Well, I made it back from Poland yesterday afternoon.
I had a good time with my friends, but I missed my boys!
W drove to Poland Thursday afternoon (an hour later than expected, thanks Krad), and it took us about 6 1/2 hours to get there. We went straight to the hotel. Everyone else had already arrived. We settled in and ordered dinner (and wine of course). I was the trip planner, even though this was my first time to Poland! The Blue Beet Root (our hotel) was awesome! We had almost the whole place to ourselves which is good because we are a rowdy group! Poland itself was little crazy. Very Eastern European. In some places it looked like the Soviets left yesterday!
After dinner on the first night we taught everyone how to play flippy cup. They all enjoyed telling their children (close to my age) about the game they learned. Crazy ladies :)
The next day was our shopping day! Hooray! We went into the first store, and I really didn't know what to expect. I sort of had an idea of what I wanted, but was open since I didn't have much to begin with. Once I started looking around the store I got very overwhelmed. The prices seemed really high. There were so many patterns and sizes! Ahhhh!
A little info about the pottery...
Polish Pottery is made in the town we went to, Boleslaweic. There are several manufacturers in the town. Each of which makes their own pieces as well as the popular patterns. The Unikat patterns are unique, and are the most expensive. The pottery is given a category (Gat) once it is made. Gat 1 is the highest quality. Gat 2 means there is some imperfection maybe in the shape or in the painting/stamping of the design. Gat 3 and below are pieces with significant flaws, which must be hand washed and should be used mostly for display. The current Dollar to Zloty rate is 1:2. Just a few years ago it was 1:4. While it is better than the Euro, it is on a decline. Each trip to Poland, the pottery will become more expensive. However, it is not as expensive as in the states. For instance, JCPenny carries one pattern and sells appetizer plates for 17 dollars each. I purchased mine for 7 each. QVC sells mugs for 25 each, I purchased mine for 6.
The ladies were very helpful though with tips and ideas. Once we got to the third store I had an idea of what good prices were and what I wanted. I broke the seal and bought my first piece. From then on, I was on a roll!
One of the Stores
We kept going to store after store looking for the right pieces at good prices. Most of the ladies were professionals and knew exactly what they needed. They even brought photos and lists of what they already had.
The very last store we went to was one of the best! It was a factory store and had tons of stuff! It is called Ceramika Artystyczna. Next time I go, I will go to this store first!
Krystal loved this store. :)
After that store my shopping was done! We headed to lunch where I had the traditional Polish food, pierogi. They are lovely little dumplings. I had mine stuffed with spinach and cheese. Mmmm!
Pierogi. I promise they taste better than they look.
Some of our group at lunch.
After lunch it was back to the hotel for a massage (manicure and pedicure were the day before.) Then we had another lovely dinner in the hotel restaurant. Guess how much my 2 nights of dinner were? 9 euro! For both nights food! Amazing!
Overall it was a really great trip! I bet you want to see what I bought don't you?
My Polish Pottery collection! (Plus the basket I bought for 10 bucks!) The ugly Americana candy dish was a gift from a vendor at last year's bazaar, and should not be counted as part of my exquisite taste. :)
A close up view.
I can't wait to go back! Anyone want to come????