'wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking. we're all wanderers in life.' -spanish poet, antonio machado

Sunday, October 25, 2009

when the snow flies...

...ahhh, one of my favorite times of the year (ski season!) is upon us! I absolutely live for and love this time of year...for so many reasons. Most of all, I love the energy and enthusiasm around the sport of ski racing.

The fans...the crisp mountain air...the love of the sport...it is all so incredible. I feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to be over in Europe for a plethora of reasons...but one of those reasons is that I am able to experience these events that are so very near and dear to my heart, and that have been such a massively big part of my life.

This weekend's race in Soelden, Austria marked the '09-'10 season opener...a season I am super-enthused about, because I'll be heading to a few races over here. This is an open invite to all of my buds to come and join me...yes, that's right...this one is directed at you, Love, Greenleaf, Lex, Henn, Kevin, etc.

Here are a few pics of past world cup fun (Beaver Creek '07 and '08 and Garmisch '09) to get you in the mood. :)

megs and lex snow galore vail '07

megs rippin' the pow vail '07

henn and megs psst psst psst beaver creek village '07

henn, greenleaf, megs on a horse? beaver creek '08

henn and megs shred love vail '08

the masses garmisch sg cancelled garmisch '09

rad ferrari guy garmisch finish area garmisch '09

The thing I love about skiers is...well, that they probably have the best sense of humour I've ever seen. They are crazy and fun and I love being around them.
Best Michael Jackson tribute EVER!

But this is why I really love world cup ski racing (the speed, a beautifully carved turn, the energy and excitement, and so much more...):

So, there you have it. World cup '09-'10 is here , winter is upon us. And I am super-excited for what is to come. Let me know if you'd like to join me! You'll have a free place to stay in Praha and we'll have fab travel adventures beyond Praha!



Sunday, October 11, 2009

an update from afar...

'Cau' from Prague!

I wanted to send you guys a quick update, since I haven't been in touch with you all as of late.The last few months have been full of adventures, including visiting Tom's family in Poland for a taste of a real Polish wedding...I didn't know what to expect, but it turned out to be the most fun I've had at a wedding (maybe...ever)!! I was the only native English speaker there, which proved to make things interesting - but it wasn't a problem after a vodka shot or two (vodka was the staple drink for the night). 15 hours later, I was partied out and ready for bed. That's right, the reception lasted for a whopping 15 HOURS! We danced to trad'l music, played trad'l polish games and enjoyed drinks and 5 full meals (not to be mistaken with '5-course meal') throughout the night. I walked away with a bottle of vodka, given to me by the bride as my party favor. Amazing. What a cultural experience!

I took a few weekend trips to my Czech friend, Lucie's (you'll meet her at my wedding), grandma's cottage as well as to a small Czech town named Olomouc by myself. I love to hop on a train and get away for the weekend. Plus, it pays to be in the hospitality biz, because I am blessed to get cheap or free beds nearly every city I check out. I've traveled to Berlin twice in the last few months and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities for the energy and vibe it has. Everyone rides bicycles and everyone loves to shop. I didn't shop, of course (because I have no money) - apart from pair of cheap hipster shades to keep the sun at bay - but it was fun to peruse. I was keen to learn more about east and west Berlin, as I did not know too much about it before I went to Berlin and I ended up learning so much more than I ever thought I would. It is such a culturally and historically-rich city.

September was a wonderful whirlwind, with visits from Tom for 1.5 weeks and then my former boss for 2 weeks. Visitors are tiring, but it was so wonderful to have them! They made my September fly by...and you know what they say...time flies when you're having fun! Trying to balance spending time with work and travel proved to be a challenge. While Tom was here, we traveled to Cesky Krumlov (where he proposed to me) and had a lovely (free) stay, courtesy of our our friends, the owners and managers. Tom got really sick (we think he came down with the swine, but not sure) at the end of his stay and that was a bummer. But we had a much-needed, fabulous visit full of laughter, excitement for future life challenges and adventures...and gummi food, of course.

Then, Stacy (former supervisor and friend) came to visit and stayed with me in my flat for two weeks. We traveled to Berlin and then Munich (Oktoberfest) for weekend trips. It was a blast to visit Berlin again, and Oktoberfest was an experience of a lifetime...something everyone should do once, definitely. The Bavarian culture is so rich and authentic. I loved Munich (this is my second time there, as I got a short glimpse back in February en route to Vienna for my visa) and really enjoyed the atmosphere of Oktoberfest. I loved to see that the locals got so into it. And, the energy in the 9000+ person beer hall warranted the 10 euros it was to buy a (litre!) of beer. Wow. I also dug into my heritage and bought a dirndl from a second-hand store...see post below.

Yesterday I took a short day trip to Dresden, Germany to drop off some flyers for work - it was nice to get away for the day. It has been both saddening and amazing to travel Germany so much and learn more about WWII, as I have always been particularly interested in the Holocaust for a long time. It is crazy to see how much of Germany was destroyed by the allies during the war...and to think about how many Germans lost their lives as well.

Zach and I have planned our first long weekend trip together...it was a pretty easy decision when we found tickets to Barcelona for less than 50 dollars round trip, and we get our stay for 50% off! Nice! So, we'll be heading to Spain for my first time, at the end of November. From there, trips to Krakow (dress shopping + skiing), the States (Minneapolis, Lake Geneva and Chicago), the Alps (Austrian + Swiss), Ireland, Croatia, Egypt (possibly)...and more...are on the list.

As for work, it has been extremely busy as of late. To be honest, I don't know how I find the time to do so much traveling (thank goodness for weekends, and for 4 weeks of holiday), as we are busy gearing up for the opening of our fourth property (my main focus here - see photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosaichouse) early next year and I have really been diving into strategy and planning for the new brand, while also continuing to execute the marketing plan I created for the existing three properties as well as building relationships and managing events for the hostels. It has been quite the experience to say the least. It is very challenging at times, but I am learning so much that will set me apart when I head back to the States. But, it is going well.

Do me a favor, before we get any further, and fan mosaic house (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mosaic-House/134322854315) ...we've done the work for you so you don't have to puzzle over where to stay in Prague from 2010 on (although we do have three other really cool properties...darnit!). So you can write in your planner...'Place to stay in Prague. Check'. :)

I will be traveling to London in a couple of weeks to meet with our new biz partners for Mosaic House, so that will be interesting. I am trying to maintain sanity, as I am working with very passionate people from all over the world. This is both a positive and a negative - good, for the differing perspectives, not-as-good because when there is so much passion sometimes it is hard to come to an agreement and get things done.

I'd love to elaborate more on a few of these trips in the future, if time allows (including a work-specific blog post). Please always check back for more random blog posts.

Love and miss you all!

Happy travels,


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a picture says a thousand words...

...but all this picture needs is one: Oktoberfest.
More to come...stay tuned!