September 4, 1980... The day unicorns and merbabies danced in unison while mythical beings bowed their heads around the universe to commemorate the birth of a true soul-sprite... Me... Sure, perhaps it wasn't quite that ostentatious but it was certainly magical. And so to celebrate my 34th year on Earth, I decided I must needs be globetrotting as I so love to do. I had been told that Prague was beautiful, filled with castles, and with a great night life, so it seemed a delightful choice for birthday splendour.
While our Prague hotel tragically didn't have the chocolate and coconut cakes I became so devoted to in Vienna, young Cousin with her keen eye for spirits brought over some sparkling rosé to inaugurate the beginning of my celebratory day. From there, we made it our business to see as much of Prague as we could, specifically heading toward the Castle district. Our neighborhood was a small bit further from the main attractions than we had originally thought, but it gave us reason to insert a whole lot of exercise into our daily regime. As we got closer to the river, the avenues and architecture became more and more enchanting, opening up onto a dazzling view of the famed Charles Bridge. It really is a miraculous feeling to stroll across such a stunning pedestrian walkway, lined with artists, musicians, and tourists galore. One of our first stops after the bridge was The Lennon Wall, a tribute to the words and ideals of John Lennon and The Beatles. Apparently during the 1980's this wall became a refuge for the feelings of those combating the reign of Communism. For me, it was not only beautiful but a reminder of one of my greatest idols and the messages he often put forth. Alongside many others throughout the years, I signed the wall with a quick message for the ages. Eventually, because we decided to skip taking the funicular up the steep incline to the peaks of Prague, we had quite a day of baking in the sun. Along the way we saw the Memorial to the Victims of Communism, Petrin Lookout Tower (a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower), Prague Castle (of course!) and the Prague Astronomical Clock, amongst many other things. After a day of such rigorous tourism, we felt we quite deserved an evening of birthday absurdity.
As I generally feel the need for a change of costume before the evening begins, a birthday being no exception, we went back to the hotel to primp and prepare. Quite happily, we discovered upon entering our room that the hotel had provided a complimentary bottle of sparkling rosé as a birthday gift! While we put on our requisite ball gowns we drank bubbly and anticipated a fantastic evening out. First stop? A castle and garden adjoining restaurant I had found on google and made a birthday reservation for before we left on our trip. We really had no idea what to expect, but were very pleased when we discovered a lovely setup for our dinner. The food was actually one of the best meals I had all week, veal cheeks so tender you could use a spoon, the most delicious dumplings, and a perfect red wine to accompany. The younger Hot Blonde Cousin treated the older and I was very appreciative of such a birthday party gal to spend the day with. We had reserved tickets at a jazz club for after dinner, which turned into a rather hilarious excursion. While the band was really great and truly talented, I'm pretty sure the lead singer actually fancied himself Frank Sinatra reincarnate. Or maybe more like a clone of Wayne Newton. Either way, he had quite a personality. Since I am not one to be fooled in a crowd, when he tried to croon some ridiculous love ballad while sitting across from me at our table, I clearly gave some attitude right on back. My dearest Cousin was able to whisper that it was my birthday, so not long after I got a roaring rendition of Happy Birthday Angela for the whole venue to share. They were supposed to have three sets, but we skipped out after the second so we could get to our final stop of the day before I succumbed to wine euphoria.
The Propaganda Pub. A perfect place for partying in Prague. Not only were there posters and logos and all sorts of appropriate propaganda parading around the bar, but there was also a communist map lighting up the ceiling. It was a dark, dive-like bar, but the best part was their range of flavored vodkas, from peanut butter to bounty bar to jalapeño and many many more. I ordered a peanut butter shot myself and drank it as I would a milkshake, sipping it for far too long because it was just that thick. And since two Hot Blonde Cousins simply cannot last long in a bar before being pounced upon, a young gent soon found his way to our side. Of course the very best part of this scenario was that while we knew he was far younger than we were, it wasn't until he said he was a whopping 19 years old that we realized just what a wee small baby he was. Hilariously, he had assumed we were both in our early twenties... So... Funny... Can't... Stop... But seriously, quite a confidence boost on your 34th, however wild his imaginings. It was a lovely and fulfilling birthday, just one of a week's long worth of amazing experiences abroad.