Warsaw: Family

Back in August, Momma and I had the pleasure of visiting Poland for 2 weeks. Since I hadn't been back to my (metaphorical) homeland in 11 years, this was quite the occasion for me. I was finally old enough to truly understand and remember everything I would be seeing.

Our first stop: Warsaw, the capital city. Since our flights arrived and departed from Warsaw, we spent three days here at the beginning of our trip and one day at the end.

Warsaw has my heart. Modern, classical, bursting with street-side cafes and colourful flower stalls, clean, beautiful – it's where my soul found its home (So corny, I know, but I believe that everyone has one of these cities, a city that just feels right as soon as you step foot there).

One of my goals on this trip was to create a family tree. Now that I'm older, I'm much more interested in the history of Poland, in my family, in looking at old photos and hearing stories about their lives, the war, the era of Communism.

Here's where I've gotten so far. I still have to input surnames, dates, photos, and all that jazz. The people in red boxes are who we managed to meet with during our relatively short four days. It was tight fitting everyone in, but I was glad to see all their faces!

My great-grandma's sister (Kazimierza) lived on the second floor of this walk up. My momma used to stay here all the time when she visited Warsaw.

This is the church where Kazimierza and Stefan married in the 1930s. The original doors are still intact. If you take a close look at the first photo in this post, you'll see a picture of the newly married couple (the one on the right) standing in the same spot I am.

This is Andrzej (one of my grandma's cousins) and his wife Ewa. Andrzej and my Babcia were best of friends when they were younger and kept in close contact as they grew up. He told me stories of how my grandma's one dream was to be a doctor and how when they played together, Andrzej would always be the "patient" and let my babcia bandage him up.

Andrzej was just a child during WWII, but he still has vivid memories. He talked about how kids in the neighbourhood would race to find the biggest and hottest shells after a bombing. They would run out into the rubble and grab the most impressive "prize" they could find. He chuckled and told us how searching for explosives probably wasn't the best idea. Kids would be kids, even during war.

Here's my momma with a few more of our clan. We went out for Grycan ice cream (the O.G. Polish ice cream chain) with my mom's cousin's partner, Anna, and daughter Marisia (she is too cute!) and then met up at the train station with Zuzanna and her sweet minions Aleksandra and Bruno.

My grandma's youngest cousin, Kasia, cooked us a wonderful dinner at her flat  fig stuffed pork and delicious seasonal vegetables.

It was so difficult to leave my wonderful family in Warsaw. They are professors, architects, journalists, authors, and artists. I can feel where a huge part of me comes from. This innate desire to create and to understand, the intellectual soul of my babcia that she passed down to me, these things finally made sense to me.

Oh, Warsaw, the sweetest and loveliest city that I dream about and long to return to. {Keep an eye out for the next Warsaw post all about sights + places to visit in the city.}