July 27, 2015

Arcadia trail

While Kiki enjoyed herself at the Steubenville East retreat, the rest of the family took advantage of the quite unusual and pleasant one Saturday afternoon to go hiking. Or rather walking, since the trail was flat. The length was satisfactory for the kids, a little over a  three miles, and for me and Andrzej; not listening to the complaining :) The most abundant place in trails in our small RI, is Arcadia management area. One can spend a week wandering here and there. Andrzej himself announced that he could take a week vacation and just hike different trail every single day. Kids were not this excited.
One day, when we retire...

Kinga :)

July 18, 2015

In footsteps of St John Paul II and final thoughts

My final post about Poland.

I miss my family and kids miss them too. Kubus already asked me few times when are going again. I think sooner than in eight years!
My friends announced that there is no way we can wait eight years again. That would take us to our fifties!!! How does this time flies! And not long ago we were in high school, like about twenty four years and we haven't changed; not one bit:-)

On our final trip we went to Wadowice - St John Paul II birthplace and Kalwaria Zebrzydowska -  a shrine not far away, one of late pope's favorite place to visit during his childhood.

But Kalwaria is also a special place for me and Andrzej and a lot of young people. At the end of summer there is (or at least was when we were young ) a youth gathering in that place. Thousands of faithful youngsters came to pray and to fellowship; and they were full of life and hope and love for  God and each other!
I really felt nostalgic and sad about passing time but at the same time happy to have those memories and share them with my kids!

Shrine at Kalwaria Zebrzydowska

Beautiful and peaceful, isn't it?

Andrzej was telling the kids how 26 years ago I and him were sitting somewhere around here during the youth gathering.

Real mammoth bones!

In Wadowice - "papieskie kremowki", favorite St. John Paul's II pastry.

Andrzej couldn't resist a little bit of typical Polish business ; a note "zaraz wracam" - "I am coming back soon", during busy  hours! Not good for business!

A sign that says that this is the place where "our" pope enjoyed his favorite pastry.

Church in Wadowice where he was baptized.

Paintings on the ceiling representing all the pope's encyclicals. Here is one of them.

Pope's baptismal font.

Of course a picture with our saint!

The museum - childhood home of St John Paul II. It closes on the last Tuesday of the month; and guess when we came to visit? Yeah, the last Tuesday of the month!

On the way back home we visited reconstructed prehistoric village. Fun place, not fun getting there!

See you again in few years Poland!

July 17, 2015

Back in Poland

One of the places that we wanted Kateri to visit and experience was Nazi's concentration camp Auschwitz/Birkenau .
This past year Holocaust was a subject in her classes. We thought that it would be a great lesson in history of the times when humanity lost its face.
She said she is glad that she visited this place, and no lesson or books or museums in USA could compare with seeing the brutality and reality of Auschwitz in person. It left its mark on her mind and soul...