Keeping the tradition alive from each trip
My 6th birthday was an indoor safari. My parents invited Urban Safari Rescue Society with a bunch of animals and I invited 17 friends. The combination had potential to be wild We behaved well and the animals did too, everybody was very pleased.
In the end I got a certificate that I am the official sponsor of the Boa Constrictor in that facility for the next three months. We got a day pass as well to the Rescue Society to see a 120 year old Turtle called “Grandpa”.
It felt good to have a fantastic party for a good cause.
The cake was a big success also, as there was not a single crumb of it left, a big thank you to Yvonka for distributing it so well. Because the birthday cake has been completely finished, we will all have very good luck in the following weeks
Far far up north feels like a different world. It is magical, scary at times, stunningly beautiful and so underpopulated. Those who decided to live there showed us lots of care, kindness and great hospitality, we will miss them.
4000 km in 8 days, empty unpaved roads, moose and bears wandering around, never ending daylight, warm, and no tourists. Sounds like a paradise except for the occasional need for the rifle on the back. More bears than people live in Alaska.
We started from Whitehorse all the way to Alaska, half way up the Golden Loop. Valdez welcomed us with icebergs, bears and rain. Definitely one of the favorite parts of the trip. The big Alaska loop was at our feet through Denali, where we saw the Magic Bus, Fairbanks and finally long awaited Chicken, population 40 and 8 in the winter. That was part of the trip mom remembered very well from her hitch hiking trip 18 years ago. From Chicken we drove on top of the world highway to Dawson City.
Dawson City hasn’t changed since the Klondike days in 1896. We did try some luck looking for gold. I got a little flake, grandpa had to put glasses on to see it and mom was worried trying not to sneeze. Since we didn’t get a fortune we drove back along the Golden Loop to Whitehorse.
Grandpa was a great chef and mom a good driver, I was good at collecting firewood.
After arriving in Whitehorse we soaked our bodies in the hot springs. We were sad to leave the north behind, but we will be back …
Together with my mom, Yvonka, Rhys and his bottle (it’s an inside joke) we went for a “Castles in France” adventure. On our first day in Versailles, having gone to bed at 4pm because of jet lag, we got woken up by loud explosions which turned out to be fireworks celebrating Bastille Day. We managed to arrive at the main plaza in front of the palace (in pyjamas!) exactly when the fireworks were over.
In Versailles Yvonka began our pedagogical lessons about the different types of columns, which lead to more lessons about Tristan and Isolde, Tosca, Othello, Marie-Antoinette and tons of other cultural things of great importance. In two weeks we visited stunning castles, parks and gardens. In Chaumont-sur-Loire we saw mom’s favourite artist Andy Goldsworthy, all the installation where made of nature. It was her favourite and least favourite day at the same time, as she forgot to put the battery to her camera, well there is always a phone camera.
After the Loire Valley and ten castles, we drove south. On the way to Castels we stopped by uncle Steve’s house for a short visit. I was very pleased. In Castels we stayed in a manor farm house with a dog, a cat, two donkeys, many ducks, and some bugs which liked Yvonka very much, (we like keeping traditions while travelling) After overdosing with squash we headed south to Carcassonne when we could “finally” see some tourists. We stayed at a mansion nearby where we surprised our host with our sardine breakfast diet. After two weeks we reached the Mediterranean sea and topless ladies on the beach.
After two weeks of castles, boat cruises, visiting the world famous Lascaux caves with the prehistoric art, countless cathedrals and cute villages, it was time for a big city trip – Paris via the TGV. We said goodbye to Yvonka, as her adventure continued in the Pyrenees with even more castles. Once mom, Rhys and I arrived in Paris, mom put on her fast forward guide hat and we had lots on our plate: Eiffel Tower all the way to the top, the Louvre, the Sacré-Cœur basilica, the Pompidou centre, and Notre Dame cathedral. We had a lovely lunch with mom’s lovely friend Pierre. Rhys found his long awaited Subway and lost his water bottle.
Enjoy 10 pages of pictures!
Sequoia National Park and Death Valley were our main 2 destinations. Sequoia with its giant trees was fairy tale like. Look at every image with a giant tree, there will be little girl at the bottom of it- that’s me. It was first time I saw a bear where either he wasn’t in the cage or I was in the cage (car). We celebrated mom’s birthday there. She was very happy to be able to to buy Polish sausage in the middle of nowhere. Death Valley was a different story. Now I understand why it is called that. It is the hottest and driest place on earth. We stopped at the Jedy Transitions where US F15 fighter jets were flying in the canyon below us. 45 C says it all, sleeping in that temperature was unbearable – but I saw lots of shooting stars since I couldn’t sleep:). Second day in Death Valley, dad went for a long hike on Dunes (person far on the dunes, that’s him). Mom went for a long walk to Badwater Basin – 828 feet below sea level. On the way to the LA airport we stopped at The Getty Museum to get some culture after being in the wild. 10 minutes ride to the airport for the museum took us 1 hour, LA for you there.
Nicaragua was hot and colourful with a crazy border crossing. It fell like a war zone with the army all equipped with shields and shot guns. I got over 4 stamps in my passport for 1 crossing. Masaya and Granada were beautiful. Lakes, volcanos and colourful crafts filled my memories. Enjoy!!!
Costa Rica was full of surprises. It looked like either Zika or 38C temperatures scared all the tourists away. National parks, beaches, roads (off roads as that was mainly the option) were empty and all for us, sometimes it felt spooky.
In two weeks grandparents, aunty Lidia, mom and myself we went on lots of adventure trips, ziplining, boating, swimming next to waterfalls, exploring black, gold and white beaches and playing in volcanic mud. You can see more pictures of monkeys, cows, crocodiles and iguanas than me, but thats ok as my mom was in photography heaven. We visited: Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, Palo Verde National Park, Playa – Flamingo, Ocotal, Tamarindo, Hermosa, Panama, Manzanillo, Del Coco and Volcan Miravalles. Enjoy 6 pages of photographs!!!
My dear aunty Yvonka, mom and The Greasy Thing (it appeared at night and we are not sure what it was) came up with a trip 12 hours before the flight, no wonder my grandpa called them “Rozbrykane Kozy” ( Polsih if you wonder). This time we went to the Dominican Republic to join hundreds of Canadian teenagers released from their cages for Spring Break. After a few days we got used to their behaviour and after all it was fun watching them; I learned some bar tricks ( more details in person).
The seven days in Punta Cana felt like a month. We visited small towns, villages, and farms, I learned how cocoa beans are turned to chocolate, I tasted raw sugar cane and I took part in a coffee roasting process. I wasn’t impressed with cigar factory, but i guess it is part of the culture. In Santo Domingo we visited Columbus’ house and the very impressive Cathedral. We did a trip to Saona Island where the Atlantic ocean meets the Caribbean sea, the water was so turquoise, it can’t get more turquoise than that!
Most of the time at our resort was beach time, swimming in the sea in long dresses and wearing gold tattoos – it was supposed to be exotic
We met lots of interesting people from different parts of the word, some liked kissing kids on the forehead, others liked offering cigarets to the local kids. Some of the people we met became my uncles in a day, and others became my private life guards, so I could jump on the highest waves. I had chance to play with some local kids and that felt priceless.
My eyes turned to mangoes and Yvonka’s eyes to passion….fruit.
My little tip to all seeking a boyfriend is: “When you meet a man on a bus, the first thing you ask him is NOT which books he reads” (inside joke)
The Caiman Islands, Roatan in Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel City in Mexico
We had a blast on all the islands. My favorite was on the Belize reef, a tiny little island 30 by 80 meters with white sand, pelicans and turquise water so warm – it was 30 degrees!. The dolphins in Cozumel were super fun too, mom had to do research first to see if they are kept in good condition, but it looks like they pass mom’s test. We drove around Roatan in Honduras and were amazed how green and lush the island was.
So it was yet another amazing trip!!!