Day Two  
    Thursday, August 26, 2004
    Big Cottonwood Canyon; Silver Lake Recreation Area
Howdy Pard
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight
Day Nine
Day Ten
Day Eleven
Day Twelve
Day Thirteen
Day Fourteen
Day Fifteen
Day Sixteen
Day Seventeen
Happy Trails
International House of Pancakes
Czech lion from The Bohemian Brew Pub.

5:00 a.m.
I got up. Did my usual morning thing, then went to the computer and wrote a few notes. We will see how long it takes them to wake up and get acclimated. It is just after 6:00 a.m. here, which is about 2:00 p.m. their time. This will be interesting ... and fun. They seem like really nice people. Mirek and I seemed to bond right away. Very strange. It is like we have known each other for a long, long time.

8:00 a.m.
Anne got up and did her normal morning routine.

9:30 a.m.
Mirek and Hana woke up and came down stairs. We talked for a while in the family room, going over some basic communications methods. I explained the use of thumbs up for positive and thumbs down for negative. That way they can always indicate if they are grasping what we are saying or need another explanation. Or, if we are talking too fast.

They gave Anne and I each a few gifts. Hana gave Anne three small framed hand stitched images of birds and a basket done in white thread against a black background. They are very nice. We will hang them in one of the upstairs rooms. Mirek gave me several home made CDs of Czech castles and our e-mail correspondence (which I’d lost when my computer went on the blink earlier in the year) and of the photos that he and Dan and Sue and Hana took while Sue and Dan were in the Czech Republic in July. He also gave me two books: Tracy’s Tiger, by William Saroyan, and Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal. Tracy’s Tiger is printed with English words on the left side of each pair of pages, and with Czech words on the right. Both books should be interesting.

Anne and I had suggested, and Mirek and Hana agreed, that it might be best for them to stick with bottled water on the trip. That is what they are used to at home, and with all of the different water systems that we will encounter on this tip the variety my play havoc with their digestive systems. We just don’t want stomach cramps or diarrhea spoiling the trip for them.

10:00 a.m.
We drove to IHOP (International House of Pancakes) for breakfast. Anne and I intend to pay for all of the meals that the four of us have when we are staying in our house. After all, they are our guests. If we had more time we would cook at home.

Breakfast came to $48.00. Hana had a cheese omelet. Mirek and I had two eggs over medium, with bacon, toast, and hash browns. They both had coffee. Mirek was so busy talking at one point that he accidentally put syrup in his coffee, thinking, I believe, that it was honey. We all had a good laugh at that, and it helped to break the ice.

Mirek and Hana were not familiar with hash browns and apparently do not generally have potatoes with breakfast. They usually have a light breakfast of baked goods and coffee. What we would call a typical Continental breakfast.

After eating we drove back home and prepared for our short trip up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the Silver Lake Recreation Area near Solitude and Brighton. Once up the canyon we walked around Silver Lake and gave them a chance to acclimate and see some of our local nature. We saw ducks and Stellar’s Jays, squirrels, chipmunks, trout, and a variety of plants. We also spotted a beaver dam, but no beaver. It was a casual walk. The air was crisp and cool, and the sun felt nice.

After that we drove back down the canyon and to our house. We then sat and discussed finances, and how we would pay for groceries, gas, meals, and motel rooms. Mirek and Hana gave us $500.00 of the $1,000.00 in US dollars that they brought with them as a down-payment on their share of the expenses. (Apparently this was cash that Sue had brought them when she visited.) Anne will keep track of the costs and maintain a running total on a daily basis. By Anne and I paying for meals, groceries, and gas it will simplify the entire trip.

We then drove to Albertsons for groceries for our picnic lunches on the trip. We bought Fritos Corn Chips (at Hana's suggestion) and packaged cold cuts and cheese and whole wheat bread. We also bought fresh grapes and baby carrots, and a jar of green olives. We bought a package of Fig Newtons and Strawberry Newtons for dessert.

Mirek and Hana seemed interested in the amount and variety of groceries available, and were a bit overwhelmed (I think) by the choices. Anne and I had already purchased a variety of energy bars, which we generally use as trail food, to have as between meal snacks. We also picked up more bottled water. Our joint expenditure for our initial purchase of lunch food was $58.96.

Back home we unloaded the groceries, then dressed for dinner. We drove to The Bohemian, a local brew pub, where Mirek and I had Bohemian goulash, and Hana and Anne had Bohemian chicken. We shared a pitcher of The Bohemian’s pilsner. The meal came to $79.00. Mirek liked the beer. I think they enjoyed the food.

Unfortunately, Nicky, the waitress from the Czech Republic, was not working that evening. Neither was the other waitress that spoke Czech. And the owner, also a Czech speaker, was off somewhere. Apparently his wife was in the hospital and he had business to take care of. So Mirek and Hana didn’t get to speak their language to someone here in America, as Anne and I had hoped for.

After our meal we drove home and Mirek and I moved his travel photos from his memory cards onto Anne’s computer so that he could start with a fresh memory card in the morning.

We all did our final packing for Friday morning. Anne and I loaned Mirek and Hana a small, soft, zippered bag to use as a day bag for extra t-shirts and socks and jackets, etc., so that they would not have to get into their suitcases during our traveling time. Anne and I already had a day bag set up. We also gave them each a wash cloth and face towel for washing up after particularly sweaty hikes.

8:00 p.m.
Hana and Mirek showered and prepared for bed. I moved plants from the various rooms in the house up into the sewing room so that the kittens would not knock them off of shelves and tables and dig in them while we are gone.

Anne and I finalized our luggage and other preparations and headed to bed sometime after 9:00 p.m.