Saturday, 22 April 2017

Life lately...

Hi. My name is Joanna and, believe it or not, I am still here. It's not like there is nothing going on in our lives, that I have nothing to write about. Trust me, it's exactly the opposite. I am trying to get back to the living, though, at least in the cyber zone. Cause I'm doing relatively well in real life.

What have we been up to this year? Well, I have already shared with you some bits and pieces from our winter break. In the first half of March, we (Krzysiek and I) went to London for a slightly prolonged weekend (more on that some other time). And in a week, we (me, the kids and my parents) are going to Majorca for a week. An unplanned trip for me and the kids, as it was supposed to be my brother and his family to accompany my parents. But they had to cancel last minute and we jumped in their place. And there weren't enough places on the plane for Krzysiek to join us. Our first holidays apart since we got married.

And, basically, that would be it for what we have planned for this year. Oh, wait, my parent are taking our kids to Greece in August. Lucky them.

So that's basically it. Life. Well, almost.

Some of you might remember that it's not the first time I've taken a long break from blogging. I had a good reason for that and came back with new powers, new ideas and all. The situation is kind of similar this time. And I hope it will end up (sooner than later) in the same way. With many more posts, with new ideas, with new powers.

Our family is going to get bigger. Soon. This year. In October, to be precise. Yes, we're expecting a baby. Artur knows and is excited. He is waiting for a little brother. For Paulinka, the whole concept is still a bit abstract, but she is waiting for a little sister (just because Artur is waiting for a brother). One of them is definitely right. We still don't know.

Well, I just wanted to say that I'm still here, reading, trying to compose something new, too. But it's just too much for now to keep writing regularly. Or at all, most of the time. I will come back, though. Maybe sooner than I might expect. Hopefully.

Anyhow, have a great weekend!

(Picture taken last August in Avila, Spain)

Friday, 17 February 2017

Winter break - part 2

As I have already written, during this year's winter break, we spent a week in a hotel doing almost nothing (yet doing a lot at the same time).

We wouldn't have been ourselves, though, if we hadn't taken at least one short trip away from the hotel. In fact, we took two. But both to the same town (just on two different sides of the river).

The hotel is situated about a fifteen minute drive from the open sea. Since we live by the sea, we obviously had to see it. But all jokes aside, I love beaches and the sea in the winter. It's so calm, so quiet, so peaceful. And I don't mean the sea as such (cause it's usually windy, so the sea is full of waves, bigger or smaller), but... people. Or, as compared to summer months, lack of people.

We can easily take a walk, not stepping on somebody lying on the beach. We can run around. We can admire the power of nature. And this time, we also got to admire the results of a storm that we had in January. The beach in Ustka (cause that's the name of the town we visited), at least in its central part, was full of things that the sea threw out. Mostly branches, bigger or smaller, but not only.

The first time we went there, it was cold and right before rain. The skies (and the sea) were grey, dark. And towards the end of our walk, it actually started raining a little.

The second time we went there (this time we visited both sides of the river, cause the kids wanted to play on the playground we saw during our first visit), it was possibly even colder, but the skies were blue and the sun was shining. Two different experiences, two different perceptions of the same place.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Winter break - part 1

Winter break is over. At least in our voivodship. Kids got back to school last week. But winter isn't over yet. It's reminding us of its presence with snow. I know it's not even mid-February, but last year Spring came really fast. And this year, too, we've already had a few days that totally felt like Spring. Well, not anymore. Which is great, cause it means even more of snow fun tomorrow morning!

As I've mentioned, winter break is over. It lasts two weeks in Poland. We spent the first week at home (Artur was practising his programming skills). The second week, however, was a surprise to the kids. We took them to a hotel on the western end of our voivodship, about 100 km away from home.

We had all days full of fun. The hotel has its own indoor pools, two play rooms, bowling, saunas, . Plus it has its own little zoo and sealarium. It the summer it offers even more fun. The hotel (Dolina Charlotty, Charlotta's Valley) is famous for a rock festival that takes place every year in July. Carlos Santana loves this place so much, that he has his own apartment in the hotel.

But back to our holidays. We went to see the sealarium (the seals are awesome. As well trained as the ones in Hel), we went to the zoo (unfortunately, as it's winter time, most animals were hidden cause of cold). The kids had their own cooking classes (every second day, so we took part in three: muffin baking; making fruit salads and/or squeezing fresh fruit juice and/or making pictures from fruit; making caterpillars), and movie projections. But, most of all, they could spent the whole day in the play rooms, which they liked most.

We were also swimming in the pools. We found out that Paulinka wearing water wings is doing pretty well in the deep pool by herself. But she liked the middle pool best. Jacuzzi, that is.

The hotel has beautiful grounds, too. Apart the above mentioned sealarium and zoo, it also has two ponds. You can have a walk around them (which we did). There is a little chapel on one of the ponds. And a restaurant and a little cottage on the second pond. In the summer you can rent either a kayak or a water bike to swim around the ponds. In winter, you can walk around them ;) Both were half frozen when we were there, anyway.

Before we went there, we were sure we were going to see the neighbourhood as well. How can you spend a week in a hotel and see nothing, right? It turns out, you can. And have a great time at the same time, as well. Apart from two one hour trips to the neighbouring town (to walk by the sea), we didn't leave the hotel grounds. And we were fine with that.

When we were leaving home, Paulinka was still ill. Taking meds and all. So we already knew that for the first few days we were grounded (apart from short walks). The kids didn't really want to leave the playground, the were having that much fun. I had time for crocheting (it really got into me, it's so much fun!) and reading. Everybody was content. So I can say I learnt something new. That I can rest staying put. Not running around, wanting to see as much as possible. Lesson learned. But for how long? ;) Well, since we still have no plans for the summer holidays, anything can happen ;)

Since my camera is still dead (oh, the battery. I need to buy a new one and kind of can't get down to it), sorry for the quality of pictures, but they were all taken with my phone (which I hate, can't use and all).

Friday, 13 January 2017

A medieval town of Obidos

As I have already mentioned, from Fatima we drove further south to spend the night somewhere closer to Lisbon. No, we didn't plan to visit Lisbon (or Porto). We wanted to focus on smaller towns. We found a perfect camping spot in Peniche, right off the beach. We could spend the night listening to the ocean, which was amazing. And loud.

Since we got there around 1 p.m., we still had plenty of time to do something, see something. But first things first. It was finally time to hit the beach!

We were finally doing nothing. Resting. Playing. Watching surfers. Running away from waves. We only spent like an hour and a half on the beach, but it felt longer. That's how rested we left it. It felt great.

We promised ourselves to get back here the following day. Cause we were spending two nights there.

 We spent the evening exploring the nearby town of Obidos. One of our favourite places of the whole #Eurotrip2016. It's a small medieval town, surrounded by walls, with a castle looking as if drawn by a kid. For real. K. was so happy to find out that the kinds of castles he used to draw as a kid (he's hardly a drawer. I feel that I should add this information. Sorry, hun), actually do exist.There was also a medieval fair in the town when we visited. We skipped it that evening, though. But there were many people running around town all dressed up, which was perfect. Gave the town even more of that medieval touch.

The town itself is really pretty, full of charm. With white buildings with orange or blue stripes. I simply loved it.

First, we tasted ginja. It's a cherry alcohol drink served in tiny chocolate cups that you can eat, of course. Obidos is famous for ginja, and I'm not surprised, cause it's tasty. We bought bottles of ginja for ourselves, our parents and grandparents. That's the kind of souvenirs I like.

Then we ate delicious dinner and topped it with even more delicious ice cream. We had to burn at least some of the calories, so we climbed the steep stairs and walked part of the town walls. Definitely worth it.

And that was it for the evening. We were all exhausted, cause the day was really hot and sunny. But so exciting at the same time!