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).