Retreat day #2

Every day has been filled with adventure, laughter and fun. We realize that we will settle into a routine but this retreat has been so wonderful- we have been served delicious meals, the kids have been entertained by each other and there has been minimal fussing.

Breakfast each day includes maraschino cherries and Joe LOVES it.

After breakfast, the kids taught the McKechnies how to play our family game.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch before heading off on our field trip.

Duck is really popular here. And it’s delicious! It was accompanied by crepes and cabbage.

We quickly packed up for our afternoon adventure.


Evidence of yesterday’s news. He told me that he especially wants his friend Masen to see this….because “Masen has been tying my shoes at school for years.” 😆😬
Nora, the Fulbright commission contact for us, with the big girls. She has been incredibly good to us.

We were then off on the tour bus to Banská Štiavnica.

This is a very popular town for tourists in Slovakia. It is a very old mining town, dating back to the eleventh century! There was gold, silver, lead and other precious metals found in the 1100s and we were able to tour a small part of a mine shaft.

Our tour guide’s grandfather traveled back and forth to Pittsburgh to work in mines. The connections to Pittsburgh are countless!


Our tour guide then walked us around town.

This was a museum of woodwork with many moving parts to show the history of the town.

After our tour, we stopped at an incredible coffee shop.

The menu was in Slovak and we didn’t take the time to ask for translations so we allowed the kids to order smoothies. The server, who spoke perfect English, was laughing at me when I ordered them and I laughed along as you do….

It was quite a wait for the smoothies. They arrived looking delicious.

They were made of beets, carrots, kale and a little apple juice. Also, they were called DETOX. I think V’s expression captures the collective feeling about them.

We then hopped back on the bus to head back to Zvolen.

Please notice another Pittsburgh connection- Everyday.

The kids played more cards before our highly anticipated last dinner here. Even all the kids got into the anticipation of these meals.

Our appetizer

After dinner, V had her appointment for a facial. After some confusion, I went back with her. This is the first time she has ever done something like this so I stayed with her. At one point the therapist stepped out and I asked V how she was doing and asked if I could come around the corner to see her. I wasn’t quite prepared for this.

No words.

After her facial, I stayed for a fantastic massage. I met up with the crew at the pool afterwards and the big girls really wanted to experience the saunas. I scoped it out and there were very few people so I told them I would take them back for a quick visit with swimsuits on. They loved it. I grabbed a really quick pic at the end in one of the 6 saunas.

This has been an incredible retreat- very fulfilling for John and so much fun for me and the kids. We return home tomorrow after breakfast and life will likely become more routine and less adventurous.

We received news that the kids’ school has found a tutor for them so I might not need to attend everyday, all day with them. We have a meeting next week to work out the details. They won’t start until February 24th due to the school break here. They will be doing work from their school at home in the meantime. John will start to meet with faculty at the University next week and he will start teaching soon too. We are looking forward to seeing what our new routine life will be like.

2 thoughts on “Retreat day #2

  1. Glad to hear the kids have a little break to prep for school & all of you can get into somewhat of a routine. Glad to hear you may not have to be in school with them all day.


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