Brian had his last show of Usher as a matinee on Saturday, so he was done working by 6pm. We took advantage of our last night in Warsaw (and last kidless night) by enjoying the twilight and taking a 5 mile walk through Old Town (with a stop at our favorite Indian place, they were so good that night) and then we walked along the river for a long time. It was perfect.

We stumbled upon some zombie war fare. Too bad our Polish vocab does not include the word, "why?" It was kind of funny though.

So many churches, and such pretty light.

We love walking down Nowy Swiat. It is so great, on the weekends they make the street pedestrian only. Find Brian in the above photo. He may look like he is smoking but we just shared a Magnum bar (which we heard will be available in the USA soon.) Colin, when he used to smell cigarette smoke would say it smelled like Poland.

We wandered down below Old Town more than we had before and found this cute little street dating from the 1830's. We imagine it was not destroyed in the war, seemed original, but then the reconstructed Old Town seems original to us. The re-building the Poles were able to do under communism is very impressive.

And below, I wanted an eerie photo of myself in the hallway to our apartment in the theatre. The hallway is a bit creepy, but we had an awesome apartment. We love being 2 floors away from Brian's work. Brian swears he heard very some strange things in the theatre, and I just could not think about it. It was bombed and the shell was used for some fighting in WWII. It is am amazing huge structure that is home to the National Opera, the National Ballet, and the National Theatre.

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On Saturday, we went over to the Museum of Ethnography. I would have considered myself a very bad former Anthro major (and I spent several years teaching Ethnography) to not go. It was a great museum, great to see more of what real Polish life was like.

A great display of folk costumes.

And an amazing collection of wooden sculptures.

I best not show this one to Colin, he would probably get nightmares. I forgot to read what this was depicting, as I was too distracted by the cat lady and evil frog.

We are major suckers for Polish pottery, so fun to see some old pottery. We added a lot to our collection, our two roller bag carry-ons were all pottery. I am very lucky to be married to Brian as he also loves the pottery and does not mind lugging it home. We will set some beautiful tables, maybe in 10 years or so when kids are old enough to not break things.

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We have been back a few days, may as well post some more photos. I came home a little sick, but at least I was not sick in Warsaw, that would have been tragic.

Last Wednesday we spent a fun day exploring the interiors of all the former royal residences at Lazienki. It really is excessively lovely! This is the Palace on the Water.

We were very impressed with the restoration, as in one part of the palace they showed a lot of before and after photos. Sadly, the Nazis destroyed a lot of things when they were destroying Warsaw.

We were amused but this peacock showing off for a lady friend.

She was not impressed.

Admiring the fake ruins at the amphitheater, and looking a bit prego. If I had even been a couple more weeks along there is no way I would have been up to this trip! Thankfully we were never on a British Airways flight as they do not allow travel past 29 weeks without a doctor's note. (I had medical clearance to travel but did not get a note.)

We love a good Orangery! Lazienki has to of them, this one is now a lovely sculpture garden, and the other one is a fancy restaurant where we had a very fun dinner later that night. Brian had kept the reservation a surprise, it was a great night!

The above Orangery also had a full theatre inside, that dated from about the 1770's.
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Thursday was a holiday in Poland and Brian was clever enough to figure out what it was beforehand (whereas we usually see something cool and look it up on Wikipedia after). It was Corpus Christi, and Brian had found out there would be a procession just a couple blocks from our apartment in the theatre. We headed over just to look and got totally swept up in it. It was very sweet and simple, everyone singing a hymn quietly and walking in the procession. I really found it quite moving, and thanks to crazy pregnancy hormones, was crying most of the time (so Brian took all the photos. I think it is great to spend time in a country with faith, so much so we can hardly see the churches here since there is very frequently a mass. We also have been talking a lot about ways to make Mormonism less boring, and I don't think the real answer is a Broadway musical. I guess the 24th of July parade is somewhat of a procession for us (and it would probably also make me cry in my current state). Brian feels like I have been very emotional around pageantry with this pregnancy. He sang all the Armed Forces anthems at a Memorial Day service in SLC and I was also crying. I did not know the anthems meant so much to me.

We moved with the procession up to the Saxon Gardens, just across from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We seriously could not have been in a better place as right in front of us they had the crowd open for the main part of the procession to continue.

Not sure what this was, but secretly hoping it was the Ark of the Covenant. (And I really do not want to be disrespectful, sarcasm runs too deep.)

The flower girls dressed in white for their first communion were darling. They would do an elaborate curtsy and throw their petals.

We think the man behind the elaborate gold cross is an archbishop or cardinal of Warsaw. Not sure if Warsaw has a cardinal. Wikipedia told us they used to.

Mary got to get some fresh air.

The band was quite good. No Sousa here though. They played with the processional hymn and in little interludes.

We loved these guys!!

Love the traditional dress.

This cute little girl was maybe a little tired of throwing petals. If you click to enlarge, you might find the look in her eyes a little creepy.

The procession stopped for little mini services in front of several of the churches on the last block of the Royal route. Yes, several churches in one block.

We really enjoyed the solemn show of faith and devotion. There were throngs of people out for this, and Brian and I had many conversations about how folks in the USA would need a lot more razzle dazzle to turn up for something like this in such large numbers.

Above is Brian in his dressing room, ready for the second show of the Fall of the House of Usher. It is a pajama pants opera. Brian has had a couple roles where he preforms in basically pajamas, and in this production, no hair, make-up, or even a need to wear contacts. Brian has enjoyed coming back to this opera with the same cast and same production. It is a very cool production, many details to look at, visually very interesting, and super, super creepy. I have the fun time as his wife wondering if I prefer to see my husband in a romantic role with another women or in this role where there are incestuous overtones with his sister (although it is in a dream sequence, still kind of not my favorite thing. The whole story could be a dream.) We did get a video of the last production of the opera that I am not sure our parents would really enjoy, but Brian is brilliant. Just one more show on Saturday. All the shows have been sold out.
If the link works, the following is the promo the opera did on youtube, with Brian's character asking for his friend to come visit. Wish more friends could see it, it's a good time (minus the hint of incest).

I finally made it to Warsaw a few days back. I had a fairly horrible trip involving a detour through Germany, making it 4 flights for me to get there, thanks to a paperwork problem in Detroit that made me miss a connection in Amsterdam. We will have to really catch up the blog when we get home (as blogger is being weird with our connection, so now I can be behind on Rome and Warsaw!) We are enjoying a very lovely week. We really love Warsaw and it is so nice to be in a familiar place, doing lots of things we were never able to do with 2 kids. We could not help but bring one child (although baby #3 is still fairly portable). Oh man, if I were even a couple more weeks pregnant I would not have been able to do this trip! The baby is getting so big we can see her move in my belly, so cool and alien at the same time!
We have enjoyed some lovely weather, although the forecast said it was going to be a rainy week. We enjoyed a day further exploring Lazienki Park and touring the interiors (not a kid friendly activity).

As I am so used to being in Poland with a stroller and kids, we could not help but pose with another phil&teds and our friend's child. (We ran into some lovely people in Old Town today, it was a holiday today and we have had a great time, quite accidentally all day.) It has been funny to not have a stroller and do crazy things like take the stairs. I do miss having a place to keep a water-bottle, and we miss the kids a lot! They are doing great at home, but their care-givers are tired! Just a few more days. . .