Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So This is Summer

Who's that crazy cat...?

After months and months and months of drudgery in the weather department, the Czech Republic now proudly brings you: SUMMER!!! Yes indeed, summer weather is sweeping the little nation in the very heart of Europe, bringing with it blue skies, temperatures reaching to the upper 30's (that's close to 100 for those on the Fahrenheit scale) and a healthy dose of creepy crawlies.
Having always been a summer girl, I'm definitely enjoying the climate change. At the same time I'm trying to find ways to creatively deal with the new slower lifestyle. Granted, the time still seems to disappear without me getting done some of the things I feel like I should be doing, but I also have more than my fair share of down time. I'm still trying to figure out a schedule that will help me feel like I'm really accomplishing something as well as taking advantage of my summer here in Europe.
Last week, as I think I mentioned before, the Czech Republic hosted an International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary. On Thursday Mark and I braved the heat and went to check out what was going on.
We'd watched some of the things happening there on TV during the week, and were excited to take a look at what there was to see. Sadly we'd missed Jude Law, who was the big star this year, and we didn't actually go to see any of the movies playing, but the place was just buzzing with energy. Perhaps that was partly due to the ridiculous number of Audi's cruising around the place.

This year these little numbers served as Taxis for the people with the power or the money, or whatever. We also saw other fancy little numbers thrown into the mix, a Maserati, Bentley, and Ferrari to name a few. Definitely a powerhouse weekend in Karlovy Vary. With the help of Mark, we even saw a star or two. While sipping on a cappuccino at the Thermal Hotel, home to most of the big events, Mark pointed out a Czech star. Just to prove it to me, he was able to look him up immediately on his iphone, and sure enough, it was definitely the guy. A few days later we saw his name on the credits of a movie as well. Pretty fun, and I would have had no idea who this guy was without Mark's help :)
We decided that since we couldn't see so many stars we'd just have to pretend we could live like them. We started this off with a little photo shoot making the most of all the props around town.

Then we treated ourselves to drinks at the Grand Hotel Pupp. The prices are, indeed, outlandish, but the ice coffee I had was pretty extraordinary, and on Mark's latte they were smart enough to put a little tribute to his musical skills :)

It was a lot of fun sitting there and watching snobby rich people talking about their films that were playing and such. It was an odd situation to be in, but amusing as well. Overall, it was a good experience to have, and we've decided we'll have to come back some day when we can actually check out some of the shows. Definitely a great day.

On Sunday Karina and a friend of hers who was visiting from America came by to see Marianske Lazne. It was the first time Karina ever made it out here, so it was great fun to be their tour guide. It was my first time as a solo tour guide here in ML, and after watching Mark show the place off to my family I think I did a relatively decent job. The weather definitely highlighted the beauty of it all, although it about wore us out. Still it allowed for some nice photos of the town.

Besides the little extras in life, I've been spending quite a bit of time at a lovely little cafe in a nearby park. It's a great place to sit, have an ice coffee, and write in my journal. It's not quite Starbucks, but it's a nice little place to enjoy this amazing weather.
And now I'll leave you with this little bit of entertainment from my walk through the parks this morning...

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