Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A relaxing Wednesday...

We didn't have anything set in stone to do today so we had a nice relaxing day... yesterday was sooo busy- it wore me out!

We woke up at 9:30 - wonderful:) ate bkfst and headed to downtown via tram.  For the past few days we have been trying to buy a tram ticket from our hotel but the lady obviously didn't understand us - we were thrilled when we went to bkfst this am and a new person was there - she understood us and gave us exactly what we needed (also, as part of 1 of our tours yesterday we had to ride the tram with the guide so we had some practice!).  We got on the tram and headed downtown - got off when we needed to and then headed to the "clock" to try to find the river boat tour that we were supposed to do yesterday.  Here are a few pics of the clock area...

looking at our hotel from the tram stop

the statue in the square area is of Jan Hus - a key predecessor for the protestant movement of the 16th century

same Jan Hus statue

at the top of each hour someone comes out and blows a horn and the little figurines on by the clock does stuff - it draws quite the crowd!

i love how each buidling is attached to each other but so different!

trying a self- portrait to get us in some pics :) LOL

we figured out what we needed to do to get on the river boat but we decided to finish some shopping...

our first stop was for some italian gelato that lance has been craving since we got here!

he's happy!

a cool little outdoor market area...

yummy fresh fruit!!

a public drinking fountain

we finished our day in prague with a river boat tour - it was nice to sit but we had heard most of the stories that the guide told:)

another attempt at taking a pic of us - this time i used the camera timer - lol

getting ready for the ride...

lance was very impressed with the spreadsheet - i HAD to get a pic - too funny:)

our little snack on the boat - it was ginger bread covered in dark chocolate - it was ok...

apparently rich actors stay at this place - Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt - etc...

the Charles Bridge - these are ice breakers - it get down to -30 degrees here in the winter -the river used to freeze but now it doesn't b/c of the dams they have to keep the water flowing...

Charles Bridge - there are several statues on the bridge - i think they are all saints... many people beleive that if you touch certain ones that it will bring you luck, back to prague etc...

finally someone took a pic of us:)

statue on the bridge

many vendors and characature (sp?) artists on the bridge

across the bridge into "lesser town" where we needed to find a tram stop - we hope to look around more in the part of the city on Friday

Yeah! our tram!  #22 :)

the cross walk button
we made it back to the hotel around 3 - enough time to check on things at home and get ready to drive an hour to Chomotov.  While checking FB, we found that the newspaper ran an article about Taylor - here it is:

Kennewick's Taylor Vickerman playing for Team USA at Five Nations hockey tournament
Published: August 7, 2012 Updated 14 hours ago
By Annie Fowler
Taylor Vickerman of Kennewick is taking his hockey game to another level — and another country.
Vickerman, 16, was one of 20 players from last month’s USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp in Rochester, N.Y., to be selected to Team USA for this week’s U-17 Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic.
“I’m really excited,” Vickerman said. “They told me at the end of the development camp that I had been selected. That was nice. You have to go to the national camp to get exposure, and it helps to play on teams that go to tournaments. I love the game. I eat and sleep hockey.”
Vickerman left July 31 to join the rest of Team USA in Washington, D.C. After a day of practice, they were off to the Czech Republic.
Team USA plays Germany today, Switzerland on Thursday and the Czech Republic on Friday before finishing against Slovakia on Saturday.
Team USA, which has won the last two Five Nations titles, consists of 11 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies. Vickerman, a forward, is the only player from the West Coast.
Joining him on the team is Blake Siebenaler from Fort Wayne, Ind. They played together for the Cleveland Barons Minor Midget team last season.
“It will be fun to have someone there I know,” Vickerman said. “I know the Euro teams are more skilled rather than hitting and using their speed. My game is take the puck to the net, gritty and grinding. The refs are soft. I will probably get more penalties than I usually do. I will have to play smart.”
Picked by Vancouver in the sixth round of the 2011 Western Hockey League bantam draft, Vickerman said the Giants have been keeping tabs on him.
“(Coach) Don Hay called me a couple of days ago and congratulated me,” he said. “Told me he was looking forward to seeing me at camp this fall.”
Though this is Vickerman’s first trip to Europe, he played away from home last season in Cleveland, where he had 13 goals and 28 assists for the Barons.
“You learn to live on your own,” Vickerman said. “You get to manage your money, live as an adult and be more independent.”
And the level of hockey was more competitive than he would have gotten in the Tri-Cities.
“It was a different style of hockey,” Vickerman said. “The coaching was great. I learned to balance school and hockey, how to work out and how to eat right.”
Vickerman’s parents, Lance and Kirsten, left Saturday for the Czech Republic. They will have time for a little sightseeing before watching their son play.
“They have made it pretty clear that they’d like us at the games, but the players don’t stay with their parents or hang out with their parents,” Lance said. “We are in separate hotels. This is our first time overseas, and hopefully we don’t run into any snags. That would be stressful.”
The Vickermans, who will celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary Tuesday, said they had planned to take a cruise for their 20th, but this trip will replace that one.
With the high cost of travel, the Vickermans left their three youngest children — Brayden, 13, Hayleigh, 7, and Maylynn, 5 — to be spoiled by their grandparents.
“We are pretty fortunate to have both sets of grandparents live here,” Lance said. “We are totally blessed in that regard. They are always willing to take them.”

Then we headed NW to Chomotov - here are some pics from drive -it is quite open and reminds us of home with the rolling hills and wheat fields.  there is also some sunflower fields which are kinda cool:)

sunflowers :)

the hockey rink

warming up - #20 is TV

dad taking pics :)

i'm bummed that this is blurry - i'll have to retake it - all 5 Nations Flags displayed

listening to the Germany & USA National Anthems

the loud & obnoxious Germany fans - these boys were drinking beer & singing for the first 2 periods -the 3rd one they got kicked out - LOL

Our boy!! - love him :)

the team bus...

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