little old German couple ready to hike up. And little old Frau was wearing heels, no less. I immediately shut up. (Well, for a while, anyway) Good for you Frau, good for you. 

This was followed by an insanely delicious lunch from Mama Donut at the cottage, which is totally adorable and cozy and very Czech. (I mean, I guess. Having never been in another Czech cottage, I don't really have a basis for comparison, but that's the vibe I got.) Having momentarily forgotten what the rest of the afternoon held in store when face to face with a massive piece of cake, I shoveled in as much home cooking as I could. And then I remembered...

We were off to Babylon AquaPark. So now that I resemble one of those little dumplings I had recently so happily shoved down my gullet, I had to squeeze into a bikini. (So maybe was looking more like a sausage at this point?) Babylon promises adventure, relaxation, wellness... all things I was looking forward to after our trek. On the website, Babylon looks beautiful and lovely and calming and soothing, ahhhh. In reality, Babylon is overrun with children and people and mehhhhhh. Without kids, I think it's a skip. 

Back to the cottage for Donut's brother's bday bbq. Still stuffed from lunch, I forwent the grilled meats, but did manage a couple pieces of šnek, which is yummy flaky pastry stuffed with whatever you want, but in this case, cheese and bacon and butter (which you already know culminates in basically the greatest food ever as far as I'm concerned). It was there that I got to experience a sight you will never, ever see legal in the US... 

Searching hopelessly for a picture....

...No luck. Anyway, this product is called something like Fun Party Djus or Magic Party Djus and is essentially a fizzy pink sugar bomb bottled up inside a highly pressurized container and covered with pictures of princesses, leading little girls to yell "šampaňské! šampaňské!" There are two main reasons you will never see this in the US. One, people will argue, this will undoubtedly lead to earlier drinking ages. Similar to flavored cigarettes, kiddies will think this is like candy, which we all know is basically crack for children, and off they'll go down their path of addiction. (Though I seem to remember being quite fond of champagne from an early age, even without the pretty pretty princesses on the bottle...). Secondly, and this is where my real concern comes in, is that most adults cannot properly open a champagne bottle without someone getting maimed. Putting one in the hands of a child is just asking for tears (theirs, or someone else's). Sometimes, the Czech Republic really is a much different world. :) 

Sunday was much lazier, full of golf (Donut), reading (me), and a big lunch and a nap (both). So there you have it. The weekly roundup, on the correct day this time.

Will apologize in advance for not writing for the next two weeks, but I'll be busy drinking tea and eating sausage rolls and AeroBars in the UK, and due to a) the absurd luggage restrictions on WizzAir, and b) the failure of my grandparents to move into the 21st century, I shall be computerless. Which will actually be quite nice, I'd imagine! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thursday Roundup... slightly delayed, oops!

In my excitement about the weekend, I completely forgot to post on Thursday. Just as well, because have lots to write about!

Listening: Run Run Run by Buckingham Celeste, Black Heart by StooShe
Eating: Attempting to leave the leftovers from yesterday's far east feast until dinner. 9:30 is not an acceptable time for fried noodles. What am I saying?? Any time is an acceptable time for fried noodles, silly girl.
Feeling: Sooooooooooooooo relaxed. Don't even care that it's Monday! (well, yet.)
Loving: All things on boats. Working on getting my sea legs ready for September's trip to Croatia. Have a long way to go! 
Hating: Nic!  
Wanting: To rewind and do the whole weekend again!
Needing: Korunas. 
Thinking: There's a lot to squeeze into the last month of summer! Better get moving!
Planning: How to pack minimally for England so I have lots of spare room to bring home delicious things like Minstrels and Aero Bars. Hmmmm... do I dare sacrifice shoes for chocolate??

Last weekend we went out to bid intern Kelly a fond farewell as she returned to what was left of her summer vacation. Went to Hemingway's for delicious cocktails. Had a Lavender Fizz - yummmmm. The rest of the weekend was spent lounging around various parks and trying (unsuccessfully) to get a tan.

Shannon and I checked out a meditation class last Monday. Think both our chakras are slightly out of order, but I still appreciate any situation where I can sit down and shut off for an hour and a half. Would have been much more enjoyable if there wasn't a child chucking playing cards and her book at my face, but hopefully the munchkin will stay home tonight. Ohmmmmmmm.

Went to Sazava Fest on Friday to watch Donut's band play - you can check them out here: Pankix. Had a blast watching them, and Fun Loving Criminals, Nightworks, etc. 

Woke up on Saturday morning and continued on our way to Cesky Krumlov for a day of boating with some of Donut's friends. I was fairly convinced I'd be over the side of our little canoe in approximately 2.5 minutes, but I managed to stay inside the entire trek, though was thoroughly soaked after the first dam. It was an excellent day! The sun was shining, the company was excellent, and I cannot wait to go again. We stopped off at the Eggenberg brewery for lunch before finishing up our trek in Zlata Koruna.

We also managed to somehow just bypass a massive hail storm that hit the area. Very strange to see the roads covered in ice after just having spent the day in a bikini. Headed back to Prague for some amaaaaaazing food from Donut's mom. God, so good. Don't know why he ever moved out, silly man.

We continued with our boating on Sunday by renting a paddleboat in the city center. I channeled my inner tourist and went a bit photo crazy. This was followed by drinks with Peej trying to woo a new potential roommate, a far east feast, and lots of much needed sleep. 

All around, an excellent weekend. :) Now, back to the daily grind.