Thursday we took the train out of Bratislava to Brno to see the city for one night.
Although it was so cold, windy and rainy, we walked around Old Town for a little while.
We stumbled upon the best pizza shop!
The next morning we checked out of our hotel and had some time to see more of Brno. Ryan wanted to remember the hotel and asked me to take this pic.
First we went to the train station to put our luggage in a locker.
In the Czech Republic, you must use their currency- the Koruna. In an effort to get the correct amount of change for the locker, John kept coming back with various treats and drinks while we stood by the luggage. We were in full on laughter after a while.
Despite the cold wind, we put on some serious steps seeing another beautiful city.
We received the sad news that both of my cousins’ families came with down with illness and couldn’t come to meet us for the weekend. The kids were so sad that they wouldn’t be meeting their cousins. The great thing about having more time in Central Europe is that we will plan another weekend to be together.
Although the kid cousins couldn’t come, we still boarded the train to head to the city of my maternal grandmother, Uhersky Brod, to see my mom’s cousin. My mom and I traveled to UB when I was pregnant with Veronica and it was one of the most special experiences of my life.
We were confident that we boarded the correct train and had a lovely train ride. Our kids absolutely love traveling by train and when given the choice, they want low speed trains instead of high speed trains so the trips are longer.
We noticed that the train was hitting stations that were correct, but the timing was getting later and later. Finally, at the train stop before UB, everyone was departing the train and a woman was telling us in Czech that we had to get off. Ha. So we did.
As we were figuring out what was going on, I realized that my family was just waiting for us at the next train station and we were really late. Another American overheard us (we meet so few native English speakers) and he actually lives in UB and accompanied us to the right train. We enjoyed the train ride with him, hearing about what it is like to live in the Czech Republic.
We made it!
I had received a worried email from my mom’s cousin that the train arrived and we didn’t get off. We made contact and met them at the hotel. By the time we were all together, we were laughing at the details of our journey.
We were welcomed to my family’s home. Vera, my mom’s cousin, and her husband, Ladia are seasoned grandparents. Their grandchildren are the same ages as our kids. Immediately everyone felt comfortable.
Vera’s father, František, is at the heart of all of these relationships. He kept in touch with my grandmother their whole lives, sending letters back and forth. We met František when we were here in 2006 and again, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Sadly, he passed away a few years ago.
He kept a meticulous family tree history which they have maintained.
We had the best evening, enjoying delicious food, local wine, music (Ladia is well known musician- he has been featured on national programs in the Czech Republic), history of our family and heart wrenching stories from their life under communist rule.
We also FaceTimed my mom who absolutely loved being able to “see” us all together.
Today we will tour UB, visit František’s wife who is 96 (she remembers me from our last visit), check out an amazing indoor pool facility near our hotel and then spend the evening at our family’s house again.