Hello friends and family,
Felt like writing today so I am writing. Kenny and I have been transitioning from WorkKampers back to retirement. All is now behind us but I really want to backtrack a bit. We haven’t had an amazing adventure for a while and since we had one which was particularly fun, we wanted to share some of the highlights in our blog.
If you read our last post, you know that our middle daughter and her now husband, Dan, were married in June. What you probably don’t know is that they also had a wedding reception in Poland where many of Dan’s family and friends live. And, Kenny and I were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy that wonderful event as well. The celebration took place on Friday, September 9 and Nikki, Dan, and I had planned to arrive early in order to see some of the beautiful sights that Poland has to offer.
We arrived in Berlin and ultimately traveled to Szczecin where the reception was held. With Dan (who is fluent in Polish), Nikki, Kenny, and I went to Poznan, Gdańsk, Kolobrzeg, then Szczecin. A whirlwind adventure with our last day in Poland attending their wedding reception and absorbing all of the wonderful love and blessings from Dan’s family and friends.
Poznan is located on the Warta River and is a renaissance Old Town which is one of the oldest cities. It is a photographer’s dream – the colorful tenements, the architecture – spectacular! We explored the city and I took hundreds of photos attempting to capture the city’s essence. Nikki found a charming cafe where we enjoyed a spectacular brunch with amazing presentations of each dish.
Next we travelled to Gdańsk which is on the Baltic Sea. As it is the center for the world’s Amber trade, of course we had to buy some amber. The city was reconstructed after WWII. Again, the architecture and the colors of the city were a joy to see and photograph. Although a very popular tourist attraction, the atmosphere was relaxed, not the hustle and bustle of big cities of the US. We strolled Long Market and soaked it all in. The Museum of the Second World War, which was opened in March 2017, is a must to see. The museum is devoted to WWII. The building itself is an architectural wonder (see photo) and the main exhibitions offers up not only the Polish experience of the war but also includes in its exhibits European and international context. You could easily spend a full day there.
Kołobrzeg, on the south coast of the Baltic Sea, is known for their spas and wellness centers. As part of most health plans you can travel there for two paid weeks of wellness care. Okay, how do we that into our medical plans? We strolled the promenade, hiked up the lighthouse, people watched, took a Viking vessel on the Baltic Sea, had outfits to don to capture the Viking persona, and took some great pictures. Note: Ancesty.com has Kenny at 91% Viking. Crazy, right? Our last stop was Szczecin which is on the Order River, near the border of Germany. The reason we travelled to Poland has arrived – their Polish reception – Hooray!
We didn’t quite know what to expect. We learned a few Polish phases before arriving but honestly, very few. And yet, we received hugs and kisses of true joy that we, as Nikki’s parents, were joining the family. OMG many foods were new to us, so tasty, and the courses just kept on coming . Every time you turned around another course was being served and this went on all night long! Loved every minute of the family celebration of Dan and Nikki’s marriage.
Polish wedding receptions have three million courses of amazing food offerings. Each table had vodka, carafes of apple juice, orange juice, and water. In the Pokora tradition, a big market cart was placed at the entrance with sausages and meats, a barrel of bacon and lard, pickles, huge hunks of bread and family homemade vodka. Partaking these offerings in a certain order will guarantee that you will not have a hangover. So much dancing, singing, and fun. Oh, and of course, vodka toasts! We are so grateful that we were able to visit Poland and meet Dan’s family and friends. We will have to visit again since we didn’t have enough time to explore everything that Poland offers. I could never capture the joy of their reception in Poland but we will forever cherish it.
Until next time, we lift our glasses to friends and family and toast to you. Have an amazing holiday season and a happy and healthy 2018!
Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions. Dalai Lama