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Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Eats ~ Prague

We have had a lovely visit to Prague and have had 
the chance to sample some delicious food.  Here
is a sampling...




















Thursday, May 21, 2015

Outside My Window ~ Prague


The courtyard glows in the early morning light.
Our apartment in Prague has four large rooms
with huge windows that overlook the courtyard,


The sign for the cafe says, "Popo Cafe Petl, All in One".
Each day they unfurl an awning, put out some chairs and 
tables and get down to business.  Yesterday we all took
a nap since we have jetlag and we awoke to yelling from
raucous customers at the cafe.  At one point I looked out
and one of the men was on the ground, having fallen out
of his chair.  When we arrived home late last night we saw
a few young guys going in for a late night drink.


Meanwhile, a few yards away is another little cafe in
the courtyard located in this little tent.  The clientele
at this one seem much more reserved.


The magpies enjoy flitting in and out of the
wisteria, I've been trying to catch a photo of 
them but they are too fast for me.  The residents
of this courtyard are starting to stir, time to 
unfurl the awnings and start anew.

The Journey Begins

The Second Time Around Tour


It has been four years since our first trip around 
the world, The Last Hurrah Tour.  I guess in those
years we decided it was not the Last Hurrah because
here we go again.  The two pair of siblings have set
out to circumnavigate the globe again in the Second
Time Around Tour.  After a busy few months of work,
planning, graduation, wrapping up our lives so we 
could go off for a few months and driving halfway
across the country on the same day you have watched 
your child graduate from college (yup, we're nuts), it 
was finally time to hit the road.  Our first stop was
London, though it was only a short layover at Heathrow.
But we did have time for a cuppa.


And then it was on to Prague.  We think of this
stop as a bit of a homecoming for us.  Our Grandfather
left Czechoslovakia when he came to the United States
as a young man.  We believe he left from Brataslava 
which is now in Slovakia but at the time he left it was
still Czechoslovakia and we embrace this country as
part of our heritage.

We have rented an apartment and this is the view from
our street looking toward the Charles Bridge.


It was a bit rainy and overcast but we were ready 
to explore.  Prague is a beautiful city, it was not 
damaged during World War II, a rarity since so 
many European cities were bombed into rubble.
Since the city survived, it means we can enjoy the 
beautiful Baroque, Rococo and Art Nouveau 
architecture.


I kept getting separated from the group because I was
always lagging behind taking photos.  There were so
many little treasures to discover.


I love the colors and textures all around me.
So many things to inspire my creative spirit.


Look at the colors in this piece.


In every doorway, above every window is a new
delight to be discovered.


Another great use of color, it is so nice to see
the vibrantly colored buildings.  I tire of seeing
the limestone buildings that have turned an ugly 
black due to pollution in so many European cities.


This is the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town
Square.  You can watch the twelve apostles appear
every hour ~ I look forward to it.


I peeked into a doorway...


...and found this beautiful mosaic ceiling.


Then it was time to go down a lonely alley to 
find a little cafe off the tourist path and have
a lovely little dinner.


We were all fading fast after dinner and headed
toward home but stopped to take a stroll across
the Charles Bridge.


And a peek at the castle we will explore tomorrow.
Then it was time to head home and crash.
A great first day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

And Away We Go!


A quick stop in my hometown for the important 
things in life like Indian food and Jersey pizza.

Running out the door to JFK and wheels up this
evening.  First stop London for a cup of tea and
then on to the Czech Republic, the land of our
 people.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!


Happy Mother's Day!  
Today is Mother's Day in the United States.
I got the best Mother's Day present, both of my
kids came home from college this weekend.
It was also Mr. Wonderful's birthday so we
are celebrating big time.

We started the day with a lovely Dutch Breakfast.


We often have Dutch Breakfasts in our
apartments or condos when we travel.
We always like to have yogurt with granola
and berries.  Also some hard boiled eggs, 
and a cheese and meat platter.


Something savory is always nice,  this is
a triple cream Bleu cheese with thinly sliced 
baguette.


For special days when we are all together
we like to add special treats like this fruit
pastry.


And a lovely selection of French macarons
looks very festive.

Happy Mother's Day everyone!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Ain't Life Grand?

Having Fun in Grand Haven


We had a wonderful time visiting the beautiful
town of Grand Haven this weekend.  Grand Haven
is a coastal town along the edge of one of the American
Great Lakes, Lake Michigan.  For those not familiar 
with the Great Lakes, they appear to be more like an 
ocean than a lake ~ being called "Great" is not an
exaggeration by any means.  Grand Haven is a lovely
American small town with a thriving downtown and
beautiful old homes.  But the best reason for us to 
visit Grand Haven is to spend time with our family.
Pat and Jim welcome us to their summer home and
show us such gracious hospitality.


It was Tulip Time in the nearby town of Holland, 
Michigan so we drove down to participate in the 
Tulip Festival.  Our first day we visited the Windmill
Island Gardens.  It was a perfect Spring day, warm 
but breezy.


Holland was settled by Dutch immigrants who had 
to carve out a community from what was essentially
a swamp with brutal winters.  Through much hard
work and perseverance the town thrived.


Through the 1950's, 90% of the town's population
was of Dutch heritage.  In the remaining years, that
demographic has changed but the town still likes
to celebrate it's roots.


In 1927 a local high school biology teacher 
suggested the town plant flowers as a community
beautification project.  Since most people in town
were Dutch, they chose tulips and imported bulbs
from the Netherlands and the Tulip Time Festival
was born.


In fairness to my readers, I have to say this is
nothing compared with a visit to the Netherlands
where you can see endless fields of tulips, visit the
 world renowned Keukenhof gardens and see Dutch
architecture and culture.  But for those who can't 
make a trip there, a visit the Holland, MI is a nice
little peek of what you would see in Holland.


The best part of the weekend for us of course is
getting to spend time with Pat and Jim.  We
never stop talking all weekend ~ it is such fun.
On Saturday night we went to the beach and 
hunted for driftwood and watched a spectacular
sunset.  On Sunday afternoon we explored the 
downtown shops and had a bite to eat.  All too
quickly it was time to head home.  we can't wait
to visit again!

Thanks Pat and Jim!