Thursday, May 31, 2012

Onward to Vienna

We took the train from Prague to Vienna, and it was almost like the Hogwarts Express!  Each car had their own little compartment type seating and there was a candy cart that came around.  We shared our car for a few stops with a lady that pretended she couldn't speak English (she learned how to speak English really quick when she needed help with her bags), the little faker. 

Once we got to Vienna and found our hotel, (also very near a sex shop) the very first thing we did, was hop on the Metro and went to the trash plant (I'm so my father's daughter). 

But come on, seriously.  This place is like the Willy Wonka factory of trash plants.  It was so cool looking (even the non-nerdy people in our group were impressed). 

After that, we went to the Hotel Sacher to get one of their famous desserts:

Meh, I was only mildly impressed.  We ate better things on the trip :)

We walked around a park for a while and took some pictures of the statues they have in the town,

(I really liked the music note in the grass).  But to be honest, at this point, we were kind of pictured out, so we didn't take too many pictures that day.  After walking in the park, we headed over to the opera house and we got some SRO tickets to see The Flying Dutchman.  I have to say I really enjoyed it, but if I ever get the chance to go again, I'll totally splurge and get actual seats.  It was hard to stand and watch for 2 hours.  My feet were already tired from all the walking in Prague and earlier that day.   

The next day, we went and visited the Palace which was right by our hotel.  I can't get over how big the royal summer house was.  It was insane. 

This didn't even capture the wings that extended down the sides of the courtyard...

Then, the backyard...we never even made it to the end of the garden.  We had been there for 2 hours already and still had more to go see elsewhere in the city.

We went to the National Museum and saw a Klimt exhibit, and then, went to some cobblestone part of town, and then back to Parliament (I think it was Parliament?)

After this, we went to another famous coffee shop (no clue what it was called, I just know it was in an old library and had amazing apple struedel). 

Then, we went to their amusement park with the famous ferris wheel, but I was more amused by the live merry-go-round they had (until I saw how pathetically lethargic the ponies looked, then I just felt bad for them).

Then we went to St. Stephen's Cathedral.

It was starting to get late, and things were closing after this, so we headed back towards the main road in town, and rented some bikes to ride through the park in an attempt to work up an appetite for dinner.  Then, I think we just went and got some schnitzel at a famous schnitzel place and then went back to the hotel to pack to leave for Budapest the next morning. 

I hope I didn't leave anything out!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The rest of Prague...well at least the rest as far as I could write about...

Ok, I'll try and wrap up the rest of Prague in this post.  But it's going to be hard!

We woke up on Sunday ready to explore.  The first thing we did was go across town and visit Kafka's grave:

Of course, the first thing I noticed was this awesome flower cart right next to the cemetary:

So pretty!

But, then we actually went into the cemetary and the grave was so beautiful. Such a lovely memorial for such a disturbed individual.

After leaving the cemetary, we headed over to the other town square that is apparently more of a boulevard.  I don't know.  It's what the tour book said. 

Then we climbed some big staircase into a park at the top of the hill (it had a beer garden, we were willing to climb). 

We got this awesome view of the city from halfway up.

Then we met up with a Jersey City Beer Garden bar tender (we make friends everywhere we go...) that recently moved back to the Czech and he took us around to a local pub (where we watched the finals in hockey and had the most amazing food). 
Our last day in Prague, we went to the Jewish ghetto and visited the Kafka museum (seriously, that man was kind of ridiculous.)  His diary entries were just complaints about waking up and working and other silly things like that.  I don't think we would have been friends if we ever met in real life. 

However, the museum had a funny peeing statue outside it. 

After the museum, we worked our way over to the John Lennon Peace Wall and passed this awesome lock gate thing.  I don't know what it was for, but it was cool.  (Seriously, I'm the worst describer ever).

So, now the wall.  Notice the lovely inspirational quotes.  "I'm a dreamer", "never settle", "fuck bitches".  Wait, what?

The pink writing is the most out of place...

After that, we went to the castle and cathedral.  The castle was pretty, but the cathedral was jaw dropping. 

Then, the toy museum with the perverted statue (or should I say the perverted people that TOUCH the statue?).

At least I got to pretend to be Superman...

And we ended the day with a trip up to the mini Eiffel Tower: 

I love Prague.  I want to go back and actually have time to explore.  We kind of did the whirlwind tour...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I wish I could come up with a clever name for the first day of our trip...

My next few posts are going to be about my trip.  If you don't want to read about it, here's your warning :)

We left for Prague on Friday and flew through Portugal to get there.  We had a 3 hour layover in Portugal, and while normally, I don't really care about layovers.  It sucked big time.  We were tired.  We had already been flying for 7 hours and still had another 3 to go before we reached Prague, and that 3 hours was just spent fighting to stay awake. 

However, we did come across a friendly face in the airport:

So, we were the ONLY people that seemed amused by this RIDICULOUS bear.  Everyone else just stared at us like we were insane for taking our pictures with it.  How do you NOT take a picture with it???

We FINALLY get to Prague, and our driver is waiting for us (I sound so high class there, no?  I had a driver waiting for me?).  It was actually just a van from the hotel that came to get us, but we weren't complaining.  We were too tired to try and figure out their public transportation.

The driver was awesome.  He had been sitting in the lot too long waiting for us, so he was going to have to pay to get out.  So, instead, he just piggybacked his way through the exit behind a car in front of him and avoided the toll.  He then proceeded to drive 90 mph through the city to our hotel.  (And my parents think I drive fast...).

We get to the apartment we are staying in, and the owner sits us down and gives us our first beer (just the first of many):

She basically refused to let us go upstairs and sleep.  She made us go walk around the city for a few hours, and then we could come home and go to bed (and do our best to avoid the whole jet lag feeling for the week).  She was very adamant about this.  So...walk around the city we did.

Right next door to the hotel, this lovely brewery:

Could we have picked a more perfect hotel/apartment set up? 

And, keeping with a theme we had for this whole trip, we were within one block of a sex shop (seriously, EVERY hotel we stayed in was less than a block from a sex shop, we made fun of Figgs for his selection of lodging). 

So, other than the breweries and sex shops, we also did make sure we visited as many monuments, castles, etc as we possibly could.  I won't post all the pictures, but you can get an idea from these:

Um, I'm not entirely sure I remember what everything you don't get any labels.  Worst trip description ever. 

While there, their hockey semi-finals and finals were taking place. And it was the Czech Republic vs Slovakia (how much more awesome can you get?).  So, they set up in the square of old town with a large screen and speakers, and broadcast the game, and so many people flooded the square to watch:

Then, we went to Starbucks to wait for the bell tower to go off on the hour (hey, give us a break.  We were tired and it was the only place that wasn't packed full of people).  I tried to take a picture to make fun of myself for going to a Starbucks in Prague, and...all I succeeded in doing was taking a picture of myself where I look insanely tired, and you can't tell at all where I am. And then, I proceeded to fall asleep at the table for ten minutes while waiting for the clock to go off. 

You have to turn your head for this one.  Blogger is sucking it up with the pictures again.  I'm tired of fighting it.

But there's the belltower going off.  Not that you can tell or anything.

Then, we walked around some more, and at this point all of us were exhausted and still had about 2 miles to walk to get home.  We were not happy. 

But then, we came across this awesome work of art on some wall (the graffiti there was insanely prolific), and just had to laugh at how aptly it summed up how we were all feeling.

We finally made it back to the room and I crashed for about 14 hours.  But when we woke up the next day, we all felt fantastic and we were great for the rest of the time we were there.  I guess the hotel lady knew what she was talking about when she wouldn't let us sleep.  :) 

Ok, so I'll try to combine my next two days in Prague into one post.  Then, the rest of the cities should be much quicker!  We just did SO MUCH in Prague, it's hard to be succinct.  

Friday, May 25, 2012


I'm so ready to come home.  This trip was amazing, but I'm exhausted.  Last view of budapest before packing to head home. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I look tired, no?  Time for a beer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yay Prague...soon to be Vienna

Right now, Prague is ranking quite highly on my list of favorite European cities.  

I love the architecture, I love the layout, I love the people, and of course, I love the beer.

(Seriously, you get a half liter of beer for less than a dollar).

So, I would love to come back and spend more time here, but it's onward to Vienna which is equally exiting. 

Pictures will be posted when I get home and actually have a way to get them off my camera. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

the weekend

I went to South Carolina on Thursday and Friday to watch RR graduate with her PhD. So proud of you RR!

While it was lovely to see her again and spend time with her, it was quite exhausting.  I had to be up at 4 to make my 6:15 flight (um, Philadelphia's airport blows.  I was there 1.5 hours early, and ALMOST missed my flight.  This is at 4:45 in the morning and it was already ridiculously long lines.  Their new plan to send EVERYONE through ONE freaking security checkpoint blows).  I worked all day once I got down there, then finally met up with RR in the evening for dinner.  Woke up early again on Friday for her ceremony, and drove back to the airport 2 hours later. 

Such a short trip, and utterly exhausting.  I am getting old.

More proof I am getting old.  I did something to my back a few weeks ago, and while it doesn't bother me all the time, it bothers me enough that it's interfering with my running.  The last three weekends I haven't been able to run more than 4 miles before I start to feel it pulling.  I can't really explain it.  But, holy crap it hurts. 

I just made it worse today mowing my lawn and weeding and cleaning (I have apparently entered this weird nesting feeling where all I want to do is clean and decorate).  I actually skipped my run entirely this weekend it was bothering me so much.  So, having said this, I am strongly considering not running in Seattle.  Sigh.  I am still going to continue training and hope that I can actually do it, but at the same time, I'm not going to push it and hurt myself more.  It's going to be a last minute decision if I run or not. 

Moving on.

I leave for Prague THIS FRIDAY!!!!  I am so ridiculously excited.  I can't wait. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Still she's on her knees and Scotty doesn't know!*

Boring Recap
  • We went to the Cinco de Mayo party and did live karaoke.  I sang Maneater, very badly, but NOT as bad as I thought I would.  Score? 
  • Mike came to visit this weekend.  I dragged him to the party with me.  I felt bad he didn't have a song to sing since the band didn't have time to learn a song for him.  I tried to get him to help me sing.  He didn't.  (although he did sing off to the side, so does that count?)
  • I did a lot of cleaning this weekend.  I scrubbed my bathroom and kitchen.  Straightened the living room and dining room.  Then, helped J clean and set up at her house.  And moved a really heavy table.  It was heavier than I expected.  I felt weak. 
  • I attempted to go running on Sunday.  That was a fail.  I was supposed to run 7 miles.  I made it about 2 and my legs just felt like dead weights and I couldn't force myself to keep going. 
  • I assumed this was due to my lack of hydration during the day and not sleeping enough on Saturday night. 
  • I got home and decided to weed the backyard.  It no longer looks like a Vietnamese jungle.  Always a plus. 
  • I unfortunately disturbed an ant hill thing and my feet were COVERED in crawling ants and they bit me all over my ankles and feet.  Even through my sneakers.  Stupid ants. 
  • I was ridiculously sore today.  Pretty much every muscle in my body hurt. 
  • I went for another run today.  My legs were sore all day and stiff and I was hoping a run would loosen them up.
  • Fail. Again.  I ran four miles and ugh.  My legs are STILL feeling like dead weights, but at least tomorrow is a rest day. 
  • I leave for South Carolina on Thursday morning.  I still have so much to do this week at work.  Not enough time in the day!
Anyways, hope everyone had a great weekend!

*Lustra - Watched Eurotrip this weekend and this song has been in my head ever since.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm so boring

  • I apparently never mentioned that my crazy, stalker neighbor moved out.  Woot Woot.  I'm no longer scared to go outside or sit on my porch.  That is the best. 
  • This weekend is rock your face off karaoke at J's house.  Super excited.  I will be singing Maneater by Hall & Oates.  Very badly. 
  • Mike is apparently coming to the party as well.  I think this will be the first time he's visited me since September 2010.  That seems like a long time ago. 
  • I leave for vacation in 15 days!  I'm so excited.  I can't wait.
  • I haven't gone running since last Thursday.  Fail.  I wouldn't really care so much if I wasn't running the half marathon in June (and I know I'm not going to be running on my vacation).  Looks like another crappy race for me. :)