Knock ‘Em Out

DSC_9151It’s almost March and a trip to Barcelona, Spain is on the horizon. We visited Barcelona back in the summer of 2012 while driving from Naples, Italy to Lisbon, Portugal. The thing is, we didn’t get to enjoy the city due to me; a very sick mom and wife. My husband said we would go back before we moved out of Europe. Well, we’ll be wrapping up our time here on this continent in a few months, so a return trip is coming, thanks to a three-day weekend. In three weeks after the weekend get away, we’ll be saying good-bye to the La Paloma, shipping our house hold goods to Guam and moving into a furnished apartment for the duration of our time in Portugal. Only two more moves this year! DSC_9163
The past adventures have piled up on me, so today I am sitting down and knocking some of  ’em out. Our time spent in Eastern Europe over Christmas 2013 and New Years 2014 was two months ago. I can’t believe the speed in which these last few months have zipped by. I thought I would have been done writing about our time in Poland, Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic in January but sometimes what I think is going to happen, doesn’t. I’ve spent the last few months, editing-editing-editing-rewriting-rewriting-rewriting-editing The Chopped GEM. Did I mention editing? I think that part has been harder than writing the darn book, but fine tuning it is a must.DSC_9143
While on break from editing, I tried to cover our time spent in Poland here. Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mine along with an evening spent at the Krakow Water park, mainly made up our time in that country. We generally knock out a lot of sight seeing but Christmas vacation was spent exploring leisurely. That sounds funny, when we visited four countries in two weeks. But it’s true, it was a leisurely trip that had a balance of history and fun.DSC_1177
I touched on our time in Prague here too this past month. It wasn’t real in-depth and I’ll upload most of the photos to on Facebook of all four countries, so this blog isn’t a book of photos.DSC_9227
 Prague, Czech Republic was where our adventure began; four days and loads of photos. The city of Prague is absolutely stunning. It’s a another city I hope to return to one day. I personally think they have the best Christmas markets and lights in Europe.DSC_9553
After we wrapped up our time in Prague, we drove south towards Vienna, Austria. Before we made it to Vienna we stopped off forty-five miles south of Prague in Sedlec, Czech Republic. It’s where the The Bone Church, the Kotnice Ossuary, Chapel of All Saints is located. This Medieval Gothic church is decorated with about over 40,000 bones. It’s a reminder of what the plague did in the middle ages. A neat site if you have boys who like bones and creepy things.DSC_9657
DSC_9646As I continue to knock these countries out today, we’ll stop off in a city that was so much fun for our family, Vienna, Austria.0x119c78000
This is the country where our digital disc froze up and we lost all our photos. That was until saved the day. If your digital disk ever freezes up and you think you’ve lost all your photos, don’t discard it. Ship it to this company. They recovered our memories captured on disk.1528602_10202130975728730_64212550_n
What is there to see in Vienna?0x13b2c8000
St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Rathaus, Belvedere Palace, Imperial Palace, St. Peter’s Church, Kunsthaus Wien, the State Opera House, National bibliothek, Kunsthistorisches, Schonbrunn Palace, Parliament, Christmas Markets and the Wurstelprater Amusement Park-these are just a few off our list. This city is inundated with an abundance of sites. We really enjoyed the Christmas market at Schonbrunn Palace, but our family favorite was the Wurstelprater Amusement Park. It was chilly but we warmed up with hot cocoa and mulled wine.0x1459d8000
Before we knock out this adventure and 360 our way back up to Prague we drove east into  Slovakia on our way to Krakow.  Our son wore this Bullwinkle hat during the entire trip to keep his head warm. So of course, he gets the name Bullwinkle.DSC_9188
We stopped and took a break on our drive towards Bratislava. I wore my hair in braids the entire duration of the trip and put it under a hat and called myself Helga. My husband was on leave for two weeks so he let his hair grow on his face and we called him the Scruffy Thinker. We wanted a family selfie in front of this castle in Slovakia.DSC_0701
It didn’t work out. Bullwinkle was needing to rest so Scruffy Thinker and I made our way over to this platform thing for photos and got our corny on! I’ll spare you those photos.  When we made it to Bratislava, we stopped off at the blue church. It was stunning and certainly stood out among the grey sky and the dull buildings around.
We didn’t really spend a lot of time in Bratislava. We walked through St. Michael’s Gate and enjoyed the square, took photos and nibbled on the bits that were left behind from the Christmas markets. Have I mentioned we’re big fans of the Christmas market food?DSC_0639
We are huge fans of it. So many different and fun things to try. Plus, the prices are easier on the pocket-book vs. sitting down in a restaurant establishment. Well I think I’ve knocked ’em out today, well knocked out enough photos of our time in Eastern, Europe. It was a compelling trip and one that I highly recommend. Will be back here shortly with more photos and adventures from Barcelona, Spain.0x158a78000

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