Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One fine Sunday morning, we took the train two hours west from Prague to Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad, as the Germans call it), a spa town made famous during the 16th century and whose 18th and 19th century architecture make it a place definitely worth visiting. Its a small but wonderfully preserved city, the perfect place for a weekend getaway. From the small train station, which sits above the city, it's an easy 1-mile walk down and across the bridge to the city center.
After walking to the city center, we went directly to the Thermal Hotel where Melinda read about an outdoor mineral pool overlooking the city. Sure enough, it was there. We spent some time in the pool and would have stayed longer if the water wasn't so deep - we got tired of having to rescue Lolo.
Time for a snack break in the city park. Lolo also took some time to chase away every pigeon within 200 yards.
After walking along the riverfront shops, colonnades, mineral fountains, and parks for a while - we decided to hike up to the neighborhoods overlooking the valley. We took those steps you see behind the building.
"Gonna fly now, gonna fly now." Only 987 more steps to go.
The neighborhood at the top of the stairs, overlooking the river and main drag below, was absolutely beautiful. This "residence" was our favorite.
The city has a number of colonnades, each has its own distinct architectural style. Here are my two girls at the Park Colonnade, made famous for its wonderful design and sewer-flavored mineral water.
Fill 'er up! The mineral water at first tastes like lemon juice, then it just tastes like crap.
Don't touch that! Some of the mineral fountains are hot, hot, hot.
One last cathedral, then it's time to take the train home.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday & Anniversary, Melinda!

“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” - Lucille Ball

August is always a special month for the Kings. This year, Melinda turned the big 3-2 (as opposed to the small 3-2), we also hit the 3-year mark together as a married couple, and to celebrate, I lied to her.

I told her I was going to work for the day while she took Lolo to a kids fairy party (photos coming soon) at the Howling's place, just outside of Prague. Instead of working, I spent most of the day running around the city buying gifts: clothes, Belgian chocolates, a custom chocolate/espresso birthday cake, flowers (Gerber daisies - her favorite), and a new mobile phone. It wasn't easy.

After the kids party, our friends Andrea and Chris arranged to have a baby sitter watch their daughters, Olivia and Greta, and Lolo while us four adults went out to dinner and drinks (the first such excursion for us in months and months). We had a great time at La Casa Blu for dinner, and the cocktails at Bar & Books are always first rate.

After a cab ride back to Andrea and Chris' house to collect our little one, we finally made it home to a house full of birthday/anniversary gifts. Good times.

Happy 32nd Birthday and Happy 3rd Anniversary, darling. I love you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

June 2009

It is better to be a young June bug than an old bird of paradise” -Mark Twain

Hello again to all of our devoted fans out there. We hope you are all enjoying summer - especially those friends and family in Arizona and Texas who are experiencing triple digit heat, ugh. Summer in Prague is here but you'd never know it. We've had rain nearly every day since the beginning of May - great if you're a tree, bush, or flower - not so great if you live here or, god forbid, come here as a tourist.

Melinda took a weekend off and went up to Berlin to spend some time with Ben & Vanessa, who were there on vacation. We had visitors as well: Thomas & "Beyonce" visited from Regensburg, and spoiled Lolo with candy and toys. And Carl & Rachel finally made it out to Europe and stopped by for a few days as well. Good times.

Three things happened this month that made me feel like an old bird of paradise:

1) We enrolled Lolo in preschool. We totally lucked out and found a perfect school in a perfect part of the city. It's a true Czech "skolka" that was renovated last year and has incredible facilities and great teachers. It's also state funded so we only pay around 35 bucks per month! Lolo starts September 1st.

2) I received an invitation to my nephew's high school graduation. For those of you who don't know, Taylor is my sister Heidi's second child. Heidi and her husband, Glenn, just moved to Austin, Texas last month from Seattle, but Taylor (and Tyson) are staying put in Washington. Congrats, Taylor!!

3) On the same day I received Taylor's invitation, I also received an invitation to my 20-year high school reunion!! Oh, the humanity!! I'm not attending.

Keep in touch,


Thanks to uncle Jerry for the word bowling game. It works!

While mommy is away, Lolo will play. We went up to the "big slide" park above the castle while Melinda was in Berlin with Ben & Vanessa. What can I say? The girl has a thing for slides.