I saved and saved and booked a year ahead of time to join friends in a “romantic Danube River” cruise through Germany, Austria, and Hungary. We flew in early to spend a few days in Prague, which has the coolest sidewalks: intricate patterns made with 2-inch-square black and white cobblestones. They’re delightful, but I wonder how the city keeps jet-lagged tourists from tripping and falling, especially in winter. I vowed to fight the urge to document, but couldn’t help snapping a couple photos only Public Works readers would appreciate.

Speaking of appreciation, thank you to those who took me up on last week’s offer of free registration to our first conference. You have to cover travel and hotel, but can get 10 professional development hours learning what contractors are doing to lower costs (so you spend fewer taxpayer dollars on maintenance as well as construction) and how to mitigate the public owner's risk with alternative project delivery (among other topics). We’ll register for you if you contact Colette Palait at 773-824-2506 or [email protected]. If you register online, use PALAITVIP as the promo code to get free registration (which is different from the code I gave last week). If you have any questions, you can contact me at 773-824-2507 or [email protected]. See you in Cleveland in November!