Ava Grace's Closet: Croatia Bound
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Croatia Bound

Late post today as Ava and I went over to say a final goodbye to my mama before she goes off to see her sister in Zagreb this evening.
Know that she and I were supposed to be going as well.
Except I wimped out.
Anyone who has traveled with a 2 year old before will know why.
And travelling to Europe is especially daunting. 

Growing up, I spent every summer in Croatia. 
Always surrounded by lots of family. But now, there is only one sister left.
It's sad really. Life changes so much.
All of my fondest memories are there.
And I miss it.
Definitely a must-do once Ava gets just a little older.

Allow me to share my Zagreb with you. I may be crying just a little bit.
The Centre "Trg Republike"

The infamous "kaminita vrata" or "stone doors". If I had just one dollar for every time I have walked along those cobblestones. 

The government buildings in Spring

My route to the city centre

A favorite store "Kras" :: Zagreb's most famous chocolate maker

The outdoor market :: where we spent many mornings 

"Slasticarna Vincek" one of the most popular ice cream spots in the city :: where we spent most afternoons

I look at these photos and remember my aunt Zlata, who has long-since passed, hurrying off to the market in the morning before I woke up to make sure I had fresh, warm bread for breakfast.
She would barter with the shop owners to ensure she got only the best sour milk {believe me when I tell you it was fabulous} and cheese. 
We ate dinner at 5pm or so and it always consisted of whatever you had picked up at the market that day. Very different from what we eat here and much better for the diet.
Some evenings we would walk into the city centre for ice cream. Looking at the photos today, I find it strange to see a Mango store next to the beloved "Vincek Slasticarna".

Guess everything changes.
Me? I would do just about anything to go back in time and have everything be exactly as it was.

Safe travels mom. 
Can't wait to hear all the stories when you get back.


  1. Sounds like an amazing place with some magical memories for you! Such beautiful pictures :)

  2. I almost cried along with you. Those buildings and streets and cobblestones are beautiful. And that sour milk sounds good :)

  3. awwww...looks lovely!! Sad you opted out but I sooooo understand! We went to Maui last year and Jude was barely 2... 8+ hours on a plane and time zone change = I will never do that again...lol.

    1. Yeah, Florida is about the extent it for me. I have learned my lesson!

  4. Ever since I had my first child I cry at a drop of a dime... needless to say reading your post had the same affect on me. It took me to my childhood when I would visit my grandmother in Buenos Aires. Thank you for sharing a little of your heart with me today. Blessings, Carla

  5. Wow, I love all the pics you have and such a great story you have plenty of memories to pass down to the little one.

  6. The cobblestone streets are to die for- what a great trip for you to take someday with all three of your children. I am sure they will enjoy seeing part of your history in such a gorgeous place. I have 3 under 4 and would have chickened out too!

  7. I'm sure you'll have plenty more opportunities. Traveling with a 2-year old is far from easy. Thanks for sharing the photos!

  8. looks so beautiful! i can see why you miss it so much.. your memories
    are just so special. thank you for sharing xoxo

  9. I completely get why you wouldn't want to make the trek with a two-year-old. It'll still be great another year when she's able to hand the trip a little more easily!

  10. Sooo gorgeous. I would not have been brave enough to do it with a 2 year old either.

  11. Thank you for sharing your memories. I understand your apprehension in traveling with your young one.

  12. Zagreb is gorgeous--my husband and I traveled there (and Dubrovnik and Ljubljana) a few years ago, before we had kids. I don't think a lot of Americans consider Croatia (or Slovenia) when planning European vacations, but they should. It's beautiful and the people were so welcoming!

  13. It looks absolutely wonderful there.
    I'm sorry that you couldn't go along with her. Traveling with a babe is so hard.
    But just think, there will be a time when you can return :)

  14. Thank you for sharing these photos. It looks like such a beautiful place! I hope you can make it back and share it with your family again someday! :)

  15. Dearest Susan,

    Wow, you make me kind of homesick too... You know when we moved to Italy to work and live there, our cars arrived in Triest. My brother has gone to Croatia so often on vacation. Lots of my harvesters that I did the training for in the Venice area, came from Croatia... Our boss went there to a spa with his wife. On and on the memories and the great food.
    I do know this pain and being torn between two worlds; literally. Non immigrants can't even imagine this pain. Saying goodbye is each time like a little bit of you dies...
    Hope your Mama will manage on her own. Travel IS tough, with all the security things where they treat you like cattle and there is hardly any courtesy and service left... Yet, what is the alternative? There is NONE. So it's like putting your brain on zero and collapse in the plane seat. You are right, for Ava it would be too much and it's too hard for you to deal with.
    Hope things work out well and you for sure stay in touch via Skype I guess, like we do. My parents don't have a PC. My Mom is on dialysis 3 x a week and in September when I hugged her goodbye I thought this might be my last farewell... She's already being treated 4 years and the statitstics say it will be no more than 5 years especially for people above 80. Your Mama is of course younger. I'm so happy that I had my parents for the last time over for 6 weeks in October of 2005.
    Lots of love to you and a tight hug!
    Got finally my Internet back, now catching up on so much... after 4 days.

  16. Sounds like an amazing place - a place I would so love to visit! The fresh food is the only way to go! I wish we could live like that now... you know, shop only when necessary. But the way we live our lives now.. it's always rush rush rush! Things are purchased then frozen... life is surely different here!
    I know what you mean about traveling abroad with a little one. E is almost 5 but I'm still hesitant to travel to Cambodia (where i was born)to visit my grandmother (only one left!). I'm afraid he'll get sick and then what... The other 2 may do well... but until I am more confident of the health care provided, i cannot go visit the country I left so many years ago. My mom and I visited in 2002... then my oldest was born - I haven't been back since.


I love reading every last one. Thanks so much for stopping by our little blog. xo.