MY FAMILY CAME TO PRAGUE!!! Well..some of them! On April 2nd, my parents and sister arrived in Prague after a hectic plane ride and too many hours of flying. Someone was beating up their wife, another yelled that there was a bomb on their plane, and a third had a seizure. What a welcome to Europe? It was my sister Jessica’s first time in Europe, and as she said, probably her last after that flight! They were tired, I was tired, but everyone was so excited! As I mentioned in my previous blog, the arrival of my family overlapped with the departure of my friend Jaci. This was great because I got to spend time with all of them at once!
On my family’s first full day and Jaci’s last day, we started off by grabbing a bite to eat at my family’s hotel. Jessica was still really jet lagged, so she slept in while the rest of us headed to climb up the tower on top of the astronomical clock in Old Town. It was a nice, warm day. Even though the Old Town Square was super crowded with tourists, it was really fun to go to the top of the Bell Tower (a first for all of us). Since it was my first time on the tower, I had only seen pictures of the view. You truly can see such a great view of the Square from the tower. It looked like something out of a fairytale.
After climbing the tower, we ate some chips in the Easter market and walked around some more. That night we grabbed some snacks at the hotel before I headed to the airport to drop off Jaci 😦
On Monday, my first class of the day was cancelled (yay) which meant that I could show my family around the city until my 6:30 class! I took them, like I seem to take everyone first, to the Prague Castle area. On our way, we walked past the Gingerbread Museum and countless marionette and souvenir shops. The view from the castle hill on Monday was much better than it was with Jaci. This was the first that Jessica really got to see anything in Prague, as she had been sleeping a lot. Hopefully it lived up to her expectations of Central Europe!
We got to see the changing of the guards, which was awesome because the band played music and it was a big ordeal! Next, we went inside St. Vitus’ Cathedral, the royal palace, and Golden Lane. Again, a first for all of us (I had been holding off to see this with my family). In Golden Lane, there is a torture museum with knights’ armory, swords, and cannons. My mom even got to shoot an old bow and arrow. Golden Lane is really neat – it has recreated scenes of what the old houses were like on the street, one of them being Franz Kafka’s. The houses were so cute and tiny, the doors barely reaching our heads.
On my family’s second day in Europe, I didn’t have any classes so we decided to take an impromptu trip to Dresden, Germany. Dresden is only 2 hours away by bus, so we thought it would be cool for them to see another country while they were here. In Dresden we walked all around the city center and saw the Elbe river. Next, we bought tickets to the Zwinger, a set of museums that include an art museum, math/sciences museum, and porcelain museum. We opted out of the porcelain museum for time’s sake and went to the other two. In the art museum we saw some Rembrandts! The math and science museum is obviously not my forte by my sister got to snap some pics of historic measurement tools to show her elementary students. The courtyard of the Zwinger was beautiful. The sky was blue, the grass was freshly mowed, and the fountains were running to the tune of a live violinist.
After the Zwinger, we got sausages and pretzels at a food stand for lunch – a German must! We ventured around some more, stopped for some souvenirs, and ran through the rain before making it back to our bus stop to head home. On Wednesday I had my family visit the Jewish Ghetto while I was in my morning class. We met up for lunch at Pizzeria Donna before heading to the John Lennon Wall. Since I had another class that night, my family continued sight seeing for the rest of the day. They got to roam around Charles Bridge and check out some more shops for gifts for my brothers who couldn’t make the trip. After class, I hung out with my family some more, trying to soak up the time before they left for the airport that night. We laughed over some snacks at their concierge before I sent them off in a cab toward the airport. I hugged them all tight and sent them with a smile because my dad’s emotional and nobody needs tears! Watching their taxi drive off, I was so happy they visited, but sad to see them go so soon.
I really can’t stress enough how much it meant to me to have my family here with me. I had been missing them SO much. The homesickness was starting to hit me before Spring Break, so it was perfect to spend time with them (even if it was only for a few days). I laughed so much when they were in town, probably the most I had in a while. It felt comfortable to have them here, but also strange at the same time because here I was with this new life, trying to catch them up on all I had experienced while apart. It was a cool experience to be their tour guide in such a foreign city. Having them visit opened my eyes to all the growing I’ve done this semester. It taught me that I could survive living on my own in an unfamiliar place, and become more of an individual. I’ve been able to reflect on my own maturation, and show my parents that I can handle the real world on my own…but I’ll always need a hug or two from my fam!
Thanks Mom, Dad, and Jess for visiting – it meant the world!