Christmas bestie bliss and blessings

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy Holidays, all!! Veselé Vánoce a šťastný nový rok!

My new Puma running shoes from Santa were great and all, but they couldn't hold a candle to the Christmas present that flew in to see us - my firecracker forever friend H, the woman I've known since preschool! We got to have her right here in Praha, all the way from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

H is one of those people who is just plain excited about life at all times, and was such a blessing having her in the place I've waxed poetic about for years. 

We had a lovely, cozy Czech-American Christmas... 

Christmas Eve Day started off under Charles Bridge, where a few Czechs still release a carp into the Vltava River; fried carp and potato salad is a traditional Christmas Eve meal. Here we are with the TyVoles!

Then it was a robust late lunch at Olympia, one of our favorite "fancy" Czech spots in Prague.

A walk around Prague helped us digest.

We rounded off our evening with a trip to the Old Town Square Christmas markets, anchored by a spectacularly baubled tree.

Then, Christmas morning. J-dog gnawed on stockings.

We set up our bristly little Tesco tree and unwrapped the presents under it - unlike Czechs, who do gifts on Christmas Eve when Ježíšek (baby Jesus) comes. Fun fact: I recently learned that Dec. 24 is the name day for Adam and Eva.

We cooked a huge Christmas lunch of spiced ham, roasted veg, candied yams, toasted pear salad, etc. Note the bottle in the upper-right hand corner - it's vaječný likér, i.e. egg liquor, a sweet Czech treat.

We cleaned up and took a selfie for family and friends. Ah, the ubiquitous nature of social media.

And then we walked into central Prague again.

There were Christmas markets near Prague Castle;

busy downhill Nerudova Street;

a stop at the Kellyixer Alchemist Lab Pub for hot wine;

photos at the John Lennon Wall;

the Czech Press Photo exhibit at Old Town Hall;

and - my personal favorite - a Prague Symphony Orchestra Christmas Mass at Sts. Simon and Judy Church. Breathtaking, and I was thrilled to realize I could understand bits of it!

We hope you had a joyful, blessed Christmas - or whatever holiday you celebrate! Peace and good tidings to you and yours. 

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