Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Week 10

Once upon a time, a young man travelled far away from home to find experience, culture, people, cuisine, beauty . . . in a word, life. Along the way, he crossed paths with a young woman who left her own home in search of the same thing. Together they embarked upon a journey that changed their lives. They returned to their own land, hand in hand and began an even more exciting adventure together as husband and wife. Thirteen years later, small child in tow, they traveled yet again across the ocean to relive for themselves and gift to their child that incredible feeling of seeing the world.

If someone told me back in 1999 when I met sweet yet quirky Keegan in Copenhagen of all places that we would get married, have a beautiful child together, and then bring that little guy on the same journey living abroad we embarked upon together years ago, I would have never believed it. It finally sunk in this weekend on our mini-getaway to Prague, Liam, although on a smaller scale, is going through some of the same amazing things Keegan and I went through when we lived in Europe for a semester in college. Living in London has been an adjustment yes, but in a way, really just feels like home away from home. Far away, albeit, but home nonetheless. It’s not until you step out of a plane and realize you cannot understand another word anyone around you is speaking that you truly feel in a “foreign” place, both literally and figuratively. To me it is such a rush . . . . not only of panic and emotions, but also of adrenaline and excitement . . . like you are turning the very last pages of Twilight a really good book and cannot wait to find out what will happen next. I will say, we continue to find many challenges in traveling with a “particular” four year old (read: picky, emotional, defiantly independent one minute, rolling around on the ground in a fit of “I CAN’T DO IT...” the next minute, tiresome while trying to get out and see things, tireless the minute we are trapped behind hotel doors, etc) Oftentimes it is just downright exhausting trying to keep him happy: apparently wandering aimlessly about a city taking in the sights is NOT entertaining, mummy is a massive clot for not carrying obscene amounts of peanut butter sandwiches tucked inside her hat like Paddington, the gloves he cares for as much as he cares for the broccoli on his dinner plate suddenly become the only thing that would make a visit to Prague even remotely enjoyable when one is lost, and scootering on cobblestones is actually not conducive to traveling afterall. I suppose, as I am writing them, these challenges are not much different at home on a daily basis. Regardless, the overwhelming feeling at the end of a long day in a new city (after Liam is sleeping so angelically and Mummy and Daddy have beverage in hand) is we feel so blessed and often downright giddy to be able to share things that mean so much to us both as individuals and as a couple, with this little tiny sponge, our tiny little sponge. Perhaps someday he will forget many if not all of the details of living in London and the countries we have visited (and no doubt we will conveniently forget the whining, pouting, and bickering . . . most likely just after I finish this post) but Keegan and I can rest easy knowing we have had the opportunity to expose Liam to many different people and many different places and have, at the very least, planted a seed. We can only hope the seed will one day flourish into a passion, empathy, and care for this world.  

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” - St. Augustine IMG_2676 Week 101 IMG_2693 Week 102 IMG_2703
Sweet yet quirky Keegan:
IMG_2698 Week 103
Of course, it's not all grumbles and frowns . . .
. . . there are afterall traditional Trdleniks (Czech pastries) on the square for the little ones . . . 
Week 109 Week 107
. . . and mulled wine for the adults!  A welcome break from the touring.
We finally wisened up and realized in addition to the sweet pastries, we needed to find ways to keep Liam entertained, happy, and most importantly engaged in his amazing surroundings.  We came up with:
a photo scavenger hunt . . .:
These are the things Liam found and took photos of (Czech flag, a clock, a dome, his favorite statue, a tower, stained glass window, flying buttress, and something very old!)
Week 106
. . . and mandatory playground stops!

Prague has many wonderful things to offer its adult tourists as well such as:
Smoked Meats.  Yes, please.

Beer and more smoked meats.  Yes, please.

Week 104
More smoked meat and lovely candlelit cellars in which to eat said meat and drink said beer.  Yes, please.
Week 108
And last but not least of course is the endless eye candy for avid photographer.  Yes, please.
Week 105 IMG_2816 IMG_2803
That would be Beer for $1.45.  Yes, please.
Week 1010
Week 1011

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