Sunday, May 26, 2013

Michal and Sarah's WEDDING August 10th 2013 - Svatba Michala a Sarah dne 10. sprna 2013

Dear Friends and Family,
Milí Kamarádi a Rodino,

Our wedding ceremony will be at the The Little White Church in Eaton, NH, on Saturday, August 10th at 4 pm. There is a reception following at Earle Family Farm.  There will be dinner and dancing!

Náš svatební obřad se bude konat v Malém Bílém kostelíku v Eatonu, NH, v sobotu 10. srpna ve 4 hodiny odpoledne. Svatební hostina se bude konat na farmě rodiny Earlových. Na programu je slavnostní večeře a tanec.


Accommodation in August in the Mount Washington Valley is a competitive affair.  There are various options, including these sites:

Ubytování bývá v srpnu v Mount Washington Valley často obsazené. Zde jsou možnosti ubytování:

Hotels and Motels
Holiday Inn
Cranmore Mountain Lodge
Colonial Motel

B&B's and Apartments in Brownfield, ME, and Eaton, NH:
Brookhirst Farm B&B
Stone Mountain House apartments
Foot Hill Farm B&B

ALTERNATIVELY, there will be plenty of tenting opportunity at the farm (camper vans are also welcome), and some space for sleeping in the farmhouse.  Let us know if you need help finding a place to stay and we'll arrange something for you.

Je zde také možnost stanování na farmě (karavanisti jsou též vítáni) a nějaké místo k přespání nabízí i samotná farma. Dejte nám vědět jestli budete potřebovat pomoci s hledáním místa na přespání.


We have empty walls, and would love your handmade art or decorations--anything you make is beautiful!
We do have a gift registry, which you can find here:
Knack Wedding Registry
OR contribute to our Honey Moon Fund!

We look forward to seeing you!
Těšíme se na Vás!
Sarah and Michal

PS! About Us!  You can read about our travels on this very blog.

-For pictures and writings about our bike trip in the Balkans, scroll through July and August 2011 postings in the archives to your right.

-Life in the Czech Republic and British Columbia, Canada, can be found in years 2009-2012

-and for pics and writing about Guatemala, where we met, see January-March 2009.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I just got back from visiting my sister in Harlem, NYC. She lives at 116th Street and 2nd Avenue, up the corner from a new taqueria and grocery with an old banner: "Hot Sandwich, Cold Sandwich, ATM, EBT, WIC."

My father Tom, a farmer from New Hampshire, my boyfriend Michal, a Czech from a spa town on the German border, and my sister Katie, a textile artist trying to make it, and I (whose spotty blog you're currently perusing) huddled into the three-chair- counter-window-spot, and ate tacos con pollo y tacos con bistek.

A couple Latinas blew in and ordered some food as we drowned ours in green salsa. "Como esta?" asked the man behind the grill. "Que frio!" said the lady, shivering. "It's cold!" We looked out at the blustery December day--a pale sun shone and the bare trees bent and scraped at the air when gusts of wind came off the East River. Hah! We said to ourselves. We're from the north after all, and there was no snow, no sleet, no temps below freezing. It was hardly a winter.

Later, on a journey towards the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, we passed a street booth selling scented oils and ceramic holders where the oil sat and burned beneath a tea light. "How you doing?" asked the man, who finally emerged from somewhere after we'd stood around sniffing the burning oil--cocount breeze--for about five minutes.

(By then, with the wind whipping though our hair, we were eating our words. "Que frio," we said. My sister had just broken down and bought a hat)

"I've got Jasmine," said the seller, opening a bottle of whiskey colored oil so that we could sniff. "I've got Tahitian Vanilla." Katie asked about aphrodisiacs, and the seller looked bashful. He offered her a few other bottles to sniff, which is when he said, "and I've got Michelle Obama." "What?" I asked. "You've got Michelle's scent?" "Oh yeah," he said, and opened a bottle of pink liquid. "Smell." Michelle smelled like Gardenias; She smelled like baby powder and Chanel. Michelle smelled wonderful so we bought her. The guy was $20 richer by the time we continued our chilly stroll down the wide streets of Harlem.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pemberton, BC to Montreal, QC

Grenfell, Saskatchewan

The drive back East was sticky. With no air conditioning, we developed a sunroof and left-side back window aeration system, which left us saying things like "What did you say?" "Come again?" "Co?" (That's Czech for "What"). Up and through the Rockies, we catapulted into Alberta and then drove for endless hours in the flat, hot sun of the prairies. We hit Swift Current, Saskatchewan, on evening two. A campground had been erected on a grassy bank not far from the highway, and we drove in after dark, a group of Latinos sitting, chatty but watchful, outside the laundry room. We put up our tiny tent, and then fed quarters into the hot showers, the water metering out fairly over our burnt skin in 25 cent increments. Then we went into town for food.

"Where do you guys go to eat?" I asked two girls my age who were licking soft serve outside the dairy bar. We'd driven around for a hunger-stricken 30 minutes, past the vacant store fronts and neatly kept downtown. All we'd seen was a restaurant advertising "Chinese and Canadian Cuisine" void of customers. "Oh," said the girls, friendly enough. "Yeah, the downtown doesn't have much. You have to go to the service road. They have McDonalds and Taco Time and stuff." They gave us directions, and we were on our way. In a deep, late August night with few stars, the Swift Current service road was like entering a neon tunnel. Petro Can Signs glared, next to Tim Hortons' red and brown lights and Taco Time's jazzy green. Sweeping headlights cut through the asphalted black like bursts from Mars. We went to Taco Time for our microwaved dinner, and sat shivering in the air-conditioning, amid the palm trees and orange stucco.

Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan

The trip continued. From grassy, Saskatchewan towns baked by sun, we hit Winnipeg, with its tree lined streets and aging cement apartments and were met by friends. The next day was my birthday, and after bidding my friend Suzy goodbye, we maneuvered our overstuffed car to the bookshop in a shopping plaza. It was nine in the morning in Winnipeg, and the plaza, complete with brown tiles and tiny food court was overrun by the elderly. Drinking coffee, sitting on benches, shopping at Zellers; we had found Winnipeg's epicenter of old people. The only shop with clothing was Zellers, a Canadian K-Mart, and I tried on a few back-to-school specials that Michal bought for me. We threw them in the car and got out of town.

Then the long Ontario leg began, another three solid days of northern Pines, big lake views, poor nutrition and dodgy camping. We were still sticking to the seats but not as much, the lull of the drive had made us almost mute. We put on music and watched the scenery go by. After a few good luck campsites, privately run but near real bodies of water, with birds and breeze, we landed in Montreal.

Pemberton BC, to Montreal, QC: Seven days.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Adieu BC!

The two of us, dipping in and out of various forms of employment, sampling a handful of adrenaline here and there, hitting up the cheap burger nights and driving a hunk of a Honda to and fro on the splintering mountain asphalt of the Sea to Sky corridor, are about to say "adieu" to BC. "Ciao", "sayonara", "auf wiedersehen!" But BC, I love you.

It doesn't matter that a tub of nice yogurt costs an hours wage, or that CBC interviews the highly normal (read horridly boring) parents of BC's own Carly Rae Jepson, Canadian Idol winner of 2007, for TEN whole minutes during the morning commute. And it doesn't matter that the resort town of Whistler sports the biggest collection of classic Ray Bans this side of Seattle, in fact, the mountain itself could be resculpted in hip sunglasses. (OK, I admit, mine included). BC, I love you.

Because we're in the middle of a vacation, somebody's vacation, and if you put yourself in the right mind frame, if you forget about your Swiss ESL students who will, you can be sure, ask you if you can use a separable phrasal verb in the passive voice, or why you don't yet know who Usain Bolt is, AND it's an Olympic year. If you forget about your duties for a minute, you're smack dab in the middle of your own holiday. And you didn't have to go anywhere at all.

Walk down a road to a glacier lake and go for a swim. Hike along a throbbing, white and green river, eat poison-red thimble berries and roast sausages on the shore. Go to a deep pine forest and find a couple of rocks to boulder on, bike down mountain-sides surely better suited to goats. Thrill yourself by looking down from the bungee jump suspension bridge, go to the golf-course and look for bears. There's lots of other stuff to do of course. Things you can shell out cash for, paragliding, rafting, ziplining, pub crawling. But the pleasure of finding your own program, paddle boarding into the lilly pads and tanning on the pond.

That's what the summer in BC is made for.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Lillooet Nation Rodeo

It was a misty day at the rodeo. Five bucks got you through the wooden gate, and we parked under the shadow of Mt. Currie next to the rv selling "Property of the Lillooet Nation" t-shirts. A couple of concessions stands were underneath wooden lean-tos advertising "Hamburgers, hot dogs, Indian Tacos." Apart from three tents with blow-up dinosaurs, there was a serious lack of the commercial. "Whoever parked their car near the toilets, the fire truck has asked you to move them," said the announcer from the loudspeaker booth.

The rodeo is in the town of Mt. Currie on first nations land, and perhaps this lack of sponsors (and lack of advertising) is a first nations style. Nothing flashy, nothing expensive, just real cowboys and cowgirls roping baby steers. The young boys even rode some cows. As in, cows. With udders. Kind of weird. But a what a relief, because if you go to Whistler Blackcomb's Telus Festival for example, sponsors swarm you, throwing raw-nut protein bars, blue perfume or strawberry milk samples from their branded tents. You have to duck to avoid a concussion. At the rodeo, the only time you'd have to duck is if the horse's hoof sent out a dollop of sand from the ring, which it did from time to time.

"Mt. Currie, are you asleep?" asked the announcer. "This is one of your own, put your hands together for Shequila!" And the crowd clapped and whistled while a fourteen year old flew out into the ring and lassoed her hat instead of the calf that was charging ahead. "Ah well," the announcer chuckled. "Thank you anyway." We watched adults on bucking horses, and a few calf wrestlers who fell from their saddles onto the freaked out babies and tried to pull them to the ground. No luck. "Well ladies and gentlemen, we're now moving to what we call intermission," said the announcer. The mist had moved to tiny rain droplets, and people pulled their blankets and umbrellas closer. "We'll see you back here in one hour and a half. Stay tuned for bingo." The crowd mumbled and began to disperse.

Behind the bleechers, the mountain seethed green and kids ran wild through the tall grass while riders exercised their horses. A woman's voice was calling out numbers on the bingo chart, and a collie was running to and fro nervously, looking for something to herd. "So let's go?" I asked. Michal was eating a hot dog with relish and he shoved the rest in his mouth. "Asi Jdem," he said. "So let's go." And we did.

A false start: The horse that didn't want to get out of the holding tank.