Polski Festiwal Ceramiki

Every Army wife has at least one piece of Polish Pottery. And the longer I’m around, the more I acquire. Is it issued to us? Feels like it. I’ve received some pieces as gifts, I’ve won some items at Spouses’ Club events and I bought a piece or two somewhere along the way.

It seems like forever ago, but its only been two years since our group all lived in the same neighborhood. We called ourselves The Ohne Kinder (German for “without children”) but found out the neighbors were calling our little clique “The Evens” since we lived in apartments two, four, and six. We are scattered now, and one of us (not me!) is a new mom. I miss the old days, when we were together and had fun adventures like taking a road trip to Bolesławiec, Poland to shop at the annual Ceramics Festival.

The first day had us in many different shops, each with its own overwhelming selection options…
compemplating purchases at our first stop

So much so, that occasionally we just sat down and sorted through it all…
Tricia and Angel

The town has some super cute features, like this:
Angel, Jen, me & Tricia

We stayed in a fun castle in the country, where we saw local kids riding in a cart pulled by a horse. They were thrilled and we enjoying seeing simple things making people happy.
Kliczków Castle

We explored the city the next day, where I was surprised to see Solidarity flags flying – we were there on the 30th anniversary.
Bolesławiec, Poland

Bolesławieckie

The festival featured more than just pottery – I bought a lot of gifts and a treasure or two for myself.

Chicken Run at Bolesławieckie Święto Ceramiki
(35zł is about $11 US)

And the whole town turned out for a late afternoon parade.
Ceramiczna Parada

watching the Ceramiczna Parada

I’m headed back in November. Let me know if you want anything!
at the festival

More pictures from our trip are on Flickr.

Welcome to Paradise

Big D and I planned to visit the beaches of Normandy on D Day for months. I spent hours on the couch planning out our route, booking hotel rooms and trying to hire a tour guide. Thankfully, the guide sent us a message explaining what a terrible idea it was to visit WWII sites on the busiest day of the year…  “Most of a tour on June 6th will be spent sitting in the car park that the roads around Normandy will have turned into, staring at the back of the car stuck in front of you. You will most certainly not be spending much time looking at any sites.”

We moved on to Plan B! I spent even more hours online, cancelled the France reservations, mapped out new routes and made even more hotel reservations near Lake Como, the Cinque Terre and Lake Constance. The trip would include a lot of driving. And here is where I should note that we do not drive well together. My dad was 70 years old when he taught me to drive. And his are the techniques I still utilize to navigate the highways and byways of the world: Little Old Man skills. I prefer a large space cushion between our vehicle and everything around us. Big D likes to be close enough to the car in front of us to change their radio station himself. So after careful consideration, he told me he did not way to take the trip, either.

Thanks to the assistance of a travel agent (why didn’t I start visiting a professional ages ago!?) and  the assurance of TripAdvisor, we were on to Plan C and off to the Grecotel Kos Imperial. Could all of those reviews be accurate? Or was it all too good to be true?

An early morning flight from Frankfurt, a bus ride on which I was nervous since nobody spoke English, and a few hours later, we arrived at our island paradise. As we stood in the lobby, I felt the weight of the world slip away.

This was our first view of what was to come:
First glimpse

Could it all really be as good as they made it look on their website? Yes. Yes, it could:
one of the four pools at our resort

So for six glorious days and five rest filled nights, we did what is completely unusual for us: Nothing. Well, almost. We ate a lot (I had feta cheese and capers with every meal!) and we drank even more.

We got to know the staff: Efi at the pool restaurant. Natalia at the pool bar. Dimitri at the lobby bar. And since we are the only Americans they’ve so far this year (!) they all treated us like rock stars.

Big D took some windsurfing lessons (and determined he prefers body boarding.)  I read a fantastic book.

One day, we chartered a sailboat (skippered by a 20 year old kid named Billy) who took us to nearby Pserimos where we barbecued and later swam to shore to drink local beers.

day trip to Pserimos

We followed Dimitri’s advice and visited the town of Zia for a fantastic dinner of eggplant and lamb, local wine, and lots of tasty desserts.
dinner at Oromedon in Zia

We stalked a fellow guest who resembled our good friend Eric and tried to snap secret pictures of him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But mostly we did this:
Swim-up bar

And this:
Almost time to go

Beautiful scenery. Delicious food. Frosty cold drinks. But really, what I’ll remember is spending quality time alone, together. We napped. Reminisced. Laughed. Plotted and planned.

We know how lucky we are and we appreciated every minute of it.
resort pool

These and lots more photos are over on my Flickr page.