Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hooray for the Internet!

This week has been so busy for me. The summer is always full of birthdays, goings away, graduations, and all types of events for me. This summer has been no different. It is nice to have this evening to actually spend at home and catch up on reading some of my favorite blogs! Here are a few things that I have seen around the internet in the last few weeks. Hope you enjoy!

Love this stove!
via Pink Wallpaper
Lovely dresses!
via Nest Pretty Things
Such a gorgeous door.
via The Yellow Door Paperie on Tumblr
I need this next to my door.
via The Chive
Love this drink cart and lemonade server. It is made of completely of recycled glass!
via Eco Kitchen
Gorgeous hats!
via Fancy Fine
This shirt is amazing.
via Tick Tock Vintage
Would love to see the Matterhorn in person. I have only been lucky enough to see the Disney version!
via Lost in America
I am so doing this for my trip to Germany next week <3
via The Daily Varnish
<3 Amy

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vytopna Railway Restaurant

Vytopna Railway Restaurant

Prague, Czech Republic

Last weekend, I finally joined Amy (and Mo, Lucy, and Matthew) for a trip to "the train bar."  I had heard all about the model trains delivering your drinks but I imagined something akin to a sushi restaurant with a conveyor belt of food. Instead, I walked into a gigantic model train world.  There are tunnels, bridges, girders, and even a castle!  It is not a train on a continuous loop, but rather many individual trains which come straight to your table then back to the depot.  They even pick up empties!

Vytopna Stats 
Type of Restaurant: Train Restaurant
Cost: Affordable 
Service Type: Order from a server, drinks delivered by train; food delivered by server
Dining Area: Very large, rarely full
Location: Vaclavske Nam. 56, Prague 1
Nearby Tram Stops: Vaclavske Namesti, Muzeum
Nearby Metro: Muzeum, Mustek

Are the drinks here yet?

Here comes our first delivery!

For being in the center of town and having such a high entertainment factor, Vytopna is actually very reasonably priced.

These photos do not give you the full effect.  So, video!

Don't worry, this sign doesn't make any more sense in Czech than it does in English.

There is even a children's play area, as though the whole place weren't play area enough!

Very poor lighting, but indeed a castle!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wallenstein Palace

Wallenstein Palace

Prague, Czech Republic

Hercules Slaying the Dragon 
 Last weekend, Amy took us on an updated version of Amy's Walking Tour of Prague, which combined Amy's Walking Tour of Prague and Amy's Scary Walking Tour of Prague with a visit to the Wallenstein Palace.  Though it was hot, we gleefully frolicked in the gardens which we happily discovered have no entrance fee.

The Wallenstein Palace was built from 1623-1630 by Albrecht von Wallenstein.  Wallenstein seems to have been a rather proud fellow.  He wanted a palace as grand as Prague Castle.  The palace and gardens are very obviously done in the Italian style.  As with many places in Prague, the palace has a sordid history.  

Albrech von Wallenstein only got to frolic around his palace for one year after its completion.  Wallenstein was an important military figure during the 30 Years War, fighting on the side of the Habsburgs.  Wallenstein apparently made secret negotiations with Habsburg rivals, for which Ferdinand II had him assassinated.  Also (according to Wikipedia), in the gardens, there is a lane of statues depicting classical themes, all of which are copies.  The originals only held their places for 18 years before being stolen by a Swedish army.  These originals still remain at Drottningholm Palace in Sweden.  

I've heard tell that there are albino peafowl in the gardens, but we saw only this one.

Tiny door!

The Wallenstein Palace is currently home to the Czech Senate.  The palace remained in the Wallenstein family until 1945, when it became property of the state.

These merfolk leave a lot of tail to be desired--though I appreciate the mussel shell wings.

I like pretty gates.

Did I mention we had fun?  Some of us did, at least.

This was definitely a stop worthy of visiting if you are in Prague!  It is in Mala Strana, near so many other great sites.  Take an hour sometime to visit!  Or go just to hang out.  We saw so many people just enjoying a warm, sunny day in a beautiful park.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Solstice

A walk by the Vltava yesterday turned into the perfect first day of summer.  While walking back from ice cream at Old Town Square, we heard some music coming from a beer garden on an embankment.  Amy was sure the voice of the singer sounded familiar, so we went closer to investigate.

Lo and behold, Amy was right!  Looking down at a familiar face, having him wave and smile up between songs--it made this big ol' city feel like a small town.  

We went down to listen.

And have a beer.
In the background, you can see some boaters enjoying a lazy afternoon on the river.  We decided that the time had come.  We had had enough I've always wanted to do thats and someday, we should try thats.  

So we rented a paddle boat!  It was only 250 CZK per hour (about $13.00) for up to 4 people.  Quite reasonable prices!

We befriended some ducks and ducklings who obviously assumed we would feed them.  They also had fine taste in art and chose to swim around the giant chair and marching yellow penguins.

Amy and the beautiful view!  
We decided that the river is actually one of the best places to take photos of the city.

Vyšehrad Fortress in the background


Mo loved how this ladder leads down to the water and how the tree appears to be growing out of it.

Something is hilarious.

Casual Paddling

Feeling really casual.

Zebra striped zoo boat.  I was very nervous about how close it got to paddle boaters.

Off the boat, back on the docks, we saw this little ugly duckling.  Last spring, part of the beer garden on the embankment was roped off because of a swan nest.  This is obviously the small friend who hatched out of that egg.  It seems likely since his parents were hanging around where the nest was.

I highly recommend seeing the center of the city from a paddle boat!  Best solstice ever!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saturday Snapshots

Colleen here, behind the camera.  Using my trusty old point'n'shoot. 

Yesterday was a wonderful day in Prague, despite the heat.  

Ice cream was had at Naměsti Miru

We visited the Prague Public Transportation Museum

This our tram line!  (How Amy and I both get to work.)

We took the tram a looooong way.

To the tram bar!  It is built into the final tram stop on the 11. 

So much sun, looooong shadows.