Thursday, June 20, 2013


Ciao Bella!!!! Justin & I are back from a week to remember in Italy and are so very excited to share with you all the "nitty gritty" details!!! {Warning: 90% of this trip was done on our own w/out professional guides and by FOOT}
To get started

Ryan Air Travel Tips:
In later years you could easily get away with flying on RyanAir with only a carry on plus (purse,laptop bag or purchase bag) at no extra cost.  As we witnessed Monday evening this is no longer the case.  Many people including us passed customs with ease and then met the "strict no wiggle room" carry on inspector {lol} You will be instructed to weigh your bag to make sure it is NOT over 10kg, to make sure you only have 1 carry on bag(this will include anything you have purchased passed security, everything has to fit in 1 bag).  Then we had to fit our carry on bag into the metal compartment to replicate an overhead compartment measuring 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.  IF your bag is too heavy or if your carry on bag WON'T fit in the compartment you will not only have to check it in but pay a hefty 60euro or 60pounds fee!!! Ouch! Okay so enough of that.....

We arrived in Pisa airport & got the keys to our rental car................
Haha...yup that's 6ft. 7inch husband will be cruisin' in a SMART CAR.  Luckily we are only using it to drive to Rome and back to Pisa

Heading to Roma!!!!!

    Day 1~ We drove 2 1/2 hours on the toll roads & arrived in Rome around 9, where we parked & met to get the keys for our rental apartment.  We have found that checking prices on HomeAway has ended up running the same if not a bit cheaper than a regular hotel or even hostel, which was the case for Rome.  We checked in Monday and checked out Friday and paid 220euros & were 30meters from the main train hub{Termini}, 5minutes from the Spanish Steps & Piazza Barberini &10minutes walk to the Colosseum.  Carlo the owner was the nicest Italian man & his cleaning lady was very sweet & told us a few hot spots to check out...hands down we will try & book here again!!!
Rome City Center The couch which was really comfortable also pulled out to a full size bed & did I mention we had A/C!!!! 

To the right is the full bathroom & constant hot water

In the evening the front large doors were closed & locked & only residents had access in.  We were on the first floor & didn't hear any traffic or outside noise.  Best Sleep we have had on a vacation!!

Since Rome is such a large city and our "complimentary" map from Welcome Roma definitely intimidated us we decided to simply.....start walking.  We stumbled upon a beautiful park that had lots of 4 legged friends which we got to meet with, large shade trees and our first nasoni {public long nosed drinking water fountain}.  I personally, have a hard time forking out $3-$5.00 let alone euro for a bottle of water.  Now, in the city of Rome I just purchase 1 large bottled water at the grocery store & fill up the rest of the day with "cold, free water," I'm LOVING this city already!!!! Now time to bust open this map & get our barrings.

Just getting started & we are super excited!!!!

Aw, we loved meeting these 2 dogs..such sweethearts!!


Justin & I love to see as much as possible in a trip, however we also love to see it "on a budget".  So as mentioned at the beginning we walked....pretty much until our feet were ready to give out and then headed back to the apartment.  In about 7hours on foot we tried to make a huge circle so we didn't double back &  were able to see: Teatro Dell'Opera , Galleria Termini, {yes, I know its a train hub, we are weird like that, we love seeing how public transit works} Piazza della Repubblica, Santa Maria degli Angeli, San Carlo Quattro Fontane (this was actually on our way to the Park) Trinita del Monti , Palazzo delle Espesizioni, Trinita del Monti, Villa Medici, Piazza Colonna, Fontana Di Trevi, Monumento a Vittor Emanual, Colonna Tralna, Mercati Traianei, Casa del Cav. Di Rodi, Foro Traiano, Foro Di Cesare, Arco di Tito, Palatino, Arcdo di Costantinio, Colosseo, Domus Aurea and the Santa Maria Maggiore.  Today was such a hot and busy day that we decided not to go into any of the sites except for the Forum di Caeser.  Everything else we  simply walked to, took them in and continued on.  We came upon several fruit stands and finally ended up giving in to our grumbling tummies.{oops, apparently we had forgotten to eat}  Note to self, make sure to ask how much each fruit is per pound...otherwise you will end up spending a nice chunk of change.  We chose a nice bundle of red grapes, 2 plums, a piece of coconut{which Justin found a bit tough} a few cherries & a water for 9euros.  Being tourists we weren't so stunned at the price but as for the local that had stopped with his family to grab a banana they were less than impressed.  Later when we stopped at the grocery store to stock up on the weeks groceries {spent a whopping 22euro}we realized what the "fuss" was all about.  {Banana=.37euro cent.....vendor banana 1.50euro} 

You can't see it but Piazza del Popoio was in the background

These smelled amazing!!!!

So apparently I own an Italian motorcyle company....So now who do I collect royalties from  haha

Justin was making fun of the smart car that we drove into Rome in & said, "that was the smallest car ever"....and then he saw this....Bawhahahahhahaa

Piazza Colonna 

As we were cutting through side streets we stumbled upon this.  Super inexpensive & some cute clothes!! I didn't get it in the picture but they were also selling sandels & jewelry.  

This was in the Piazza del Republica 

This small church didn't even seem to make it on the free Welcome Map but I am so glad we stumbled upon it.  Just another reason why we love touring on foot.

An adorable cafe along the way to Trevi Fountain.  I love all the hanging flowers & the metal bistro tables

Definitely grab GELATO while you are in Italy in general.  Even when your on a budget you've just got to have some  gelato!!! Quick tip: Look at the containers the gelato is coming in.  If it's in a metal container, its home made....if its in a plastic container its store bought.  We are a bit of gelato "snobs" so we stick to the metal containers ;)

Trevi Fountain...absolutely breath-taking.  We spent at least 20minutes here just sitting, snapping pictures & of course tossing in a coin!! It gets super crowded here so BEWARE of pick pockets....and those annoying street peddlers!  A firm NO and keep walking worked for us.  Never let them hand you anything otherwise your stuck going back and forth trying to give the item back that you never wanted in the first place.  

A fruit stand 1 block from where we were staying

We did actually go inside here & loved it

This is the stand we bought our fruit from...well worth the 9euro...check out the size of those GRAPES!!!!! Omg, and I have NEVER seen lemons the size they were in Italy.

The most delicious bread, meats & cheeses 
Now we are headed back for a shower since its 96degrees outside, lunch & a nap!!! Stay its the City of Rome at night.  It's been said, "Rome is the Eternal City of Love."  They must have been experiencing the city at night!
Thank you so much for following my Blog & Happy Traveling!!!!!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Spoken like a true addict....hehehehe

POLISH POTTERY....I've come to find people either love it or hate it!  I honestly had no desire to own any pieces when we moved to Germany in 2005.  Though throughout the years the patterns have swayed away from the infamous"PEACOCK" design that made my eyes go cross now more creative designs.  Which is why with months away from moving we are packing up the car & taking a road trip to BOLESAWIECKI , POLAND.  

THE BIGGEST THING YOU WILL FIND IN THIS TOWN IS POLISH POTTERY.  There is also a  selection of Baskets, cheap beer & some nice Crystal.  The food we have found is way cheaper as well!!!!  
Recommendations:  Make sure to find an ATM prior to coming or carry a credit card.  We found it difficult to find an atm in previous years, but they do have one in the grocery store, just in case you need one.  
Get there early!  Several shops open up at 6am.  We live near the Kaiserslautern area so it takes us a little over 7hours to drive there.  We take our time, drive @ night & pack a cooler.  Tip: If you see an ESSO stop for gas!  Even if we have only used a quarter of a tank, we still stop & fill up.  This is also a perfect time for bathroom breaks, stretch of the legs & snack purchases if needed.  

The border is pretty easy you will need the following: a car fire extingisher, vest, triangle, passports, international drivers license, id card. 
The pottery that has been discounted for whatever reason will either be on the floor or bottom shelf.  

*When purchasing Polish Pottery {PING} THE POTTERY with your fingertips.  LIsten for the {PING} sound.  If there isn't a {PING} sound, there is a hidden crack.  I would not recommend buying it, unless it has been discounted.  Then its at your discretion.

When you enter the store check behind the counter & on a piece of paper will be listed the EXCHANGE RATE for the date.  KNOW IT before you start shopping.  The stores will vary a 4 to 1  up to 4.20 to 1 rate.  

Here are a few rates & conversions we came across on regular priced items & why we believe driving to Poland is worth it vs. buying from a shop in your area.

Large Oval Serving dish measurements 11x13-------117polish 
$ @ 1Euro =4.20polish total pd....27.14Euro/$37.00 Normal price at a local store in Germany 95euro

Brand New popular paisley design small bowl measuring 5 1/2inchesx5 1/2inches....highest priced bowl I got 53.20zl(polish $) @ 1euro=4.05
paid 13.13euro

This is the large oval dish I priced above and the paisley bowl is at the top for you to see

Below are a list of shops in BOLESAWIECKI , Poland w/ address, telephone numbers, emails and Webpages
ANDY****My #1 favorite store***
Tomaszów Bolesławiecki 111 A,
tel./ fax. 0048 (0)75 731 0221,
Hours: Mo- Sat 6 am – 6 pm
Andy’s tends to run a bit higher than other stores but they have really nice designs & sell mostly UniKat or Cat 1 dishware.  What does this mean:  Its dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave safe!!!  There aren't ANY flaws in the design, nor cracks.  Its a SOUND piece of dishware.  

When looking for Andys in the town of Tomaszów turn LEFT at the Church- do not get confused by the Andar Signs on the right. This is a different pottery shop.  It is about a minute or two down a gravel road so don't be alarmed when you see home, cows, sheep,  Your going in the right direction.  I do need to mention that it is a small shop & you will find an artist at work in the back room.  They are not the quickest in packing up your stuff unless you are with a bus but always well worth the wait :o) 
Paint your own mug !!
At Andy’s there is an opportunity to paint your own pot (eg. mug) . Firing the pot takes three days to a week. But if you cannot collect they will happily send it to you if you leave them your address. They will only charge you for the postage. They ask if you would like to paint your own pot to come after 2pm.  
Be sure to leave your physical address and cell number this way Andy can mail your pottery to anywhere in Germany.

This is what 530am in June looks like in Poland :) 


SHAUNA & I @ our first pottery store of the day

I'm super excited about the pet items they have & will be adding to my PETERSBURG PET MANOR BOUTIQUE when we move to Virgina 

Czerna 39
0048 (0)75 736 3310 
Hours: Mon- Sat 8am- 8pm
Sun 10 am- 3 pm
Ceramika will give discounts the more ceramic you buy.  Even when its discounted already!!! 
Parking available, They accept $,Euro & Credit Cards
 Ceramika „CERWIK”
Zebrzydowa 62
tel 0048 (0)75 736 3343
Hours: Mon- Fr 7 am- 7 pm
Sat 6 am- 7 pm
This store  has a large assortment of designs & types from various artists  in Bolesławiec.
They have public bathrooms, accept credit cards, $ & Euro
Remember to check what the conversion rate is in EVERY store because the do differ. Today we scored a 4.15 polish money to 1 euro :o) so that 4.15 % by the price on the pottery and that's what you will pay in Euro.  The USD rate was 3.15....also with the credit cards you can choose what you want to be charged....euro, $ ect!!! :o) 
ul. Zabobrze 28
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 734 7101 
Hours: Mo- Fr 6 am – 2 pm
Sat and Sun by tel: 0048 (0)503 023 412 (Zenon Bramowski- owner)
A smaller store but still sells pottery.  I like this one because they always have a few patterns that NONE of the other stores be sure to include this in one of your stops!
Be sure to call  the above number to get in though.  We also found that if we emailed them & let them know around the time we would be there, they would have the shop open for us.  But pls be kind & show up at the time or close to the time you said you would be there.
They have parking, bathrooms and accept Credit Cards & Euro
Ceramika Użytkowa
A. Z. Rybak,
ul. Zgorzelecka 22 B
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 732 2089
mobile phone 24/7 0048 (0) 604 96 39 14
Hours: Mon- Sat 9 am- 5 pm
Sun-  you would need to call her mobile
This shop was known as one of „The Three Sisters”.   
Parking, Credit Cards, $ , Euro 
Ceramika Bolesławiecka 
ul. Zgorzelecka 22b
59- 700 Bolesławiec
Hours: Mon – Fr 9 am- 5 pm
This shop was also known as one of „The Three Sisters”
Parking, Credit Cards, $ & Euro
ul Zgorzelecka 22b
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 732 69 02,
Hours: Mon- Fr 9 am- 5 pm; Sat 8 am- 4 pm
This store is one of Manufaktura’s Pottery shops. Large & Unique varieties of patterns.  
Bathrooms, accept $,Euro & Credit Cards & have parking
Store by Artistic Ceramic WIZA
ul. Masarska 1
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel/fax 0048 (0)75 732 56 32
Hours: Mo- Fr 9 am – 5 pm, Sat 8 am – 4 pm
This shop stocks pottery from the WIZA factory, but also a nice assortment of gift items.
Bathrooms, accept $,Euro & Credit Cards & have parking
ul. Masarska 1
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 732 2926
Hours: Mo- Fr 8 am – 6 pm, Sat 8 am – 5 pm
Fabulous Store, pretty nice parking, wicker goods mainly  upstairs.  Super friendly & helpful.  A friend of mine was searching for a bowl pattern & my husband came in showed the bowl & the lady took him to the whole shelf full of the design products!!!!! Needless to say we were ecstatic because NONE of the other stores had her exact pattern!!!!

Parking, Very clean bathrooms, Accept Credit Cards, $, Euro

It's kind of on a corner But has a large blue sign with HENRY'S  on it so be sure not to miss this gem!!!! They also give discounts the more you buy 
ul. Masarska1
59- 700 Bolesławiec (right after Henry’s)
0048 (0)75 735 2141
Hours: Mo – Fr 9 am – 5 pm, Sat 8 am – 4 pm
Large selection of different patterns and shapes from Manufaktura factory. Here I found a ton of 2 and lower ratings on dishes, decor and more which meant cheaper rates & more in my shopping cart!!! hehe  Remember, not everything polish pottery has to be cooked in.  They have statues, planters, clocks, plates to hang and simply just nice pieces to decorate with
Parking, bathrooms, accept Credit Cards, $ and Euros 
ul. Gdańska 30, 59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 732 2062 int. 26,
fax. 0048 (0)75 732 6956,
Hours: Mo- Fr 7 am – 4 pm, Sat 7 am – 2 pm
*factory and a big shop
MANUFAKTURA is a large, modern pottery store with a nice variety of designs. Follow the circular sign with a pot in the center. At this pottery you can visit the factory and see how the pots are made (available 7 am- 2 pm, ticket 5zł/ 2,50zł). Here you can also take part in a ceramic workshop lessons (ask the staff for the details).  Most days they do have at least 1 english speaking employee, this past weekend when we went they did not.  They mainly stayed in the back & came to the register when we were ready to check out.  I love actually not being bothered so this worked out for me.  Another customer in the store was a bit less happy with the customer service.  So this is just a heads up that sometimes on slower days, especially when tour buses aren't coming in some employees may not speak english & cultures are different and are not trying to be rude.    
Great Parking, Accepts $, Euro, Credit Cards

The hubby getting his shopping on!!!

Artistic Ceramic
ul. Kościuszki 23
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 732 4051
Store 732 33 00
fax. 0048 (0)75 732 4053
Hours: Mo- Fr 9 am – 5 pm , Sat 8 am – 2 pm
One of the oldest pottery stores.  Most employees & artists have been with the company since 1964.  One Sat (10 am- 2 pm) in a month they have meetings with their designers when you can learn to paint pots (for more informations- click their web site). They also lead tours around the factory (for free, even for a single customer). At the store you can also buy albums and books on the Pottery and cooking books.
Great Parking, Accept $, Euro and Credit Cards
*This is also one of the stores that has products in the KMCC mall.  
Factory to the left small store to the right
ul. Kościuszki 17
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 644 32 81
mobile 0048 607 090 625
Hours: Mo- Fr – 8 am-6 pm; Sat – 8 am- 3 pm
Nice Variety of polish pottery patterns, big store and always seems to be offering nice discounts. This weekend I walked to the back room and found a whole area 50% off

 Parking, bathrooms, $, Euro & CC accepted

Zakłady Ceramiczne BOLESŁAWIEC**My 3rd favorite store***
ul. Kościuszki 11
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 732 2736
Hours: Mo- Fr 7 am – 6 pm , Sat 7 am – 3 pm
SUN 9 am- 4 pm
Big pottery with a rich selection of ceramics. You can often find bargains on the lower shelves.
They offer tours arround the factory.  Just let them know 1 week in advance for 4yrs old and up
You can order your pottry ONLINE, and for an additional fee they can mail  it to EU countries, or ship it to US and Canada
Parking, Accept $, Euro & Credit Cards, have bathrooms

 Store by Artistic Ceramic WIZA 
ul. Kościuszki 24
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 075 732 6975
Hours: Mo- Fr 9 am – 5pm , Sat 8 am – 3 pm
This shop is stocked by WIZA pottery.  They have a nice selection of jewelry and you can choose pieces and rope to make your own jewelry. 
parking, bathrooms, credit cards, euro and $ accepted
ul. Kościuszki 24
59- 700 Bolesławiec
tel. 0048 (0)75 644 5889
Mo, Fr- 8 am- 6 pm
Weds, Tues, Thu – 8 am- 5 pm; Sat 7 am – 4 pm
Big store with a large choice of pottery from several different factories. Can also find wicker baskets, some porcelain and glassware.
Bathrooms, some parking, accept $, Euro and Credit Cards
Ul. Kościuszki 24, 59- 700 Bolesławiec,
Tel. 0048 (0)75 644 9886 Mo- Fr 8 am- 6 pm
Sat 7 am- 5 pm
At this shop they 30-40% discounts even for purchasing a single item....Who doesn't love a discount!
Parking, Credit Cards, $ and Euros accepted 

Ul. Kościuszki 24 B
59- 700 Bolesławiec
Mobile phone: 0048 (0) 602 690 125
Hours: Mo- Sat 8 am- 5 pm; Sun 10 am- 4 pm
Ceramics from a small factory run by Mr. Tyrcz. At the store by a special order you can leave a photo of youself and they will draw a portraite. It takes approx. 3 weeks.
Parking, Credit Cards, Euro
WR Ceramika 
Tomaszów Bolesławiecki 99
59- 720 Raciborowice
tel./fax. 0048 (0)75 738 9461, Mo- Fr 6 am-2 pm , Sat 6 am -2 pm
This pottery has nice flower and christmas patterns. Its a small shop but had a whole back corner full of discounted items for 10%-30% off.  Its on the same road as ANDY'S

Lots of parking, accepts $,Euro, Credit Cards
Having fun @ the Pottery Palm Tree 

Our fabulous finds!!!!

The large bowl in the back is part of their new line of Polish Pottery SINKS!!!!  This one was a STEAL for 40.00Euros.  This will be going in our new home in Petersburg, Virginia 

I just adore the dog items & deviled egg tray that we found

Thanks so much for following my blog!  Stay tuned this  week we are taking Italy by storm!!!!