Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Prague Blog :)

Traveling to Prague with a 14 Month Old

We visited Prague at the end of the summer while we were still in Stockholm before coming back to Kansas.  It was our first major sightseeing trip with Linnea.  We went to Florida and California with Linnea when she was 6 and 7 months old but those trips were mostly to visit friends and family.  This trip to Prague was just to see the city.  It was definitely different traveling with a mobile baby (even compared to a 6 month old) and obviously very different than traveling without kids.
We packed in two backpacks, and a duffel bag plus a travel stroller and the Ergo baby carrier.  I wish we could get away with just two backpacks but I think we have to get bigger backpacks to do that :).

The first day was all about figuring out how to see the city with a baby.  What do we do about food, milk, naps, etc?  I felt like day two was much better!

We had a direct flight from Stockholm to Prague (which was a deciding factor for this trip).  We arrived around 11:30 and headed to lunch at a pizza place close to our Airbnb.  We had a great lunch and Linnea like watching the pizzas go into the oven.
*Side note: Kids squeezy pouches with baby food in them freak me out.  What if the food goes bad and you can't see it and your kids just sucks it up?  Why can't one side be clear so you can see if the food is spoiled?  However, they are SUPER convenient for traveling and eating on the go.  This was the first time she had ever had one.

We walked around the city and headed to a park to relax for a bit and take in the scenery.

We spent two afternoons at this park.  It is actually an island in the middle of the river.  You walk halfway across the bridge and then take an elevator or steps down to the park.  The first afternoon after we landed we hung out here while Linnea napped.  We came back another time to just enjoy the view and some downtime.
We had dinner at a place called Lokal.  It was a big food hall with large beer tanks.  The food was okay but not that memorable.  This desert though was pretty memorable.
After dinner we walked to the big square and ended up catching the last clock "show."  We thought Linnea would fall asleep after dinner and milk but she kept trucking along.  We watch a violin duet which Linnea really enjoyed.

We stayed at an Airbnb and they had a pack n play and a high chair we could use.  We put Linnea in the kitchen because if she sees us in the morning she wants up right away instead of playing by herself until we get her up around 7:30.

The next morning we headed out to see more of Prague.  We stopped by the store first to grab some more milk and different cereal.  The kind we bought the first day ended up being more like cookies which tasted great but wasn't very filling or healthy.  While Jake was dropping off our groceries and filling up the thermos with milk for Linnea he left the apartment and when he went back he realized the door latched behind him. The knob is stationary so you have to have the key to turn it.  The key was inside.  So we were locked out.  Awesome!  I suggested that he pull the door out and push in on the lock with our stroller lock key.  It worked!  Thankfully that didn't turn into a big ordeal and we were able to head out and explore the city.
We walked by this moving sculpture/statue.

 My store! 
(Notice the lady behind the desk. She is in every picture we took and was very suspicious of us when we walked through the store.  Which makes sense.)
 We took a tram to the top of the hill to walk around the Prague Castle.
Linnea did a great job napping in the stroller even though the streets in Prague were BUMPY!
 Jake carried Linnea up to the top since I carried her up several other towers. (I was pregnant with her in Florence, Rome, Paris and Barcelona when we climbed a tour in each of those cities, so it was clearly his turn :).)
 The Charles Bridge from above.

 Cute street on our way to lunch.
Playing with coasters waiting for lunch.
 Food times were probably the hardest part of traveling with a baby/toddler.  We packed canned veggies (which we bought at a grocery store near our Airbnb) but it was hit or miss with high chairs and with how long she would be cool before being ready to go.
Jake had a stew and I had potato dumplings with smoked ham.  Lots of meals included potato/bread dumplings.
 A traditional Czech food (according to everyone trying to sell one to us).  It is a bread roll and some places will make them sweet or savory.  I picked sweet, duh, with chocolate and ice cream inside.
 We did a little bit of research before our trip to find some kid friendly things and this playground was one of them.  It was right on the water and a fun spot to play for a few minutes.
 At this point she wasn't walking all that much but apparently standing on a teeter-totter is no big deal.

A playground plus a view of the water.
A fun sandbox but no toys.  We were spoiled by all the sandboxes in Stockholm that had shovels and buckets that you could use.

Our dinner this night was pretty good although our waiter seemed a bit pushy and our food took way longer than it should have.  I think something got mixed up in the kitchen.  The table next to us ordered after us and had their food at least 20 minutes before we did.  Linnea did great patiently waiting through dinner.

There was also more smoking than we were used to.  We often wanted to sit outside for meals because the weather was nice and we wouldn't have to be so worried about Linnea being quiet but the second hand smoke was not fun to deal with.  I just do not understand why people smoke.
During dinner a parade went by us as part of the coronation celebration celebrating 700 years since the birth of Charles IV.  We thought about trying to go to some of the festivities so it was fun that it went right by us.

 We walked across the Charles Bridge on the way home after dinner.  You can see the Prague Castle lit up in the back.

The next morning we stopped by this park which was about a 10 minute walk from our Airbnb.
If you haven't noticed I LOVE going to parks in different cities.  This one was decked out in playground equipment which was made in Sweden :) so it looked pretty familiar to us.

 They had a huge sandpit!  Linnea was in heaven!
Not a very ladylike way to ride in the stroller.  This was the first time we used our travel stroller on a big trip and it was AWESOME!  The streets and sidewalks were really bumpy but the stroller did a pretty good job.  (Our bigger stroller would have handled the streets better but we were thankful for the smaller one.)  Plus it is super light, folds up really small (in fact we carried it on the plane and put it in the overhead bin), it has one handle so you can push it with one hand and there is a pocket right behind the handle to store your wallet, keys and phone.

Bumpy streets + sleeping baby
There were a few streets when we carried her stroller instead of pushing it because the bumps were so big.  But when she was tired enough she could sleep right through them.  We thought after dinner (and a sippy cup of milk) that she would fall asleep on our way back to the Airbnb but she actually only did that one night.

We decided to spend part of the day a little bit outside of the city at a park that would have a view of the city.
 We found this awesome playground!  I love how shaded it was!
 When you are a little too short to see.

 Just a bit windy.
We stumbled upon a kids' festival with all kinds of activities.  We spent most of the time in this tent.  There were lots of things for Linnea to climb on, ride on and play with as well as other kids to interact with.  She had a great time!

We had lunch in this tent while watching kids build towers.
 After spending the morning and part of the afternoon at the festival (including a nap - for all of us -on a blanket at the park) we headed into the city and stopped at this train restaurant.  We only order a few drinks but Linnea had fun watching the trains.

 On the way to dinner.
 We had dinner at the restaurant just to the right of the boat in this picture.

 This was our view at dinner.  It was a pretty fancy place but they were super accommodating with Linnea and it wasn't very busy which was nice.  I would say eating meals while traveling was probably the most stressful.  She was fine if she was eating but waiting for food or having to sit after she finished eating wasn't so much fun.  We definitely felt more welcome at some restaurants than others.  I was surprised how welcome we felt at this fancier restaurant.

She was starting to get a bit silly after dinner.

We walked by a restaurant on the way home from dinner stopped to watch the musicians for a few minutes.  We thought about stopping in for a drink but we weren't sure how Linnea would handle it so instead we just watched outside for a couple of minutes.

A few things we learned:
*Don't stress too much about nap times.  She will sleep when she is tired so just try to go about your day and let her do her thing.  If you stress too much about keeping her on a schedule you are going to spend most of your day worried about that and you'll miss out on seeing the city.
*Jake suggested that maybe we try to split our days up into thirds and we each get to pick something we would like to do for one-third of the day.  That way we aren't doing everything Linnea likes or Jake likes and the rest of us have to just suck it up and do it without having a say.  I thought this was a great idea and the earlier we start the better.
*Linnea was most content in the mornings so we were thinking maybe try to do something she isn't as interested in in the mornings and then plan things she will like in the afternoons/early evenings when she tends to be fussier.
*Don't over pack.  Man, I wish I was better at this and I am WAY better than I used to be.  I still bring too much stuff.  This time we packed in two backpacks, one duffel bag and her travel stroller.  We bought food while we were there.  Diapers are always hard to know if we should pack or buy.  We decided to pack them since most packages would include more than we would need for our quick trip.  Since we brought them we had plenty of extra space on our way back home which was nice.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our trip to Prague!

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