The morning came way to early, especially for me. I had a rough nights sleep and was groggy as we quickly packed up and were out the door by 4:20 AM. We hurried to the airport, I dropped the rental car and then we waited in line to check in.
Our flight took off on time and before we knew it we were in Poland. We made the decision to take the bus into Krakow instead of a cab, more for the experience than anything (although it happened to be quite a bit cheaper and was really easy).
We arrived at the hotel a while later and fortunately they had a room available for us. We dropped our bags off in the room and were off to explore Krakow. The main goal for the day was to get some warm coats for the girls. We could not pack our big coats so we knew we would have to buy something along the way. Poland is pretty inexpensive so we thought this would be a good place to stock up on warmth.
We walked through the quaint old town area and made it to the mall near the train station. A couple of hours later we were done and the girls had secured some great coats at great prices.
After the shopping we went into the train station and bought our tickets to Prague for New Years Day and then grabbed a few Obwarzanek (kind of a big bagel) from one of a thousand vendors they have here in Krakow and wandered back to the hotel. We freshened up quickly and then went out for a dinner at a very traditional polish restaurant about a 15 min walk from the hotel. The food was amazing, but more than that the conversation was exceptional. We talked about WWII because we would be visiting Auschwitz while we were here. I was blown away with what they knew and their perspectives on what had happened. It was a deep conversation that just rolled on and on - it was truly amazing to have that kind of discussion with the kids - Stacie and I loved it and talked about it all the way home.
We all remarked how wonderful Krakow was. I was here in 1988 on a high school trip and loved it, but that was almost 30 years ago, so I had no idea what to expect. Based on this first day I am so happy we decided to come back.