Friday, May 31, 2013

Around Wroclaw

Spending the day wandering around Wroclaw is just fun. There are so many interesting things to do and see.

Even the little things like cobblestone streets fascinated my kids. Getting to see everything with family, some of which even speak English just made it even more special.

We have no local (i.e. on the continent) cousins, so getting to meet so many in one trip was great.

We always try for the perfect family photo in front of monuments. They usually look more like this. haha

The fountain behind us does shows set to music with lights and water. This photo was taken just after both kids hit their heads. We were going through a turnstile to the bathroom. They didn't realize it would come up behind them once they pushed the front down. Sweet son did it first and while we both went to tend to him, sweet daughter did the exact same thing. Some days you just can't win.

I'm not really sure why they were there, but we found people dressed in traditional style clothing so we stopped to take our photo with them.

In the town square they were having some type of program. It was about Earth Day or recycling or something along those lines. There were hundreds of elementary aged kids singing, dancing, performing skits, and having costume contests. The organizers were nice enough to give our kids balloons along with those who were supposed to be there. Anyone who knows sweet son, knows about his love for music. He wanted the day to stop right here. He was upset that we couldn't just stay and listen to the music and singing for the rest of the day. We spent a lot of time watching and listening to the performances.

Here we are all posing on farm animal statues. We traded and took many photos on these animals.

Another switch - though sweet daughter stayed on the pig since it's pink like her. 
(You can see another school group going by on the side.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wroclaw Zoo

After leaving the farm, we headed to Wroclaw to visit more family. Anyone who has read this blog for very long knows how much we love animals and regularly visit our zoo, so a trip to the Wroclaw zoo was on the schedule.

Some things we do to amuse them, some things we do to amuse us. This photo was mostly for us. haha

We decided to get a wagon to pull the kids around. While we all took turns, most of the trip sweet son pulled the wagon with 1-2 of us riding.
The zoo was under construction when we were there, but we still had a great time. My kids love getting up close to animals and this giraffe encounter was no exception.

Apparently this tiger didn't like his nap being disturbed by kids on the other side of the glass. I should note the kids were not touching the glass at all, the tiger just really didn't seem happy.

This was a really cool experience. You sit in a jeep and are part of the experience getting close to the lions. The kids also loved the bear habitats, but we didn't get any great photos of those. We love zoos that have such wide open habitats rather than the old style of cages.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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Daily Life in Zajaczkow

We were only on the farm for two days and one night, yet the bonds with family were felt instantly. Yesterday's post was about the farm, today is the same place, but the type of stuff that just happens when you stay with family.

This is how we tucked them into bed. They each have a pillow, with a roll going down the middle to help keep them apart (one of them likes to kick in their sleep). They have their water and lovies that we always take with us. This seemed like a perfect layout for them.

This is how they fell asleep. At least this way they weren't kicking each other.

We live in a one story house and don't really spend a lot of time going up and down stairs. The kids walked up and down these stairs for hours on end - literally. The family thought it was a little crazy, but they were happy and that's all anyone really wants.

A group photo with family in Zajaczkow. This is not the entire family, but those that were there for lunch the day we left.

Some people just make a connection the first time they meet. These two were both thrilled to meet and can't wait to see each other again when we make our way back to Poland.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The farm in Poland (Zajaczkow)

After our visit to Lodz, we headed to Zajaczkow, or as we call it "the farm." Being from the city, usually a trip to a farm would be more like a field trip for us, so getting to visit family on a farm was exciting for many reasons.

My kids love dogs, so finding one who just hung around waiting to be petted was a treat every time they went up and down the steps to the front door.

They fed the chickens and even got to pet one. We got to eat fresh eggs and it was fun watching the kids make the connection to where eggs really do come from.

Riding in a tractor and being able to help drive? Pretty much a dream come true for a 2 year old. 

When we visit farms around us, they never just open the barn and let the kids explore. The kids spent a lot of time climbing on this and taking turns trying to pull it to give each other rides. (They couldn't get it to move.)

We ended the day by climbing on the hay. It's more fun than a playground any day.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Kinderplaneta in Lodz

Many years ago (pre-kids) when we visited Lodz we went to the large fancy mall - Manufaktura. I was surprised that I could read almost every sign and advertisement in the mall. American stores filled it and other than the price not being in dollars, it could have been any mall in America.

This time we discovered something new. Ok, it may not be new, but we didn't see it last time. They have a wonderful indoor play place called Kinderplaneta. You can pay by the hour or host birthday parties here. Parents are welcome to go in with their kids, but many seemed just to drop their kids off to go shopping.

There were so many great things to do in this area. We didn't get photos of all of it. The swings, train rides, bumper cars, and air hockey were all popular with long lines.

Two monkeys in a barrel. Our kids loved climbing and exploring the giant play ground.

We did go with them in case there was any problem. It's not like they could ask for help in Polish if needed. They only know a few basic phrases and we figured if they got hurt or stuck they would need help.

There was an area with trampolines. They limited it to two kids per trampoline, which worked perfectly for us. They did have someone working this area to enforce rules and keep the kids safe.

In theory, there was a time limit on this area, but if there was no line they didn't enforce it. Our kids jumped for much longer than the listed time, but once someone was waiting for a turn we moved to another area.

Do you have any idea the number of times we have joked about getting a hamster wheel for our kids to run around in? You know something they could wear themselves out on? Apparently we weren't the only ones with that idea.

They also had small "rides" like this one. The bottom inflated and deflated one side at a time to make it feel like a boat. All of this was included in the admission price. After playing for awhile the kids were hungry and tired. They had things for all ages and I highly suggest checking it out the next time you are in Lodz.

This is not a sponsored endorsement. We went, had fun, and I wanted you to know about it. The people at Kinderplaneta have no clue who I am and I was not given any special price or treatment for sharing my opinion.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Playgrounds in Lodz

The great thing about visiting family in Poland was they already knew all the best playgrounds. This part of our trip was much more relaxed and about family so we spent time every single day at a playground.

 The kids loved all of the different types of playgrounds and things to climb on.

 We were there to make sure they didn't get hurt. Sometimes the kids have more confidence than ability.

 He needed a little help to even out the weight on the seesaw. I wish we had these around us.

 She is so happy that she climbed out of the train.

 Something for everyone to climb on. 

 Merry-go-rounds were also popular. My poor kids had never been on one before.

 I also liked that they put benches for the parents in the shade with a full view of the playground.

 We went to a carnival while we were there also.

 The cars were his favorite, while she loved the "big slide."

 We did have a scare when sweet daughter fell from the top of this net she is climbing. Luckily she  landed at the bottom of the inflatable and I was right there to give her a hug. Then she wanted to try it again.

 We went to a park where the squirrels will eat out of your hand. Literally. That was pretty cool to watch.

 For some reason the kids decided they wanted ice cream. That was really effective advertising, so we all had some.