Posts

Showing posts from March, 2013

A flower for Easter

Image
My hopes for a sunny, flower-filled Easter have been dashed -- it's cold and windy and might even snow -- but here is our indoor Spring surprise: I'm not very knowledgeable about plants, so I had no idea that this long, straight plant with not very many big leaves would suddenly bloom. We noticed the unopened bloom Friday night, and Saturday morning, there it was. It's really big! Mom, do you know what it is? It's so pretty and I feel like Spring has at least arrived inside our apartment! What a lovely gift for us.

Jon's standing desk

Image
At home, Jon's been using a standing desk for about a year and he really likes it. Now he's working from wherever we're living, so his work set-up will be changing frequently, which we hoped would compensate for whatever uncomfortable situations he found himself in. Here in Prague, while he has a lovely view from a large window in our room, he's been sitting in a less-than-ideal kitchen chair, slouching and slumping and leaning forward and getting increasingly sore and stiff. So today, I conjured up a standing desk for him. Look, he's smiling. We thought the first solution for the correct keyboard height was funny. We are only missing some cassette tapes: But it was too high, so we had to come up with something else: a Saxon Algebra I textbook (we brought it for Lillian to use next year) and a roasting pan, wrapped in a towel to prevent slippage. Ta da! The desk is made up of two tables on top of each other. His laptop and monitor (which Jon packed in his suitc…

Muzeum Lega

Image
On Tuesday, the kids and I went to a Lego Museum here in Prague. From what I read about it, a private collector had accumulated too many Lego sets to comfortably display at his home, so he created a museum. The kids had read about it in a Lego magazine before we left home, so it was fun to check it out. Here's Zed with a set that he always wanted when he was younger. (A large part of our time at the museum was the boys exclaiming, "Oh! I wanted that one so bad!") And here's Mira with a famous bridge. I want to say London Bridge, but I don't know if that's right. I liked this Lego tourist, especially his Hawaiian shirt and sandals with socks. One sock even has a hole in the toe. There was an extensive train set-up, with switches that ran the trains. This was a cute Czech kid who stood there making the trains go for a long time. This picture shows that one room of the museum was in some kind of vault. That's the huge, thick vault door to the left. The…

Prague Library

Image
Jon and I happened upon the Prague main library in Old Town the other day, so we walked in, where we found this: It's a floor-to-ceiling hollow tower of books and it looks pretty cool. And this is what you see when you look in. It gave me vertigo, even though it's just a mirror in the bottom. There's one in the top, too, so it looks like an endless cylinder of books. I think I should build one in our house!

More from Friday's walk

Image
Jon already posted a few photos from our long walk on Friday, but here are more. First, here is the inside of Strahov Stadium, the largest stadium in the world, taken from between the iron bars of a gate. It seats 220,000 people! It's only used now for training for Prague's soccer team and for concerts, I guess. It's not very far from our house. There are a bunch of these weird/interesting seats near the stadium, by some buildings that look like they might have been the Soviets' fancy buildings in the '70s. The kids thought they looked like alien thrones. And here's almost the whole family (Jacob stayed home because he wasn't feeling well) in a really cool part of Kinského zahrada (a huge park the covers the south side of the hill below the Hunger Wall) -- moss-covered sandstone boulders with lots of names and pictures carved into them, some very artistic. The sun came out for a while and the kids had a great time climbing all over the rocks. Jon and I t…

Kinského zahrada

Image
This will be one of the worst posts about Kinského zahrada ever, since the pictures and video are mostly of our kids at the playground.First, some houses on the top and side of the hill with a nice view that we saw on the walk there:The kids having a good time. Jacob was home sick. Here are the rest:Maybe next time we go I'll take photos of the Hunger Wall, the Citadel, and other neat things there!

A few photos

Image
The town hall tower with the astronomical clock on it in afternoon light. Notice the lit-up chandeliers in the windows on the second floor. Our Czech tutor with the kids. We finished up with her last week, so we'd have more unscheduled time for our last few weeks in Prague. We like her. Lillian in front of some of the cool buildings in Old Town Square. I love the blue one, although I think the golden yellow ones are my favorite. The astronomical clock is behind me; Lillian is facing it. Roughly. The gate and tower on the west end of Charles Bridge, from a distance and just the top of it. It was a beautiful day and we love to see the blue sky. At this very moment, I can hear Mira just outside my bedroom door. She is playing a very imaginative game, singing made-up songs and such, and she just performed a marriage. It's not very often that she plays so well by herself. I love it, and her songs are very entertaining.

Grocery shopping

Image
We probably go to the store four or five times a week here, partly because that's how I want it -- fresh bread every day! -- and partly because we're always on foot and there's only so much a person can carry. Anyway, I thought I'd write a post about what shopping here in Prague is like. There is a small grocery store called Billa that's just under half a mile from us, and we go there sometimes for bread, rolls, or any other thing we need pretty quickly. It takes less than ten minutes to walk there and has a good selection but is a little more expensive than other stores. The other place we go a lot is Kaufland, which is big. It's a little more than a mile from us and lately I've been walking all the way there -- it's a pleasant walk along residential streets and through a park -- and then I take the tram back when I'm carrying all the stuff. It's two or three stops on the tram, depending on whether I want to take the longer, less strenuous wa…

Snow and music

Image
Here's the view from our window this morning: I feel like we brought the Teton Valley winter with us, and like we should be apologizing to everyone here. (I'm so good at guilt!) But I'm pretty sure that Spring is on its way, and I hope the snow will melt soon. Although it's lovely, I want to see some green things. In other news, Jon and I went to an organ and trumpet concert last week in the St. Nicholas church on Old Town Square. It's a Hussite church (though it's been owned by different churches over its 800 year history) and is not very large, but of course, it's beautiful and ornate and huge compared to what I'm used to. It was a lovely one-hour program, with several pieces for two trumpets and organ (trumpets performed by brothers), as well as several organ solos, including a great improvisation by the organist. It was very cold in the church, in spite of several space heaters near the audience. Even the organist and trumpeters wore their coats …

Walking Tour in Prague

Image
Today Jacob, Phin, and I went on a three-hour (plus) free walking tour of Prague that introduced us to Old Town, New Town, and the Jewish Quarter. It's a little late for that, since we've been here for almost six weeks and we've done some of our own exploring in those areas, but it was fantastic. Our tour guide was Pavel, and I thought he did a great job. Here he is talking about the National Museum, very briefly: Jon, Zed, Lillian, and Seth did the same tour on Saturday (we split up the family so Mira didn't have to go and so we're not quite so conspicuous) and had an American tour guide. He was good, too, from what I heard, but I enjoyed hearing Pavel's perspective on Czech history and especially on the Velvet Revolution and living under communism. He said that his grandmother, who was born in 1911, lived in eight different countries during her life, all without ever moving from her flat in Prague, because the area has been invaded and occupied many times. …

Toy Museum

Image
This post is for my mom, because I think she would have enjoyed the toy museum at Pražský hrad (Prague castle) very much. Jacob, Lillian, Mira, and I went a few weeks ago. First up, the weirdest thing from the Barbie floor: Pregnant Barbie! I had no idea such a thing existed. The museum is on two upper floors of one of the very old buildings at the castle. One floor is almost entirely dedicated to Barbie. Below are pictures of a few. (I was surprised and a little sad that they had a Donny doll but no Marie! Someone should send them a Marie Barbie immediately.) The other floor held a lot of older toys, mostly made from tin and wood. I loved the doll houses and their tiny furniture and even toys for the doll house inhabitants. A stately porcelain doll, probably 14" tall. Doll house interiors. A little village. Noah's ark! There were lots of kitchen sets. A little school classroom. Some old tin toys. I don't have much to say about any of those, but they were kind…