Our adventure has not started off in the smoothest way.  We arrived in great time with zero issues with our flights. All of our flights left on time or if they were a little late, time was made up thanks to good tail winds.  The longest flight … SFO to LHR was way better than I imagined it would be.  The crew was wonderful, the business class seats were comfortable … well to me they were.  Bit of a tight squeeze for Arvin.  I was able to get comfy and sleep a good part of the way.  That was the fastest LONG flight ever.  The food was horrendous but I expected as much.

Now the bad.  We arrived in Prague, on the 20th.  Our luggage, did NOT.  As of today, the 22nd, our luggage is allegedly in country, but we haven’t received it yet.  I’ve had a couple days of stress and somewhat regretting this trip.  I’m sure once we have our stuff it will be better.  It’s certainly put a damper on my enthusiasm.  Many recommend cross packing that way if one person’s suitcase doesn’t arrive…you both have something.  That works great if one of your suitcases makes it.  Not so much if none of them do.  Thankfully I had carried some stuff with us so I could freshen up on our long journey but I neglected to pack sightseeing clothing.  My mistake.  I also brought charging cords with us so we could charge on the plane or in the terminals but neglected to pack an adapter to be able to plug in to the walls in our apartment.  Yet another note for future reference.  Make sure you have at least one adapter in your carry on.

I am very glad that we got here as early as we did.  I can’t imagine stressing about the arrival of luggage when meeting a cruise.  Leaving Prague without our luggage would not be a happy occasion.

The apartment is wonderful.  If you are ever in Prague, I can’t recommend this place enough.  We rented through AirBNB.  The view, the location, everything…perfect.  It’s a bit noisy outside but with the window’s closed and the AC unit going…you can’t hear all the drunks outside doing their thing.  They provided a driver (we paid but cheaper than a taxi) and a local cell phone.  The apartment has a small kitchen, a great HOT shower and of course …the view is to die for.

Yesterday we did the Taste of Prague tour.  Here’s a breakdown of that event.   We met up at a church across from the Hotel Maxamillian (SP). Jan, the owner of TOP gave us a brief welcome and introduction. As I said before we all introduced ourselves. Then we walked over to the first location. Here’s a break down of what we had and where we went:

1. We had the the beet root puree with goat cheese, and the celery root remoulade chlebicek, the open-faced sandwich, at the Sisters bistro.

((My comments: The shop has all sorts of different types of sandwiches. I wasn’t a huge fan of either of these but the concept is great, nice way to get a light lunch and have tastes of many different things.))

2. We followed with meatloaf on bread, Wiener sausage, headcheese, and smoked pork cracklings at the Nase maso butcher shop. Both the bistro and the butcher shop are at Dlouha 39 street.

((My comments: This is literally right across from the Sister’s bistro. Everything was good. This is a very popular place that I recommend you look into. All of the meats (and they only do beef and pork) are raised by farms selected by the owner and live “happy, cage free” lives. The meat is dry aged or prepared using processes and recipes from 100’s of years ago. I loved it all. Well the headcheese was ok. The cracklings were a heart attack on a plate. The cracklings are made from the skin of the specially prepared ham. It’s smokey, salty and fatty all at once. They do a special dinner there that is only open to I think 7 people a night. They lower a table from the ceiling and they serve a 6 course meat meal. Literally…all just meat. If you want to try it out, you must make a reservation in advance. They are also well known for their hamburgers. So you can go here to pick up steaks, burger, etc to take home to cook or for a small grill fee they will season and cook your steak for you on the spot.))

3. We had the pork schnitzel with potato salad, the Prague ham with horseradish cream, and beef goulash with dumplings at the Lokal pub at the Dlouha 33 street. We also had Pilsner Urquel lager – regular pour and milk style pour.

((Lokal pub is an austere looking place. It’s what you would imagine of a soviet style cafeteria. The food was good. The “spicy” goulash was not spicy at all…but slightly salty. The Prague ham was good and the horseradish cream was not as spicy as I thought it would be. The cream cuts the spice a lot. The schnitzel was my favorite of the night. I don’t drink beer so I had a Czech cola which tasted a bit earthy .. sort of like a mix of coke and rootbeer. Everyone seemed to enjoy the beer. If you don’t know what “milk style pour” is….it’s a glass that is 5/6’s foam and 1/6th beer. The foam is apparently the sweet part and very popular here. The beer is pulled from in house kegs. I can’t remember a lot on that topic because beer isn’t my thing.))

4. We had wines at the Bokovka wine bar at Dlouha 37.

((My comments: we sampled 3 wines…a sour, fizzy, cloudy wine, a white and a red. The red was my favorite. All the wines were locally produced in Moravia.))

5. We had the Scotch eggs and the vanilla custard donut at Maso a kobliha at Petrska 23.

((My comments: I was not feeling really great by the time we got here and thanks to a very restricted diet…I can’t eat much anyway so I was bordering on over full…but my husband said the scotch egg was pretty good. I did taste the donut which was warm and filled with a wonderful custard. Very good.))

6. We finished at the Eska restaurant (Pernerova 49) with fermented celery root soda, burnt potato in ash with potato espuma, fermented red wheat with sous-vide egg and button mushrooms, and zemlovka: bread pudding with apples in an espuma of vanilla and rum.

((My comments: This is a vegetarian place but they do offer some protein options as well. Everything was pretty good…good flavors. The bread pudding was probably the best thing. The soda was … weird. We also had a beet root thing…it was sort of like a mini meringue drop with a dab of goat cheese on top. It looked like it would be soft…but it was a very surprising texture.))

And that was the end. He gave us each a couple parting gifts and a transportation ticket back to our hotels. We took the metro back. Side note…..the escalator down into the metro…not for the faint of heart or anyone that has fear of heights or vertigo. It’s steep, long, high and pretty fast for an escalator.

All in all we had a wonderful time. At the end of the meal we felt like we had all known one another for years. Well, in my case….I literally did know one of them for years…over 30 to be exact.

One of the other people on our tour turned out to be one of my first supervisors in the Navy back in 1986.  WOW.  I was stationed in Misawa, Japan and she trained me to be her replacement.  I was a wet behind the ears E-3 and she was a hard charging, fast moving E-5.  When we first met something about her seemed familiar…and then I figured it out.  She was quite shocked as well.

So…there you have it. Check it out at:

http://www.tasteofprague.com/ and don’t wait too long to try to book a date with them. They run about 10 tours a week and they fill up fast.

Let me know if you have any questions.

~Reb~

When everyone and their brother didn’t have a cell phone.  Do you remember when?  I really miss it.  I miss not having to listen to everyone’s one-sided conversations.  It’s not like you WANT to listen.  But when you are in a relatively quiet space and the guy across the room doesn’t realize that it’s 2016 and you don’t have to scream….

 

CanYouHearMe

 

I wish that there were special rooms in lounges where people had to go to make calls.  Then they could all yell over one another and the rest of us could enjoy some peace!

 

The Journey Begins

static_map.php

 

So we have checked in and are now sitting in the Admiral’s Lounge at the Honolulu Airport for the first leg of our Journey.   The lounge is pretty much empty so we are enjoying the peace and quiet…oh and AC.  It’s a hot, humid mess out in the terminal.

Check in was easy peasy.  They checked us and our bags all the way to Prague so we won’t have to mess with them again until we arrive at our destination.  I’m all set with all my goodies for this trip.  Lots of entertainment, blanket, pillow, fuzzy socks, etc.

 

HNL Admiral

The lounge itself is pretty basic.  There was a small assortment of alcohol to mix drinks, a beer, couple juices, soda machine, coffee, soup, cookies, a ramen bar where you could make your own ramen soup.  Not a LOT but enough for the short time we are here.

We are taking the red eye to LAX.  We’ll be at LAX for a LONG time so we hope to get into the lounge and grab a shower to freshen up before heading to SFO and then off to LHR.

Heading out to board soon….

Until we meet again!

~Reb~

 

TravelDocs

It’s almost time to depart on our journey.  Things have been pretty busy around the homestead so I’ve not been blogging much but hope to have more time while on this journey.

Please keep us in your thoughts.  Our world is such a crazy place and you never know what can happen.  We will be as safe as possible but some prayers for our journey are always welcome.

See you soon

~Reb~

Great blog! Can’t wait to share my own experience with everyone.

What beautiful pictures. I can’t wait to visit and see some of this myself. Thank you for the inspiration!

Tom Plevnik photography

TOM_4837TOM_4854TOM_4889TOM_4929

View original post

take-flight-2copy

So many ask me if I’m not afraid to travel to Europe during these times of upheaval in our world.  After the recent attacks in Paris many were sure that I would cancel my trip.  I’ve read on many travel sites about the fear of others not wanting to go where the terrorists are.  So what is my answer?  Of course I’m a little nervous to take multiple flights, spend extended time in any airport, use public transportation in foreign countries and on and on.  But am I afraid?  Maybe a little.  I think some fear is good.  Fear keeps you vigilant,fear helps keep you safe.  But will I let fear keep me from traveling?  One answer to that.

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!

Let’s face facts….we don’t live in the safest place in the world.  We are not exempt from terrorist acts on our own soil.  We have deaths caused by many unnatural actions in the United States day after day.  Not one of those people went to that club in Florida expecting to die that day.  They went and were engaging in LIFE.  No one wants to die before their time, I certainly don’t but the fact of life is, when it’s your time, it’s your time.  My life in general isn’t a low key, living in the middle of no where with not threat existence.  But I tell you this, when I do come to the end of my life, I pray that it will be doing what I love to do with the man I love to share it with.  If that happens, don’t mourn for me, celebrate the fact that I went out living life to the fullest.  That’s what matters.

Lincoln

Terrorists, be they organized groups around the world or the home grown radicalized individuals that pop up in our country, have a common goal, even if they don’t share the same ideologies…strike fear in all of us.  If we let that fear run our lives then they really win.  I may not be able to stop terrorism, but I will not let them put the sort of debilitating fear in me that will keep me from exploring all that this world has to offer.

Shore

The key is to be smart, be aware and be safe.  Check out this handy safety sheet.  It might give you food for thought.

GPS Safety Fact Sheet

Just remember:

Motor vehicle accidents not crime or terrorism are the number one cause of preventable injury or death of healthy US citizens living, working, or traveling in foreign countries.
Travel smart, but be sure to travel!
Until we meet again,
~Reb~

GrandCanyon

Last night I downloaded an e-Book with 365 prompts for blog posts and the prompt for today was the title of today’s blog.  As everyone reading this blog knows we are getting ready to take off on a trip so I found this rather fortuitous.

I love to travel.  If I could I would make a living traveling and sharing my experiences with the world. Since that is not likely to happen I will enjoy doing so for my pleasure and amusement.

 

 

For me, planning is almost as fun as the destination.  I am a planner.  I try not to script the entire trip but I do like to set up certain activities and then leave open time to explore and wander. A few years back we went off to Barbados, we spent 10 days down there after long flights and while I had some amazing activities planned including snorkeling, a private tour and a helicopter ride, I left a lot of time free to just explore.  We saw and did a lot, but it didn’t feel quite so structured.

CraterLake

This upcoming trip is the same.  I have certain activities planned, which I’ve already talked about but I’ve left plenty of free time to just wander the area.  One advantage to pre-planning is pre-payment.  I find having everything paid for in advance helps me to just relax and enjoy the trip.  Once there I need only pay for food and miscellaneous travel costs.

Our upcoming trip will involve all three modes of transport and one not mentioned in the heading…a boat.  Long flights.  This will be the fist time that I’m not only checking a bag but taking a roll-a-board bag and a personal item.  Trying to plan what to take on the flights has been half the fun.  The sofa in my office is covered with stuff I’ve been collecting over the last 6 months for the trip.  Once I get everything narrowed down, I’ll share pictures of what I pack and how.  Since this is such a long trip, I plan to bring a change of clothes for the trip and a change for Prague in case our luggage is delayed.  Something I’ve never thought of before was “cross packing” and I will do that as well.  For those who don’t know .. cross packing is simply putting some of your clothing in your traveling partner’s suitcase and vice versa so if one case is delayed you both have clothes for a few days to get by.

Do you take a carry on when you travel?  If so, what are your must packs?  How do you pack?  Have you gotten into the travel cube craze?  Do you fold or roll?  Do you plan out your outfits or do you just throw some stuff in and wing it?

Please comment and share your packing do’s and skip’s and great ideas.  I do look forward to it.

Until we meet again….

~Reb~

Oahu2

Sunset On Oahu

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona2

It’s been almost two years since we stayed in Sedona on what was a long and extremely fun adventure that took us from Disneyland to San Diego to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Lake Havasue and then back to LA to return to Hawaii.  What a trip.  By far one of the most memorable parts of our trip, aside from Disneyland OF COURSE…was our 4 nights in Sedona at L’Auberge de Sedona.   I was floored by the beautiful red rock formations.  It was a truly breath taking place.

Sedona1

First this town is gorgeous with plenty of things to keep you busy without feeling exhausted.  We enjoyed relaxing at our hotel, pampered ourselves at the spa, took a Pink Jeep Tour and just explored the area on our own.

The resort….This place has something for everyone.  Private creek side cabins, spa cabins complete with an outdoor shower, as well as a lodge.  We went with a spa cabin and it did not disappoint.  You entered into the main room which had a king size four poster bed, two chairs, a fire place, flat panel tv, a private deck, and a bathroom with a huge jetted tub, an indoor shower and a separate outdoor shower (enclosed for privacy but open at the top).

Our room included a spa credit so we went and enjoyed a nice facial for two.  It also included our breakfast allowing us to order off the menu each day.  The service was impeccable and the food was perfect. The banana walnut pancakes were my favorite…I actually had them twice.  When the weather was cooperative we also enjoyed dinner creek side.

Sedona9

L'Aauberge de Sedona

 

 

 

 

 

You could actually dine out here all day but we were usually out checking out other places during the day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candle light dinner by the creek was very romantic.  We got dressed up and really made a wonderful evening of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a nice video from YouTube that shows the location live….

Like I said before, we took a Pink Jeep tour which I highly recommend.  We were the only two in the jeep and there were some moments when I was less than thrilled at my choice but we got out to areas that we would not have seen otherwise and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I will say that if you have a bad back…this is not an adventure for you.  We took a major beating from the rough roads.  But you can see from my photos above…the view made me quickly forget the pain.

Sedona13

 

Sedona3

Sedona10

 

Unbelievable views.  On another day we decided to hit the road to check out Montezuma’s Castle.  I was not prepared to see this:

Montazuma's Castle

What an amazing sight!  You leave the visitor center and walk along this beautiful path.  As you come around a bit of a bend there it is.  We walked around and enjoyed the view for a while.  We also stopped off at Montezuma’s Well.  I found a great video on YouTube by Davidegg22 that I had to share.  Please show him some love when you visit:

So, that’s it for Sedona.  I can’t recommend a stop here enough.  This is one of those places that I will return to one day.

That’s it for now….

Until we meet again…..

~Reb~

And we are so excited.  Well, probably more me than him…but that’s ok.  I’m excited enough for the both of us.  This is my last week of school so I will have more time to blog and check out other bloggers.   I really enjoy reading as much as writing my own posts.

Daybreak

Last weekend we watched a great movie called “Operation Daybreak.”  Filmed in 1975 the movie is based on a true story about a group of British-trained Czech commandos that were air dropped into Prague with the goal of assassinating SS-General Reinhard Heydrich.  He was the head of the Nazi security services and one of Hitler’s golden boys.  Heydrich set up the first concentration camp in Munich, Dachau and was responsible for many others.  His death resulted in Hitler ordering the decimation of a small town called Ledice. Many innocent people lost their lives in Hitler’s attempt to wipe the city off the map…literally.  For more info on Ledice click HERE.

The movie is filmed in Prague and it’s pretty cool to learn some history and realize that you will be able to walk where this all happened.

This is one of the places we will be stopping.  Two of the assassins were hiding out in the crypt below the Church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.  They were cornered and ended up taking their own lives to avoid being captured.

 

Memorial

You can check out this movie on iTunes.  If you want to see a more modern version of the story, that will be released in September!  Check it out here:  Anthropoid.

I can’t wait to see this one as well.

Well, that’s all for now.

Until we meet again…

~Reb~

%d bloggers like this: