Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lost in the Hills

We finished dinner and were just noticing the glow outside as the sun began to set. Two minutes later, we were out the door, cameras in hand, off to explore the countryside in the surrounding hills. Mom and I love drives, but especially when we get to go somewhere new or where we haven't been in years, and when the timing is just right. 

Starting off in the direction of a small village, we soon found ourselves making spontaneous decisions to go left or right. 

Claire:"Oh, let's go this way. I think I see I pretty hill over there!"
Mom: "I think I'll turn here. I don't want to have to be behind this truck the whole time."
Claire: "Can we go this way? I can't remember the last time I saw Hukvaldy." 
Mom: "I want to go just a little bit further to get a good view of the sunset."

And so we drove. Twisting roads and tiny towns met us along the way and the sun continued to fade. All along, we were just looking for a pretty view of the hills and the sunset, but we just weren't finding anything that really struck us. Finally, we decided to take a little detour and head to some castle ruins that I have wanted to go to. 

On the way, we glimpsed the sun gleaming ahead of us, and detoured onto a country road that opened up at the top to the most beautiful view of the sun and a town in the valley. We frolicked through the fields, abandoning our castle plans, and fully soaking in the rolling green fields and the soft light of sunset. 

Needless to say, we were both delighted by the adventure. 

We even got to see the Blue Moon rise before heading home with happy hearts.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Like Old Times

There's something about having just a normal day with an old friend that is so dear.

Kristi and I have known each other since our first year in high-school, and we sat next to each other every day in our third and fourth year (note: seating assignments are the same every day and in the same classroom of 25 people during high-school in Czech). We used to make tea and sip it in class on cold days; we both loved our carrots with almond butter, and going for walks in the hills. One of our favorite things has always been doing art together.

Kristi brought over her watercolors and paintbrushes, and I shared my illustration markers and pens. We swapped art mediums and sat at the table on our porch, looking out to the always majestic Lysa hora. It felt just like old times, even though so much has changed since high-school. It's good to have days like these that feel warm and familiar - ones that fill up your heart.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Picnic (Even with Clouds)

This is Lia - a wonderful 9-year-old with a great sense of humor, who is sweet and stylish and creative and so fun. 

I have watched her grow up (I even babysat her way back when at an event at Malenovice - and have the blog post to remember it!), and she has truly become such a delightful young lady. We are both JV Kids and she lives in my hometown, so it's quite the privilege getting to hang out with her for an afternoon.

We picnicked on the porch, and the clouds didn't even stop us from enjoying being outside. We just brought extra blankets out for warmth and feasted on our miniature sandwiches, hummus and veggies.

I handed the camera to Lia, and here's what she captured - lovely!

The airport is only a few minutes from our house, but when I say it's little, I mean tiny. It's a "sport" airport, which includes gliders, hangliders, and flights that take you up above the mountains for a great view. I have yet to fly from our little airport, but one day I hope to! I love walking up there and enjoying the view of the great green fields when airplanes aren't flying. I already loved planes, but living next to this airport makes me feel even more sentimental!

Thanks for coming over Lia! That was such a great summer day!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Perfect Day

Every once in a while, you have one of those days that stands out among the rest. It's the day when the sun shines and every single moment is good. Today was that kind of a day.

Today's church service happened in a more unlikely spot - nestled between the mountainsides near Sance, a beautiful reservoir that feeds the river that goes through our town. Five young women, all high-school students, were baptized, making a commitment to the Lord before others that they trust and follow Him. What a beautiful testimony of the Lord's redemptive work and unfailing love! 

The baptisms and church service were the highlight, but the day continued to be full of normal, everyday activities. But somehow today, even things like taking a walk or hanging out with my dog were restful and refreshing. 

Mom and I drove up to a hillside after picking up a few groceries, and we sat out on the grass and watched the sunset, just because. I couldn't have picked a better ending to this day. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Back Home: Prague

Although this is just a dog outside of a cafe, those aren't just any cobblestones he's laying on.

That's Prague!

I flew into Prague on Monday evening, and then got to spend the day in the city with Mom. What a joy filled day! I may be biased, but I think Prague is the just magical. I have been there countless times, yet it continues to surprise me and I feel as though I walk new streets each time.

This visit included a stop at a lovely cafe that I had never been to, but had only heard of: La Boheme. It definitely did not disappoint!

The rest of the day speaks for itself, but a few notes to add: Czech flags made me really excited this time (after all, my Gull Lake nametag always had a flag on it - Czecholate Chip!), the castle always astounds me, and Mom took me through the castle gardens for the first time - enchanting. 

I love this city in the country I still call home.