Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ice Skating for the First Time

Dear Sicily,
If you are reading this blog post in the future, I hope you forgive me for posting this embarrassing photo of you falling on the ice. I just really like they way it came out. You had a really great time though and couldn't wait to go again.
Love, Mom

Thanks to Kids in Prague, a great local blog run by expats with kids, Sicily and I settled on an ice skating rink for her to try ice skating for the first time. I am a Florida native, that has been on the ice maybe four memorable times, so I was very anxious trying to figure out how I was going to skate, let alone teach her how to skate. Thanks to Peppa Pig, Sicily was headstrong about going skating and pretty confident that she knew how, since Peppa Pig said it was simply "step, step, slide."

We went to a rink right off of Na Frantisku, on Kozi, which rents shoes and an amazing device called a hrazda. It is just a metal bar with two bar feet, and it works really well. Thank you inventor of the hrazda.

Sicily feeling confident while we walk on the rubber matting to the rink.

Above Sicily using the hrazda, while I am clenched to the side wall trying to convince her that it is more like "step, slide, step, slide." For the two of us, skating, skate rental and bar rental was about $8 USD. The rink was very empty on a week day, albeit when all of the schools are out for winter break.

The facility also has a playground, which we used as a break from the skating (I was the one who really needed the break).

Monday, December 19, 2011

What Happens When You Try to Use a 220v Appliance in a Different Country

First adapter to extend outside of circular hole, second adapter to bypass the huge grounding prong that Indian appliances have. It works though!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kicking of the Christmas Season with the Advent Festival at Nelahozeves Castle

One of the main reasons that I blog about our life at post is to pay back for all of those great FS blogs out there that I have used for post research - during bidding, preparing for post or remembering all of the things to do while at post. One of those great blogs I have been using for reference is The Travelling Rubeshes, who recently left Prague. Thank you Rubeshes!

A recent exploration was to a nearby town for the first Advent weekend. In the Czech Republic, Advent is celebrated by lighting a candle on each Advent Sunday, typically in a wreath as depicted below. Although the Czechs are not religious (5th least religious in the world according to a Gallup poll) many Czechs follow this tradition because it is a popular tradition (according to my survey of at least two Czechs).

The first Advent also signals the opening of many of the region's Christmas markets. The one in Old Town is the most famous in the Czech Republic, but many smaller towns and neighborhoods have them as well. We headed out to Nelahozeves Castle, about 30 minutes drive north of Prague, for the Advent Festival.

There we found several stalls outside and inside the castle, with handmade crafts and food, including the popular grilled sausages, hot wine called svařák, and trdelnik - which my daughter fondly calls "turtleneck."

There were many stations set up throughout the festival for children to work on small crafts, and an impressive large nursery room for all things infant related. This allowed us to extend our visit longer than usual.

Picture above shows craft booth where they provided aprons and sleeve covers (blousy white things) for kids to paint. And below, Sicily's first encounter with the angel in the St. Mikulas trio. Even though she can not understand or speak Czech, the smile and candy are understood universally.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Starting to Post Again with Something Simple: A Really Great Online Book Sale at the Eric Carle Museum

My problem with stopping is that I build up the next blog post in my mind, thinking it has to be really great to make up for the long gap without posting. I have been writing blog posts in my mind for several months now, thinking "Oh, this is a good one!," then not following through.

Today, it hit me to just post something mundane, something that might be worth sharing, after I saw the Annual Picture Book Sale was on once again at the Eric Carle Museum. I end up buying from the sale every year, since they offer discounts over 50% and with free shipping. The books make great gifts for birthday presents when at post.

There, I did it. A new post is finished. Now to spend time figuring out the changes to Blogger since I have been away and how to change on the text back to English from Czech!