Even in snow, maybe especially in snow, Prague is stunning. I am kicking myself for waiting seven years to drive less than five hours to visit. Twenty-four hours was not enough time.

Early New Years day Cole and Sebastian were both missing their third-wheel, Daniel. I checked on the weather and drive time and realized we could easily go to Prague and pick him up. The boys had backpacks and pillows in the car in five minutes.  Tess begged to come, and off we went. The trip there was an easy, beautiful, quick drive.

We stopped at the border to get our vignette, ie. permission to drive the toll roads in the Czech Republic (now officially Czehnia, but I’m already struggling not to say Czechoslovakia). Sebastian had studied up on exchange rates, and the first rest area had 1) bad exchange rates and 2) charged a fee to change our Euro’s into Koruna or “crowns”. Thanks to his savviness, we piled back into the car & drove on the next rest area where we got our vignette, and some spending money at a reasonable, no fee, exchange rate.

By then it was night, and an hour later we rolled into Prague under cover of darkness, snow and intense smoke from the evenings fireworks. I got lost. And lost. And lost. Daniel finally came out of his apartment, waved me down, hopped in and helped me park at gas station. Parking at gas stations is free. Everywhere else costs money and/or you have to move your car every six hours. Who knew?

Daniels childhood home is on the top floor of a building overlooking the river Vltava, just minutes outside of downtown Prague. The view, even in snow, is amazing. The stairs, 14 flights, a little less amazing. I see why both Daniel and his mother are so trim and fit. I don’t think I would ever be able to keep my family fed having to lug groceries up those stairs every day.  Then again, I think the beauty of the building, the old stairs, the view, may very well be worth it. I could stand to be a little trimmer.

Daniels mom, Zuzana, had steaming hot bowls of lentil soup waiting for us. A tradition in Hungary (Sebastian is Hungarian, and he’d been lamenting all day he’d had no lentils) to ring in the new year rich, not poor, it was a treat to eat after a semi-long roadtrip. After we bundled up, piled into two taxis and taken to an old pub in Old Town Prague. We walked into a very small street front bar, then down several flights of stairs into a gorgeous, vaulted ceiling, underground tavern. We met up with Zuzana’s boyfriend and were treated to fabulous wine, beer and fried cheese!  I was in Heaven. I could’ve stayed all night.

But. I’d brought Tess. And the boys wanted to go clubbing. So Tess wanted to go clubbing. Tess is 15. That meant I had to go clubbing. I could’ve said “no”. Let the boys go, finish drinking in the worlds most perfect underground tavern, and then go home to “our” beautiful apartment and admire the view some more. But I want my kids to have all the experiences Europe has to offer. I want to be able to grab the opportunities and let them explore life from every angle. I want them to grow up as well-rounded as possible. Seeing all walks of life. Experiencing as many things as possible. I have no idea when clubbing will ever be an option for her again.  Clubbing we went.

Daniel led us on a footrace (he’s 6’7″) through Old Town, me wishing I had my camera and night-photography skills the whole way, while cursing the rough, round, big cobblestones as I tripped and stumbled behind him. It was still early and we just walked into the club. I admit, I felt pretty cool strutting in with my posse, cutting through the crowd like butter as we wound our way through the bar, down the stairs, and again underground in a club straight out of the 80s. Techno music blasted. Black lights flared. And drinks were served with glow sticks. I felt 18 again.

In that light, even I look 18. There is something magical about briefly being young again. Tess was in Heaven! Euro-clubbing is unlike anything in America and her eyes were big as saucers. I even let her have a drink and she sipped, stared and danced in her seat. As it approached midnight, and the club got crowded, Cole got nervous keeping us “safe”. He hoarded us back out, Daniel called us a taxi, and we made our way back to the apartment.

We had a magical night. Followed by a fabulous day of sight-seeing before heading back to Germany. Despite the snow. Despite the gray skies. I still managed almost 400 pictures. I don’t know if these are the best, but I have to stop staring at the amazing things I’ve seen this week and get back to work. I have been beyond lucky. Beyond blessed to be able to see so much of the world. Color me happy.


Cole, Sebastian & Daniel… back together again ❤


Snow + Boy = Snowball


The boys outside the Prague Castle gates


I have at least 10 different “lamp” photo’s. I love lamps/streetlights!


It was snowing. I had my lens hood on. The Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral. And the kids.


Only one of the stained glass windows in St. Vitus ❤


St. Vitus has the highest vaulted ceiling. I need a bigger lens to capture it all. Breathtaking!


Leaving the castle grounds. Two kids pose beautifully. Two dab. At least we’re not getting sworn in.


Hey! There’s still a Christmas market outside of the castle grounds! Wooooohoooooo!


I love, love, love theses painted candle holders. I got the red one from Cole!


All the streets are just beautiful. Not all my photo’s are clear (it was really snowing) but here’s a glimpse.


You can tour Prague by Vintage Car. You can. We didn’t. Next time!


Absinth is legal & everywhere in Prague. It is not yummy.


Smoking is still very prevalent & accepted in Europe. Especially Eastern block countries. Sigh.


Trdelník is a traditional dough, wrapped around a stick, baked & sugared. YUM!


We got a couple souvenirs. They made Tess carry it. See the boys walking carefree up there?


Our Starbucks collection continues to grow ❤