I knew this Fulbright adventure would have really great and really hard times but that we would have lasting memories of the 5 of us together, the “Cordova McCarthys”. (There are a lot of Pittsburgh McCarthys so our street Cordova is our identifier).
This weekend has been filed under really great times. Last night, after so much thoroughly happy time together, I asked everyone for a picture and they agreed.
Since we had two hotel rooms, John and I said our “goodnights“ over text and marveled at how much we all have enjoyed each other *and* how much we will miss this when we blink our eyes and they are adults living their own adventures.
But back to our adventure to Košice….
Košice’s train station was beautiful.
Each of our kids have taken on expert roles for these trips. Veronica is the best at figuring out the best deals for local transit (Košice was $1 euro for a whole family for an hour). Ryan knows how to find outlets wherever we go- trains, hotels, etc. Joe is the source of humor for us all. John sent a family text about how someone was likely unhappy to have a reservation in a car on the train with us and Joe read the text aloud for all to hear.
John is really an expert at finding great hotels close to old towns. Our hotel in Košice was beautiful. It was small and likely family-run. Every time we left the hotel, we turned our keys in so that they could keep track of their guests. Some might think that’s intrusive but I felt good knowing that someone is keeping an eye out for us.
Old Town was so much more beautiful than I imagined. I didn’t know much about Košice but I was quickly completely enamored by the city.
We stopped into a tourist center to get a idea of what to visit while in Košice. The following ensued…
We walked out with Slovakia t-shirts.
Ryan’s first favorite thing to do in each European city is to climb a church or clock tower. Košice was no exception and so the boys and I took to it.
We went into the Cathedral which was captivating.
We walked around old town and found some really fun stores and an American Diner to eat at.
We realized that we had enough time to see the medieval prison history museum. The place was fascinating….and disturbing.
The first building was put up in the 1200s! It was originally a residence before it turned into one of the entrances to the city and then eventually a torture chamber and prison.
The boys lightened the mood by coming up with an imaginative game of prison warden and prisoner.
After the museum, we decided to walk to a park right next to old town. Each street was so quaint!
Our walk back produced more beautiful night views of the city.
There was also a shopping mall close to our hotel. There are so many shopping malls in cities we have visited. It was chilly and the kids weren’t ready to go to the hotel for the night so we walked some more in the mall.
We all slept well and got up to enjoy our hotel breakfast before walking around just a little bit more.
We were sad to say goodbye to Košice and this wonderful weekend together. But we once again enjoyed a train ride across nearly the whole country.
I continue to be grateful for the great times. And during the hard times, because they pop up often too, I try to remind myself about blinking. I am watching them grow up before my eyes. And I know I will miss all of it.