I’m working to put together a plan that will get us to Poland this June, and it reminded me that I haven’t written a post about our trip last year. These experiences are too important to skip over!
Last year as we flew home with an exhausted baby and fidgeting four-year-old we said that we were done with this trip for the next few years. We wanted the kids to be older so the flight and jet-lag would be a little easier on them, and on us. T1 in particular struggled with this trip. It was hard for him to adjust to the foreign language and food, and I didn’t feel like he ever quite warmed up to his usual sweet self. It’s a lot for a sensitive kid to handle.
I assumed it would be best to give him some time to mature, until the day he turned to me and said “Who are these people who give me presents?” My in-laws are some of the best people I know, and it was awful to hear that T1’s memory and association with them had to do with items instead of interactions with them. It’s not his fault of course, but after that I became ultra-committed to making yearly trips a priority. Someday, hopefully a very sad day far away from the present, family members are going to die and I don’t want to face down regrets about not making enough effort to see them and deepen our relationship. My kids lovingly refer to their Nana and Papa on a regular basis and I want to hear them doing the same for their loved ones across the world.
Before I book those tickets for 2015, let’s rewind a bit and recap the June 2014 experience! June 14th-June 28th, 2014.
2014 was the beginning of my obsession with film, and the only digital camera I took with me was the one on my iphone. My FIL not only very generously offered to purchase film for me so I wouldn’t have to fly it over, he also helped me search the Polish ebay for good deals on cameras and bought me my first medium format body, my beloved and broken Mamiya 645. It wasn’t broken back then though, and we got some really fantastic family shots out of it! I hope they are ready for another round of family photos this year too because I feel very passionate about making the time to fit group shots into the trip schedule.
The kids lounging on the bed TH and I share when we stay there. Once they adjust to the foreign time zone this place is a sort of paradise for them. All the TV, treats, and screen time they desire! Plus we only visit during the warmer months so they can splash in the backyard and eat off the many fruit trees and bushes growing in the backyard.
TH’s parents are incredibly generous when we come visit and take the kids on so we can travel Europe together. On this visit we went to Berlin (here is my Pinterest board for the area.) I finally understand the difference between West and East Berlin, largely due to the excellent Red Berlin Tour put on by Sandemans. If you’re into Soviet history or raving all night long I would recommend going to Berlin (we didn’t rave all night, but I know that’s a thing based on all the travel guides I read.) If you’re into food like me, you’ll probably like: Continue reading