My first visit to the Czech Republic was during Christmas 2011. Tyler and I had been engaged for three months by that time, and I was beyond excited to go see his home and family! My favorite part was being able to put places and faces with stories he had told me.
I have traveled a lot growing up because my family are missionaries and would go on many trips leading short term teams. This means I have been in some crazy traffic and have experienced some crazy driving. However, I think the bus driver from the Prague airport into the city wins! Connie and Claire had just picked us up at the airport and all I wanted to do is talk to them…however I ended up getting really motion sick and sitting-staring out the window wanting to be on solid ground! Whew! (I guess God was getting me ready for this summer!)
Once we got to Prague I immediately fell in love with the beauty that it contains- the buildings, the streets, the markets, the cafes, etc. It is the most beautiful city and full of history! Tyler and I visited two more times while we were there! I also loved being able to see where he had purchased my engagement ring!
If you have visited the Patty house then you know how welcoming and cozy it is! My favorite part of being there was probably getting up and walking in the kitchen, getting coffee, and then sitting and talking with Mom (Connie at the time!). Those moments are very special in my memory.
Christmas was a huge blessing! We went to the church service on Christmas Eve- Czech’s celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. We got to hear Dave speak in the town that they first lived in- Havířov. It was an amazing night! Cold and rainy, but many people still showed up to hear the word! On Christmas morning we started with stockings, ate breakfast, had a devotion together and then the present opening began! So much fun to be there with them!
We did some local traveling- like going to the grocery store and experiencing typical Czech food! Even experiencing the carp being sold from vats at the grocery stores! It’s a Czech Christmas tradition! Check more out here.
We also did some extra traveling- we got to go Vienna!! Oh my is this city royal feeling?! Beautiful buildings with white columns and statues. We also were each given a certain amount of money to get gifts with. Each of us were given a person to buy gifts for and we went to three different Christmas markets to find them! Some of the best bratwurst I have ever had was in Vienna!
I was able to finally experience taking pictures with Claire! When I met Tyler I was looking through his photography and from then on was determined to take pictures in beautiful fields with Claire! She is so photogenic and it was a nice snowy day!
On our way back to Chicago, at the end of our time, Tyler and I were able to visit Poděbrady- a town closer to Prague where Tyler had done English camps the summer before. We were able to have dinner with the pastor and his family before going to youth group! Those students…I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved being with them. They are such a strong group, wanting to learn more and more about Christ and his word, and wanting to share it with their peers! Tyler and I were so blessed to have that night with them and are excited to go back this summer and see them!!
The Czech Republic definitely has a special place in my heart. I cannot wait to get back there this summer and continue to learn more about its culture and do ministry with Josiah Venture.