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!