Prague by Peyton

Last week, we spent our time in Prague. We had a nice apartment with two floors in a quiet neighborhood. The tram was right next to our place, so we took that into the city once to get food and explore a bit.

We got there on Friday, and went into the city Saturday, where there were lots of alleyways and side roads that we took. There was a big church being restored, but we were wondering why there were hundreds of people waiting in front of it. We waited around a little, and when we were about to give up and go into the Starbucks that was right there, it happened! The bell rang and a little gold man waved his arm. I bet you thought something cool was going to happen. It was lame. So, we left there, and walked around and found some clothes stores, and Liam wanted McDonald’s, so we went there. It was getting late, so we decided to catch the train back home. We needed to get on a number 7 tram, so when it came by, we took our chance. After about five minutes on that number 7 train, Dad checked his handy dandy maps, only to find out we were going the wrong direction.

The next few days we didn’t do much, other than go to the park, but then on Wednesday we went to the big attraction. The Prague palace is just like any old palace, and we all hated it. Just kidding. Just imagine Buckingham palace surrounding a big renaissance church. Now pay very close attention to the words I am about to be writing, because if you don’t, you’ll be disappointed. When we were walking around the church, I saw a man with an amazing moustache… amazing. He wasn’t messing around. He had a purple shirt and plaid pants. It was amazing.

We were only able to see a small portion of the palace, and it was a pretty lame part, but behind the palace, there was a museum with a bunch of weapons and armor in it, and towards the back of the hall, there was a crossbow shooting range. I got to shoot a crossbow 3 times for 2 dollars. Sweet. We spent most of the day there, and then went to dinner at a place Mom went to in college. It was like a bookstore/cafe kind of thing, where you could sit down and read and/or eat some tasty food.

On Thanksgiving, I spent all day cooking, and… wait no. I didn’t cook at all. The rest of the family, with the exception of Liam, and they made an awesome dinner. Since they apparently don’t sell turkey in the Czech Republic, we got a duck. I thought the duck was really good, but Reagan thought otherwise. Sadly, we only had a little bit of mashed potatoes left for potato pancakes.

Prague By Kaitlyn

When I heard that we were going to Prague I was mad. I wanted to go somewhere warm. When we got there it was really really cold 😨 so when we got in the house I did not want to leave the house. Peyton got the first pick on the room, which was good for me because I got the room I wanted. Reagan and I got to share a bed and so did Peyton and Liam. Two days later we went to the Prague castle. I was really tired and grumpy and Liam was teasing me. I was so angry I started crying and dad told me that he is trying to win the power fight. He showed me with his fingers a power fight and I did what he said and Liam stopped teasing me. When we got back to the house I went to call Kayla but she would not pick up and I don’t know why.

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Someone’s Home vs Company

Airbnb’s are typically people’s homes that are rented out on a daily or weekly basis to various travelers. After arriving at our destinations, we have found that most of the Airbnb’s we have ended up renting are actually owned by businesses who have tapped into a very lucrative market–which isn’t always a bad thing. There are a few differences between renting out someone’s home and renting out from a business.

  1. We have found that when we have come to someone’s home the appliances work like they are supposed to. These are things that the businesses usually don’t keep track of because they don’t know unless a tenant complains and asks them to fix it. Out of all the things that have not worked, there has only been one time where the company never got back to us to fix the issue. That being said, most companies care enough about the flats they are in charge of and their reputation on Airbnb where they will take care of the issues as soon as they are able to.
  2. We have found that when you rent out a home through Airbnb, staples such as coffee & tea, sugar, spices, paper goods etc are usually provided for you to use. Most business-run Airbnb’s provide these as well, but not always. We have had a few that pretty much provide a roll of toilet paper and nothing else. So, if you don’t mind spending a few dollars on staple-goods to get you through your stay, ask what they provide before you book. Just remember that they are not required by Airbnb to provide anything that they themselves do not list as a provision in their description.
  3. When you rent out from a business you have access to the whole place. You don’t have to deal with closed off closets, refrigerators, dressers, and/or bedrooms where the owners have kept their things off limits.
  4. When you rent someone’s home, it is usually more homey. There are usually more pictures on the walls, maybe some throw blankets, rugs, etc–although sometimes they can be a bit cluttered. The homes we have rented have tended to provide us with really nice extra touches such as breakfast for the next morning, or a dessert or a bottle of wine that that particular part of the world specializes in. This is contrasted with the majority of Airbnb’s we have rented through a company where the place has felt a bit stale and sparse when it comes to the homey touches–although there have been a few that have provided snacks and/or wine upon arrival.

One thing to remember is that one is not better or worse than another, we have just found that they tend to be very different experiences. We have really enjoyed staying in some of the privately owned homes and there have been a few that we have really disliked and this has been the same with the company run Airbnb’s.

Reagan’s Prague Paper

Last week my family and I were in Prague. It was a beautiful city but it was cold and rainy. One day we were there we went on a tram to the old part of Prague and we bought tickets for a few exhibits. One exhibit we saw was the church which was SOO beautiful!!! 

We also saw the dungeon which was scary. The dungeon has torture weapons that they used back then to kill people. They had a chair with spikes on it and I’ll tell you how it works. So there’s the chair with spikes and someone is sitting on it and there is a strap for your neck with spikes on it too and if you move you would get hurt! I know it’s BRUTAL!!!!!!!!!! 

Another exhibit we saw was the armory witch had lots and LOTS of armor they used back then for wars. There were shields, chest plates, boots, swords, helmets and more. We saw a helmet with a weird looking nose protecter! It was HILARIOUS. 

The next exhibit we saw was a village. The village was pretty cool but NOT as cool as the others. Anyways the village had rooms with beds and desks. So it was pretty much like a house but a bit different. 

When we were all completely done with that we were starving, so we walked to a bookstore/cafe that my mom went to when she was in Bible school. And when our waiter came up he asked if we were ready to order and my dad said yes. I ordered an OREO MILKSHAKE and an American burger…… YUMMY! Then everybody else ordered and then my dad asked the waiter if he came from America because of his accent. He said yeah I come from Boston!! Then I thought to myself that’s crazy because earlier we asked someone to take our picture and they were from Boston also! Then after we paid we left and got back to our AirBNB. 

           THE END 

P.S. I’ll tell you about our thanksgiving on a different paper 😛

Cheltenham

I was pleasantly surprised by the loveliness of Cheltenham. It’s a quaint little town with a cathedral-polka-dotted skyline full of shops, row-houses, parks, and pathways. It’s a town that gives off a sort of enchanted feeling, for as you stroll around the narrow streets, it’s easy to go back in time and picture people of old shopping, wandering, laughing and playing along those same streets.

Pittville Park was the highlight for my kiddos. With a huge children’s play area and a small animal refuge center (by small, I mean there are 3-4 cages with chickens, birds, and a rabbit) my kiddos were in heaven. They also have a small cafe, which is perfect for parents and/or caretakers who want to sit and enjoy a hot cup of coffee and relax while their children expend their energy on the swings, obstacle courses, zip-line, or climbing ropes.

Because we visited mid-November, some of the shops were getting ready for Christmas. This means Christmas decorations go up, lights are everywhere, and the holiday cheer is beginning to spread. This also means that I was in my element. The Christmas season is my favorite time of year, so seeing lights and decorations go up makes me happy and giddy.

I would love to go back to Cheltenham when the days are a bit longer and the weather is a bit warmer. Despite the chilliness of weather and that it was dark by 4pm, I think it just may be up there in my top-favorite cities we have visited.

 

The Last 2 Weeks – Peyton

Sorry I haven’t written anything in a while, we haven’t really been doing much lately. Last week, Mom left to go to a meeting in Wichita, Kansas, so the rest of us went up to Dublin. Dad has some friends in Dublin, so we spent some time with them, and the rest of the week we just hung around at our place.

This week, we are in Cheltenham, United Kingdom. It is a small town about an hour from Birmingham, with good views and lots of old churches. Cheltenham is famous for their horse races, and right outside is a huge cliff with great views. On Saturday, we were driving to the London Gatwick airport, but about 15 minutes into the 2.5 hour drive, Dad hit the curb and got a flat tire. He’s obviously not used to driving on the left side of the road. So much for picking up Mom. We waited for the tow truck and when he got there he took us to the car shop.

The Elevator

Well, so here’s a funny story. The kids and I are on our way out of our door when the Littles (AKA Liam and Kaitlyn) decide to take the elevator and the Bigs (AKA Peyton and Reagan) and I decide to take the stairs. As we are walking down the stairs, all of a sudden I hear this noise, “BAM!” I look up to see that the elevator has stopped its descent.

I ask, “Liam and Kaitlyn are you guys ok? What happened?”

“The elevator won’t go!” I hear a bit of panic in my kids’ voices.

I go back up the stairs and push the elevator button and nothing happens. I ask the Littles to push the buttons in the elevator…nothing happens. They are stuck between floor 1 and 2 of our building…and we are in France in an old building and all we know how to say in French is Merci (thank you) and Bon-Bon (candy).

After analyzing the situation and realizing there was nothing we could do, I call the emergency phone number in the elevator. As I’m calling, I’m hoping I’m able to get ahold of someone who speaks English. Thankfully, I do get ahold of someone who speaks English and they said they will send someone over to help get our children out of the elevator.

The Littles are a bit scared by this point. It has been a whole 15 minutes…which I guess for a six and eight year-old that’s a long time. I start hearing things like, “Mom, I’m really thirsty! Can you get me some water?” and “Mom, I really have to go to the bathroom.” To which all I can say is, “Honey, the water won’t fit through these holes and I’m sorry you have to go to the bathroom, but you are going to have to wait until someone comes to get you out.”

After about a half hour someone did come and rescue the Littles from the elevator. We were very grateful — and if you ask Liam and Kaitlyn how it was getting stuck in the elevator, they will very seriously tell you that it was NOT funny.

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Favorites from London

We had a quick week in London and here are a few favorite pictures of our week there. I’m actually enjoying doing this blog in pictures–thinking that changing things up a bit might make it more interesting :). Anyways, I hope you enjoy seeing our journey in pictures!

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Favorites from Venice

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to do this, but here is a compilation of Venice favorites. Fall is my favorite time of the year, so I was extremely happy to see that Northern Italy has a fall–and we were able to be there for the very beginnings of the color changes!

 

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Enjoy!

Venice – Peyton

This week, we are in a city called Dolo, right next to Venice. Dad is running his first Marathon on Sunday, so we will be watching him finish that.

On Wednesday, for Mom’s birthday, we went into Venice and did all kinds of stuff there. I wasn’t a huge fan of the city, but it was still cool to be able to see. We got there at around eleven, and we walked across a bridge over the canal grandé (grand canal). We walked about a mile (unfortunately, Dad stepped on dog poop) to get to a restaurant, where I thought the food was decent, but not great, other than my pasta, which was good.

After we left the restaurant, we walked along the pier, then exited through an alleyway to where all the really touristy stuff was. We walked into a church. We sat down there for a few minutes, then got up and walked away.

We got gelato, then wandered around for a little while, until we decided to get on the water bus and go down the canal, to San Marco church. There were a lot of people there, so we sat down at a fancy restaurant and got macaroons, a French treat shaped as a circle. The view was amazing.

We walked back the way we came, and got on the gondola. I thought the gondola was kind of boring, and we just went through the alleys, so we didn’t see much. Liam really needed to use the bathroom, and he got really angry, so he just went on the wall somewhere. We walked back over the first bridge we went on, and went back home.