Poland Day 1: Shaky Start, Fine Travel Day Finish

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With a solid month of preparing our house for sale, this vacation came at a time when we needed a break. I’ve had moments of brain overload, trying to balance work, buying a house, selling a house and a wedding in less than 2 months.

That overload manifested itself 10 minutes after leaving the house, when on the Beltway just before River Road, I realized I had left my wallet in my work pants. Not too far to get back, but it cost us 25 minutes. We then had to drop Colby off at Seneca Hill in Great Falls and ran into rush hour traffic on Georgetown Pike. After Colby was all set, back into traffic to get to the airport. Ellen was stressed from the delays, so I dropped her off at Dulles and then parked the car and got to the airport myself. Boarding passes, security, transport to the gate, all went smoothly, and we were able to relax in the lounge for awhile before it was time to board.

Having used miles for this trip, we flew to London in business class on British Airways. It was our first time in the lie flat seating, and we it was so worth it!! We both skipped dinner and just slept. We arrived at Heathrow around 9am, and had 5 hours to wait. There wasn’t much to do except use the limited free wifi, read our Kindles and wait. 2pm was our flight to Warsaw, and we both slept again.

Arriving in Warsaw, the trip finally was starting for real. Immigration and luggage were easy. We found an ATM to get Polish currency. And for those looking forward to a long drawn out story on securing SIM cards, you’ll be sadly disappointed. We went into a Relay convenience store at the airport, bought 2 Plus cards for $5 each, and they worked without a hitch, giving us each 1gb for such a low price!

Next challenge was figuring out how to get bus tickets for the 175 bus into town. We had money, but found a ticket machine that couldn’t issue paper tickets. The bus came, but the driver communicated that we needed coins. Back to the airport, found another ticket machine, but a woman told me the credit card reader wasn’t working. Found third ticket machine, got the info in English, but didn’t know what zone we needed. A taxi dispatcher nearby helped me, and for $3 for 2 tickets, we were set. The bus took us right into town, about a block from our hotel.

In Warsaw, we are staying at the Polonia Palace Hotel. It’s quite nice and in a great location.

Dropped our luggage, pulled up TripAdvisor (Yelp reviews were all in Polish), and picked a restaurant nearby. Used the great Tripadvisor feature again that points you in your direction with a compass and the distance to your destination. It is great! We ate at the Restauracja Zaścianek. It was advertised as a small restaurant where mom cooks the food fresh for you, and that’s exactly what it was! We each had perogies for appetizers.

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Ellen had a pork cutlet, I had chicken for dinner. It was a really good meal, home cooking for less than $40. If you have a chance, eat here!

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After dinner, we wandered over to a mall next to the train station, just to people watch and get a sense of the neighborhood. we went into a grocery store, one of Ellen’s favorite things in a foreign country. We went back to the hotel, and watched the first half of the US-Belgium World Cup match at the bar. Came up to the room to watch the rest and figure out what to do tomorrow.

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3 responses to “Poland Day 1: Shaky Start, Fine Travel Day Finish

  • Kevin

    There is NOTHING like business class on a flight to Europe! Personally I wanted to stay awake the whole time and soak up the comforts. Keep enjoying! Oh, and thanks for sharing the forgotten wallet story. I was able to show my wife that I’m not the only one!

  • paddyglover

    Grocery stores in foreign countries is one of my favorite things, too!

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