Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Salon: The Home Sweet Home Edition

 My friends!  How the heck are ya?  After three weeks, I'm so happy to be home, sleeping in my own bed and taking showers in a structure that allows for stretching.  I have so much to share with you. Probably too much for this post.  So for the next, like, YEAR, you are going to see pictures on Not So Wordless Wednesday, lots of them.  For today, I thought I'd share some highlights.  Well, maybe not highlights but notable items from the trip:

 

1.  Every time we visit Poland, it encompasses my birthday, which is cool.  For every birthday, I get wine, chocolate, and my mother-in-law's homemade pierogies, which are to DIE for.

2.  Also for my birthday, I visited a rare "popular books" bookstore (most of them are academic bookstores) and found that all English books were 20% off!  Woo hoo!  I quickly grabbed two Marek Krajewski books, which are crime thrillers that all take place in Wroclaw, my husband's home town.  They are SLOWLY being translated to English.  MIL again to the rescue, and said they were a birthday present from her.

3.  I thought I saw Jo Nesbo on a plane from Copenhagen to Bergen, Norway.  I sat and stared at him intently for the entire flight, trying to figure out if it was really him.  I was so generally wound up to be in his home country, and so sure I'd find him, I probably would have thought a 300 pound hairy guy was him.  Anyway, it didn't look like this guy had a bump on his forehead, but then I thought maybe he'd had it removed?  I never approached the guy.  I was too nervous.  If there would have been a bump, I would have probably said something though.
 
4.  While hanging out in Gdansk, a business colleague of my husband's (a banker) claimed to have been entertained at Lech Walensa's home a couple of times, and offered to drive us by to check it out.  While we were sitting and gaping at this huge mansion, we were accosted by a security guy packing a gun.  We got the hell out of there.  Very exciting!

5.  Everyone in Poland has Internet now, except my in-laws.  Also 99% of those with Internet have password security.  These were dire times for me.  I spent most of my time (in the car, wandering in parks, shopping, etc.) attempting to "borrow" Internet through my netbook or phone.  It made me a little irritable.

6.  If I wasn't stealing Internet, then I was doing laundry.  Washing machines = very small.  No clothes dryers.  Everything had to be hung to dry.  For a family of four, this became my full-time job.
 

7.  The fish market in Bergen was a huge hit.  Everything was right off the boat.  I had king crab claws as big as my arm.  They were divine.  I didn't ask my husband what they cost.  Considering that a glass of beer was $15 and a bottle of Coke was $8, I really didn't want to know.  I just wanted to enjoy the meal in my blissful ignorance.

8.  I had some awesome reading.  Here is what I read:

Fallen - Karin Slaughter (audio)

Cutting For Stone - Abraham Verghese
The Mango Season - Amulya Mulladi
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo
The Fates Will Find Their Way - Hannah Pittard
The Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
Copper Sun - Sharon Draper (audio)
The End of the World in Breslau - Marek Krajewski

As you can see from the list, there were a couple of real chunksters in there, so I feel like I covered some ground.  I can tell you that most likely three or four of them will be five star reads.  Now I just have to write the darned reviews! It is daunting.


So there you go.  Obviously the entire trip was a highlight, but I'll get around to the rest of it via my pictures.  Right now I am attempting to get my life back in order and prepare for our three week trip to Indiana (the kids and I leave on July 7).  This trip will be more relaxing and there will be Internet so all is good.

Thanks to my mom and my BFF Michele, I have a replenished Amazon kitty after my birthday.  I had to do a little impulsive Kindle shopping yesterday after reading three weeks of EW, and I bought "Nemesis" by my man Nesbo, "Once Upon a River" by Bonnie Jo Campbell, and "The Hypnotist" by Lars Kepler.  I shall not want during my trip to Indiana!

Last night my family and I went out for a belated birthday dinner at our favorite steak place, and today I shall start the starvation process needed to be able to live with myself.  This afternoon I have a Skype book club meeting to discuss "Bloodroot", which I am excited about.  Did I miss anything awesome while I was gone?  If so please let me know and I will dig back through the posts and find it!  I'm glad to be back amongst you!

        

29 comments:

Meghan said...

It looks, besides the laundry and the lack of internet, like a fun trip! At least in reading terms. I've never been to Poland, so I am looking forward to even more pictures. :)

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I've never been to Poland but you should see my laundry pile at home...I think I might lose my mind in Poland :/

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Looking forward to your reviews - personally, my limit is two days to write; otherwise it totally goes into the forgotten zone! :--)

caite said...

sorry...I am having a problem getting past "homemade pierogies..."

Heather @ Book Addiction said...

Welcome back! It sounds like you had a great trip, minus the frustrating internet and laundry issues. And happy belated birthday to you. :)

Book Dilettante said...

The Mango Season and The Devil's Star I love to read! How exciting you might have spotted Jo Nesbo!

Glad your trip to Poland was so eventful and delicious!
Book Dilettante

ds said...

You had me at "homemade pierogies." Just might make all of that laundry worth it (although judging by the piles yet to go here, I don't think I'd make it w/out a dryer). All that, and reading too. Most impressive.
Can't wait to see your Polish pics--and to hear & see more of your experiences in Norway!

farmlanebooks said...

Welcome home! It sounds as though you had a great time. I hadn't heard of pierogies, but I've just looked them up and they do look delicious. That crab looks amazing too. I love sampling the different food whenever I go on hoilday. I look forward to hearing a little bit more about what you got up to soon. :-)

Alice Teh said...

Welcome home, Sandy!!! So good to see you back and oh boy, you've sure covered some grounds with all the reading! You know what, I'm so looking forward to your Wordless Wednesdays.

P/S: While you were away, I was made a semi-finalist in the Estee Lauder Model Search. Whoopee!!

Zibilee said...

Yay! So glad that you are back, my friend! It does sound like you have had an awesome excursion, and those crab legs look amazing. I also an envying the amount of reading you got done, and am wondering if you are Wonder Woman. I can never even get one book read while I am traveling, though I pack bunches. And I imagine that it must have been a nightmare without the internet for three long weeks! It's such a blessing that you got all your posts scheduled ahead of time. Also, Happy belated Birthday!

C.B. James said...

Welcome home. This post is much better than the housecleaning one on Facebook. That one kind of had me down.

Someday, we hope to make it to Poland ourselves.

heidenkind said...

Sounds like a great trip, although no one should have to do laundry on vacation, imho. :)

heidenkind said...

Sounds like a great trip!

Carrie K. said...

Welcome home! It sounds like a fantastic trip - and I look forward to hearing what you thought of Doomsday Book. :)

Melody said...

Welcome home, Sandy! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!! I look forward to your WW posts as well as your books reviews! :)

Anita said...

Hey Sandy, welcome back!! Looks like a good time beyond the lack of internet and laundry...ha ha. You are lucky to have that opportunity to travel, see family and the world. Not much time to re-group before the next trip.....so enjoy.

Beth F said...

Welcome home!!!! SOunds like an amazing trip and I'm looking forward to pictures and stories.

Ti said...

So glad to you have you back, although your FB posts entertained me quite a bit. I didn't have to go cold turkey and I was able to get my "Sandy" fix.

Gavin said...

Welcome back, Sandy! So glad you had a great trip. I can't wait to read what you thought of all those books, especially Cutting For Stone. And happy belated birthday:)

Julie P. said...

Welcome home! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip.

Jenners said...

Welcome back!!! I'm so jealous of homemade pierogis!!! That is a real birthday treat!! YUM!!!

Glad to have you back ... and I love that you were "stalking" a Might Be Jo Nesbo on the plane. Looking forward to hearing about your trip for the next 52 Wednesdays!

Anna said...

Welcome home! Homemade pierogies sounds like the perfect birthday meal to me!

raych said...

I have MISSED YOU ON THE INTERNET! Also, more pictures of food, por favor.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

It looks like your trip was AMAZING! Those king crab claws look so good and I'm so glad your b-day was excellent!

Melissa said...

Welcome home! I am totally cracking up at the thought of you driving around Poland stealing internet. :)

Can't wait to see all your pictures!

I'm listening to Fallen right now. I usually read Slaughter's books, but I'm impatient and this was the only way the library had it. I'm not thrilled with the narrator though...

Kathleen said...

Welcome back Sandy. Glad you enjoyed your trip but there is no place like home, especially with that laundry situation!

softdrink said...

Welcome back! It looks and sounds like an awesome trip. And that Nesbo story cracks me up...you should've played it up and said you got his autograph just to make Other Jill insanely jealous.

Molly said...

Ok - I have decided that when I die i want to back as Sandy Nawrot :) I love all the traveling you experience; I love your affinity for wine and good food; I love that you find the time to read good books and write the reviews; and I love the fact that you maintain your own individuality while remaining a faithful spouse and mother.

I have missed being a part of the book blogging world these past few weeks, but I am anxious to jump back into the game and to visit your blog on a daily basis :)

Darlene said...

It sounds like a fantastic trip Sandy! I'd love to visit Poland one day. The homemade perigees look divine! My mom makes a mean perogy too. Lol. You sure got lots of reading done - more than me and I was home. Again, glad you're home and I'm looking forward to the pictures.