|Because Agnes and George weren't arriving at the hotel until 11 AM, we were able to sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. They picked us up a few minutes after 11 and took us on a tour of Gorzow. (Linda still had helmet hair.)
We started by going to the church where Agnes was married. It was built in 1413 and is the oldest building in Gorzow. Gorzow has an interesting recent history. It was part of Germany since the late 1700's and was only returned to Poland after WWI. During WWII it was occupied by the Germans and after the war the Germans were told to leave and it was returned to Poland. The Polish government wanted people to come to Gorzow to work and therefore Gorzow is filled with people from all over Poland. George's father, Kazimirz (the first cousin of Linda's mother), came to Gorzow in this way. His siblings followed him and they set up a home in Gorzow.
Our next stop after the church was George's business, Balexim (BALcerzak IMport EXport). They are an auto company that does car inspections and repairs. Kazimirz started the business and now George and his son Michael run it. Michael lives above the business and we met his wife, step-daughter, and newborn daughter.
After we left the business, we went to the cemetery and visited the grave of Kazimirz and his wife Stefania. The cemetery is very Polish. All the graves have elaborate headstones and are generally covered with flowers and candles. The graves are all very close together as well.
We left the cemetery and went to see Agnes's house. It is very new and beautiful! The house is modern and airy and is filled with nice antiques. We had some hot coffee and a nice dessert in the middle of the afternoon -- very Polish!
When we left Agnes's, we went to George and Kristina's house in the country. Again, it was very much like northern Michigan. They also have a newer house, although it is a bit smaller than Agnes's. We waited there for a bit until Agnes's husband, Darek, and children arrived. Then we were led on a mysterious drive into the wilderness.
We drove for quite some time and ended up at a resort in the woods. The family had reserved it just for us. Michael and his family also joined us. We had pevo in the gazebo while the kids played, and then went inside for a traditional Polish meal. We had choices of a pork cutlet or chicken and dumplings. Both options came with a number of nice sides. Darek also made us all do a traditional Polish vodka shot.
After dinner we went back to George and Kristina's house. We sat and looked at pictures and drank more pevo. As time passed we began to smell some food cooking. Suddenly a spread appeared again on the table -- cold cuts, herring, homemade pickles, relishes, breads, etc. Very Polish! Linda was reminded of her mom and aunts. After more visiting we were home to the hotel by 10:30 PM.
As an added bonus, Linda was able to borrow an electrical converter from Agnes and Darek. Will she have curled hair tomorrow? Stay tuned...