Coming home for the holidays!

"When loved ones are near
It's the most wonderful time of the year" - Andy Williams

We traveled back to the states for Christmas, and it was wonderful!

Our time at home with family and friends is always cherished. I flew in towards the early part of December and Ben arrived shortly after just in time for the main festivities. We usually try to switch from year to year which side of the family we will spend the majority of the holiday with…this year was a Berry Christmas.

After landing in DFW I hit the ground running with family visits, friend gatherings and lots of fun Christmas shopping. Dallas isn’t the most beautiful city, but it holds many things dear to me which gets my heart pounding with excitement. Coming home for the holidays always feels like the best Hallmark movie. For me, its the combination of joy and anxiety that creates the ultimate feeling of Christmas. My joy usually stems from conversations enveloped with love and laughter, and my anxiety awakens when my need to try and please kicks in. With that being said, I had the most marvelous time at home with these emotions at the forefront.

The first week back started with a visit from my sweet sister and nephew. I loved these days with them. Gent, our nephew who just turned two is extremely active, curious and loving. Which makes for amazingly entertaining and funny days. Gent is a charmer for sure, who can continually make anyone fall in love with him and his silly sayings.

The days leading up to Ben’s arrival were fast and delightful. My dad and I put up all the decorations we could find until the house was bursting with cheer just in time for Ben’s homecoming.

I picked Ben up at the airport the afternoon of the 21st. We went straight from the gate to a lovely dinner at my grandparents. After filling our bellies we headed home for a…long winters nap? The next few days were spent fulfilling Christmas traditions like making “Berry Chexmix”, decorating cookies, exploring local museums, fishing on Lake Lavon, and of course watching all the Christmas movies.

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Christmas Eve and Christmas day were splendid!

After things calmed down, we got back to figuring out a plan to see Ben’s parents, fortunately one afternoon Ben and his father gathered ideas and made it happen. Next thing we knew we were flying out to Salt Lake City to visit many Meyers!

We stayed with Ben’s brother Sebastian and lovely wife Madison (my bff)!! We had the best trip, our days were filled by wondering around Utah with his parents, morning bird watching with enthusiast Sebastian, afternoons around the table at his grandparents and evenings playing games and telling stories. It was a spontaneous and pleasant trip.

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Shortly after the Meyer family visit came to a close Ben found himself flying back to Europe to start back at work. Which he was eager to get back into his daily routine. For myself, I spent another week at home helping conclude the holidays by putting away the beloved decorations and making my last few rounds of visits.

I absolutely LOVED my visit home and adored the extra time I got to spend with my mom and dad towards the end of the trip.

I’ve arrived safely back in Prague and was joyfully reunited with my sweetheart <3

Saturday Farmers' Market

"I'm happy as I am" - Men I Trust

Winter has come in full force to Prague (the sun is absolutely nowhere to be seen) and that means that our favorite Saturday morning routine of visiting one of Prague's many farmers' markets has gone on hiatus. The weekend markets take a break for a couple months to relieve the vendors/farmers from the frigid winter mornings and make sure they are prepared for when the frost is over and the sun can be seen again.

We find ourselves going to our local market at Kulatak and immediately get in the long line for what I think is the best kolache, kremole, buchty (pictured above) in town baked by Cukrarstvi Karlovy Vary. Now Czechs aren't crazy about the cookie or brownie but prefer a flaky pastry and sweet bread that is usually packed with a poppy seed or milk curd filling. No complaints here. 

Even with our extremely limited Czech speaking skills, we find that people appreciate us trying to  say, "Dva, prosím" correctly while pointing to some heavenly looking pastry and fumbling with our Czech Korunas. We are learning Czech very slowly as there are very few similarities between the Slavic and Germanic language structures, but we're doing our best and sticking with what we know best, ordering food, "Já si dám polévkou, prosím."

 

Now after we have had our sweet breakfast we head to the green grocers where they show off their huge leeks, potatoes, apples, cabbages, turnips, peppers, and whatever other hardy winter fruits & vegetables make it through the frosts.

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We try to get to the market early in the morning so that we can see what the locals buy (equipped with dog and wicker baskets in hand) and where the biggest lines are before the tourists come. Who knew that the pickup truck with hundreds of eggs for sale, the mini dairy van, or the sausage tent were crowd favorites?

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One of Kensey's favorite stops is a seafood tent that carries octopus, eel, tuna, or anything else you can imagine brought from the Baltic Sea or Dalmatian Coast right to the center of Prague. It's been such a fun adventure to experience all of these new tastes and smells that are so unique to this part of the world.

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I HAVE TO WAIT HOW MANY WEEKS FOR SOME MORE CHORIZO TOAST?

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