AK Monthly Recap: October 2023

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Some months are humbling. This one definitely was. After a month of near-constant driving classes, I used to be prepared for my take a look at.

I aced the written take a look at. Then I failed my driving take a look at. Then I took a second driving take a look at two weeks later — and failed THAT one, too.

I’ve acquired yet another likelihood to cross the take a look at. Just one.

Hoo boy.

Kate takes a selfie while on a boat in the river in Oxford, a castle tower in the distance behind her.
Punting on the river in Oxford!

Destinations Visited

  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Dresden and Meissen, Germany
  • Oxford, Beaconsfield, Bray, and Watford, England
Kate and Charlie take a smiling selfie at Dunkin', holding up Dunkin-branded coffee and donuts.
When you marry a Masshole, you marry Dunkin.

Highlights

I acquired some excellent information from the Czech ministry of immigration. I can apply for everlasting residency in April!!!

I needed to make an emergency immigration go to this month (extra on that under), and I came upon a number of items of stories.

First off — Charlie, although British, is taken into account an EU citizen within the Czech system as a result of he acquired everlasting residency earlier than Brexit finalized. And due to that, he’s eligible to use for Czech citizenship now (and he already handed the language take a look at!).

It seems that being married to an EU citizen offers you a LOT of perks. I can get everlasting citizenship after two years of residing right here and one yr of marriage to an EU citizen (not essentially a Czech citizen) — not the customary 5 years. AND I don’t must take the Czech language take a look at for everlasting residency!

But there’s extra. Because I’m married to an EU citizen, I can apply for Czech citizenship after 5 years of steady residency! I can apply in 2025 — 5 years sooner than I assumed!! I might want to cross the citizenship language take a look at (stage B1), however I’ll be again to Czech classes in January and plan on finding out for years.

A round tower at Oxford University, on a green surrounded by a fence with lots of bikes locked to it.
Oxford was a revelation.

A stunning getaway to Oxford. Charlie and I am going to his good friend’s annual bonfire get together within the UK each fall, and we’ve began including on a bonus English vacation spot. This yr, we added Oxford, the college metropolis that is without doubt one of the hottest day journeys from London.

I actually cherished Oxford! The metropolis has a lot youthful power, beautiful structure (most of the Harry Potter films have been filmed right here), enjoyable outlets and markets, and a stunning riverside setting. I’m glad we stayed in a single day so we acquired to see greater than we’d have on a day journey.

On the best way again, we visited Bekonscot — a cute little miniature village that Charlie used to go to when he was a child. (It’s so outdated, even Queen Elizabeth used to go to when SHE was a child!) All of the buildings are coated with cute little puns, which is enjoyable for the adults.

We additionally had lunch at Heston Blumenthal’s pub, The Hind’s Head. Most of the meals was fantastic, particularly the scallops, however the workers have been proper to warn us in regards to the richness of the oxtail and kidney pudding — we might barely eat it!

The bonfire was nice enjoyable, and we acquired to spend time with Charlie’s household and associates who’re like household. Including his sister’s new kittens, who’re stuffed with power and SO cute.

Two small, shiny kittens playing on a cat tree. The gray one is Teddy Bear and the Tortie is Blossom. Both are looking up at the camera with wide eyes.
My feline nieces — Teddy Bear and Blossom!

A enjoyable little day in Germany. We drove 90 minutes to Dresden to hit up some locations they don’t have in Prague (Dunkin’ Donuts and the Apple Store). Afterward, we drove to the city of Meissen to go to their porcelain museum. A pleasant and attention-grabbing place! (Though truthfully, spending a Saturday at a porcelain museum is perhaps essentially the most middle-aged factor I’ve ever carried out.)

Lots of fine instances in Prague. I lastly made it to Prague Zoo for the primary time — and I see why folks adore it a lot. Elephants, giraffes, gorillas, penguins, and a sort of scary chairlift. My favorites have been the meerkats!

Charlie and I additionally found a brand new and excellent pizza place in Prague — SASY The Original. One of one of the best Neapolitans I’ve had in a very long time, although not overly soupy. Their diavolo is perhaps one of the best diavolo I’ve ever had! Not dangerous for being within the coronary heart of the outdated city, the place it’s arduous to seek out truly good eating places!

We additionally tried a brand new place in Žižkov with Detroit-style pizza — Third Coast Pizza. Great stuff. They additionally make monumental tater tots.

A graffiti-covered stairway through a wooded park in Prague, with some of the leaves turning red and orange.
Taking a fall stroll in Letná Park.

Challenges

Um, failing my driver’s take a look at not as soon as however twice sort of tops the listing. I talked about it so much on Facebook and in my publication, and received’t get into as a lot element right here.

The fundamentals: on the primary take a look at, I hit the curb whereas parallel parking on the left aspect of the road. On the second take a look at, I stalled whereas crossing tram tracks, which is way worse (however I preserve wouldn’t have occurred if the evaluator hadn’t instructed me to make a u-turn on the final second potential and the translator had identified the proper phrase for u-turn!).

So, what’s going to occur now? I’ve my subsequent take a look at scheduled, and it’s my LAST CHANCE. If you fail your third driving take a look at, you have to take driving college over once more. It’s a Czech legislation.

I refuse to pay one other $1500 for Czech driving college. My thoughts is made up: it doesn’t matter what occurs, I’m renewing my US license after I’m dwelling in Massachusetts this December. I’ll have a sound license, it doesn’t matter what.

Small porcelain figurines of an 18th century orchestra made up of monkeys. The passionate conductor gives me Mozart in Amadeus vibes.
The Meissen Porcelain Museum was properly definitely worth the go to!

Finding out my residency had expired. So this was the emergency I had talked about. As I went by means of immigration on the best way to the UK, the agent instructed me that my residency had expired in August.

I freaked out — my household visa was presupposed to be good for 5 years! He instructed me it was okay, that I’d simply have to renew it after I get again. It seems that the Czechs discontinued the passport-like residency ebook that I’ve, as they need everybody to maneuver to biometric ID playing cards.

Did the Czechs inform folks this? NO! They ship me loads of registered mail about taxes and medical insurance, and also you’d suppose they’d ship me one thing about this, however they didn’t. They solely introduced it on their web site.

Because of this, the Czech immigration companies all instructed their shoppers instantly and organized for them to get biometric playing cards. It seems my company closed down a yr and a half in the past. THAT’S why I by no means came upon.

Anyway — I employed a brand new company, they usually acquired me a brand new bridge visa good by means of February. I’m hoping to get a biometric appointment in January.

Oh, and that’s not all! There was a comedy of errors in getting all of our paperwork in! Did you already know that Czech paperwork can solely be signed in blue ink, as a result of they’re void in any other case? WE DID NOT KNOW THAT and now we all know. Anyway — it was wild, however I’m glad it’s over now.

Two elephants, an adult male and child male, intertwining their trunks at Prague Zoo.
These two elephants at Prague Zoo are father and son!

The smack of Google. If you’re not in website positioning circles, you most likely haven’t heard that Google launched two updates this month. Google updates fairly often hit bloggers arduous. I’ve been hit arduous by just one Google replace, ever.

The first hit got here in October, referred to as the Helpful Content Update, and it was DEVASTATING. Some of my associates misplaced 50%, 60%, even 90% of their site visitors. And by some means, I evaded it fully. I felt like I had survived.

And then the second replace got here: and THAT one hit me. My site visitors is now down 20%, and the timing isn’t nice as we’re moving into the sluggish season for journey and my site visitors will even be down from that. New Hampshire Way acquired hit arduous, too.

The excellent news: My site visitors continues to be up yr over yr, and I’ve financial savings stashed away. Times like these are whenever you dig in, make investments, and get inventive.

Lewis and Murray the gray tabby cats on two chairs. Murray is standing up to eat plain spaghetti hanging on a fork, while Lewis chomps in the background.
Turns out Murray loves plain spaghetti now.

Blog Posts of the Month

What’s it actually wish to journey to Greenland? — I’m so excited to share Greenland with you guys! And it’s not what you may suppose. It definitely wasn’t what I anticipated.

A Guide to Ischia, Italy — The Best of Ischia Island — Ischia is SUCH a sleeper vacation spot! I believe it’s one in every of Italy’s finest islands. And I can’t wait to return.

18 Fun Things to do in Oak Bluffs MA — Oak Bluffs is the actually cool city in Martha’s Vineyard with all of the brightly coloured Gingerbread Houses!

A Guide to Edgartown, Massachusetts: Martha’s Vineyard’s Prettiest Town — Edgartown is SO lovely, and there’s a lot to do there. Here’s a information to the city.

Visiting Chappaquiddick Island — Things to Do and More! — Chappaquiddick is a very fantastic island off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard that’s solely related to one horrible factor. It deserves to be seen for what it truly is.

A Pixar-like cartoon with gray cats that look just like Lewis and Murray riding vespas side by side on the Amalfi Coast, Italy!
I made some Pixar-style AI cartoons of Lewis and Murray this month!

Book Club This Month

Our subsequent ebook membership will happen on Sunday, November 19, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. We can be studying Days on the Morisaki Bookshop by Japanese writer Satoshi Yagisawa.

“Twenty-five-year-old Takako has loved a comparatively straightforward existence—till the day her boyfriend Hideaki, the person she anticipated to wed, casually proclaims he’s been dishonest on her and is marrying the opposite lady. Suddenly, Takako’s life is in freefall. She loses her job, her associates, and her acquaintances, and spirals right into a deep despair. In the depths of her despair, she receives a name from her distant uncle Satoru.

An uncommon man who has at all times pursued one thing of an unconventional life, particularly after his spouse Momoko left him out of the blue 5 years earlier, Satoru runs a second-hand bookshop in Jimbocho, Tokyo’s well-known ebook district. Takako as soon as appeared down upon Satoru’s life. Now, she reluctantly accepts his supply of the tiny room above the bookshop rent-free in trade for serving to out on the retailer. The transfer is momentary, till she will be able to get again on her ft. But within the months that observe, Takako surprises herself when she develops a ardour for Japanese literature, turns into an everyday at a neighborhood espresso store the place she makes new associates, and ultimately meets a younger editor from a close-by publishing home who’s going by means of his personal messy breakup.

But simply as she begins to seek out pleasure once more, Hideaki reappears, forcing Takako to rely as soon as once more on her uncle, whose personal life has begun to unravel. Together, these seeming opposites work to know one another and themselves as they proceed to share the knowledge they’ve gained within the bookshop.”

You can join right here. Hope to see you there!

Most Popular Reel on Instagram

Ever heard of a trojsklenka? This is a Czech triple glass the place all of the glasses are related beneath. They’re an effective way to drink chilli griotka, a spicy cherry liqueur which you can get at (in fact) Kantyna.

It’s humorous, however that is one Czech factor that slips by means of the cracks generally. I used to be so stunned to listen to a few of my frequent Czech Republic-visiting associates had by no means seen this!

I needed to make a reel about it, and this one did properly! You can observe me on Instagram at @adventurouskate for extra!

Two pairs of legs wearing the same jeans. The first pair is on a tall Black model, where the jeans hit mid-calf. On the right is short Kate, where the jeans go to her ankles.

Fashion Moment of the Month

First off, get pleasure from that prime photograph as a result of that’s what occurs whenever you order cropped denims and are 5’4″! THANKS FOR SAVING ME ON HEMMING, PAIGE!!

In all honesty — these are the Paige Anessa Jeans. I wished a pair of darkish wide-leg denims and these are super-comfy and super-on-trend. And at my peak, they solely look the teeniest bit cropped on me.

I’ve been carrying Paige since 2008, after I went to just a little denim boutique in Boston referred to as Jean Therapy and the proprietor, Leah, took one take a look at me and grabbed all of the Paiges, telling me this model was made for my physique form. (Man, I want that store nonetheless existed.)

This is what they really seem like on (ignore my Joker-esque smile):

Kate taking a mirror selfie wearing a long beige trench coat, button-down silk shirt with leopards on it, blue wide-leg jeans, purple belt with gold buckle, burgundy patent leather heels, carrying a black square crossbody bag.
See? Jeans look regular!

Also, this month I downloaded the Stylebook app after studying this viral Reddit publish. On the app you observe all the garments you put on, and it calculates your value per put on, your most worn colours, manufacturers, and many others. And OMG that is the sort of factor that appeals to me a lot!!

I’ve been on it for 12 days to date, and it’s serving to me gamify my style — carrying costly items extra typically, rotating outfits, and carrying a number of equipment to get down the whole lot’s value per put on!

What I Watched This Month

The Bear. Charlie and I started watching season 2 again when it got here out, however it careworn us out and we wanted a while away from it. We got here again, and it turned out to be THE MOST STRESSFUL EPISODE OF ALL TIME. “Fishes.”

I believe “Fishes” can be up there with “Fly” from Breaking Bad — the episode that some folks detest, and others reward for its brilliance amid the discomfort. (Personally, I’m on the aspect of hating each episodes, regardless of loving each reveals.)

But then comes a fully lovely episode of tv. “Forks.” And that can have you ever falling in love with this present and the beforehand most unloveable character. What this present does so properly is exhibiting the depth and great thing about the restaurant business, and the individuals who discover their dwelling there. No episode extra so than “Forks.” Get by means of “Fishes” and also you’ll be rewarded handsomely.

Below Deck replace: This month, we watched OG Below Deck: Season 10, going down in St. Lucia. Also often known as the one the place Captain Lee has to depart and he’s changed by…CAPTAIN SANDY. Just after we thought we had a couple of seasons with out her…

You know what? What I like about Below Deck is that it’s a examine in the way to handle folks. Captain Sandy is a horrible supervisor and she or he hides it for a bit on this season, then it comes roaring again so virulently.

A flamingo drinking from a still lake in the desert, snow-covered mountains in the background.
The Atacama Desert, by way of Shutterstock

Coming Up in November 2023

It’s lastly time for the BIG HONEYMOON! In late November, Charlie and I are flying to Chile to start our monthlong South American sojourn. Chile can be my first new nation since Cuba in 2019!!

We’re starting our journey with a couple of days at a vineyard resort within the Colchagua Valley. After that, we’re heading as much as San Pedro de Atacama to expertise the desert for a couple of days.

After that, we’re taking a “work break” (I do know, I do know, however we want this) in Puerto Montt, mixing in a couple of excursions across the area, together with to Chiloé. The month will wrap up there, and in December we’re heading to Patagonia!

I’m so excited to see these new locations and expertise them with my new husband! This can be our fourth continent collectively, should you rely Azerbaijan as Asia (I imply…it FEELS much more like Asia than Europe).

What are you as much as this month? Share away!

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