Our first day was a giant success with lots of laughs. We woke up (late because we still aren’t totally adjusted) and headed out for some breakfast food for the kids.
We absolutely loved that wrapped nut rolls are a normal selection at the corner store. We know that we are with our people.
After we got back and I made the kids some eggs, V and I picked one of the 3 coffee shops on our block for some coffee and tea. Before the coffee shop, we ran right into the blue church.
After we loaded up on breakfast and coffee, we headed out to explore our neighborhood and get a real grocery shopping in. It was so fun to see Old Town so close to us.
Right after this picture, Ryan spontaneous exclaimed- “I love Bratislava! It is my favorite European city!” (Many of you might know that Ryan was hesitant to come so this was an especially important moment for us.)
After just briefly exploring, our next task was to grocery shop. This was an event in and of itself.
We came home to unpack our groceries and anxiously await the arrival of our American family counterparts, the McKechnies. They are originally from Pgh with many mutual friends. Doug, who teaches at the Air Force Academy, also received a Fulbright award at the same University during the same time as us AND they have kids the same ages as ours. His sister-in-law is a midwife in Pgh!
We collectively had the great idea to combine all of our kids in our apartment while the adults went to the US embassy for a meeting with the US ambassador. The kids, strangers for only 30 mins, were then instantly friends.
The adults left and headed to Old Town for the event. First of all, I hadn’t thought through the amount of security I would need to pass through. John breezed through needing to leave his phone only. I, on the other hand, had to spend about 10 mins repeatedly sending my purse through the scanner and pulling out one more prohibited item after another….portable charger, necklace, earrings, ear buds, my watch (yay I found it!), lip balm….at this point it was getting ridiculous. I looked back to see John and two security guards shaking with laughter at the scene. Let’s get back to it- “on guard” essential oil spray (prohibited), Eiffel Tower key chains (prohibited)…. my box of prohibited items was about to overflow. In the end, right before I was about to unload the lint in the deep bottom, the purse made it through the scanner. We were cleared.
I would love to show you pics of this event, but alas, no phones allowed. We were welcomed by some small plates of cheese balls, grapes, cheese, small pastries and warm pop. I’m not judging- I appreciated the invite, but John grew hangry, (and I think so did our new friend Doug). The ambassador came late but gave a nice talk. She appreciated that a fellow Midwesterner was there (she’s from MI). After some light socializing, we and our new friends headed out for a serious traditional Slovakian dinner and Slovakian wine and beer.
It was sooooo delicious and the company even more enjoyable. We discovered how many mutual Pgh friends we have and our lives have been remarkably parallel to one another. We got an update that the kids were also enjoying each other.
This is especially great because tomorrow we head off to a retreat in a mountain city together!! We feel so at home here already – and so grateful for our new friends and city!