Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's been 4 years!

I know I left you all stranded somewhere in Poland and I will get back to the rest of the vacation tales, I promise, but today is a special day and so, instead of vacation, we're going back in time to 4 years ago...

On that day, it was hot - really, really, hot, 100 deg F (30+ on the Celsius scale) and that was the day that I married my prince. :) See what a witch I was that morning?...

After I jumped off my broom, I had to sit for all the pre-wedding pictures. My dress was heavy, and hot, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, right? On the back of my dress was a train, and on the end of that train, what else would you find but a caboose?! My father is a model railroader and since the time I was very young, we had always joked that my train would have a caboose, and so my mother was tasked with sewing a small caboose on the end of my train as a surprise for my dad. :)

And how did my Dad repay me for the surprise? When he hugged me at the church, he ripped the veil out of my head!

Then we got down to the business at hand and I married this wonderful man...

Today is our 4th Anniversary!! I just googled the gift traditions:

Traditional Anniversary Gift: Flowers
Modern Anniversary Gift: Linen/Silk

I didn't get either of the above but what I did get was even better... I finally have a dining room set!! I would show you pictures, but you'll have to wait as the table is currently upside down with no legs. As soon as it's all put together again, I'll get a picture.

Happy Anniversary Ole! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 4 - Prague to Krakow

Day 4 began with a bit of a scream. It came out of me as I attempted to take my first steps of the day. All that hill walking on Day 3 left my calf muscles a bit unhappy!

We headed out from Prague, bound for Krakow. If you viewed our original itinerary, it called for a trip to the Salt Mines. As much as I would've loved to see them, with the shape we were in, we made the decision to skip the mines and the 378 wooden steps that lead down to the mine.

The drive from Prague to Krakow was very pretty and it was all motorway, which made for easy driving. I decided to give Ole a break with the driving and was cruising along the highway enjoying the drive. Then we hit a bit of a snag...

A police van that had been parked at an on-ramp suddenly decided to pull me over. I wasn't sure what was wrong as I was actually doing the speed limit - heck, the limit was approx 80 mph! Thankfully the police van had a little system for pulling people over - he pulled in front of me and the back of the van had a message bar that said "Follow Me" in several languages! I followed him into the gas station rest area as I was instructed to do.

Well, apparently we were supposed to have some sticker on the windshield to drive on the toll roads in the Czech Republic. We honestly had no idea about this sticker or we obviously would've had one! We ended up having to buy the sticker, and pay a fine - lesson learned I guess! The worst part of it was that at this point, we had about an hour left in the Czech Republic and then the sticker was useless.

We arrived in Krakow about mid-afternoon and decided to go into the town's market square. I absolutely LOVED the area and I could definitely go back and spend more time exploring Krakow. We enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride around Old Town. It was sprinkling rain and we were a bit wet by the time the trip was over, but it was warm enough that we didn't care. Here's a few pictures from the market and our ride...

I have found something new that I love!  It's called ┼╝urek, and is a traditional Polish soup.  Yummy!!

Once last picture before I leave you for Day 5...  This, apparently, is Schindler's Lift...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 3

I'm already a day behind and it's only day 4 of the trip!  Let's catch up now....

Day 3 was all about Prague! If you have not been here, the one thing you really need to know is that this city is all cobblestone, and if you want to see Prague Castle - it's all about the hills. Our hotel was within walking distance of Prague Castle... if you're a mountain goat!

Honestly, it was rough, but we survived the climb and Ole survived my whining and we made it up to the top in time for the changing of the guard.

Prague Castle is huge. For most of the buildings, you need tickets, so we did the big ticket.  The ticket sales people attempted to convince us that we needed to buy the Audio Tour, for another 500 Czech Kroner each, or we would end up standing in line at the St. Vitus Cathedral for up to 2 hours.  Ole then tried to tell her that if he didn't buy it, he could make 500 Czech per hour that he stood in line.   He was being difficult, and she didn't understand him (shock) but we convinced her we would be fine without the audio.  As it turns out, there was no line by the time we went to the cathedral so ... we win!

This is a view from the stairs leading down from the castle.  This was about 4-5 flights down, with more to go, as you can see...

We then went from the castle to the Old Charles Bridge.  I think our bodies were screaming in pain too much to truly enjoy things by this time but I am glad we went!  This is a view of the castle from the bridge...

And this is us, exhausted!...

We returned to our hotel, and then later headed out to the local shopping mall for dinner.  I had a very tasty pizza and then we crashed.

I will catch up with Day 4 as soon as I have the energy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 2

We left Lehrte, Germany on Saturday morning to continue our drive to Prague. The trip took us through what was once 'East Germany'. These days it's hard to tell that there were 2 countries, but there are reminders now and then, like this old watch tower out in the middle of farming fields...

I drove a bit of the way and I actually drove over the Germany/Czech border, which means there is a place in Europe that I have driven before my husband! Driving the German roads can be a bit nerve-wracking. I'm sure if I did it more often, I'd be fine but there is something a bit disconcerting about being passed when you're already driving 95 mph!

We have a GPS in our car and Ole has one on his phone. We installed maps for Eastern Europe on both before we left but neither of them would navigate over the German border. We knew the maps were loaded so we just hoped for the best and thankfully, once we drove into the Czech Republic, the GPS did wake up and realize where it was! Which meant we were able to find our hotel - whew!

This is a view from our room - we are right on a busy street but across the street is a gorgeous park:

Last night we took a dinner cruise on the river to see Prague by night.

Either my camera doesn't have the ability to take decent night pictures, or I personally don't have the ability to use the camera - either is possible! But here is the best I could do - Prague Castle at about 10 pm:

Today we're headed over to see Prague Castle and explore the area.

One more random observation before I go:

They have some really, really big doors on these buildings... It's hard to judge the scale but that white box are you see is about even with my head.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Road Trip 2010 - Day 1

Our much anticipated summer vacation is officially underway!
My plan is to do a daily update so we have something to look back on and remember it all! This is, of course, dependent upon working internet connections but I do believe I have booked all of our hotels with that in mind so it shouldn't be an issue.

We headed out at about 1pm this afternoon with a car full of suitcases, dog beds, 2 dogs and lots of water. Typically we would leave the dogs at a kennel, but because we planned this trip too late, and everyone in Denmark is on vacation at the same time, finding a kennel with space was impossible! We ended up finding a dog sitter online where the dogs live at her house for the week, with her own dog, and her family. So the first stop on our journey was the dog sitter and, once we got there, I became quite confident that our dogs are about to enjoy the vacation of their lives! The house is in the middle of nowhere at the end of a dead-end country road. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the dog sitter, her husband, her 5 yr. old son, a cat, about 6 eight-week old kittens (they were hiding everywhere so counting them was tough!) and a flock of chickens. The dogs went nuts, exploring every inch, sniffing everything there was to be sniffed. Zoe wasn't quite sure what to make of the kittens but she thought they definitely should play with her! I am convinced that, by week's end, she will have bathed every one of those kittens from head to toe whether they need it or not. Lexi also thought the kittens were quite interesting, but backed away quickly when the momma cat told her off. You had to be there!

The rest of the day was spent on the road headed south. We were doing quite well until just before Hamburg when traffic came to a stop…

Thank goodness for A/C in the car as the thermometer said 95 deg F!! There were several reasons for delay including some fender benders and some construction. It was a bit frustrating to be crawling along but at least we were moving. The north-bound side of the road was not. Due to an accident of some kind, that I think was already cleared up by the time we passed through, all traffic on the north-bound side was being diverted to one exit. This meant that for about 5 miles, no one was moving. Trucks were stopped in the lane with the drivers out of the truck, etc. But the thing I thought was so awesome was that there were ambulances driving up the emergency lane literally handing water bottles into each car that was stuck in the jam. How cool is that? BIG points for Germany on that one. Never saw anything like it and I'm quite sure you will never see that happen in the states!

Driving through Hamburg and past the ports almost had me thinking I was back in New Jersey…

I do believe there are a few container ships that pass through this port each day!!

We finally made it to our hotel in Lehrte, Germany at about 9pm and were able to sit down and have a nice dinner on the restaurant's patio. The amount of food on my plate at this hour and in this head was way, way more than I could eat, but it was quite tasty. I could've chosen the "Ox Cheek" but that frightened me, so I went for the Mixed Grill instead!

Our hotel is nice - a bit on the warm side - but it's not often that it's this hot around here.

I took one picture just for Kelli…

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