The Party’s Over ~ Weekly Wrap ~ September 30, 2018

Witamy (Welcome) to Krakow!

With the end of September comes not just the end of Summer, but also the end of my travel to Europe! It was a great trip and we were able to not only get some great sight-seeing in but also a whole lotta walking miles. Our final week (actually 4-1/2 days) was spent in Kraków, which was the most meaningful part of the trip for me. My grandparents on my mother’s side were from outside of Kraków, so from the moment our plane landed, I felt like I had arrived in the Motherland!

Here is a brief (very brief!) recap of the past week:

Up, up, and away!

Monday, September 24th through Friday, September 28th:  We flew from Vienna to Austria on Austrian Airlines. It was a short (less than one hour) flight on a very small prop plane, which honestly can be a little unnerving. I’ve flown such small planes a number of times in the past, but they are definitely not what I prefer. Luckily the flight was short and we experienced very little turbulence. Highlights of the trip included visiting Wawel Castle, Saint Mary’s Basilica, and the Jewish Quarter. We also visited Auschwitz and Birkenau. Sombering, to say the least.  I walked a total of 22.4 miles while in Kraków.

If you work for Austrian Air, you’d better like wearing red.

While in Europe I purchased a Pandora charm in each country to add to my collection and commemorate my trip. In Berlin I bought a charm of the Brandenburg Gate, in Prague a castle for the Prague Castle, in Vienna a crown for Schönbruun Palace, and in Kraków a goldfish to symbolize good fortune.

Adding to my collection






I mentioned in my last post some of the weird yet yummy dishes we had during our travels, but I forgot to mention the beef tongue in Vienna!

I swear, it’s delicious!

We returned home from Europe late on Friday afternoon. Going through U.S. Customs at O’Hare Airport took a painfully long time. I could have bypassed the line because I have Global Entry, but my husband does not, so we waited the 1+ hours it took to get through the line.

As you might imagine, Saturday and Sunday were essentially rest days. I have yet to fully unpack, and I have what seems like a billion things to do to make up for the time we were away. I have lots to catch up on for my business, but luckily I don’t have to work at my hospital job until Tuesday.

The Chicago Marathon is just one week from today! I plan to get one or two short runs in between now and then, but that will be it for me. With all of the walking we did in Europe, my total miles run/walked in September came in at a whopping 142.1! Not bad for this lackluster trainer! Right now rain is in the forecast, so my fingers are crossed that that will change in the coming week.


How was your week? Have you ever tasted beef tongue? I’m linking up with Wendy over at Taking the Long way Home and Holly at HoHo Runs for this week’s wrap-up. Be sure to visit their blogs, and check out a few of the other linkers while you’re there. You may just find a few new friends!


  1. Welcome back! Austria is my homeland but I would not go near any beef tongue. Yikes! We got Pandora charms in Dublin but totally forgot about them in Berlin. Sigh.

    1. Author

      Haha, it’s soooo good! It’s just muscle, like any other meat. People just get grossed out by it. Did you get the Pandora clover charm in Dublin? It’s fun to get them as country-specific.

  2. Ha! That beef tongue…not sure I’ll be sampling that LOL. Those Pandora charms are nice! That thought didn’t even occur to me while in Chicago in July (though I had been there many times before) or Philly recently.

    1. Author

      I started a ‘travel’ bracelet when we went to Spain several years ago. I often forget to look for charms, but I’m glad I remembered in Europe. Some of these charms are only available in certain countries.

  3. I’m so glad that you had a great time exploring Europe! What a great idea to get a pandora charm from each place that you visited!

    I can’t believe that the Chicago Marathon is a week from today! I’ll be cheering for you virtually 🙂

    1. Author

      Thanks, Kim! I’m really looking forward to it. My eldest son is going for a BQ, but since they just knocked five minutes off the times, it’s going to be very tight. My middle son’s girlfriend is running Chicago as her first marathon, so that will make it a really special day!

  4. I cannot believe you are going to run Chicago after this epic trip! I’ll be there–hopefully at mile 13 with Marcia. I’ll let you know when everything is set.

    1. Author

      All I can say is, “what was I thinking?!” I will look for you guys at Mile 13, but you will probably be long gone before I get there!

  5. Welcome back what a whirlwind trip. I am glad Europe was everything you could imagine. I know Poland was so meaningful. Best wishes at the Marathon!💪

  6. Welcome home! Sounds like quite an adventure. Those prop planes really scare me too! Wow I forgot you were running Chicago! Fun! Good luck this weekend

  7. Tongue being a Jewish delicacy, yes, I’ve eaten but not in years. My husband still loves it. I’ve been to Prague & Vienna (Vienna very briefly).

    Sounds like a fantastic trip!

  8. It’s been fun following along on your trip. What an adventure! I see customs in Chicago hasn’t changed. The last time I went through there it was very similar and that was almost 20 years ago!

    1. Author

      Thanks! We had an amazing time. We’ve been through customs in Chicago a number of times in the past several years and it has never been this bad. So disorganized, and the fact that we got off of a Dream Liner (huge plane) with most passengers only Polish-speaking did not help!

  9. How lucky. Sounds like a great trip!!!!!!!!!

    I never thought about Pandora charms. Darn, just got back from Montreal but I am going to France this Sat!!

    I love tongue!!

    1. Author

      I have the Pandora Eiffel tower. Not that I’ve ever been to Paris, but I stay at the Paris Hotel whenever I go to Las Vegas!
      Beef tongue is so tasty. I wish people weren’t so grossed out by it!

  10. I am not sure I could eat beef tongue! I am sure it is good though. I love that you went to Prague. One of my most favorite cities.

    1. Author

      You just have to think of it as any other muscle – after all, that is what you are eating when you eat meat! It’s all a matter of what you are used to.
      Prague is absolutely beautiful!

  11. So amazing. I tend to collect Christmas ornaments from places we visit. It’s so nice to have something to commemorate travels. I love your charms.

    Never had beef tongue, Not opposed to it, but it’s never come up.

    You’re going to do wonderfully at Chicago! So excited for you!

    1. Author

      Christmas ornaments are a great idea! We saw some beautiful ones in Poland, but simply didn’t have the room to bring them home.
      I’m hoping for a decent Chicago race. I’m starting to feel a cold coming on, so I’m hoping that won’t mess with the race.

  12. No on the beef tongue. I do like the charms though. I hope you get good weather for Chicago!

    1. Author

      Haha try it, you’ll like it! I’m glad I thought about the charms. I can’t get them for all the states I visit for my business, but I like grabbing them for international travel. Right now rain is predicted for Chicago next weekend, but we will see!

  13. Wow! What an adventure. I’ve never been to Poland. One of these days!

  14. I love the idea of charms, but like Jenn – I’ve been collecting Christmas ornaments for years. At least you can enjoy yours all year long! The picture of you eating tongue is so funny! My son likes beef tongue and I have tasted it. It’s very tender! Good luck in Chicago. Wish I was going to be there. Thanks for linking!

    1. Author

      I wish I had started the Christmas ornament thing years ago! But that’s a good point-I can wear the charms year-round!
      It’s amazing how many people thing eating beef tongue is disgusting. It’s just like any other muscle, like a big flank steak!

  15. Howdy! Pacer Tom hopes you are going to be in my 5:10 Pace Group at the Chicago marathon! The book that I am profiled in “Running Past Fifty” is now out. I have copies if you want to buy one!
    I work the expo at Pacer booth from 9Am to Noon on Saturday.
    I hope to see you!
    Marathon #464.
    PS If wet out I might be wearing a garbage bag! 😉

    1. Author

      Hey There! I will definitely buy your book! Will you have them at the expo? I might miss you there as we will just be arriving around noon, but I will head to the pacer booth first to try to catch you. Otherwise let me know how I can order one. My plan is to at least start with you, but my PR remains that first Chicago I ran with you in 2013 when you paced at 5:25, so we will see. As usual, I haven’t adequately trained, and I’ve packed on some extra pounds this year, so that definitely has not helped. It’s starting to look like the rain will hold off until later in the afternoon. Fingers crossed. See you this weekend!

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