Oceanografic and Museum of science in Valencia

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Even if you’ re not into science, opera music or animals, the city of arts and science in Valencia is worth seeing for its breathtaking architecture.  We managed to visit only two of its buildings . Oceanarium is the biggest oceanarium in Europe and it was built in the shape of water lily.

While land animals of bioparc made no impression on Misike, water animals in oceanarium absolutely enraptured him. We spent hours watching all sorts of fishes and ocean creatures and he just didn’t have enough. The culmination of the trip was dolphin show. Magic!

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It was the last stop on our “to visit” list though, that i was looking forward to the most. Prince Felipe’s museum of science is another architectural masterpiece, that resembles the skeleton of a whale. I was dying to see it but I worried my little ones would find it boring. Fortunately, I was wrong. There were many exhibition rooms, each dedicated to something different. We started with the vehicles build with legos. There were chariots, carriages, planes, balloons, ships and cars.

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Each of us had their own favorite exhibition. Anabel, dinosaur lover, was enraptured by life size dinosaur skeletons. I loved the interactive exhibits about human body and genetics on the third floor the most. Misi was mostly interested in giant balloon and plane hanging from the museum ceiling. But we all were absolutely amazed by “Mars” exhibition. There was a scale that showed you your weight on different planets (I wish I could live on Uranus :-D), holograms of martians and quiz machine.

But of course, we spent most time watching chicks hatching from their eggs.

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Oropesa

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Last September we spent two wonderful weeks in Spain and it was everything I was hoping for. We got to visit interesting and beautiful places but also spent countless hours swimming in the sea, looking for seashells  and building sand castles.

We got there in the perfect time. September is off the season despite high temperatures and a very warm sea water, so there are few people on the beaches. It’s nice and quiet, just as like it.

Two things shocked me about Spain. First, it is nearly impossible to find there someone who can speak English and secondly it’s perfectly natural to sunbath topless. The first day we got to the beach, I thought that maybe we landed on the wrong beach but as I soon realized, it was same everywhere. What I noticed, the older breasts the more shameless. Perhaps with age we get more distance to ourselves and our bodies, or perhaps, we just don’t give a damn what others thing anymore. I wish to get that attitude some day.

 

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Rosie

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Misi wanted to see the ruins of some castle in Oropesa. I wasn’t very excited about the idea of looking at some piles of stones and bricks in hot siesta hours but in the end I was so grateful we went. Those enchanting little streets on the way to the ruins were the most beautiful place I found in otherwise very touristic Oropesa.

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During our trip I was happy to find three polish traces in Spain. There was a painting of sister Faustina in st James’ church in Oropesa and another one of John Paul II in Castellon de la playa. And finally, there was a book by Mikolaj Kopernik (Nicholas Copernicus) in the museum of science.

 

Quilty beach

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We, Polish immigrants, tend to complain and joke about Irish weather. I know people for whom the weather was one of the main reasons they returned to Poland. But this year there’s really nothing we can complain about. First we had some snow in March and now it’s been summer full on for two weeks straight. Being realistic though, we take every opportunity to take advantage of this weather as it may not last that much longer 🙂 .

Yesterday we tried out a beach in Quilty and we loved it. The biggest advantage of it is that you can park your car directly on the beach so you don’t need to carry countless amounts of bags, towels, blankets, balls and buckets to the beach all the way from the car park. Fantastic beach for families.

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Just our luck/ Pech

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Sometimes it just happens so that something we considered bad luck turns out to be a blessing. That was the case this time. Between Anabel’s first Holy Communion and foreign holidays, we didn’t plan to go to Poland at all this year. Yet, suddenly, it turned out that Misi had to go to Poland for health reasons (nothing serious, just a tooth) and since tickets were in a very good price, we all went.

Girls missed grandparents so very much and after new year fight with sicknesses I felt worn out and didn’t even make any new year resolutions nor plans, and Misi had period at work. So we all needed a change of air.

Our biggest plan was to go sleighing because our three year old hasn’t seen snow ever, our girls saw it two or three times and we haven’t seen it for a long time ourselves. We loved playing in snow so much that we had to repeat it. It was wonderful and amazing what a healing power the whiteness  of snow has for fried nerves . Even with frozen toes, wet butts and red chicks we couldn’t stop smiling.

Czasem tak w zyciu bywa, ze z jakiegos pecha czy nieszczescia wyplywa pozniej wiele dobrego. Tak bylo w tym przypadku. Pomiedzy Pierwsza Komunia Swieta Anabel a zagranicznym urlopem, nie planowalismy lotu do Polski na ten rok. Jednak tak sie stalo, ze jak na zlosc Misi ze wzgledow zdrowotnych musial poleciec do Polski a ze bilety byly w przystepnej cenie, polecielismy cala piatka.

Dziewczynki bardzo tesknily za dziadkami a ja po walce z chorobskami od poczatku roku, bylam zmeczona i wypalona do tego stopnia, ze nawet sensownych postanowien czy planow na ten rok nie zrobilam, a Misi przechodzil trudny okres w pracy. Taka odskocznia bardzo nam sie wiec przydala.

Postanowilismy sobie przede wszystkim, ze pojedziemy za sniegiem bo nasz trzylatek nie widzial go jeszcze nigdy, dziewczynki ze trzy razy a nawet my sami juz bardzo dawno. Sniegowe szalenstwa spodobaly nam sie do tego stopnia, ze musielismy je powtorzyc. Bylo cudownie. Niesamowite, jak uzdrawiajaca moc na schorowane nerwy ma biel sniegu. Nawet z  przemarznietymi palcami, mokrymi tylkami i czerwonymi policzkami, nie moglismy przestac sie usmiechac.

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Sunny postcards

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While booking tickets for this summer’s holidays in Poland and Hungary, I was thinking of all those barbecues, garden parties, joyful meetings with friends and family, splashes in my parents’ swimming pool and generally slow, lazy moments that were awaiting us. As it happens, most of those plans shattered  when just before we got there we learned that my mom was about to have a very serious surgery. We didn’t get to spend much time together and the time we had was often fearful and difficult but we still collected lots of happy memories. And I’m just happy that everything went well and we can make up for that time.

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We even managed to attend a weeding. It was wonderful; beautiful couple, magnificent palace, delicious food, funny moments. We’ll remember it for a long time.

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Hungary would be unbearable without air conditioning and ice-cream as the temperatures reached even 41°C. Luckily, we spent most days in water, only taking breaks to have langos or meet with some of our favorite people.

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June

June is crazy this year. It started with rain, as usual. Kids had time of their life playing with gigantic paddles and I let them jump until their gummy boots were full of water and we had  to squeeze water from socks and trousers before entering home.

All short sleeves and sandals were packed already waiting impatiently for July and our holidays in Poland and Hungary where they definitely will be of some use. But the weather played a trick on us and we had few amazing days when temperature reached 29°C. We even got burned, which is nearly impossible in Ireland 😀 .

On days like those, Ireland is perfect place to live being surrounded with seas and the ocean because beach is never far away 😉 .

Czerwiec w tym roku szalony. Rozpoczal sie jak zwykle deszczowo. Dzieciaki zwariowaly bo mega kaluze i pozwalalam im skakac, ze az przed wejsciem do domu musielismy wode z kaloszy wylewac i skarpety wykrecac. Pralka pelna. 

Wszystkie krotkie rekawki i sandaly spakowalam juz do walizek bo zaraz lipiec i wakacje w Polsce i na Wegrzech wiec tam sie chociaz przydadza. A tu pogoda splatala nam milego psikusa i przez kilka dni temperatura dochodzila do 29°C.  Spalilismy sie nawet, o co w Irlandii nie latwo 😀 . 

W takie dni jak te, Irlandia jest swietnym miejscem do mieszkania bo otaczaja ja morza i ocean wiec plaza jest zawsze gdzies w poblizu 😀 .

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Stonehall farm

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Second day of Easter we spent with our friends visiting Stonehall farm. Kids love animals but we live really far from the Zoo so farms are good substitutions 🙂 and there’s no shortage of them in Ireland.

We fed donkeys, got spit at by a lama, chased peacocks and held chipmunks. Even Misike was fascinated with all the creatures, interacted with them and really enjoyed the trip. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice my phone camera lenses were clouded until we were half way through so the following photos are not my ineffective attempt on special effects but simply effect of my absent-mindedness.

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Apart from animals, the farm offers also a play centre which was a hit with kiddos. And Rosie got the coolest ride 😉 .

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Summer reflections

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We’ve been back for few days now and even though it’s dark and pouring outside, good moods don’t leave us. Because there’s no place like home.

It’s always wonderful to visit my homeland, family and friends, but my home is here. Upon visiting Poland, I always face the same question from different people: if I wouldn’t like to move back to Poland. Well, believe it or not, I wouldn’t. I know to some, it sounds like heresy but this is the way I feel. It doesn’t make me less Polish. I was still raised on same books, cartoons, movies, jokes and food as any other Polish my age and so it is very easy for me to bond with other Polish here or anywhere. But I left Poland twelve years ago and all the most wonderful things in my life happened here and happen every day.

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I was so excited about the vision of spending full 6 weeks in my parents house, that I hadn’t thought how much I would miss Misi and our life together. That separation wasn’t easy on girls either. Anabel cried nearly every day and she told me : “No child should ever be away from her daddy for so long”. I don’t think we will ever do it again. But having said that, I’m glad we actually did it. Coming back to all I have, made me fall in love with it all over again. Not things, they’re just things. But my husband, my abilities and possibilities, things we do together, we grow or create, we go through.

It’s good to be home but enriched by those beautiful memories. Here my children don’t have granny and grandpa on daily basis, they don’t run wild in big gardens, meadows and fields, they don’t ride on wheelbarrows, spend weekends with cousins, explore garages, stables and barns, hang from trees, eat berries straight from bushes or plums straight from trees, don’t wake up to cock’s crowing, hardly ever see stars. Those are our Polish holidays treasures 😉 .

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Trampolines

We don’t own a trampoline. Misi and I talked about it few times, but we have so little garden space, that we feel it would simply be a shame to waste such big part of it on a trampoline. But who knows, maybe our kids will convince us some day. It is a fact that girls love jumping and any time we visit friends with trampolines, they’re sure to spend lots of time on them. So we were thrilled when Rosie’s godmother and my cousin- Weronika, took us to a trampoline park GoJump in Wroclaw. Girls had such grate time and if I didn’t have to look after Misike, I would gladly join them and jump out of few calories myself ,-) . Unfortunately, Misike had more interest in scaffolding and tools of a handyman doing some work in the building than in trampolines themselves. I think I still managed to burn few calories,though, trying desperately to keep my boy away from those tools  😀 .

 

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Electrified

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