Day 5 - Celebrations with the family

Trip Start Nov 29, 2011
Trip End Jan 28, 2012

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Today we packed our bags as we were headed for Heaskov for the weekend. My half cousin, Marketa, picked us up from the flat and took us to a small diner where some of our other family met us for lunch. There was Marketa, her husband Alex and their two girls Alma (10) and Emma (8). I remember seeing them both about 6 years ago when they were both very small! Also at lunch was Jitka junior and her sons Venda (3) and Hamuld (5), Jitka senior, Venda senior and Baba. The celebrations were for the day of Jitka and Hamuld's birthday.

The diner was a lovely little place next to a service station. There was a wood fire and the waiting staff seemed very friendly. Instead of the usual bread and butter we get in Australia at the start of a meal, they brought out rye bread with pâté on top... I tried a bit because I didn't want to be rude, but I wasn't really keen on it :p.

Most of the family had meals with dumplings, some with beef goulash alongside, some with a type of chicken cream soup and some with pheasant. The younger boys had chicken with these smashed potatoes which are fried in round spheres. The girls had the round sphere potatoes with fried cheese, which I thought was quite interesting! It was like a crumb around the edge but filled with a variety of different cheeses like Edam and Gouda. For my meal I had like a piece of flat grilled chicken with ham and camembert on top with the potato balls. I felt like my meal wasn't very Czech though :p.

After lunch we headed to my family's house in Heaskov. When we All got to the house we had two cakes for Hamuld. My great aunt made the cakes which were both amazing! One was a long cake, probably about 3 bread load runs long. The cake was connected and was somehow made with perfect stripes of chocolate and vanilla cake which you could see when you cut into it. The cake was covered in cream, chocolate flakes and a row of perfectly placed mandarin segments along the top. The second cake was a cream and biscuit cake with fresh fruits on top and set in jelly. After dinner and a piece of both cakes I was sooo full!

We gave both Jitkas their presents which were chocolates plus a wicker type angel thing to display for big Jitka and for small Jitka we bought her a Sephora gift voucher.

We also gave Hamuld his present which was the big box of lego. Hamuld also received a Cars Lego set thing from his mum and his brother, Venda, also got a small Cars Lego set so there wouldn't be any jealousy issues which was a good idea.

There was a lot of excitement over the Lego, together with Alma, we made the big main Cars themed truck for Hamuld. It was so time consuming, but still exciting I thought. After putting together about half of this, all of us but big Jitka went down the road as they were having a little town St Nicholas celebration. The celebration is for 20 days before Christmas. There is an angel, a devil and saint Nicholas. The angel is supposed to come if you have been exceptionally good, where she gives treats to good children. Saint Nicholas is in between where he gives treats to all children. The devil comes to children who have been naughty and is said to give children coal. I thought this celebration was pretty cool and I think it's something I'd like to take home and one day do with my own children.

The market celebrations down the street had little stalls selling different things and music and entertainment for children in a big ring in front of the main stage area. Later on there was a fire show with a woman who looked like she did gymnastics and danced around with hula hoops with fire and other different things. There was also a man who played with fire against his body and breathed fire to music.

After the fire show was complete, the children sung a special song to call out to Saint Nicholas. Some devils came out first and scared poor little Venda :p. then came out saint Nicholas with some angels. The tree behind the stage and tent was lit with lights and Saint Nicholas gave bags of chocolate and lollies to all the children.

Baba and I then tried some mulled wine which was a hot wine with sugar and spices. It was quite nice but I ended up spilling it all down my hands and on my bag because my hands were numb from the cold and I didn't feel it!

On the way out little Hamuld came and grabbed my hand, wanting to walk with me. As we were all walking out, fireworks started going off. They were really close and went off above our heads. They also went on for some time, it was pretty amazing!

We then walked back and when we arrived big Jitka had set up a table with cold meats, cheeses, different condiments and an assortment of breads for us to make our own topped breads for dinner. It all looked so good but I didn't have any room in my belly at the time! I then realized my bag was stained with red wine, so big Jitka took my bag and out salt on the patches for me. We may not be able to communicate really but she is so lovely :).

I went and finished the Cars Lego truck with Alma and Hamuld was pretty pleased with it which made all the time and effort worth it :). I helped make some other Lego things with the big box of Lego. I then had some bread with Camembert and then went and hovered around upstairs in little Jitka's flat where we were staying. On the tv Jitka had the cooking channel in English!! So I watched some Nigella Lawson :).

I got my bag from downstairs which only showed 2 little light pink spots! Big Jitka worked her magic I think. I then had a shower, got ready for bed and here I am! It is 11pm so hopefully I sleep past 3:30am tonight!

Goodnight all! :)
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