Charles Bridge Prague
Another year, another big family trip, this time to Prague.

After the success of last years trip to Rome, we decided to do it again and step it up a notch. In January, I began to look at different areas around the world that I was interested in and after a few hours of deliberation(throwing darts at a map), I decided on Prague. My wife is such a trooper. I literally went from an idea of doing another big trip to having plane tickets and Airbnb booked within about 12 hours. Why spend more than 12 hours planning a 6 and half week trip?

Last year we were fortunate enough to have Erika along for help.

We knew that this year was going to be a big year for her and we were not looking to add any more to her plate. The original plan was to fly solo with the kids but in our final weeks before leaving my cousin asked if we needed any help and that her schedule was currently free. It sounded great to us. We were looking forward to having the extra set of hands and she is great with the kids. With only two weeks to go, I quickly made arrangements for flights, Eurail passes, etc. Unfortunately, less than 48 hours before we were leaving, my cousin had something come up that had to change her plans.

Things were planned for six and we were back to five.

We know my cousin was disappointed and we were too. Lua and I were looking forward to having date nights and having someone else to help keep an eye on the girls with us. We scratched our heads and we thought we’d take a shot in the dark and reach out to Erika, who was in Utah wrapping up her last days of class, to see if she would be interested.  If we had invited her originally, she would have most certainly said no. But, our timing seemed to be right. After a quick phone call, an initial decline on the invite, a text from her the next day, and a little nudge from me, Erika was in with less than 24 hours to her flight time.

We decided to keep it a bit of a surprise from the girls and Lua.

Lua had no clue the Erika and I had made arrangements for her to meet up with us at JFK. The anticipation for Erika and I was palatable and the final reveal at the gate in JFK went as expected. Lua was in tears and the girls couldn’t quite figure out why Erika was there. After the emotional reunion, we loaded up for our overnight flight to Prague.

Our Airbnb host arranged transport from the airport which is always a great way to be welcomed into a new country.

Twenty minutes later we were steps away from the Charles Bridge and walking into our new home for the next month. We tried to keep our apartment close to the same size and the same budget as our place last year in Rome. The apartment is a bit of a step up as the kitchen and bathrooms are appointed a bit better. The three bedroom layout is perfect with the three girls on three twin beds in their own room leaving two more rooms to spread out in.

After getting unpacked, changed, and splashing some water on our face, it was time to eat.

Our short list was to get food now, walk to city square, and find a grocery store. Tripadvisor and I are the best of friends when overseas and so far it has done well by me here too. A quick look up of cheap eats nearby landed us at Fat Cat Brewery & Pub. The girls and Lua had schnitzle, Erika had a sandwich, and I went a bit heavier with the Schweinshaxe, which is roasted pork knuckle. The food was great, kids were happy, and it didn’t break the bank. That being said, it was still pricier than I was expecting.

Lunch did its job and filled our bellies so we headed over the Old City Square.

Being one of the first really nice days, the middle of tourist season, and being a Saturday it was mobbed. Our time spent there was brief as we were feeling a pretty lethargic from the long travel day and crummy sleep. After a brief walk down the Charles Bridge we headed back to try a Kürtőskalács also know as a Chimney Cake, which unfortunately looked better than it tasted.

The grocery store, Tesco, was a bit of a walk, but had a pretty decent selection.

We explored the aisles and loaded up with different odds and ends. 50 different choices of sausage, check, lots of cheese, check, there were more than enough options to tempt just about anyone. I was a little surprised again regarding the prices. What was even more of a surprise was the little one’s affinity to sticking her finger up her nose. Half way through checking out, we turned around to see her cupping her face and blood pouring out on the floor as if it were a lost scene from Carrie.  Always prepared, Lua had some tissues, and after running towards the nearest bathroom, having a security guard tell us we need to call an ambulance, and having a lady yell in Czech at Erika on how to get a nose bleed under control. It finally stopped and we were ready to tote our groceries and bloodied children home for the evening.

We wanted to get on schedule as fast as possible.

Even though we weren’t sure how the morning was going to go, we decided the night before that we were going to make our best effort to get to church in the morning. It started at 9am and we managed to get out the door by around 8:30 to make the 30 minute walk over the Charles, through Letenské sady (Letna Park) and to our small ward. As with Rome, many of the members were either visiting or expats, as well as a large quantity of missionaries. It was a great experience and we are looking forward to heading back next week.

Old Town Hall with Astronomical Clock Prague
We decided to make the rest of the day a little more laid back so that we could catch up on more sleep.

After church we headed home, changed, and went off to find a bite to eat and pick up some more groceries as we had blown through most of it between snacking and breakfast. We had another solid find at Sad Man’s Tongue Bar & Bistro and so far have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food in Prague.

The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around.

Once the sun was down and the kids were asleep, Lua and I ventured off to stroll a bit at night. The view of the Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at night that you see at the top of this post is literally across the street from our apartment. Our apartments location is amazing and we were able to see many of the most popular sites in just a short walk.

We have a rough game plan tomorrow and will try to keep everyone posted as we continue along our trip!

 

With virtually no planning other than plane tickets and our Airbnb, we spent the first few hours navigating old city, finding our grocery store, and looking for some decent eats!
Written by The Restless Giant
Ryan is a traveler who works just long enough to get to his next trip. He usually has numerous trips in the pipeline and, when possible, brings his family along with him.