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I swear, this is the blog that will never get blogged! I’ve tried posting a blog about my spring break multiple times and for some reason I can’t seem to finish it or I forget to save my progress and then it all gets deleted. So, here is the short and very sweet version of my Spring Break with Michelle.

1st stop: Vienna, Austria

Beautiful! We arrived in the early afternoon and took a leisurely stroll to the hotel. HOTEL, not hostel :) Upon arriving, Michelle decides to upgrade to a junior suite for the both of us. My oh my, what a treat! 

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We spent the whole day exploring and sight-seeing. We even got to go to a museum that night to end our day on the classiest of notes.

The next day we had a huge spread of food at the hotel. Hands down, my favorite food was the Swiss Muesli. Mmmmmmm I could have had that and only that and been as happy as a lark. But the day continued after that with some shopping, park strolls, and making our way up to the train station. A couple hour hike in the general direction with some rain, going in the opposite direction at one point, finding the metro entrance but not the train entrance, and waiting in a breazy doorway for over an hour didn’t make the most preferred conditions but we made it out good all the same.

2nd Stop: Budapest, Hungary

Now folks, this is where the story takes a little bit of a turn for the worse. I’ll set it up for you. Michelle and I are both hungry and the train got into the Budapest station around 9:30 pm. Our hostel is relatively close but its very dark. We make it to the hostel in 20 minutes and upon entering the building we’ve already got a bad feeling about the run-down…everything! Its on the top floor and when the man greets us at the door seeing two of us he is shocked. He keeps telling us ONLY ONE! He is telling me that we only reserved a room for one.

I pull out the reservation that I printed out to show him that I reserved a double. The sheet clearly says a private room for two. He tells us, there are no rooms. They are expecting one person tonight, not two. This is when we find out the real problem. I had booked the hostel for the WRONG night. Yes, it is 10 pm in Budapest and Michelle and I are standing in a hostel that has no rooms open because they are still expecting the last bed to be filled by NOT US. This is how the night concludes.

- Michelle and I ask to use their internet to find a different hostel.

- After some time we come across a hostel that has 3 empty beds in an all-female dorm

- We leave to get to this hostel! (We know a general location)

- We want to stop for food but we need to know we have a place to sleep!! Ah!

- We realize we forgot to write down the name of the hostel.

- Go into a Chinese restuarant that is closing for the night to ask where a nearby hostel is. They don’t even know the word hostel??

- Michelle uses her 3G on her iPhone to re-google hostels. Michelle is using up her limited data plan

- We find the hostel name and location: Baroque Hostel

- We can’t figure out how to open the gate for the entrance….5 tries later, we are in

- The hostel has 2 open beds! We take them! 

- We can’t have them because they only take cash!

- We leave for an ATM but before we can do that we can’t figure out how to open the gate. With pulling on strings and pushing of bars we resort to the guy working opening it up for us with a key (its a good walking distance from where he’s working at)

- We get cash at the ATM! A whole lot more than we needed because we don’t know the exchange rate.

- We can’t get back into the gate for the hostel, again worker lets us in (he’s frustrated)

- I try to pay but they dont have change for the big bills, so michelle luckily took out a little less than me

- We’re in! (the nights not over yet, we’re still hungry)

- Small and not the cleanest hostel, but we leave to find some food. Guy working tells us about a 24 hr grocery, and I know where he is describing

- We try to leave the hostel, but again, the gate is not working! He comes to let us out

- We find a small grocery that is about to close for the so we go in just in case we can’t find the 24 hour one. 

- We find the 24 hour grocery! Ah! It’s only a open 18 hours, and we’re too late for that. Good thing we got a few snacks earlier

- We walk back to the hostel, and guess what….again the gate will not open when the guy buzzes us in. We find out that someone has pulled the electrical cord out and the buzzer is the working to open the gate…Get ready for the pun… The Baroque gate was broke!

- We eat snacks and go to bed. Pillows are as comfortable as a sack of lumpy socks. Still we fall asleep

- Wake up 6 hours later, pack up our bags, and check out of this place. Sorry about your gate!

-10 minutes after leaving the hostel Michelle gets a bloody nose.

The rest of the day we spend walking the entire town. We have all our luggage with us because we are not stepping foot in that hostel again. From 8 am to 3 pm we have lugged around our backpacks every which way. After a little bit confusion about where our bus was picking us up from we made it to our bus and headed home for Prague.

A little tiring but a lot of fun. That was my spring break. I don’t think it would have been possible to do it any other way.

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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Sisters on Spring Break!

Michelle is in the building!

Actually right now she is in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic visiting the Bone Church! I have school today so I had to stay back but tomorrow we are both leaving for Vienna and then we go from Vienna to Budapest!

The first couple days Michelle has been here the weather hasn’t been anything to brag about. It’s still around 40 degrees F and raining! :S But….the sun decided to show up today so today we’ll take advantage of the weather and do some sight seeing :)

Michelle used up her hotel points so we could stay in a 5-star hotel in Vienna! Right in down town! We will spend about a day and a half in Vienna and we will leave for Budapest the next day to stay there another whole day and half before coming back to Prague! We will get a whole other day and a half in Prague before Mich has to go back to real life! ( I get to stay in my Prague fairy tale for a few more weeks!)

Oh! And here are some pictures from my trip to Paris :) The city of love! Except for me, my love is back in Sioux Falls, SD. It was still very fun and such a breathtakingly beautiful city! So much history and carbs :) My last night in Paris was quite something though! My flight to come back to Prague on Sunday left at 7:15 am and I needed to catch the train before 5:00 am in order to get to my gate on time! So I was checking the schedule for the public transportation to get me to the train and it didn’t leave UNTIL 5:00 am! I was in quite the pickle…so the night before I asked the front desk guy at our hostel how much it would be to get to the train station by tram and he said about 60-80 Euros. Thats about 80-100 dollars. I was in a bind because I already paid for my last night in the hostel but I didn’t want to pay for a cab ride when I already have a train ticket to get me to the airport. So…what did I do? I spent a night in the airport…AGAIN! Apparently there are homeless people that spend their nights in the airport as well…and they have their spots chosen where they spend their time, but I didn’t know that! So when I find the comfiest spot in the airport I sit down and situate myself for a long night of reading and music (and hopefully a little sleep!) Well, those homeless guys know this is the best spot to spend your time so they start meeting up where I’ve chosen to stay. It wasn’t until one of the guys started smoking and then peeing in the middle of the hallway that I decided that this wasn’t the place for me! Yikes!

The rest of the seats in the airport have arm bars on both sides so I curled up into a chair and made it as comfortable as I could. Luckily I had my Disney music to listen to on my iPod so I found my happy place and get in almost 2 hours of sleep! I call that a successful night in the Paris aiport.

Here are pictures like I promised :)

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

SPA TOWNS

Hey everybody!

Well its another great week :) Yesterday was still pretty chilly (around 40 Fahrenheit) but today is much better! (about 55 Fahrenheit)

Whew! Time to put the mittens away :) I know the Midwest has been feeling the heat so I’m sure your winter wear has long been packed!

This last weekend I went on an excursion to Marianske Lazne and Karlovy Vary, two famous spa towns in the Czech Republic. The thermal and cold springs have curative purposes. For example, some of the springs have been used to treat urinary ailments and digestive tract issues. For some of the hotter springs you need a special mug to drink out of and the springs that are less than 50 Celsius we could drink from our hands (or a cup if you brought one along).

Here is a picture of the Colonnade for the Snake Spring in Karlovy Vary.

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And here is yet another thermal spring! Enjoy :)

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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

AHOJ! HEJ! HELLO!

Well, long time no update huh?

Sorry! I really don’t have the excuse that nothing exciting has happened since my last post because I’ve had my greatest week here yet this past week! The visit from Henrik and then a trip to Sweden were just the thing my homesick heart needed.

Henrik, his sister Sofia, and I surprised his parents with a visit to the wonderful town of Stromstad in Sweden (where Henrik grew up!). I got to meet his friends, see some breathtaking Scandinavian scenery and spend some good quality time with the Henrik and his family. I couldn’t help but tear up as we walked through the airport back to Prague. Here are some of my favorite pictures that came out of this trip! (courtesy of Henrik’s mom’s nice camera)

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Aw man it was the best week I’ve had in …well, maybe ever!

Oh, and this next picture is for my mom! Look what I made for dinner :) No recipe, just instinct. I think some of your cooking skills may have rubbed off on me. ;) I call it Veggie & Lil Beefie Taco.

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Love you and miss you all <3

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Suprise!!

Hey everyone!

I guess you can tell I’m getting busier by the infrequency of my blogging. But I still want to keep you all in the loop. So, first off, tomorrow is the big day..HENRIK IS COMING! My study abroad program was offering a trip to Berlin today and tomorrow (the day Henrik comes) and I told him that I was going to be on the trip and wouldn’t be able to meet him at the airport until later but…little does he know…I stayed behind to be at the terminal when his flight lands in Prague!

I took some precautions just in case he might wander away without me finding him. The first thing I did is I told him the time that the Berlin trip comes back is much earlier than it actually is, otherwise he would be getting right outta that airport to go find something to do. Then the other thing I told him was to call my Czech phone right as he got his luggage and left the terminal. I gave him an international phone card information to use but I hope he won’t even get that far because I’ll be right there waiting at the Terminal exit!

Gotcha!

After he gets in I’ll take him to the Lennon Wall. The extra feature to this wall is the nearby love locks. If you’ve never heard or seen of love locks here’s a picture:

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After the love locks I’ll take him to the Castle and St. Charles Bridge. Then maybe it will be time for a nice Czech cuisine! Ah! I’m so excited :)

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Amsterdam

 

If I could sum up Amsterdam in one word it would be… BIKES!!!!

Getting to meet up with my friend Annie (Nannie-nickname) in Amsterdam, Netherlands was definitely a trip I’ve been anticipating for a long time! In fact, the two of us had planned this trip since before we left for study abroad!

I had heard that this wonderful city was full of bikes but I don’t think I quite understood how much the people in this city relied on their two-wheeled contraptions!

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My friend Val, Annie, and I all walked through the city instead of using public transportation or renting bikes and I am so glad we did it this way! We got to see so many things that we might have missed if we were too busy trying to stay with the flow of bike traffic. We had time to go visit the Van Gogh museum which makes me so excited to paint again when I get home!

We did have to go see what the Red Light District looked like after hours of Amsterdam…and when we say it I was glad our hostel was a good hour walk away from it!

Val, Annie, and I had developed an infatuation with Dutch cheese! Mmmm Each of us bought a different wheel of flavored cheese and a couple days later there was only a small chunk left. I think we overdosed on delicious dairy concoctions! Totally worth it :)

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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Learning to Teach

Hi everyone!

Well, just as I promised, I am going to tell you about my first day volunteering in the language school. The class had about 10 girls from ages 18 to 24. They are all transitioning from the beginner level to the intermediate level. I could tell that some of them were intimated by having a native English speaker ramble on about why she was in Prague, what she is studying, and where she came from. While I was in the class watching them participate in the vocab activity I was thinking of more engaging ways to get the girls to WANT to learn the vocab. I could tell that a rendition of Jeoppardy wasn’t helping them learn the definition any better.

Here is my proposed lesson plan.

1. set up a musical chairs.

2. Bring in some music of different genres (teach them words like “genre”, “rap”, “country”, “jazz”, “techno” — some of which they may already know!)

3. I will turn on the selected music and they will do musical chairs. I will remove 2 more chairs than there are students

4. When the music stops, I ask the 2 students that didn’t get a chair a vocab question.

So, in the end, some students may have to answer more vocab questions than the others but everyone will have to listen and participate! I’m not sure if they play musical chairs over here so its also another culture component of the game. My other idea was to take vocab words and write them on pieces of paper that the girls would then tape to their forehead. Classic game! (As seen in The Office) Then the girls will have to describe to one another, in English, the thing that is on the other person’s forehead.

Oh, and if you haven’t watched the Kony video yet, please do! Here it is and spread the word! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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