Monday, April 30, 2007

Anniversary at Cesky Krumlov

So, we've been happily married for three years now! Yeah! And, we decided that we wanted to celebrate by going to Cesky Krumlov. Dan's never been there before, is there even a question if I've been there? So we looked at pictures online and got excited to go trippin'. I told the Crains about our plans and they said, "How about you go and we'll watch Vinson." Okay!! I said without a second's thought. So Friday we took a bus out (3 hours) to Cesky Krumlov and crossed our fingers (or held our thumbs if you're Czech) that Vinson would be good. Cesky krumlov is a really pretty city. It's one of the best preserved historical cities in the Czech Republic and is really cute. The town is situated along two horseshoebends in the Vltava river and has a really cool castle. Friday we explored the city by wandering aimlessly around. It's small enough that you can see the whole city this way. These pictures probably tell the story best:

At around seven there was hardly anyone out on the streets anymore. We got a good look at the castle in dusk and didn't have to fight for a spot along the railing to see the bears. Cesky Krumlov is famous for having some bears outside the castle. Right now there are three of them.
Bright and early the next morning we went on a tour of the castle. There are 5 tour routes to choose from but there's a really cool ballroom that we wanted to see so we went on tour number 1.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You've been whipped!

The Saturday before Easter we started celebrating by going to the Castle Gardens. It was really pretty and fun. The only hard part was that we had to "Keep off the grass" and Vinson didn't like that so much.
Easter here was pretty fun. The chocolate here is REALLY GOOD but it's also pretty expensive. So I made cake cookies (our friends work at the embassy and get us things like cake mixes that we can't find here) and rice krispy treats. (We got surprised with rice krispies and a 72 oz. bag of chocolate chips, it made me cry!) So both were pretty special. And they had Milka's on sale so I bought some of them. Dan and Vinson got socks. Vinson's are so cute. They are elephant socks and the ears stick up at the top. We put Vinson's basket in the corner and had to play "hide and seek" to get him close enough to see it. He went ballistic after the chocolate eggs and broke them into tiny tiny pieces but I couldn't get him to eat any. We decided to keep him home from church incase he has chickenpox. (He played with Anna who broke out with chicken pox the day after, so she was at her peak of contagiousness). The sad thing about it was that we couldn't go whip the Vondurskovi girls like we had planned. Whip! What? You are probably saying! The Monday after Easter is almost bigger than Easter Sunday. The boys are supposed to make a willow whip and the girls are supposed to decorate eggs. Then on Monday the boys whip the girls (to give them fertility of course) and the girls give them an egg. If the boys whip the girls after 12 then the girls can pour water on the boys. So we thought, "Hey why not whip Anna? She's the one that might have given him Chicken pox in the first place." So we went to visit Amber, Andre, Anna and Sophie. Anna is really cute with Vinson and Vinson gets so excited with other kids. When Vinson pulled out his whip Anna shrieked "No, no, no!" So Amber let him whip her first to show her it was okay. Then Anna lied on the floor, completely submissive. I thought it was pretty funny. Vinson needed a lot of help. He was just excited to wave the whip around because it has ribbons on the end of it.

Afterwards we visited Monica who was working at KFC. We brought her a little Easter basket full of American treats. It's too bad Vinson was asleep, but she gave us chicken wings and Fanta. I was totally not expecting that. (I still don't know enough Czech to refuse something politely, and don't know if it's good to accept or what? I guess it's confusing in America too. So I've taken some things I really didn't want cause it's easier to say yes, than try to politely decline. Not that I wanted to decline KFC! Are you kidding!) We chatted, it was fun!
Finally our last stop was to see the Canek's. It was a little bit harder cause their house isn't baby proffed and they have a semi handicapped sister who wanted to keep holding Vinson. He was a good sport most of the time. They died eggs with onion. They were pretty. Vinson kept wanting to play with the remote control and pull all of their books off of the shelf. By the time we got home we were pretty exhausted. So I took a two hour breather on the couch watching "Ants" and Dan did homework. Then we made our last stop and whipped Karey. (Karey and Matt moved here and are only here for a few months but live really close to us so we let them use our washer. They are the ones who gave us rice krispies). They gave Vinson cheese popcorn which was the best treat! (Better than the kinder egg. Crazy boy!). So that's how we celebrated the Czech Easter.

Friday, April 6, 2007


Every Thursday night we have "game night." It started because Val missed playing games with her family so much. Our friend Chris comes every week, but this week we invited some other friends. Monika, Michal, Chris, Karey, Matt, and their friends Becca and Chris from the U.S. (sidenote: They brought us a 72 oz. bag of chocolate chips and I cried with joy!) The coolest part, though is that we learned how to make eggs the Czech way thanks to Monika. Here are the directions: go to town! First you need some pins. We didn't have any but fortunately we have friends in our apartment building so we got some. Then you need a candle. You heat the pinhead in the fire (use a pencil or crayon for a handle: push the pin into the crayon or pencil so you won't burn your fingers off if ya want) when it's good and hot melt some crayon wax on the pin and use the wax to decorate the egg. It's hard but really cool!
Vinson was amazingly good this whole time and only got into a little bit of mischief. There were lots of people to entertain him.

Friday we finally got to see the cool church in Vysehrad. It was our fifth attempt! Every other time we just missed it or it was closed for some unknown reason. It was crazy cool and decorated all over the place. Paintings all over the walls. I wish we had pictures, but we were good tourists and didn't even have a camera!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Fertility: easter eggs and whips!

We've thought about starting a blog for a while. I feel like I write the same thing to all of my friends anyway, and Dan's poor friends get neglected sometimes, so this will be a good way for us to keep everyone updated and hopefully hear from all ya'all. Not much going on with us. We're excited for Easter and are going to make the best of U.S. and Czech traditions. Tomorrow night we're having a bunch of friends over to decorate Easter eggs. I was getting worried because after we invited everyone I wandered the aisles of Tesco (Europe's Wallmart) trying to find egg dye. It wasn't in my Czech/English dictionary and after an hour we gave up. Fortunately we have connections and between the American girls here and my friend Smilka who helped us find what we needed we're all set! Sunday we're going to have yummy lasagna (haven't had it since we've been here. Noodles are hard to find) and easter baskets. I'm making some home made goodies for the baskets and of course some good old European chocolate!
Monday Dan has school off! Yeah! (Only one day though) We're going to visit some of our Czech friends so that Vinson can whip some fertility into the Czech girls. For doing them this "favor" he'll get candy. They get to pour water on him. I'm not sure what the significance of that is. We'll tell you how it went!