Day 1- We flew into Zurich from LAX, but our flight into Prague was cancelled. After flying for over 11 hours, we were almost at our final designation...only one more hour+ flight to go. It was very disappointing because we were already boarded when told we all had to de-board. There was a really nice play area in the airport, which we were able to spend some time in while my husband got everything straightened out.
The airline gave us a free hotel which didn't seem bad at first, but the bathroom flooded a few minutes in to my shower. Autumn went down 4pm (home time) and slept until 7pm. She was awake from 7-8pm, but went back down and slept through until morning!
Day 2- We flew to Prague via Swiss air. We were able to board the 777 from the ground which made the size that much more impressive. Walked by my IVF clinic and old town Prague, becoming acquainted with the city we would be returning to at the end of our stay. Found an old catholic church and snapped some pics of my husband throwing her up in the air. Went to sleep 2pm our time afraid it was just nap, but she slept through until almost 9am! Surprisingly, already adjusted to the time change in spite of the 9 hour difference.
Day 3 - We started our day with breakfast at the Hilton. We walked around toward Old Town, first visit to Gennet, my would-be IVF clinic and ended with a night walk and saw Prague castle up on the hill. It was 9pm, and still light out. We both love walking around and getting a little lost. She went to sleep at 2pm back home which is 11pm Prague time. She was already starting to prove herself as a flexible, easy traveler. Visited a huge toy store called Hamley's.
Day 4 - We had my IVF medication on ice, and took a train from Prague to Vienna. A woman at the train station told us there was no room for our luggage, but man behind us who was headed to Croatia because "I like to party" said that was bollocks. The next train was sold out, but there was plenty of room for our luggage after-all, and we still don't know what she was talking about. So many beautiful views of the countryside and our hotel in Vienna was perfect. The train ride took about six hours, so it was almost dark by the time we arrived. As I stepped out of the cab, my first view was of a beautiful Russian orthodox church that Putin had visited a few years before, it's gold dome spires reflecting what light was left from sunset.
Day 5- Such an amazing day wandering around Vienna. We walked the whole Ringstrasse! Baby A slept a record 14 hours (9pm-11am) so we got a late start but still saw a lot! Loved Belvedere Gardens, Judenplatz, St. Stephen's Cathedral, university of Vienna and a playground we found.
Baby A had her first spare ribs at dinner that night. We loved the restaurant in the Jewish plaza because there was no street traffic, and Baby A could wander all around.
Day 6 - Took the subway to Shornbrun palace to meet my instagram friend and her daughter, who was also an IVF baby. Tiergarten, oldest zoo in the world. She was kind enough to meet us in our hotel lobby and help us navigate the subway. We went to Tiergarten, the world's oldest zoo, which was founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752. We walked by the Schönbrunn Palace and beautiful grounds. Then we relaxed at the pool (it was a hot day!) and headed out to dinner in the Ringstrasse.
|View from Dinner|
Day 8- Early morning walk - a high of 97 degrees - found Parliament and the Danube. We got a little lost, one of our favorite things to do. Had breakfast and Baby A tried to catch some birds, amazed and surprised when they flew away. She shared her first ice cream cone with me. Quick stop at the park nearby before heading to the pool and an afternoon nap. My coworker/friend arrived with her daughter.
Day 9 - Grabbed Starbucks and an "American pancake" for Baby A. Met Janice and Hope and walked with them to Parliament. Realized, thanks to her GPS, that we have been averaging 6-8 miles a day. We crossed the chain bridge
Day 10 - Hop-on-hop-off bus to Castle Hill. Lunch, walked across chain bridge. My husband watched the girls while Janice and I went for a Thai massage. Everything is so reasopnable here. The hour-long massage cost $40 US, and dinner for the three of us was averaginf $30. Again we had Italian food followed by ice cream. This time, baby A kept going back for seconds, opening her mouth like a little bird.
|View of Parliament from Buda Castle|
Day 12- More rain! We walked to the central market and Gellert baths.
We stopped in for a cake made in front of us at Kürtőskalács (On a side note, their character looks just like our poo emoji). We grabbed a seat right by the women making the Hungarian specialty, which Baby A loved watching, and the women were kind enough to interact with her as they worked away.
Day 13- Walked to indoor play yard called millipop that was 3 stories high. Afterward, she explored a wooden play yard. I've never seen anything like it! Then, w ducked into a bar for lunch and a woman, who didn't speak any English, outstretched her arms to hold Baby A. She held her for quite awhile, talking to her in Hungarian and showing her things as she pointed. I like to think that someday, she'll encounter one of these people. They'll have a brief interaction, or pass by each other and think "she seemed familiar." Another thought I have is that this is Mom's way of sending her love, or physically holding her in the "real" world. I don't actually believe this (I wish I did), but it is a comforting thought. The Red Bull world championship air races were going on that day; they had been delayed one day due to rain. It was amazing to see the planes racing above the Danube and actually going under the chain bridge! We stopped and watched them on the way back. Again we had Italian food at Cucina for dinner. My husband bought me a Pandora charm of a lion, representing the lion on the chain bridge.
Day 14- Another 6 1/2 hour train to Prague. Baby A was a trooper on the train. Ordered her ham and cheese room service. Nice room - started looking into things to do while here.
Day 15- Astronomical clock and old square. Crossed the St. Charles bridge. Visited Czech senate and Charles IV exhibit. She had as much fun as she did at the zoo, just looking at the peacocks, koi fish and pigeons on the grounds. She pointed to the bird and exclaimed "dooo" We found a great playground on the Vltava river with an unreal view of the St. Charles bridge in the background and stayed for awhile. We returned to the room around 5pm for a nap (baby and Daddy, while I read and blogged) and then headed out to dinner around the corner at 9pm. It was still light out! As we were waiting for our food, I took her out to the courtyard where they had a daily farmer's market. She found a "friend" a girl of about 4 or 5 who she walked over to, arms outstretched for a hug. The girl didn't speak English, but knew a few important words such as "uh-oh" and "wow." When the girl carelessly tossed some rocks behind her back, Baby A belly laughed. She cried when I took her back into the restaurant, but was easily consoled by some of my potato gnocchi.
Day 16- walked to Petřín Lookout Tower.
Now this was a hike! Especially for Daddy, who was pushing our sleeping girl in the stroller, weighed down with all of our stuff. About 60 pounds up the steep switchbacks. I climbed to the top of the tower, which is a very small, pathetic copy of the Eiffel tower (really, they were inspired by a visit to it in the late 1800s'). We went in the mirror maze. We were relaxing in the shade, with Baby A was eating fruit when a bee started buzzing around the container. I shooed it away and she though it was the funniest thing in the world and erupted with more belly laughs. Went for Italian food (starting to seem like more than when we were in Italy!) and we were told there was no room at the restaurant. But we pointed to an open table outside and were seated. This became a story we retold to each other for the remainder of the trip. "Do you have reservation? No. That is problem. Why? There's an open table right there." Baby A had fun walking around the small square that the restaurant faced and she even walked a block while we were waiting for food. I realized we were just down the street from the old catholic church we visited at the very beginning of our trip. As we walked up the street, she blew a kiss to a man standing, smoking a cigarette and on his phone. He couldn't help but smile and wave. She has so much fun wherever she goes, and loves interacting with people.
Day 18- Prague Castle, farmer's market. Dinner by old town square at Hotel Černý Slon. Afterward, we had crepes and sat in the square. Birds flew over and were illuminated by the lights flooding Týn church. I will always be able to close my eyes and picture her like this, toddling around and engaging with people, often pointing up with her middle finger, as they looked up at nothing in particular. Then, as she wandered back to me and outstretched her arms for an embrace a few feet away.
Day 19 - First, mommy and me shopping. Long nap at hotel room, rain and out for pizza with a play area. There was another girl a bit younger than A in there. A walked slowly over to the girl, mouth agape, to give her a kiss. Twice. It was the sweetest thing, but the mom did not speak English so we couldn't explain what she was trying to do.
Day 20 - Daddy bought us both matching garnet bracelets, as garnets are mined in Prague and will always remind us of being there. We had lunch overlooking Tyn church, and went to mass there later in the evening.
Day 21 - Franz Kafka museum and then some more farmer's market shopping for souvenirs before returning to pack and rest up for our long flight.
As I finish this blog entry, I'm preparing to return to work on Monday. Traveling for so much of the summer did make it seem to pass by faster, because we were only home for a week total and didn't have time to get bored. But it was worth it. Having so much undivided time with her and my husband, while exploring three new countries is my idea of heaven.