Catching up

If you’re a family member, friend, or just someone looking for good things and other stuff you may be wondering: why hasn’t this blog been updated in over a year? Funny, I ask myself the same question.

The answer is partially because I like looking at pictures of southern Spain, Parisian Streets, and snowy Czech villages and partially because I haven’t felt like it. But I feel like it now. So here we go.

So, what’s been going on with Dylan and Jenna since we last spoke. Quite a bit actually. Let’s get caught up.

Dylan went sailing

and Jenna went backpacking.

We looked at hot springs

and soaked in them.

 Friends said their vows on a trip to Las Vegas.

 Mountains were scaled.

Deserts were discovered.

Beaches were explored.

Seasons passed and snow fell.

  We watched the sun rise in the east

and set in the west.

Many places were called home and we moved . . . a lot.

In every kitchen, bread was freshly baked.

Passions were found

in work and

in play.

Rules were broken.

Strange things occurred.

Friends were made.

and made.

and made.

Games were played, three minutes at a time.

We got to know LA

from down low

and up high.

We went places via four wheels

and others via two.

Which brings us to today, more or less. And another year to come.

Spain, better late than never?

Oh, Spain. Tapas and wine. Rivers and cork trees. Sunshine and books. And enough narrow windy roads to make even the strongest of stomachs ill from motion. We stayed in a small town in the Andalucia region nestled at the edge of a national park. The weather was perfect and we spent most of our time exploring the nearby castle ruins, eating delicious meals prepared by DJ, and scouting for ideal hobbit hole locations . It’s easy to see why people like Hemingway and Orson Welles were inspired by towns in this picturesque region of Spain.

Some time was spent making friend with the locals: Aceituna, a gray neighborhood kitty whom we fed pan drippings and  Donkey Xote (pronounced: don kee-hoh-tee…genious-name-idea credit to Dylan), whom we fed carrots and bitter oranges. Hikes through the lush park led us to seek out the perfect river spot (hint: go where the goats go).

It was an amazing place to end our travels. Getting randomly upgraded to first class for your 11 hour flight back home never hurts, either.

Paris things: other stuff

Paris. There are a few select things I would like to share with everyone about Paris. Each item will be labeled with an appropriately descriptive title.

Café Restaurant

Our favorite street in Paris is Rue Ledru-Rollin and our favorite snack spot is on this street. It’s called Café Restaurant. Well it’s not actually called Café Restaurant, but we like to think that it is (we don’t know the actual name). They have an amazing Sunday Brunch (we haven’t had it yet) and the fresh pressed juice is to die for (also never tasted).  We can, however, speak for the day-old salmon ceviche that, if could talk, would say something like “I’m deliciously tasty.” This is especially true when eaten at the sidewalk tables in the late afternoon sun.

The Balcony

When our feet get tired, we take a rest on the balcony of our (tiny) apartment and watch Paris go by. We’ve been staying in the 11th arrondissement of Paris on the fashionable Rue Trousseau. It’s a great neighborhood full of savory smells and wonderful window shopping. There is much to see from our vantage point: borrowed Paris city bicycles weave through pedestrians, Dylan sketches the beautiful arcitecture of the building across the street, and school children parade down the sidewalks with linked arms laughing and talking. We overlook a small plot of community gardens; a glimpse of hope for urbanization.

The Best Movie Night Ever

Some things need proper preparation.  Examples include: final collegiate exams, Thanksgiving dinners, and epic movie nights. The Best Movie Night Ever would not have been complete without The Best Chip Dip Ever and luckily our local expert (Megan, Master of Sauces) pulled through when the corner market failed to stock sour cream and onion ChipsUp. With a bootleg copy of Sherlock Holmes, a couple of bottles of cheap French wine, and snack trays splayed out over Dylan’s legs, we snuggled up on the couch and began our viewing. Best Movie Nights Ever quickly come to an end, however, when you only have 1/3 of the movie to watch (that explains the suspiciously small file size). Luckily the Internet Gods blessed us with YouTube and stoats in slow motion are the funniest things in the world.

Two-wheeled vehicles are abundant. Scarves and sunglasses adorn the best looking people. Food is serious business. Paris.

Paris Photos

Photos from our first few days in Paris are posted. Accompanying text to follow. Enjoy!

Blogue, Czech Republic

After a great time at our first official work exchange in South Bohemia, we set out to experience Prague. We stayed at Arpacay Hostel and had quite a range of roommates in our five-bed dorm. Prague is a small city and the big sights to see can be done in just a couple of days.  For us it was nice to have extra time to wander around, relax, and of course visit the cinema for two English language movies.

Prague is awesome. Easter egg colored houses line charming cobble stone streets. The city is alive and rich with history. Good Czech food and good Czech beer are cheap.  The castles, cathedrals, and winding Vltava River makes the Prague look like a movie set. We really really liked Prague.

We visited Charles Bridge first and made our way to the Old Town Square. Currently, there is construction on the bridge, which did detract some from its romantic appeal.  I’ve never seen so many tourists in my life. Cameras flashing constantly, numerous foreign languages spoken, and maps being discussed in great detail made it so we fit right in. The Prague Castle was great but it was St. Vitus Cathedral that really blew us away.  The architectural detail and sheer size were just stunning. It’s also the largest and (considered) the most important church in the country.

With bread rolls and salami packed in our bag, some of the best time we had in Prague was simply wandering the streets, repeating to each other “Look at that! Look at that!” Without planning, we stumbled upon on of our favorite places: Vyšehrad: a fortress built in the 10th century and home to Czech royalty.

On our way to the airport as we were leaving, we encountered a fun and strange mix of folk on the metro.  At times it was hard to tell who had been up all night partying (this was at 3:30am in the morning) and who was headed to an early morning job. We have made it to Paris now (I’ll save the details for later, but so far…WOW) and are settled into our apartment with Megan. More to come. Love to all.

Czech Republic Photos

A blog post has been long overdue. I suppose it still is, considering this isn’t much of a post. However, we have prepared some visual stimuli to tide you over.

Zombies and bats and sheep, oh my!

It’s about 8pm on Sunday night and we go through our usual phase of what-should-we-do. Tonight, the options are: watch a movie, watch the Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Match, read books, or just go to sleep. Next thing you know, a ripped version of Zombieland is playing on Dylan’s laptop (don’t judge). After the movie is over, we spend entirely too long loading live feeds of the hockey game over the internet. Luckily, our resilience was (not) for naught. Jenna slept through the third (final) period and awoke to see the US tie Canada 2-2 with 24 seconds left in the game, leading to overtime. Awesome. Time for a sandwich. We went downstairs to get a snack and are startled when we see that Nic is still up. She’s vigorously washing her hands after getting scratched when the feisty orange cat (George) caught a bat. A quick Google query instructed her to wash thoroughly for 15 minutes and bring the bat to a vet to see if it’s rabid. So we head to the kitchen and make lambwiches (did I mention Mike made an awesome roast dinner this evening?) and while lambwich assembly is in full swing, Dylan decides to run upstairs and grab the laptop so we don’t miss any exictment. He comes back with bad news. Turns out in hockey, overtime is sudden death (why the full 20 minutes on the clock?), Canada has scored and thus won, and all hockey-pa-looza comes to a close. Luckily, we still have lambwiches. We wash them down with delicious mléko it’s the most amazing thing ever. Upstairs, Pavouk (cat with the luxurious fur) is waiting at our door, to enter and hang out with us. Dylan plays with him for awhile and he tolerates a lot. Pavouk is basically the next Maru.

Strange things happen after midnight in the Czech Republic.