Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Friday, June 22, 2018

BEST OF THE WEEKEND: HAPPY SUMMER!










Howdy, friends! 
Thanks for stopping by our Best Of The Weekend party!
It's summer, and I am doing my happy dance!
I celebrated the summer solstice last night by sitting on my deck 
until the final bit of light faded away.
It was a picture perfect night, with streaks of hot pink decorating the sky.
I'll won't dwell on the fact that the days will now get shorter.......
that's no fun!
Instead, I'll focus on all of the great summer inspiration
in the links below, so..........
let's get to the party!


We'd appreciate it if you'd follow your co-hosts!



 ****************  

We feature all kinds of posts -- 
 recipes, home decor, DIY, gardening, travel, whatevah
so link up your best stuff! 

Non-Bloggers: There are hundreds of fabulous ideas collected here each week;
just click on the links under the thumbnail photos,
and you will be taken directly to the blog post.  

All of our features are pinned to our Best of the Weekend board! 




 This week's most clicked:

 

 I'm Not Everyone's Pretzel Thin | Living On Cloud Nine




 A few of my favorites:




Grab our button if you've been featured!

 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

DAY 3 IN PRAGUE: DANUBE RIVER CRUISE





This is a multi-part series about our Danube River Cruise.

The historic Jewish Quarter in Prague is not to be missed | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #JewishQuarter #



DAY 3
I'm up before the alarm goes off, and wide awake. Why is it so easy to get myself out of bed when I'm on vacation? One of life's great riddles, I suppose. After breakfast, we meet our local guide, who will take us through Prague's historic Jewish quarter on this glorious morning. 

A collection of historic synagogues, a cemetery, and other landmarks make up what is called the Jewish Museum. We learn that rather than destroy the area, Hitler decided to preserve it as a "museum of an extinct race." Regardless of whether that is true or not, it is an emotional walk through this small section of the Old Town.

The oldest synagogue on our tour, and possibly the oldest operating Jewish temple in Europe, is the Old-New Synagogue, which was constructed in 1270. 1270! Our guide tells us that when it was built, it was call the New Synagogue; then, when newer temples were built around it, it became the Old-New Synagogue. I'm disappointed that we don't go inside.


The historic Jewish Quarter in Prague is not to be missed | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #JewishQuarter #danuberivercruise
Old-New Synagogue


We do go inside the jaw-droppingly beautiful Spanish Synagogue. Word has it that it is the most beautiful Jewish house of worship in Europe. Word, indeed.


The Spanish Synagogue in the historic Jewish Quarter in Prague is not to be missed | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #JewishQuarter #SpanishSynagogue #danuberivercruise
Spanish Synagogue

Silently, we make our way through the Old Jewish Cemetery. For hundreds of years, it was the only place Jews were allowed to be buried in Prague. There are thousands of tombstones from as early as the mid-15th century, but we can see only the top layer. There are seven or eight layers of graves below them.


The Old Jewish Cemetery in the historic Jewish Quarter in Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #JewishQuarter #OldJewishCemetery #danuberivercruise
Old Jewish Cemetery


After our morning outing, I'm chomping at the bit to go to a local restaurant for lunch. It's not to be, because we don't have enough time before the afternoon tour. Lunch in the hotel will have to do. Such are the trade-offs one must make when on an escorted trip.


I'm super-excited for this afternoon's tour of the Strahov Monastery library. A Tauck tour exclusive is the ability to actually walk through the library, whereas most folk only get to peek inside the two spectacular rooms through a doorway for a few seconds before someone clears their throat to make them move on.  We arrive, enter through an unassuming door, and..........
Oh. My. Heavens. 

Our collective jaws pretty much drop to the ancient floor as we look up at the ceiling. I'm trying to pay attention to what the guide is saying, but I'm too busy snapping pictures.

The volumes of books that fill the rooms of this abbey founded in 1143 leave us breathless. 


The Strahov Monastery library in Prague is not to be missed | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #StrahovMonastery #danuberivercruise
Strahov Monastery Library

The second room is just as extraordinary as the first. I could get some serious work done in this library.

The Strahov Monastery library in Prague is not to be missed | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #StrahovMonastery #danuberivercruise


Back on the bus, our guide asks if anyone would like to be dropped off to walk across the Charles Bridge.  I raise my hand and look around -- I'm the only one. Oh well, see y'all! I've waited three days to get up close and personal to Charles, and by golly, I'm going to cross that bridge when I get to it!

The towers can be climbed for magnificent views, but that's where I draw the line. I opt to stay at ground-level, a decision I know I will regret in hindsight. 

Stroll across the medieval Charles Bridge in Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #charlesbridge #danuberivercruise
Charles Bridge Tower


The bridge is packed! There are musicians, artists, souvenir vendors, and, I think, every tourist in Prague must be here. I make my way through the crowds, taking in the statues, and the views.


Stroll across the medStroll across the medieval Charlieva Charles Bridge in Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #charlesbridge #danuberivercruise
One of many statues on the Charles Bridge


I'm keeping an eye out for a certain statue -- St. John Nepomuk.  It is said that if you rub the spot where it shows him being thrown into the Vltava River, it will bring you good luck, and insure a return to Prague. I am so intent on getting a photo with no one around, that I forget to rub it. Uh-oh........

It is good luck to rub St. John Nepomuk statue on the Charles Bridge in Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #stjohnnepomuk #charlesbridge
St. John Nepomuk


I catch my first glimpse of the Legion Bridge. It doesn't take too long for me to cross from Mala Strana to Old Town. It is HOT, and I'm sweating. Time to go back to the hotel to shower before dinner.

Stroll across the medieval Charles Bridge in Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #charlesbridge
Legion Bridge


Before leaving for vacation, I made dinner reservations at La Finestra, based on excellent word of mouth. Now that I've been here three days and have yet to sample any local food, I start to question my sanity as to why I picked an Italian restaurant over Czech cuisine. Our meal, however, is outstanding, and we're all happy with our selections.


Three days in Prague were full and satisfying, yet I will realize once we're home that we missed seeing the Charles Bridge lit up at night.  We also didn't get to see the Dancing House, a uniquely designed contemporary building that stands out among the older architecture of Prague. And.......I never did get to taste anything on that "Must Try" list of Prague specialty foods. I'd console myself with the thought that there's always next time, but, darn it, I forgot to rub that statue to assure that I'll be back in Prague one day.

Ah, well, no use crying over spilt mleko, as they say here in Praha.


Views of Castle Quarter at dusk in Prague are stunning | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #castlequarter
Castle Quarter at dusk


I'm worried that three days of Prague-blogging is overkill, but I can't help myself. Fear not, dear readers......... I'm done with Prague for now! 

In the morning, we are off to Germany!


This is a multi-part series about our Danube River cruise.
Read Our First Day In Prague here.
Read Our Second Day In Prague here.
Read 10 Things To Know About River Cruising here

Coming soon:
A Day In Medieval Regensburg, Germany

Picturesque Towns Of Austria
Vienna: Exploring The Old Town
Bratislava: Slovakia's Charming Capital
Budapest: The Pearl of the Danube River




We spent three days in Prague before our Danube River Cruise started. Magnificent city! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise



Resources:
Tauck Tours
Intercontinental Hotel Prague
Rick Steve's Eastern Europe (affiliate link)
La Finestra Restaurant


LINKING WITH:
 Best Of The Weekend
Cooking and Crafting With J & J

 

Friday, June 15, 2018

BEST OF THE WEEKEND 6.15.18 - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!











Hi all!
Welcome to Best of the Weekend!
Thanks for stopping by and spending a part of your weekend with us.
Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there!


If you are in need of some Father's Day inspiration,
I'm sure you'll find plenty in the links below,
whether it's recipes, or gift ideas for your favorite dad!
So let's get to it!
 
We'd appreciate it if you'd follow your co-hosts!



 ****************  

We feature all kinds of posts -- 
 recipes, home decor, DIY, gardening, travel, whatevah
so link up your best stuff! 

Non-Bloggers: There are hundreds of fabulous ideas collected here each week;
just click on the links under the thumbnail photos,
and you will be taken directly to the blog post.  

All of our features are pinned to our Best of the Weekend board! 




 This week's most clicked:

 



The Flip Is Finished! Entire House Before & After Pictures | Run To Radiance




 A few of my favorites:



  Graduation Cookies | My Cookie Clinic


  Moroccan Planters | Pillar Box Blue



DIY Wooden Birdhouse Sign For Lovebirds | The Interior Frugalista


 Chicago Luxury Hotel - The Langham | Embellishments





Grab our button if you've been featured!

 




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

DAY 2 IN PRAGUE: DANUBE RIVER CRUISE






I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise



This is a multi-part series about our Danube River Cruise.



PRAGUE DAY 2
Mr. Goo Shoes came up with a great way to start our day today........a boat ride on the river! It will be a little practice run before we start the cruise portion of our trip. I have to remind Mr. GS and our friends that, no, this is NOT the Danube River........it's the Vltava. "What river is this?" they ask, again and again. "Vul-TAH-vah," I answer, again and again. Clearly, I am the only one who is going to pass the Eastern Europe river quiz when vacation is over. Oy.

After breakfast, we walk across the street to the dock for our boat ride. It's chilly, and the "just in case" pack-able down coats we tossed into our luggage come in handy.  We buy tickets for a 1-hour boat ride, since we need to be back in time for our lunch reservations across the river. Too bad they can't just drop us off.

Beautiful Cechuv Bridge in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #cechuvbridge #danuberivercru


We pretty much have the entire boat to ourselves. If I thought the views walking along the river yesterday were fabulous, the perspective from the water is even better. It's pretty much the same stretch as yesterday, starting at the Czech bridge, and heading up the Vltava ("No, it's NOT the Danube!") towards the Charles Bridge. 

The friends we are traveling with are the ones we did the Hudson River cruise with, so they are aware that I will not sit for a minute, darting from here to there, taking non-stop pictures.  Even still, I utter a preemptive explanation. "It's for my blog," and as I say it, I'm thinking there is NO WAY I can do just a single blog post on this magnificent city. I hope my readers will forgive me for doing individual posts for each of the three days we're here.


Beautiful Manes Bridge in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #manesbridge #danuberivercruise
Manes Bridge, with Charles in the distance.


It's windy out on the river, and just the slightest bit uncomfortable, but I will not succumb and go down below. We approach the Charles Bridge and it's so picture-perfect, I'm thinking...... is this Epcot???

Beautiful Charles Bridge in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #charlesbridge #danuberivercruise
Charles Bridge


Just as I'm getting into position to capture the best shots when we sail under the bridge, the boat starts making a u-turn. What the WHAT???? Apparently, boats can only go so far. Waaaahh! That's twice in two days the Charles Bridge has been within my grasp, and eluded me.

On the other side of the river, just at the foot of the Charles Bridge, I spy the restaurant we are going to for lunch, called Kampa Park in the Little Quarter, or Mala Strana section. This cheers me up.

Kampa Park in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #kampapark #danuberivercruise
Kampa Park Restaurant

The charming Mala Strana area in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #malastrana #danuberivercruise
Mala Strana, or the Little Quarter


From this vantage point, I can zoom in on St. Vitus Cathedral, looming over the red-tiled roofs. We'll get to be up close and personal later this evening.

Magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #stvituscathedral #danuberivercruise


An hour goes by quickly. We switch modes of transportation, from boat to taxi.  In a few minutes, we arrive at Kampa Park restaurant. Based on its stellar reputation, it is one of three reservations I made before leaving home. I can't help but wonder if it is a mistake to be going for lunch, and not dinner. When we see the spectacular view from our table, I know I have erred. My bad! How amazing would this be at night? We'll never know, unfortunately. But lunch is delicious, and I forgive myself by the second spoonful of the most delectable spring pea soup. 

The view from Kampa Park Restaurant in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #kampaparkrestaurant #danuberivercruise


After lunch, we walk less than five minutes to the John Lennon wall. When Lennon was murdered, Czechoslovkia (as it was known then) was under communist rule, and many young Czechs found hope in the peaceful lyrics of his music. The night he died, young people spontaneously painted pictures of Lennon, lyrics to his songs, and political statements on the wall. Every time the authorities whitewashed it, the graffiti was painted again. Eventually, it stayed, and is now a popular stop for tourists.

The John Lennon wall in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #johnlennonwall #danuberivercruise
John Lennon Wall


The wall is in the Mala Strana area, and it's the type of neighborhood that begs to be strolled through, so stroll we do. The weather has warmed up nicely, allowing us to shed a layer of clothing. There are many little alleyways to get lost in here, and if we had more time, my goal would be to do just that.

The charming Mala Strana neighborhood in Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #malastrana #danuberivercruise
Mala Strana neighborhood


We head back to our hotel, and the others want to rest before tonight's welcome dinner. I probably should put my feet up for a bit, too, but I'm like the energizer bunny -- I keep going, and going, and going.  I'll rest when I'm back in NJ. 

Off I go to explore Old Town Square, which is a five-minute walk from the hotel. 

I actually gasp upon entering the square. The ornate architecture, and multi-colored facades knock my proverbial socks off. There is nothing like European squares in the States. My photographic skill set can't possibly capture the grandeur of what I'm seeing.  I'm sad that I'm not sharing this moment with Mr. Goo Shoes and the others.

Tyn Church in stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare #tynchurch #danuberivercruise
Old Town Square


Stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare #danuberivercruise
Old Town Square


There is so much to look at......such exquisite detail in every building.

I check my cell phone for the notes I took from Rick Steve's Eastern Europe book, so I know what I'm looking at. 

St. Nicholas church, with the green spires anchors one corner of the square, with the Jan Hus Memorial in the foreground.


St. Nicholas Church in stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare  #stnicholaschurch #danuberivercruise


The show-stopper is the commanding Gothic structure with the tall black spires -- Tyn Church, which began construction in the mid-14th century. I appreciate its historical significance and all, but it wouldn't surprise me to see The Wizard of Oz monkeys come flying out of the windows.

Tyn Church in stunning Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare #tynchurch #danuberivercruise
Tyn Church, Old Town Square


Old Town Square is worthy of its own blog post, methinks.
 
Glancing at my notes, I'm reminded that there is a shopping area behind Tyn Church. One of Czech Republic's notable souvenirs are crystal and glass. I'm specifically interested in a store called Material, where you can make your own jewelry out of glass beads.  I meander down the alley next to the church to see if I can find it.........

I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise
Wandering behind Old Town Square


.........And, there it is! Once inside, I'm sure I somehow ended up in Venice by mistake. The glassware is striking. I'd love to buy some glasses, and a vase, and, ooooh, that pink chandelier! I manage to get a grip on myself, and accept the fact that the chandelier is not coming home to NJ. However, I am not leaving this store without making a necklace. The bead selection is overwhelming, but I make my choices and have the necklace assembled. Souvenir #1 is in the books. 

Beautiful glassware in the shop named Material in Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare  #material #danuberivercruise
Beautiful glassware in the shop named Material in Old Town Square, Prague | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #oldtownsquare  #material #danuberivercruise


Holy crap - it's getting late. I better get back to the hotel and get ready for dinner. 

Tonight we are meeting the others in our tour group for the first time. We are driven to the Castle Quarter, to dine at Lobkowicz Palace, a part of the Prague Castle complex.  Walking through the courtyards takes us past the glorious St. Vitus Cathedral. As we navigate the cobblestones en-route to the castle, I'm thankful I left my glass slippers back at the hotel.

Magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #stvituscathedral #danuberivercruise
St. Vitus Cathedral


If Charles is the prince of Prague's bridges, St. Vitus is the king of its churches. It took 600 years to build, starting in the mid-1300s, and wasn't completed until 1929. Sheesh, that's a long time. All of these old churches make me think of one of my favorite books, Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. Still, I cannot wrap my brain around how these magnificent structures were built all those years ago.


Magnificent St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague| Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #stvituscathedral #danuberivercruise
St. Vitus Cathedral


We are greeted at the palace with glasses of champagne, and a trio of strings musicians. As soon as we step out onto the terrace, it is obvious why this location was selected for our dinner. All of Prague with its iconic red roofs is spread out before us in the setting sun. Dinner is served in an opulent room, accompanied by classical musicians. We're eating like royalty tonight, and I half expect the waiter to address me as Your Highness. At the end of the evening, we return to the hotel before we, and the coach we rode in on, turn into pumpkins.


I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise
View from Lobkowicz Palace: iconic red roof tops and  3 bridges


I wish I didn't have to sleep at all while in Europe, but I have to admit, I'm wiped out! Tomorrow's tours promise to be memorable, so I better get some shut-eye.




Read more about our Danube River Cruise:




I now know why Prague is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world! | Ms. Toody Goo Shoes #prague #danuberivercruise




Stay tuned for more on our Danube River Cruise -- coming soon! 



Resources:
Tauck Tours
Intercontinental Hotel Prague 
Prague Boats
Kampa Park Restaurant
John Lennon Wall 
Rick Steve's Eastern Europe (affliliate link)
Material (bead store) 



LINKING WITH: