We did something that was new to all of us. We went on a duck boat tour of the city. We drove through the city seeing the sites, then it drove into the water giving us a tour of both sides, then drove back on land to return us to the start.
Our reflection on the building as we go into the water
We sat at the front in the shade... and got a bit wet on the splash
Daddy/Daughter with skyline
Mommy/Son with boats and bridges
(He didn't want a photo, he wanted to look around.)
First, read my post from yesterday that explained some about the reception. That will offer some perspective for this post.
Post wedding in our church approved outfits.
The building in the back was clearly built during the communist times.
Another family photo
Ready to toast the bride and groom (it's juice)
While we were eating the band would come in and play. We were often literally dancing in our chairs.
You can see part of the dessert table in the back. The band would often come in wearing crazy hats or something else interesting to keep the day(s) festive.
In America it's not uncommon to have someone walk around with a bread basket at a fancy dinner. Look closely, that is a vodka basket. There were people who spent the entire time walking around making sure no one ran out of vodka. I can't even imagine how many bottles they went through.
This is on day two. The wheelbarrow had working lights and horn. It was used in some of the activities the night before after we had gone to bed. The second day is more casual, but still dressy.
Wheelbarrow rides are awesome.
We can't let the kids have all the fun.
There were more kids on the second day and of course Sweet Daughter made new friends.
The second day was actually just like the first. A full meal every other hour with dancing on the off hours. Sometimes we would sneak away from the meals to dance when it was much more calm in the ballroom.
Can you tell how much fun she is having?
Second day entire family photo.
Interesting fact - the bride and groom wear a tux/wedding dress both days, but they are different. That's right, the bride has to buy two different wedding dresses.
This was the room above the reception hall where we stayed. Our introverted child asked to spend some extra time up here reading quietly. That sounded wonderful to me (I'm also an introvert). The other child just didn't want to miss out on reading time.
The entire reason for our trip to Poland this year was to attend a wedding. Since Wonderful Husband immigrated when he was young, he had also never attended a Polish wedding. This was an experience.
The wedding itself is a traditional Roman Catholic ceremony. I wasn't really able to follow along since it was in Polish so we just stood/knelt/sat when everyone else did. I will say the organist did an amazing job. When the singer kept unintentionally modulating higher during Ava Maria, the organist followed along. When the singer worked her way out of her own range, the organist played an interlude and brought her back down where she was able to pick it up again. It was so seamless that only people who actually know the entire song and how it is supposed to sound noticed.
Then it was time for the reception. First, we only stayed for the first two days of the reception. I'm not kidding. Starting after the wedding (afternoonish) and going until 5-7am the first day then it picked back up about 2pm the second day. We left just before dark the second day, but apparently it went well after midnight also. We didn't go to any of the third day as we had a plane to catch.
So at the reception hall everyone waits with a drink to toast the newlyweds. Then you go in and sit down for a full meal - course after course after course. After that there is dancing in the next room. This cycle repeats for the entire time. They served a full meal every other hour and every meal was different. It was crazy.
Raw beef - we skipped this one
The vodka fridge - the crazy thing is we saw this refilled 3 times the first evening. Who knows how many times we didn't see. At the tables there were 2 bottles of vodka for every 4 people and if you got below 1/4 full they would take the old and give you a full bottle. No mixed drinks here, all shots.
In case you thought this was a small fridge, here it is with Wonderful Husband for comparison. (This was taken the 2nd morning when we came down for breakfast and discovered no one else was awake or hungry...)
In case you didn't get enough to eat during the meals, there was this area of smoked meats you could help yourself to at any time. There was also an area of homemade alcohols - vodka and beer - for those that wanted something in addition to the table vodka.
The wedding cake with flames. I'll be honest. The kids only made it till just after midnight so I took them to our room (same building) and Wonderful Husband stayed up enjoying the party.
Dancing at American weddings is usually couples. I don't think there was a single dance for couples here. They are all group dances. If a group only had 5-6 people in it, they would merge with another group.
Sweet Daughter dancing with her cousin while his date is willing to share
A short video clip of the dancing so you can see what I mean by the groups.
This has become a highlight of every trip to Poland. There are small gnome statues hidden around the city. Many have been there for years, but some are new and some have been moved. There are apps you can download to find them more easily. We prefer to wander and be surprised. Here are some of our favorites this year (we found many, many more).
She wanted to hold his hand, but first she explained why he really shouldn't be smoking
Gnomes fixing a cash register found in front of a store
He's not making it any easier for them to move the ball
Gnomes of differing abilities
Spraying water gnome
Cool guitar gnome
Gnome at an atm, next to a real atm
I wish more cities would do something like this. We see more of the city and the kids never complain. They ask to go for a gnome hunt. It's not unusual for us to spend hours walking around hunting for gnomes and discovering new stores and parts of the city we wouldn't have otherwise.