I’m wriggling my fingers, stretching my back, drinking a third cup of coffee, trying to work up enthusiasm to write a chipper, happy, fantabulous blog post. Prague deserves a chipper, happy, fantabulous blog post! It is my new, #1 favorite city. It’s gorgeous, clean, super friendly people, amazing food, historical, an easy drive from home. I barely scratched the surface but I fell in love. Hard.

But. Life is filled with buts. Today is heavy. The weight of goodbye’s is pressing on my shoulders. I’m sitting hunched and sad at my desk. I’m trying to shake off the sadness, but it’s not working. I miss my mom, my dad. They left early yesterday morning. I dropped them off at Stuttgart airport. Curbside. Their choice. And choked down a sob, or ten, as I drove away. My parents fading away, still waving enthusiastically, in my rearview mirror.

And then. Then. Super early this morning, technically still yesterday, I put Nestor on a train. The last of his belongings in his hands. After more than a year as our basement dweller, my dishwasher, our animal caretaker, my Extra #5,673, 212 left us to go down a new path. He is off to a Job Corps program in the states. I’m so happy for him, but I’m going to miss his laugh, his sneak-surprise hugs, his enthusiasm for new foods. I’m just going to miss him.

Three goodbye’s in less than 24-hours should not be a thing. I’m trying like crazy to shake the poor-me feelings. I have no right to poor-me feelings.  Yet they are very strong and winning the battle. Beating even beautiful, amazing Prague. Prague that stole my heart. It was such a wonderful three days. Not just because Prague, but because it was time with my parents and my kids. The two still at home. There is nothing better than to give your kids wonderful memories, and our time in Prague is filled with wonderful memories. Not just of me, and them, and a beautiful city, but of my parents. Their grandparents.

I’m not sure my parents will be up to another trip all the way to Germany. Let alone a roadtrip to Prague, or anywhere. They are getting a little older and even with my super slow pace, I’m pretty sure we wore them out. Still, I know they wouldn’t have traded those days for the world. Me neither.

I once again magically scored the perfect Airbnb. A very affordable, gorgeous old apartment right on the market square: Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad. It was the daily market on the market square that sealed the deal. Every day, not too early the Prazak (Praguesters?) set up a wonderful all-day market. Each day is a little different, though a coffee cart is always part of the set-up. In fact, coffee is huge in Pragueian culture. Every other store front is a coffee shop, or if no store front is available a káva cart is readily available. Make that every third store front. And every other third store front is a Vinotéka, a wine bar. You can get wine by the glass & then enjoy it there, right outside, or while strolling down the street. See? Prague is so my city!

My mom and I grabbed coffee every morning at the market, maybe some fresh breads or delicous pastries, cheeses, sausages, meats, all completely new tastes to us, and fresh fruit. Especially cherries, just in season, full of that awesome cherry flavor. I also grabbed a fresh squeezed juice, 350 ml for 45 Kč (Koruna) or about $2, every afternoon. My favorite was the watermelon, though the strawberry mint & blueberry were pretty drinkable too. We came home with spice packets, mountain beer, and a gorgeous table cloth for my mom. That market is my dream market.

I’m going to stop here, my  mouth is drooling for some Czech coffee & pastry. I have a couple pictures to share, just a few out of hundreds. I will leave you with the strong urging to visit Prague before Paris. That is how much I loved this city.

A glass of wine, courtsey of my dad, on the balcony of another perfect Airbnb.

Prague castle seen from the Vltava river.

The famous Charles Bridge.

These “babies” by sculptor David Černý are along the river in Kampa Park, as well as other locations around Prague.

A little farther along the river bank there is another kind of art. And Tess. And Dane.

We stopped for lunch in a very fancy restaurant, a steal in the local currency. Tess had cold cucumber soup!

St. Nicholas Church (Staré Město)

Tess, Dane & my mom after a long, fantabulous day.

Public transportation is awesome in Prague! Here comes our tram.

Altar of Church of St. Ludmila, one of the most beautiful interiors I’ve seen!

My mom & dad on the streets of Prague with Tess & Dane.