Monday, April 30, 2007

Hail to Czech Republic!

We arrived to Prague and were greeted with rudeness. Should we stay or should we go? We decided yes and finally figured out the Metro. This took approximately one hour. The hostel was ultra modern and super clean. Jay claims that this was the nicest hostel in the world.
The next mission was to see the sites of Prague in three days. First, we went to Old Town. We entered the Old Town Square and was surrounded by eight magnificent towers. Crowds of people were gathered around to see the astronomical clock, which is located at the Town Hall. The clock chimes as the skeletal death empties his hourglass and. a procession of apostles march by. In the center of the square was a bronze statue of Jan Hus, the country's most famous martyr. Across the street was the magnificant cathedral of St. Nicholas's. Second, we made our way to the Prague Castle. To get to the castle, you must cross the Charles bridge. This is Prague's most recognizable landmark. Prague castle is one of the biggest castles in the world. It has been the seat of the Czech government over 1000 years. Now, the Czech's president resides there. Inside the castle walls stands the beautiful St. Vitus's Cathedral. The stained glass paintings depict the legend of Wenceslas. This is about the Czech ruler and patron St. Wenceslas. He represents the country's turmoil and triumph. Beneath the cathedral is the Royal Crypt, which holds the tomb of Charles IV. Third, we made our way to Josefov, which is the Central Europe's oldest Jewish settlement. We experienced the Old-New Synagogue. This is the oldest operating synagogue in Europe, 700 years old, and is still the religious center of Prague's Jewish community. We also went to the Old Jewish Cemetery. Between the 14th and 18th centries, 20,000 graves were laid in 12 layers. This was a very diffcuilt site for us to see. The next day we took a train to Olomouc to visit our friend, Jiri. To give you some history on Jiri, Jay met Jiri on his last world tour crossing from Israel into Egypt and they traveled together for 2 or 3 weeks. In 2001, Jiri visited Jay in Fort Lauderdale for 2 or 3 months. They haven't seen each other for 6 years. Olomouc is where Jiri goes to school studying Humanitarian Aid, its a fun college town with a ton of history. It was formally the capital of Moravia. Jiri's flat was very spacious and his roommates were great. Jiri took us to a play in the park and to our suprise it was naked old men on skis. The play was pantamine and very very funny. Jiri tried to claim all European plays were nude, but we didn't buy it. The next day went to a crazy music festival, which lasted all day. Then, Jiri took us to Chateau Lendnice. He use to be a tour guide and is still good friends with the inn keeper. So, he got keys to the place and we actally stayed in the servant's wing. Jiri also gave us a VIP tour and we were able to go places other tourists would not be allowed. To give you a brief history lesson, the chateau was a summer home for the noble family, the Liechtenstein's. The chateau consisted of four floors and many rooms with special tapestry brought in from different parts of the world. However, the most stunning characteristic about this place was the amazing wood work throughout the entire house. This was very beautiful and detailed oriented. Now, only some remenants are left at the chateau of the Liechstensteins due to fleeing when the Nazi invasion begun. This was truly an amazing experience because we were able to be a part of nobility for one night. The next day, Jiri took us to his home town Havirov. Here we were greeted with open arms and were instantly part of the family. We ate like kings and queens due to the delicious meals that his mother and father cooked for us. We were able to experience Czech cuisine at its finest. However, there is a special moment that we will never forget and that is the Slivovece, plum brandy. On the last night with Jiri, we had a barbeque with his family and friends, Brett and Thersea. Czech would have not been the same without the hospitality of Jiri and his family. They will always be in our hearts. To everyone else, we love and miss you all. Pelas ecxsue any sepllnig erors, we dno't hvae sepllcehck on the BcalkBrrey.
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Saturday, April 28, 2007


If this works, we can post from our BlackBerry.
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Dancing Jiri

Sorry, we have not been able to post due to lack of available internet. We will attempt to post from our new blackberry (thanks to Jess and Mom) while on the train to Krakow, Poland. Check out the pictures we have uploaded. We miss you too, Jessi!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


So, we left Trier and made our way to Koblenz. At Koblenz, we stayed in the Jugendherberge Koblenz Hostel, which is in a fortress, that had breathtaking views of the Mosel and Rhine rivers. The next day, we took a boat ride from Koblenz to Oberwesel. The boat ride was three hours long with views of castles on the left and right of the Rhine. This was AMAZING! Words could not describe the breathtaking views. Once in Oberwesel, we made our way to the Schonburg castle. By the way, Jay was convicned that we were staying in a Hostel. Little did he know! Once we made the long journey up the hill, we stopped in front of the doors of the castle and shouted "Happy Birthday!" Jessi explained that the castle is really a four-star hotel! We saw the JAY SMILE immediately. Yes, a night of luxury! Each room of the castle was very detailed and gorgeous. We had an awesome four course dinner with three bottles of wine. Each dish prepared was stunning and complimented one another. That night we did not have to make any decisions on dinner, because our wonderful chef, Jessi, ordered everything. Great job sis! This dinner took approximately four hours...we had to take our time to savor every bite....what a culinary expereince. The next morning, we made our way back to the boat to head down the Rhine river to Rudesheim. Once we arrived in Rudesheim, we made our way to our hotel. The staff greeted us with sparkiling wine. At 3 pm, we met Miss. Breuer for a wine tour. This was awesome! We learned many things about Reisling! We walked thorugh the vineyards for 2 hours and arrived at the wine cellar for the tasting. Later that evening we had dinner at the hotel. Once again, dinner was fabulous and took 4 hours long. The owner, Georg Breuer, assisted us in our selections of wine for dinner. We had four bottles of wine with the last wine being from 1982 (Jay's birth year). The last two days were exceptional and would not have existed without Jessi. She planned and organized these days to celebrate Jay's birthday! The rest of us were just lucky to be apart of the celebration! The next day, Mom and Jessi left to return to the states. We made our way to Rothenburg, which is the most romantic town on the romantic road. Rothenburg is a walled city with gorgeous paths, gardens, churches, and gates. We are here for two days and will be taking a train to Prague, Czech Republic! We love and miss everybody!!

Friday, April 13, 2007


We have not been able to post due to lack of available internet. So, it's time to catch you all up! Day.....ummmm....well we have no clue! After we left Brugge, we took a train to Brussels. When we arrived in Brussels, we had a horrible feeling. The town of Brussels was dirty and smelly...not charming at all. However, we decided to make our way to our B & B. The B &B did not meet expectations. First, of all the room that we thought we were staying in appeared to be the two dog’s domain. When we arrived the dogs posted up on our bed and growled at us as we tried to sit next to them. We all looked at each other and came to a consensus that WE NEEDED TO LEAVE! So, we immediately left and took a taxi to the train station. From there, we made our way to Rochefort, Belgium. Rochefort was absolutely gorgeous! We fell in love with this small quiet town. Nobody in the entire town spoke English, only French. So, you could imagine how difficult it was communicating with the family at our hotel. Despite this, the family was very nice. We explored the town and stumbled our way to a park. While on this journey, we noticed blue dots on every other tree.....we swore we were on our way to a cult meeting. We walked....walked....walked and finally ended up at the top of the mountain of the park. This was a breathtaking view of the could see for miles and miles (picture above). The next day, we explored two caves the Grotte de Rochefort and Grotte de Han. Both caves were incredibly amazing. However, we all agreed that the Grotte de Han was by far the best. This cave was considered the most beautiful in all of Northern Europe. It puts the Marianna Caverns to shame! Today, we made our way from Rochefort to Luxembourg to Trier, Germany. We had to stop in Luxembourg, because Jay wanted to add this country to his already long list. Therefore, we had to make our way to the tourist center to get our passports stamped. Oh, but that was not it! Also, according to Jay, we had to have a beer in order to claim Luxembourg as a country visited. So, of course, we did. By the way, did I mention that we had less than an hour to catch our train to Trier? We had to sprint from the bar to the train felt like we ran a marathon. We made the train and arrived in Trier, which is the oldest city in Germany. Trier stood 1300 years before Rome, so they say. Mom arrived at 4pm and we had a taste testing with the chocolates bought in Brugge. Most were very Yummy! We plan to explore the city tomorrow and shop for Birthday outfits for Jay's b-day! Just so you know, we must love you all very much...because German keyboards STINK! The y and z are in opposite places and don't even ask were the shift key is! XOXO!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just for Chocolate, Waffles, and Wine!

First of all we were woken up by the annoying neighbors above us making some weird noises! We made our way to the Choco-late museum. This is was incredibly awesome. We were able to learn the history of Chocolate and witness an actual demonstration. Yes, we were given a free sample. From there we made our way down the streets of Brugge to the top 10 Chocolate shops. As we approached the stores, we stopped at a cafe for the square waffles with powder sugar and butter! These were amazing! This is the one of the type of waffles that you must taste while in Belgium! We had the luxury to sample a piece from each store (Thanks to Jessi!). We also purchased numerous chocolates from each store! This was phenomenal! This was Jessi's favorite part of the chocolate festival! Part way through touring the shops, we had an amazing dinner at a local restaurant were we had: mussels, salmon, and Belgium fries (Jay did not like the mussels....yuck!). We made our way to the rest of the chocolate shops and purchased more chocolate! Right now, we have more than 6 boxes full of chocolate! Don't you guys wish you were here! After the long tour and being chocolate our, we made out way back to our rooms and rested. After about an hour, we made our way to a famous restaurant Rock Forte. Dinner was incredibly amazing. But, one thing. don't order "fish and chips" in Belgium...literally you will get a fried little fish...YUCK!!! Once again, thanks to Jessi! Tomorrow, we make our way to Brussels and the Chinese embassy. Oh yeah, by the way, did I mention that we had three bottles of wine today? Absolutely beautiful!!

Shout out to Mom in Boca!

This is mom's patio furniture after Aden devoured it. By the way, on this same day Toby made it to Delray Beach, which is 6 miles from Boca! Wow! Hotdog was truckin it!

Thanks mom for taking care of our WONDERFUL animals! We would not be able to be on this trip without your support! We love you! You definitely are nominated for #1 mom of the year!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Note to Chocolate Lovers

This swan is made entirely of chocolate!

Ok, so we know that is has been three days since our last post. Therefore, we will take some time to get you up to date. On Day 4, we set out that morning to explore the markets of Delft, Netherlands. The market was incredibly awesome...the streets were lined with cheese, bread, and waffles. We also checked out Delftware, which is blue-on white earthenware...basically pottery custom to that region. After we got our lunch and dinner for the day, we made our way to Arnhem to visit the Hoge Veluwe National Park. We were unable to see the park due to the weather. As we were trying to figure out whether to risk the weather or go to our bed and breakfast in Zevenaar, a dude in a golf cart came by so fast that Kacee got knock to the side. But, luckily only hit her backpack. We ended up at our lovely B & B, DeRoase. Karin & Ico De Roo couldn't have provided us with more hospitality; tea and biscuits to welcome us followed by an incredible european breakfast with the best fried eggs and ham that we have ever had. After a full day of traveling by train at no cost (don't ask how), we arrived in Maastricht. We roamed the streets to find the best food yet at two separate local joints. Then, we made our way back to our blue-hue rose colored rooms. Amenities... blow dryer, fan, and big comfy bed made for a great night sleep, all followed by a champagne breakfast to make our approach into Belgium. After a three hour train ride, we arrived to the famous hostel in Brugge. Yes, back in hostel territory! Finally, the Chocolate Festival, Choco-Late, is here! We were so excited to arrive at the Chocolate Festival, we tasted our first two pieces of chocolate and we saw a wine and chocolate paring, "Oh, what fun let's try!" To our surprise, with no hesitation we ate our chocolate covered asparagus lollipop. Yeah, no...BIG MISTAKE! Just because it's covered in chocolate does not mean its going to be good. To all you chocolate lovers, never say you will eat anything with chocolate! We laughed it off and enjoyed day 1 of the Chocolate festival. Next, was a horse and buggy ride that gave us a history lesson on the medieval town of Brugge with a church dating back to the 10th century. Down the narrowest street, we found a pub with over 100 Belgium beers; we have learned that when you ask for a beer ask for a "normal" beer, and you will get the best! Then, we made our way back to out hostel to enjoy beer at the bar and update you with the latest. We love and miss everyone! Don't forget to check out the photo gallery....we update it every time we make a post!

To all the Tolar Kids, especially K L, K R, and FB, I miss you!! :*

Friday, April 6, 2007

Wonderful Land of Pancakes! YUMMY!

Day 3, we set out for The Hague to see the famous miniature city of Netherlands. They had a very COOL exhibit (when we say cool we mean -9 degrees) of zoo ice sculptures....lions, tigers and bears, oh my! Then, we had an amazing picnic in the park with the food we borrowed from the hostel. From there we headed to the nice city of Delft...we were on one mission...find pancakes! We walked through the city and felt a charmness in the air. There are many markets with bread and cheese shops. They also have an old-fashion windmill...Jay thought that was cool! Eventually, we found a restaurant that had over 50 pancakes to choose from. At this restaurant we meet a nice dutch couple who discussed times that they traveled around different parts of the world. They are also planning a Trans-Siberian trip this summer...who knows maybe we will meet again! After dinner, we made our way back to our hotel, The Soul Inn. By the way, this hotel is completely funky 60's & 70's RETRO! We wish everyone was here!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


We barely made our flight! But, we eventually arrived in Amsterdam at 8 am! Finding the hostel was a breeze, but the entire place smells like urine! We stored our backpacks and roamed the streets in search for breakfast and found a nice little coffee shop. The Anne Frank Huis was hard to believe that people actually lived there for two years. I, Kacee, got grossed out by Jessi and Jay eating African food with their bare hands. We woke up today at 11 am and headed straight to the Van Gogh Museum. The Almond Blossom and the Sunflowers paintings were great. But, the most interesting part was seeing the different periods of his artwork. We laid in the grass at the Museum Park and then ate dinner at El Rancho, the Argentinian Steakhouse. The Red Light District was calling our name. We walked down alleys with RED lights. Oh....what a sight! Now, we are off for some space cake! See you tomorrow!