Old family pictures

My cousin Radek had a few old family pictures that he brought to share with everyone at the party.

This is a picture of my dad’s parents, my grandparents. I believe it was taken on their wedding day. I think this is a beautiful picture.


This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad and uncles. My dad is on the left.


Here is another good one.


Now, can you guess who this is?


Czech family pictures

Just before some people needed to leave my dad’s party, we took some much needed family pictures.

So here is my family on my dad’s side.

Here is Devin with my cousin’s husband and their baby Dominik. Dominik was born two days before Katelyn. People always tell us how tiny she is and this picture makes me realize how small she is for her age.


Here is a pictures of the whole group. All except one is a family member. I’ll try to label them, though some I have no idea how to spell their name.  Here goes…


Starting on the left:

Tara (SIL), Bryan (bro), my dad, Uncle Jiri, Honza (cousin), Uncle Marek, my mom, my aunt, Eliska (cousin Radek’s fiance), cousin Iveta’s husband (tall one in back), Radek (cousin), dad’s friend, Kristyyna (cousin-ish), Marcella (aunt-ish), Devin (he’s my husband), Me & Katelyn (she’s my daughter),  and Iveta (cousin) & Dominik.

Here are all the cousins on my dad’s side of the family (minus Cari-Ann, my sis–she was at home with her handsome baby).


Bryan, Brittany, Radek, Iveta, Honza, and Kristyyna.

Here is my dad (middle) with his brothers. He is the oldest of the three. They have no sisters. My Uncle Jiri (left) is who we stayed with. Kristyyna and Marcella also live with him.


We made it to Prague

It seemed like it was never going to happen but we finally made it to Prague. Well, just outside of Prague. My uncle lives in Ricany which is about 30 minutes outside of Prague. Katelyn was excited to get out of the car for more than a few hours and to have some familiar people (besides her boring parents) play with her.

Hanging out with Bah-Bah in her new dress she gave her.


One of the main events while in Czech was my dad’s birthday. He hasn’t celebrated his birthday with his family since he left Czech originally (in his late 20’s). All of our closer family came as well as a few of my dad’s old friends.


My uncle got a cake in the shape of a radio for my dad because he loves his ham radio.

After we Americans sang happy birthday and the candles were out, everyone lined up to deliver their gift and offer a hug and kiss and their well wishes. I’ve never seen that before and thought it was nifty.

IMG_0894 IMG_0898

After the gifts were opened, everyone sat around and talked. It was nice because there were a few cousins that spoke English so we had the opportunity to talk with them more than the last time we visited.

It was a fun celebration and enjoyable having Devin meet my family and get to know them better.

An Update on Katelyn

I just have to put a little insert here about our little Bug-Bug.

She was a great traveler…most the time. For the first couple weeks she slept a lot in the car and otherwise did great while awake. Since we didn’t always have a good plan or know exactly where we were and what was ahead, we had a few meltdowns in the car, some of which involved being hungry. With the need to nurse sometimes we had to…uh…do what you had to do while continuing on in the car. It worked.

Our original plans were to purchase a small port-a-crib when we got to Europe but we quickly found out that they were difficult to find and more than we wanted to spend. The first night we tried the suitcase. Seriously. It may have worked for a less sprawled out baby, but not Katelyn. She requires space.

So, she started sleeping next to me. I hoped it was only for a few nights but it ended up being the entire time. This, unfortunately, lead to an overtired mom nearly the entire time. I didn’t sleep well because her sleep schedule had switched time zones but her eating schedule did not. She would hardly eat during the day but nursed constantly during the night. Wether that’s how it really was or if that’s just how it ended up because of her sleeping next to me, I’ll never know. But we did the best we could.

In other news, our little girl did some growing up while we were gone.

Seven months and seven days, she got her self a dandy pair…


…of teeth!

We call her Toofer.

It caught us by surprise because aside from the occasional meltdown, she was still usually like this:


Back to Germany–Bavaria

After the Italy disappointment, we decided to go to Bavaria. We hadn’t planed to go there but since we spent less time in Italy, we had a few extra days to burn before heading to Prague.


In Bavaria we went to see two castles, one of which was rumored to be the one that the Disney castle was inspired by.

Near the castles is a bridge that overlooks the castles and the valley.


On the way down from the bridge we decided to take the path less traveled and we are glad we did. We weren’t sure if we really wanted to since we couldn’t use the stroller but it was definitely worth it. It was a trail that went along the river and there were very few people, especially compared to the tourist mob on the roads.

Looking up at the bridge we were on in the above picture.




In the area we stayed there were plenty of cows. While we were in Switzerland we could hear the cowbells from out hotel room window. I guess I never really knew that those bells were actually used. Crazy. So I just had to get a picture with one. Not to mention they were pretty cute…for cows.




Italy–the bad side

As we continued on in Italy we felt that our first day was deceiving. As we continued on, we realized that driving was scary, English speakers were few, and we were feeling the need for something besides the gelato standby.

Day Two: After securing a hotel we ventured out to get some grub in the town of Trento. We circled the square and decided upon a pizza place. We sat down and after a few minutes we ordered.


Long story short–after approximately 50 minutes total without food, we got up and left.

So don’t go to eat here. Unless you never want to eat. Then it’s perfect for you.


Desperate, we found a buffet place. We didn’t want to sit and wait again. We were tired and hungry. So we were in and out of the buffet. At that point, we both ate just because we needed to eat. Horrible food at a horrible place. It was merely calories.


So Italy…not so much.


Let’s be honest, many places we visited we did specifically to experience the food. We like food.

Italy was no exception. Our first day there we went to a great authentic Italian restaurant. Devin ordered a pizza which once he saw it was wondering why he ordered so much. 


But that was no problem.


I ordered gnocchi. I don’t often get gnocchi but it sounded good and was one of the few things we could figure out what it was.


It was the best gnocchi I’ve ever had. So good.


Katelyn was having fun and the servers were in love with her. After some getting-to-know-you time, our server put out his hands and Katelyn went to him. She had fun walking around with him, smiling and laughing as we ate.


Even after all that food, we knew we had to get some authentic gelato.

Oh. Yum.


It was a great experience. Everything was so good.

Even the spoons tasted good.



After a two-day pit stop in Dijon, France, we were on to Switzerland.

Switzerland ended up being one of my favorite places that we visited. It was so beautiful and the countryside was refreshing. 


We took a tram ride up a mountain. This was only one of dozens of them and the shortest (cheapest) one available. If we had more money and the weather was clearer we would have gone further. But we figured why go up to look at a bunch of clouds.

From the tram.


Hanging out in the village at the top of the tram.


And I know you are wondering, where is that awkward kissing picture?

Yep, there it is. We didn’t want to disappoint you.

We stayed in Switzerland for three nights. Our hotel had bikes you could use so we went for a short ride around the little town we stayed in. Clearly, Katelyn enjoyed the ride.


Paris–Arch de Triumph

One of our more enjoyable outings in Paris was to the Arch de Triumph. We were debating wether or not to go but then decided to go for it and were fully prepared to make the hike to the top. When we got to the front of the line to go up, the not-so-pleasant ticket lady firmly told us to go around. Without further direction or reasoning, Devin questioned her explaining that we had tickets. She continued to motion to us to go around while we stood there confused and frustrated. Finally she said, “the lift. You cannot go with the baby.”

So instead we took the elevator. Not something they usually let make you do in the States.

Thank you, Katelyn.

At the top.


Looking down onto some sort of memorial celebration procession. We had no idea what was going on but there were plenty of officials and spectators around so apparently it was something special.



Did I mention how it rained…a lot…

The most entertaining thing was to watch the roundabout that goes around the arch.  It’s something like eight unmarked lanes.  Some cars were speeding through whiles others were just at a dead stop. And yet, not one crash. Crazy.

Paris–Eiffel Tower


We went to see the Eiffel Tower twice during our visit. The first one was nice but we didn’t do our research to find out when it twinkles so we had to make a second trip.

Hanging out on a park bench.





Our little girl all tuckered out after our late trip.


Trip number two–waiting for the twinkle.



Something about being around hundreds of other people, dozens of which are making out, and hearing “bling, bling” from the street vendors that takes away the romantic element. Meh, what do ya do.