Czech Republic

First flight today!

Well, this is it. It is 6 in the morning. Me and Andrew are already awake. The truck is all nestled in tight. Inigo the magnificent has a home to stay in with his best friend, Rudy and his owners, Mathais and Carrie. We have been staying in their hostel, Sir Toby’s while Andrew puts the truck to sleep and finishes varnishing our new kitchen so we have a kitchen to come back to.

The kids have been enjoying getting a “Kofola” (communist coke) on tap in the pub each evening and playing board games with Miro, one of the managers at Sir Toby’s. He actually is a professional chess teacher. It has been good not staying in the truck these last few days. The kids perception of what we actually can fit into our backpacks has altered tremendously and Andrew has been taking a bag back to the truck each day. Hannah was a especially funny site when we left the Mudrick’s house and came to to Sir Toby’s carrying about 4 extra bags of treasures. I spent alot of my day with my mini sewing kit. Repairing clothes and backpacks for the trip and making straps for the sleeping bags.

The kids are getting so excited. Abi couldn’t stop playing games with Inigo yesterday. They must have sounded like baby elephants to the office below. TJ was like a mischievous elf trying to navigate the room on beds. Hmmmm, maybe I should have spent less of my day sewing and more taking the kids out. to burn off some energy. Hannah…well, Hannah is Hannah. She was reading a book with her little bedside light. I think I will need to take them all on a very long walk with a fully loaded backpack tomorrow. Yep. That’s what we’ll do.

Our first flight is this evening. We fly into Sheffield. We will be staying in 3 different friends houses the next 3 nights. Sheffield (Jen and Fran), Kings Lynn (Maggie and Phouc-Tan) and London (Shannon). We thought we would be spending one of these nights in the bus station and another at “Camp Heathrow” (the airport) but our friends had other plans. Hannah really wants to sleep at an airport. Dad talks about doing it all the time. I am sure we will get the chance.

On the 19th is the big flight into JFK, New York. We get picked up from the airport and brought to Poughkeepsie. Isn’t Poughkeepsie a great name. It is one of those words that can make you giggle just for the fun of it as it rolls off the tongue or off the keyboard. Poughkeepsie. You gotta love it.

Anyway, back to the real world. We have known these Mauricio and Shauna for 25 years. Our kids can’t believe that we were hanging out with them before we all got married. They got married 6 months after us and have kids finishing high school as well. We last saw them about 11 years ago.

Czech Republic

Divoka Sarka

Sorry for the silence but we have been camping on some friend’s land in the Divoka Sarka on the outskirts of Prague. It is an old farm that was last used by the Nazi’s. Legend has it that the Communists and the Nazis had a bit of a battle right at the edge of the land. The new owners plan to make it into a retreat center, farm, home for 3 families and ??? It was a wonderful time with frequent bike trips to the spring fed pool and the pub right next door, which can only be reached on foot or bike.

We have received a homecoming welcome from our old friends. Made new friends that feel like old ones already. We have had our backs cracked by the muscly amature chiropractor next door. Chased fireflies with his wife. Heard hilarious stories from a very aminated czech ambassador. Heard from a Thai businesswoman about an amazing education program she is involved with in Thailand where their students learn practical skills for life and their 8 year old graduates must build a house before they can graduate. We drank great czech beer (the kids drank Kofola, alias communist coke) and ate great czech food.

WOW! What a great week. We have now left and are at the SLOT art festival in Poland. We have been invited to return to Divoka Sarka after SLOT to do some work on our truck. Hmmmmm… what would you do?

Czech Republic

Fancy Eco-hotel in Prague

We got a tour of a very, very cool new hotel in Prague from the man who dreamed it up. He told us all about how he had the idea 3 years ago and some friends came in to help him fix it up. We have been staying in his hostel “Sir Toby’s” this time. They put us up in the very modern and fancy “Czech Inn” last year. This year he is opening up “Mosaic House”. It has been only open for 2 weeks and is full. He told us about how a team of 3 interior designers have been working on it for 3 YEARS! Everything is specially made – even the door hinges.
The kids favourite things were:

The gray water treatment plant in the basement. Complete with colourful lights to tell the direction the water goes. He talked about how he found out about it in Germany and it was really hard talking them into installing one in Czech Republic.

He showed up one of the very fancy smart rooms. The room has a special control panel on the wall that knows when someone walks into the room and adjusts the temperature and moves the blinds around to make it the best. He said that it even knows if it is winter or summer and the blinds change to let in more light or heat. We also liked the extra fabric on the bed that was scrunched to make a rose.

We also liked going out on the balcony and looking for our favourite Prague places.

We liked the special bathroom window that clouded up or cleared up at the flick of a switch.

One of the rooms didn’t know which way was up with standard lamps hanging off the walls and from the ceiling. It also had a bench that went up onto one of the walls.

In one of the rooms the chairs were covered with the same green shag carpet as the floor. I could see Abi’s head spinning about “astroturf potential”.

All in all a very, very great day about learning about dreaming big and high-tech, eco-friendly hotels.