Saturday, February 1, 2014

Gross Rosen Concentration Camp and Dresden, Germany

On Thursday we set out for a day trip to Gross Rosen Concentration camp, one of the largest, imprisoning mostly men and was a holding camp for those in route to Auschwitz. Since I'm not one with words and can't possibly describe how I feel, I will let Laine and Vicki do a much better job of describing to you the feelings one gets when experiencing a concentration camp. I'm glad we went, it was a truly sombering experience that makes me ever grateful for my freedom but also make my stomach churn as I think we as humans are capable of this. I know humans are capable of amazingly wonderful things as well but why must good come with something this horrible?

Friday morning we headed back to Dresden to mail off our pottery and to enjoy some beautiful fall weather in the gorgeous city of Dresden. Dresden is situated on the River Elbe and after the bombings in WWII much of the city was restored with the original buildings in mind. It is a really neat city that I would love to revisit at Christmas time for the Christmas markets :)

It was a wonderful week long trip with some wonderful ladies. Lots of laughs were had and lots of memories made and I have lots of gorgeous pottery to remind me of it all!

Friday, January 31, 2014

#ppwtg (Hashtag Polish Pottery With The Girls)

As expected, now that I'm working, this blog as taken a back seat. With the little down time I have sitting in front of the computer to wait for pictures to upload and think of something to write is really not the top priority. However, my lone reader (my amazing mama), is disappointed that I have not kept it up and even at 31 years old I don't like to disappoint my mother. So,  I am going to make another attempt at keeping this blog updated. I'm only promising to make the attempt no guarantees that the blog will actually get updated :)

In my last post I said "look out for a post on Poland soon" well, 3 months it is. If you want to see a more creative take on our trip visit my friend Vicki's blog....Traveling Simile.

My need want for polish pottery started when I began playing Mahjong and my friend Susan hosted and used all her beautiful pottery to serve the necessary trail mix when playing mahjong as well has the delicious lunch. Susan has now been to Poland 4 times to shop for pottery. After asking several times about the pottery and others oooing and ahhhing over it, Susan said we must make another trip Boleslawiec to the get the true experience. The pottery is sold all over the world but to hop around Boleslawiec in a Land Rover Defender with 5 of your best girls is sooo much better than shopping for it online or anywhere else for that matter.

We arrived in Dresden, Germany on a Monday afternoon, hopped in our rental cars tanks and got on the road headed for Boleslawiec, Poland.

We made all the husbands jealous by getting to cruise around in this all week.

We made a few stops before heading to our BnB to get a taste for what was in store for the rest of the week. It's pretty overwhelming seeing all the pottery and trying to decide on what you want to purchase so getting a little taster and wrapping our mind around the pieces and the patterns was necessary for a successful week of shopping.

We stayed and ate and drank at the Blue Beetroot. The staff was so incredibly nice and I honestly don't think there could be a better place to stay when you visit this region. Not to mention, Andy's (one of the shops), offers a discount if you stay here!


Our first full day of shopping was so much fun! Not only did we literally shop til we dropped but we laughed until our stomachs hurt especially while taking this photo. It took about 10 minutes for me to figure out how to take a "selfie" with an ipad while it was dark and so my finger wasn't in the way.
Buried in our polish pottery treasures
In the middle of the day we stopped at the for a traditional Polish meal of pierogis, sausage, schnitzel and sauerkraut. It was so yummy and this is for sure the cutest restaurant I've ever been to.

Wednesday was another full day of shopping...making stops at Borowski Glass Studio and shops in which we saw the beautiful pottery in the painting stage.

We also experienced a concentration camp on this trip as well as spending two days in the beautiful city of Dresden before flying out but I'll save those for another post! Until then you can admire my loot (I promise won't make you stare at it for 3 months ;)

PS: #ppwtg was our Instagram hashtag in case you were wondering :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

She Works Hard For the Money

Well, just a kind of hard. I'm blessed to only have to work 2 days a week so that I can maintain all of my other social/volunteer activities. My only 'sacrifice' was stepping down as leader of AWA Explorers' Hiking group because the hiking day conflicted with one of my working days. I knew something was going to have to give :)

As most of you know, working in the UK has been a long time coming. After about 8 months, I was finally approved to work in the UK last September. After halfheartedly looking for a job at the end of last year and not coming up with anything, I kind of put it on the back burner. I had found a life outside of work and I wasn't, at the time, missing it. I mean only a few of my friends here in Aberdeen work outside the home and I jumped two feet in to the AWA and it was/is doing a fine job of filling my free time. And then the beginning of the year rolled around and I was traveling, then Ryan broke his leg which was not the time for me to have a job since my title of housewife quickly turned to caregiver/personal/at home physiotherapist. Then Ryan's leg got better and our summer full of visitors began. I was/am thankful I was able to devote 100% of my time to showing my in laws, friends and parents around this beautiful country. So what I'm trying to say, is that it really hasn't been the right time for me to return to work til now. I know it's cliche but I do believe 'timing is everything'.

I started the job search again right before I went on my trip with Kasey. I had heard great things about a Sports Med Physio Clinic located in Aberdeen Sports Village by word of mouth and by doing my own research so I thought 'what the heck', let me just drop off my resume/CV. Well the day I dropped my resume off one of the owners was there and she mentioned they were in need of a part time therapist and she would put me in touch with the other owner over the Sports Med/Musculoskeletal side of things. I met her for coffee upon my return from London/Paris and I knew after talking with her that this opportunity was exactly what I was looking for. I shadowed a few therapists just to get my brain working again, it had been almost 2 years since I'd seen a patient in the clinic (where does the time go??), and a couple of weeks later was seeing my own patients. I've been seeing patients now for over a month and I'm loving it. Everyone I work with has been great and all the patients are so nice. The clinic is a perfect learning environment for any therapist but especially for one that's been out of the game for a while. I'm looking forward to growing as a therapist and working with such a great team. Being in the UK, the opportunity for continuing education is much great than that in Singapore. I'm very thankful for this opportunity and most likely it means this blog will suffer. As soon as I learn that whole time management thing again I hope to post more regularly as I'm still doing lots of fun things! Hopefully a post on my Poland trip will come sooner than later!

Monday, November 4, 2013


So, the last couple of months have been a little crazy. My duties as AWA President have commenced, I've hosted/thrown a baby shower, I've started a new job, hosted Debbie in Aberdeen, said 'see ya later' to my dear friend, Nary, took a trip to Poland for a girls' week and somewhere in between I've gotten outside to enjoy the beautiful autumn colors. I've been pretty much non stop since my parents were here in August and I think things are starting to slow down a bit or at least I hope so! Here are some pictures from the last couple of months.

AWA September General Meeting-we started off on a fun note! The Aberdeen AWA is such a great organization and I am truly blessed to be surrounded by these women, my time in Aberdeen wouldn't be nearly as much fun without them!

Loch Kinord-we had one last summer day in mid September and we took advantage by doing the  loop around Loch Kinord. It was such a gorgeous day!

Hill of Fare Hike- I was leading the AWA Explorers' Hiking Group until I took a part time job. This was our first hike. I pre-walked it and had perfect weather unfortunately, the day I took the group out was a steady down pour and no stunning views but we had fun anyway!

Shower for Baby Perry-had such a fun time helping host Laine a baby shower. Baby Perry aka Forest, is finally here and I'm dying to meet him! 

Week with Debbie- Luke was traveling so Debbie decided to come spend the week in the 'Deen. We managed to get in two runs (one in the rain, one in the freezing), hiking, book club, a castle, mahjong and our favorite, tea time in the afternoon. I miss my buddy!

Craigevar Castle

Bye Bye to Nary and Gerald-we had a fun but emotional week sending these two off to California for their next assignment. Their smiles, laughs and kindness are contagious and I miss them so much already especially my go to girl, Nary. California, take care of them!!

Okay, I think that catches us up to present day. Look out for a post on my new job and Poland soon!!!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Paris in Pictures (and a few words, too)

Kasey and I head to Paris on the Eurostar Train that goes from London to Paris through the Chunnel. My friend, Debbie, did a great post about taking Eurostar, check it out! My brief overview, London station nicer than Paris, security was quick (we went and returned on off days though) both trains on time, trains were clean, and I would definitely do it again!

We arrived in Paris late on Tuesday evening so decided to forgo any touristy stuff and headed down the street to find pizza and wine :) We were staying close to Bastille which is known for it's great neighborhood restaurants. We quickly found our spot and enjoyed our first European pizza (my fave) and bottle of French wine. Yummo!!

Wednesday morning we got up early for a run to Luxembourg Gardens which was about 5 miles round trip. I love running through new cities especially when it's with my favorite workout/running buddy! You never get bored with all of the new things to see. It was an absolutley beautiful morning in Paris!

Notre Dame in the distance

After fueling up on French pastries we headed out for the day to cover day 1 of our fast and furious tour through Paris. I think we covered a lot!!

Notre Dame

Monmartre/Sacre Coeur: Loved this area, would like to spend more time here next trip!

Sacre Coeur

Our first macarons of the trip!

Eiffel Tower: As amazing as I imagined and then some.

Cafes': This was just one of many we popped in throughout our trip but probably my favorite. I wish I could remember the name. In the area of the Eiffel Tower.
Best caprese ever!

Hanging out on the Eiffel Tower Lawn: It's cliche, yes, but it's probably one of the coolest things I've ever done! One of those things you only see in movies for so long and then to see it in real life and it's everything you imagined!

Fat Tire Bike Tour: yep, we did another Fat Tire Bike Tour! It was great and included a river cruise and wine. What can beat that!?! Paris is known as being the City of Lights and what a great way to it!

Stop for the famous Berthillon ice cream!

The Louvre at Night

Every hour she turns on her dazzle lights for 10 minutes

Day 2 started with crepes before we made our way to Sainte Chapelle, The Louvre and Champs-Elysees.

Sainte Chapelle: other than the Eiffel Tower, hands down my favorite thing we saw in Paris. It's a small chapel with 13 sets of stain glass panels each telling the story of the books in the bible. It is truly amazing. They were unfortunately doing some cleaning of the windows to one side so I couldn't get a panoramic.

Pont Neuf: The oldest bridge in Paris. Each face has a difference expression.

The Louvre at daytime. We payed the 12 euros to go inside. We basically just wanted to see the Mona Lisa which is not worth 12 euros to see but we can say we did it. The Louvre is worth a stop in without paying. It's a pretty magnificent building and if art is your thing you could probably spend days in there!

Laduree Paris' famous macaron shop. Worth. every. penny.

Arc de triomphe: In 1806, just after the Battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon I declared to his soldiers, "you will march home through arches of victory". The monument was to dominate Paris and indulge the Emperor's liking for Ancient Rome. (info from brochure I picked up at arc)

Kasey and I decided to climb to the top to get a panoramic view of Paris. There are 284 steps to get to the top!

And that pretty much wraps up Paris and our London-Paris adventure. So thankful for friends that will come thousands of miles to come see me with the added bonus of seeing the world! We had a blast and we were already planning our next trip, we're thinking Spain in March!