I have noticed that Europeans are very big on sparkling water. You can get it in plastic bottles just like regular water, and it is sold like regular water. On grocery store shelves you must pay close attention to the colors of the labels, because they don’t separate regular water and sparkling water (which I found out comes in varying levels of sparkliness). After trying it for the first time, I don’t think I’m a fan. So, all of you people who like to drink the fancy sparkling water at home, you’re weird. Just kidding, but really, I’m not a fan of sparkling water.
This morning we visited with Iva’s grandparents while having some breakfast and coffee. They are such sweet people! They were eager to hear all about our trip and my plans for Spain. I really enjoyed getting to talk to them (through Iva’s translating, of course) and they even shared some of their favorite liqueur, called Metaxa (AKA Grecian Sun, for the warming effect). I don’t remember what kind of liqueur it is, maybe whisky or something like that. It was a nice, smooth liqueur though. On our way out they showed me their beautiful garden (which I forgot to take pictures of dangit!). They grow many types of flowers, and even their own strawberries, which are absolutely the most delicious strawberries I have ever tasted in my life. They sent a container full with us for our trip.
We left Iva’s grandparents house and made our way to a small town called Telc (pronounced like Telch). Iva’s mother grew up in Telc, and it is a gorgeous medieval town with buildings older than our country in multiple bright colors. The town square was so cute, and the town castle and cathedral were breathtaking. The views from the various high spots in town were just as breathtaking. The houses are very close together and brightly colored, so the views from the castle were stunning. Oh, and of course there is a river, which just adds to the charm of the city. I got plenty of pictures (which I think I have figured out how to post on here so I will do that soon).
From Telc we made our way to Brno, which is Iva’s hometown. There are many similarities between Brno and Augusta. Brno is the 2nd largest city in the Czech Republic, it is a college town, etc. Its a neat place. It was great to get to meet her parents once we got there! Her father, George, speaks a good bit of English, and we were able to converse, but her mother, Marie, doesn’t speak much English at all, although she can understand a good bit. Once we got there her mom had prepared a typical Czech meal for us. Iva informed me that it is her favorite meal, and it consists of beef (like roast beef almost) and dumplings with gravy on top of everything. The gravy was heavenly.
Went spent most of the day hanging out at Iva’s house with her parents. Iva’s parents have their own business, with which Iva apparently helps out sometimes, and they needed her help yesterday, so I was able to get my pictures uploaded from my camera and update y’all about the day of castles. All while listening to some Britney Spears and Nsync and eating strawberries with powdered sugar. Later in the evening, after a quick bite of dinner, we headed downtown to see the city. Downtown Brno is pretty much awesome! It is a popular place to hang out, too, apparently. That town is very alive at night. After Iva showed me around (had to see the local castle and cathedral, of course!) , we sat outside at a local pub and had a beer. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here. Temperatures have not been higher than 80 degrees the whole time I’ve been here. Be jealous! Although, now it is beginning to get warmer, and considering we will be in Italy tomorrow evening, and it is supposed to be hot there, don’t be too jealous. Tomorrow, Vienna!
Quick side note: Congrats to my good friend Tania and her husband Sam on the birth of their first child, a healthy baby boy! Welcome to the world Elliot Sebastian Flood! We are so happy that you are finally here! I can’t wait to meet you in August!