For our 25th wedding anniversary, I gave Derek a framed travel map that we pin with all of the places we have traveled to. We were excited that our holiday travels this year allowed us to push two new pins into our map when we visited Prague and Amsterdam!
We arrived in Prague at night but even as we drove into the city we could tell that this place was special. We quickly set out to explore and could instantly feel that we had chose a very special place to ring in the new year.
There were tons of people all over the streets and a festive spirit in the air.
We arrived in Charles Square to see a gorgeous tree that was decorated so beautifully and surrounded by a Christmas market where you could sample local foods and drinks.
Our first night there we stayed at a hotel close to the Charles bridge where we planned to watch the fireworks. This was a smart move because it was very crowded in town, especially the closer it got to midnight.
As midnight drew near we went to the bridge along with thousands of others waiting to ring in the new year together.
It reminded me of the time we spent New Years Eve in Times Square. It was just a little less congested, equally as COLD but very exciting too.
To the side of us there was an group of Spaniards who were joyfully passing out cans of grapes to carry out a tradition of eating 12 grapes during the count down to midnight. They were so excited and friendly, inviting others around them to join in with their tradition.
During the hours leading up to midnight the fireworks were going off in every direction but when midnight hit, there was a spectacular show all around us. It was really incredible.
The next morning we relocated to an apartment just across the bridge from the city.
It was a beautiful place. We couldn't help but take photos as we explored each room of the house.
This "dressing room" had so many cabinets we couldn't imagine how you'd ever be tall enough to climb up to the top of the wall to use them.
All of this storage is a crafters dream! If this was my home, I'd be tempted to convert this room into my stamp studio!
The master bedroom had a secret wall built so that the owner could move it to have a view of the Prague Castle from his bed!
We certainly felt blessed to be able to stay in such a beautiful place where we could look out our windows, across the water to see this incredible city.
The buildings in Prauge were rich with history and amazingly beautiful.
I was glad that the Christmas markets were still up so there was always places to get fun treats like hot cocoa, sugared nuts or these fun potatoes on a stick.
We even tried these chips and as you can tell by Lynsay's expression, they were very delicious.
We enjoyed a walking tour where we got to explore all different parts of the city.
A highlight for me on our walking tour was discovering the Patriae Et Music, the theater where Mozart debuted Don Giovani in 1787.
Up the street from the theater we saw the building where he stayed and I imagined what it must have been like to have heard beautiful music coming out of the windows while he played music there.
The second day we were there we learned that Prauge was celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Republic and there was going to be a huge fireworks show that would be put to music. We bundled up in our babushkas and found a perfect spot to see the show.
This was clearly the MOST amazing firework show I've ever seen and I'm not a huge fan of fireworks. However this show was worth the wait in the freezing cold air to see. I found it online in case you want to watch it, you can do so by clicking here.
The next day we enjoyed exploring the Prague Castle. It was a very chilly day so we found a Christmas Market near the castle and enjoyed some delicious warm Pear Cider. I'll have to learn how to make it because it was so yummy and the perfect thing to warm us up.
Our time in Prague was short and we definitely would like to return to explore more of this amazingling beautiful city.
Our final stop was Amsterdam. Just look at the tulips that greeted us at the airport. WOW!
Amsterdam was just a short stop on our way home, we were only there a day and a half but we hit the ground running and saw a lot of the city on a private guided walking tour.
We saw a Royal Palace,
We passed by beautiful canals lined with dancing houses and more bikes than there were people!
We passed by the home of Anne Frank as well as the house below with the red and green shutters where Rembrandt lived and painted.
We saw the floating flower market.
We sampled local street food like pickled haring which as you can see Derek really enjoyed.
And at many local cafe's I discovered a love for fresh ginger tea. Something I have been recreating almost daily since returning home.
Although I was really cold and a little under the weather, I really enjoyed exploring Amsterdam with loved ones and friends.
I was truly grateful for the opportunity to visit Amsterdam and I hope to one day visit again, hopefully next time in the Spring!
Traveling home with a cold wasn't fun but it felt GREAT to get off the plane in Honolulu and read this weather report on my phone.
It's taken me a few more days than usually to get back to feeling 100%. However I am glad that I am finally feeling good enough to get back in my stamp room to create projects with all our new products.
My next post will feature some of the things I've been working on this week. Until then, thank you for allowing me to share a little bit about our holiday adventures. I hope you enjoyed traveling through Italy, Prague and Amsterdam with us.
With love and blessings,