May 2012 archive

Interior unveiled.

Notice the spice rack and gas stove.

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Nifty floor laminate off-cut($9) used as our new table top.

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Our new abode is adorned with ELEVEN cozy pillows.

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For the ladder part of the day.

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Super bathroom.

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We’ve been to Hel and back.

Hooray, we’ve finally purchased a home. Our 1993 Fiat Ducato has everything we need. The car has been scrubbed top to bottom and I’ve “Amalia Style” organized every cupboard, with colourful Ikea containers. At first, it was a little nerve racking going down bumpy roads as everything has a potential of fly out of it’s holding place. Alas, only 2 glasses have gone to glassware heaven.     

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Matt’s Polish paperwork is “in progress” and there’s no need for us to loiter around Gdansk. We strapped everything down securely and headed straight to Hel! Look at the stunning view as we were driving.

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This week, the weather hasn’t been as summery as the last but that hasn’t put a dent in our exploring. Hel is a cute town that reminds me of Tofino. Closed in the winter and extremely lively in peak season, the main street is littered with knickknack stores. Walk one block towards the beach and you will find cute alleys dotted with trendy coffee shops and bars. Too bad it’s not busy at the moment because this town is totally “Matt and Amalia”.

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Married couple chez Ikea!

Gdansk’s public transport system is extremely easy to navigate. Matt and I have been traming and busing to all our destinations including today’s, IKEA!!!
We stocked up on Näcktens, Björknas, Härens and more.
Translation: we now have colourful pillows, dishes, towels.
Obviously, no trip to Ikea is complete without Swedish meatballs and a healthy serving of gravy.

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Sad news.

My grandmother passed away. I’m sad that I’m so far away from my family, especially from my mother.

My grandmother and I were very close when I was growing up, I’d give anything to play one last game of cards with her.

Tidbits of information.

1. Relationship

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Our relationship is better than ever! We travel well together, dragging 6 heavy bags containing everything we own half way around the globe can be extremely stressful but we pulled through.  Now that we are comfortable in our cabin and have a relaxed schedule, everything is gravy. Of course I still have mini meltdowns if I am not fed on time and Matt’s impatience for waiting in lineups still gets under my skin, but we know to regroup and make up right away because there’s no escaping each other!    

 

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2. Super useful travel tip.

Ladies, if you are thinking of traveling anytime soon, go out and buy yourself and low profile diaper bag.

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It looks like a regular purse yet it is so much more. Mine has a lime green interior with tons of dividers, pockets and pouches to keep me organized on my travels.

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The “bottle” holders are perfect spots to place your picnic wine.

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Like drinking while you walk? No problem. Look how easy it is to crack open my €2 wine on the move.

 

3. Silly Poland things

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~I have not seen one person yet who is not Polish or Caucasian. Even little Victoria has a few more flavors than this place.

~Everyone is extremely friendly and helpful. Most people speak English and have a smile on their face.

~You can drink freely as you walk the streets but don’t j-walk! Everyone is very scared of being fined.

~Don’t try and find a steak as we know it in the grocery stores. It’s ground or cubed only.

~The cabin has brown toilet paper which is a bit weird and confusing.

Poland 2012

 

Looking back on the past.

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It’s been such a pleasure watching my husband relive old memories. Stories keep pouring out of his mouth as we stroll along. 

 

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This is his old church. He tells me that he would hide behind the tram stop on Sunday mornings trying to avoid his mother who was trying her best to get him to church on time.

 

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Only a few meters away, lies he’s old school.

 

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Next stop, the old apartment. Block “B”, second floor. Matt has tons of stories about this place. The upstairs neighbors were good friends with the Ploszanskis, across the alley lived his best friend and down the street his old soccer buddy. With all the parks and beaches around, it appears to be a pretty decent place to be a kid. 

 

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This guy used to play in the sandbox with Matt!

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Just around the corner, Baltic Beach! Very lively, with restaurants and large walkways for pedestrians, bikers and rollerbladers alike.

 

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Searching for a new home.

We’ve covered a lot of ground since our arrival. There’s so much Matt wants to show me, yet we must not forget about our original goal, find a van.
We have an appointment tomorrow to see a potential vehicle, wish us luck.

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Welcome to Gdansk!

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How can I even begin to describe what has been happening in our lives in the last few days. For the first time in 27 years, Matt has returned to his home town in Poland.  The experience has been comparable to a human walking on the moon. So much to take in.

 

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Main train station

 

 

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Strolling down old town Gdansk.

 

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Eating a half meter melted cheese and mushroom sandwich.

 

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I like the bird in this picture.

 

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HOLY CRAP! Look at this place. Tuesday, we’re going on a boat cruise to Westerplatte.

 

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Excitement in his eyes. We’re on the tram towards the house he grew up in.

 

More to come…

Stogi camping!

Matt and I are in the woods, in our very own cabin by the sea. We have a fridge, 4 beds, electricity, free wifi, a washing machine, a picnic table, lots of clean bathrooms and showers to choose from with hot water 24/7.
$19.25 a night!
We bought groceries:
3 tomatoes
A cucumber
2 cheese
4 pack of tall can beers
Olive oil
Dish soap
Maggi
And a few other things for under $15

Yay!

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Back to the motherland.

Up to now, Poland has been rather “cosy”. The overnight train fit our 5 bags with a sliver of space left for us. After some smart space planning, we were able to have a small dance party. Party bird is happy to be back in action.
For unknown reasons our train arrived in Poznan 30mins late, giving us exactly 0.00001 mins to grab our 5 humongous bags, run down a flight of stairs, sprint to the next platform, run UP a flight of stairs and squish into a train containing 3 times it’s capacity.
Hey, at least the view out the window I’m pressed up against isn’t bad.

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Living well in Europe.

Here is list of everything we have eaten and drank so far:
•A Frankfurter with extremely hot mustard and a side of fries with mayo. €4
•Caviar €1.90
•Smoked lox €1.99
•A hockey puck size, melt in your mouth, fresh mozzarella €1
•Wonderful cherry tomatoes, 2 yogurts, 100g of goose berries, a pear, a grapefruit, fresh baguette, crackers, all under €3
•Foot long saucisson €1.50
•Freak’n goat Gouda ($10 in Canada!) €1.99
•Tall bottles of beer €1.20
•Great prosecco €2.50
•A liter of Sangria €2

So you get the idea. Everything I love is affordable here. We’ve been walking almost 10k per day, hopefully it helps us manage our daily cheese intake.

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Frankfurt fun

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We are happy and safe here in Germany.
Today was spent walking 10k to the outskirts of Frankfurt in search of our new home on wheels. Turns out no one sells old vans and our search must continue.
Thursday night we’re hopping on a sleeper train and heading to Gdansk, Poland. I can’t wait to meet Matt’s(it’s Maciek here in Europe) grandma.

Waiting to fly.

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We are set! God knows how we did it but managed to check a 45lbs bag of camping gear for free. Our “camping chopping board” is safely embedded in the airplane. Phew!!!

Next stop Frankfurt. Updates to come.

Meet the family.

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I just wrote a huge post and accidentally deleted it. Sorry, I’m not writing it again.

•Bought a new bag, turns out its a diaper bag.
•Bottled some wine.
•Had lunch with Neely, Ryan, Caleb, Sarah, Mike Phong, Ella, Arek and Matt at the Boathouse on Beach Dr. (Super fun)
•Saw a circus put on by kids.
•Made pasta.
•Going to bed now.
•Thank you.

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