Steve and I have arrived in Prague, Czechia, where we will spend the month of September 2023. This is our last big trip for a while, so we are hoping to make the most of it. We set off on this full-time travel adventure on January 31, 2022, and will wrap it up here in Prague on September 30, 2023. We have leased a condo in Boulder for when we return to the U.S., and will put down some tentative roots.

We just spent the summer in Boulder and liked everything about it, except for our Airbnb. This was not one of my better picks, and when I wrote a fair and true review, the owner got so mad she complained to Airbnb. Whatever. I stand by my review, but I told Airbnb just to take it down because I didn’t feel like arguing about it. I’m not going to miss dealing with all the lodging logistics.

But back to Boulder… I found a really great yoga studio, and got in a good groove. They have hot, vinyasa and yin classes, which is perfect. I just returned from my first vinyasa/yin class in Prague, and while it was fine, it makes me miss the studio in Boulder. I have to admit, it kind of makes my day to say that in addition to doing yoga at multiple places in the U.S., I have also taken classes in Italy, Canada and Czechia.

Boulder’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains is our favorite thing about it. The Flatirons loom over Boulder and they are just breathtaking. We found great food (including a Chuy’s!), walking and biking trails, movie theaters and shopping, and I got to see all my cousins who live in the Denver area. We got a decent health care plan through Obamacare. The condo we are set to move into in October is nice, spacious, well-located and has mountain views. We are pretty excited about it.

I took the summer off from adding to my website. My dad died at the end of June, after a long time living with  Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is pretty much a one-way ticket down through all the various levels of hell, both for the patient and their loved ones. The course of the disease only goes in one direction, and at this point in time, there is no treatment or cure. He was so sick at the end. Fortunately (I guess), his final hospitalization was just one week long, and my mom and siblings and I were with him when he passed. The people at the hospital called it “transitioning.” His last day, a Friday, was actually really special. We sat around his bed and told stories, laughed, cried, told him how much we loved him, told him it was OK to go and said goodbye. It’s enormously comforting to know that, at last, he is at peace.

So, now to Prague. Our first impressions are wonderful. The city lives up to its reputation for beauty, and the early fall weather is lovely. Our apartment is well-located for walking. The people here are fairly stylish, and the vast majority of them are quite slim. So much so that I noticed it right away (even though I know I’m not supposed to notice, much less comment on, people’s bodies). We have had pretty good Mexican, Italian and Chinese food so far. Tomorrow night we are finally going to a Czech place.

The Czech restaurant is in Karlovy Vary, a spa town about a two-hour drive from Prague. We are leaving tomorrow morning for an overnight side trip there. They are supposed to have all different kinds of mineral water bubbling up from thermal springs, available at taps all over the town, that you drink from a special porcelain cup, and tons of spas. I’ve booked spa services at a place that was, and apparently still resembles, an old-fashioned sanitarium/asylum. I think the aesthetic will be more “early 1900s hospital” than “Spa at the Crescent.” Remember the steam bath place in Chicago from the movie, “About Last Night,” where Elizabeth Perkins’ character describes herself as “sitting around with a bunch of fat women from the old country who don’t speak any English?” We are each getting a warm mineral water soak, a massage and a session in a salt cave. I am highly psyched, and Steve is highly skeptical. He seems more interested in the beer spa I found, though I have not booked it. Basically, you soak in a tub of beer, with taps right next to the tub, so you can fill up your glass and drink as much beer as you like while you soak (in beer). I’m really hoping I don’t live to regret choosing the asylum over the tub ‘o pilsner. Stay tuned.

In researching Karlovy Vary, I came across a number of websites that made extremely dubious claims about the clinical and medicinal benefits of “taking the waters” and receiving various “therapies.” The services in some cases go far beyond your usual massage, facial and hydrotherapy. For example, you can get shock wave therapy, electrotherapy, magnetotherapy, lymph drainage by instrument, purificatory enema by mineral water and cinnamon pack anti-cellulite care. For a mere $22, an actual doctor will write you a prescription for a mineral water drinking cure. Needless to say, I’m a hard pass on all of this stuff, being an American, and all. Evidently, the middle European attitude towards this type of “health care” is much more open-minded. Methinks the Placebo Effect is alive and well in Karlovy Vary. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Vive les differences!