After 6 months spent moving, saying goodbyes, weeping, changing, accepting, and experiencing every emotion you can imagine both separate and apart, L and I finally got the chance to take a holiday together and explore. We picked Prague. Quick train or plane ride from Munich, different language and culture than our new country, and a LOT of coaxing from our friends and families telling us how magical and intriguing it is there. DONE! Lets go!
We had never travelled together like this, in a city foreign to us both, navigating maps, trains, connections to our flat, food?! It’s something that can test a couple, any pair of travelers and I had no idea what to expect. It’s one thing to marry someone, take vows, say to one another you will be and will do things for the rest of your life together… its entirely another thing to put those words into action.
The truth is, once we got going and made it through some stressed moments of train connections and seating arrangements, we were blissed out to be on an adventure. No amount of singing raucous drinking stag parties on the Alex train, and kids sitting in the aisles on mini seats crowding the 80 degrees and windows open was going to stop our ride!!! (OK! I had some nervous nauseous moments, NO it wasn’t all glamorous but….. we made it).
The flat was all we needed, kind of weird, nothing fancy, and challenges that made us laugh more than anything. Water pooling on the floor from a faulty shower design, a loft bed that trapped the heat making it impossible to sleep? The weekend was in the midst of a European heat wave so there was nothing to do but stay out exploring late, come home when the cool night had started and begin it all again in the morning. Nothing could kill our adventurous and free spirit, after the months of hard work and transition we had experienced.
I discovered a beautiful trait in L that we share in common : we do NOT like to follow the crowds. We do NOT want to use the maps, and the tour guides and go where they ALL are going…… we both want to explore and get lost on the back streets. This was a relief!! I spent days leading up to our trip thinking I had to create a booklet of places to go – see – swim – explore – eat, and I had come up with not much at all. Once there, we looked at all the tours of people swarming together and we immediately hoofed out of the main squares and went seeking local treats and refuge. We found this sweet small bakery on a perfect corner, that is family owned and locally farmed ingredients! We stumbled upon it, and it was an immediate favorite. The cakes were dynamic and delicious, the coffee perfect and the location is tucked in town while you look out at all the sweet curving streets, and interesting people coming around the bend. A true gem.
Beer flows cheaper than water in this city, seems to be a trend in all of Europe that I am getting used to. In this city in particular, I was struck with the delicious lightness of the beer and the sweet simple snacks they pair with it in the bars and cafes. The home of Pilsner Urquell and the original Budweiser, which I actually prefer on this side of the world, go figure!! It also kept us cool in the heatwave summer weekend, and sweet on eachother as we walked the streets exploring.
One highlight of this trip was a magical restaurant that L found while searching on our phones while getting lost on the streets, east side of the Charles Bridge. There were no crowds around and many sweet windows to look into, shops to explore. It was surreal having no work to do, nowhere we had to be. We were hungry, and he wanted to take a chance on a small space, no signage, with Italian fare from Sardinia. It was un-believeable. It is the kind of place you go to everyday? Maybe 3 times a week, definitely all the time if you live here as a local. Run and worked by family members, also cooking the food in the kitchen, small tables with this incredibly dynamic seablue wall painted like you are dining next to the ocean. Its a meal you will fall in love with, especially if you are seated across from one you love. And this moment I captured expresses all things I hold dear, my love for him, my love for nourishing soul loving simple food in season, simple but flavorful ingredients that make you moan with delight, and the depth of turquoise in the background, a color that will always light me up.
There is food. And then there is the food you share, the food you cook to share, and when you share that food it truly matters how you feel for that person or persons in your life. Our emotions in life, our feelings for one another come together when we eat and provide for one another, never doubt the power of that connection. It can be as simple as popcorn or snacks together, to a 5 course meal you’ve been saving months to afford but the message is the same — be certain to share food with those you love, and express your love through sharing nourishing joyous meals together. You will never forget those tastes, those flavors, or those people, if you have true connection through the meals and food you choose to eat together.
On this trip, I fell in love with my husband again, I saw him outside of our crazed life and transition and I saw him completely. I imagine in a great partnership this happens again and again as long as you remain connected. I see now and continue to see that as much as we want to imagine marriage as the perfect dress, the ring, the ceremony, that ‘DAY’ that one day? The true marriage and bliss and relationship comes from everything that begins after that. It is a rollercoaster. It is unpredictable. It is very raw and you will find yourself experiencing things and feelings you had no idea would be part of this new promise to your partner. But, there is strength in that challenge, and in this trip to Prague I felt the reward. He did as well. And we continue to have so many beautiful things in common, one of the highlights being a visceral connection to nourishing food shared together, and a deep appreciation for providing and sharing that with others.
At the end of our trip, we walked into the train station in Prague, waiting for our departure time, and were struck by am impromptu chorus singing in the old hall. The singing, the voices and the harmony were enough to seal this first international adventure with a loving note. Words will not do this scene justice, the songs they sung acapella I knew well from my chorus days and these voices confirmed the love, the adventure and the pure trust I have in this new treasure of a man and what we have chosen. Sometimes things are a sign? Other times we read into them and create a sign, and in this case I could not care less. We are compatible travelers, we have opportunity, and possibilities of countries, cities, mountains, streams on this side of this world are endless. Ill take that. No time like the present! I intend to immerse in what I have right here right now.
I look forward to sharing more. Stay tuned, and love the food you have and those you keep close.