Happy 5th birthday Charlie Dean!!!!

Today is Charlie’s birthday! He gets to celebrate it in Krakow so we saved the castles and dragons for today.

When we woke up Charlie opened his presents. A couple cute things from the kids, a Troll’s toy from us and a Lego set he really wanted from Nana and Pa.

A dinosaur Lego sets that can change into different dinosaurs! A big deal for him.

After we had breakfast and got ready we headed over to the tour place again for a tour through the salt mines.

Here is Jane waiting for the van to get there.

The many faces of Charlie on the drive. It took us about 30 minutes to get there so our driver gave us lots of great information about all the things we saw along the way.

He pointed out these apartments. It’s pretty cool. The government made these for people who are too sick or hurt to work. They only charge about $35 a month but there is one catch. To rent them you cannot drink. There is a man at the front door that gives a breathalyzer when you come in and if you have ANY alcohol in your system you lose your place. The driver said if you are too poor to pay rent you should’t be buying alcohol and drinking will only make your problems worse. Pretty smart idea.

We got to the salt mines and had to wait until it was our turn to go in.

It gave the kids some time to run around.

It was time to go in so we started down the stairs. 800 stairs to be exact.

If you looked straight down the middle you could see all the way down. This mine started operating in the 13th century and produced table salt until 2007.

We finally got down to the tunnels.

You can lick the walls. They encourage it! Very salty!!

Our guide was great giving us all kinds of cool facts as we walked the tunnels.

All of the statues are made of salt.

Amazing sculptures down here.

So more stairs down.

They had chapels down here were the miners would stop to pray in the morning before they went to work.

This room was amazing! Every Sunday they have a Catholic service down here. They also do weddings and concerts.

The chandeliers are made of salt!

Look at these carvings!!

Pope John Paul

The floors were carved out by three different people at three different times.

Had to lick the walls again as we left.

A salt lake.

Banquet Hall.

Another chapel. I think she said there were seven down here.

Heading out of the mine.

The salt mine was really cool and I think the kids really enjoyed it. The tour took about 2 hours. We drove home, grabbed some burgers and fries and went home for lunch.

After lunch we went back out to visit the Wawel Castle.

Walking to the Castle.

Beautiful Polish streets.

They have some amazing buildings along the way.

Pope John Paul’s house before he was Pope John Paul.

The Wawel Castle was built in the 1300's.

Frederic Chopin is buried inside the cathedral. It was closed to the public today so we could’t go in but Levi did when he was here before and said it’s beautiful inside.

A picture with Pope John Paul. Lots of Pope John Paul today!

It was amazing up here.

More stairs! We have had our share of stairs today!!

This is what Charlie was most excited about! Legend says a dragon once lived in the cave under the castle.

“The Wawel Dragon (Polish: Smok Wawelski), also known as the Dragon of Wawel Hill, is a famous dragon in Polish folklore. His lair was in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill on the bank of the Vistula River. Wawel Hill is in Kraków, which was then the capital of Poland. In some stories the dragon lived before the founding of the city, when the area was inhabited by farmers.”

Charlie loved this! He was so excited when the dragon breathed fire.

He also loved the cave. They do tours of the cave starting in April so we just missed it but Charlie still loved it and that’s all that mattered.

We headed to “Cupcake Corner” for birthday dessert.

Yum Yum!

Happy birthday Charlie! I can’t believe my baby is 5! On the way home he told me all the things he can do now that he is five. Things like walk for a long time without getting tired and go up and down lots of stairs. He says he is five now so he can do a lot of things he couldn’t do when he was four.😂

Last night he fell asleep in bed next to me. I laid there just looking at his sweet face wondering how my youngest could be five already. Five is when you really start changing into that older kid stage. That gangly stage when you start losing teeth and riding a two wheel bike. But he still is my baby and small enough to carry so I cradled my boy and laid him in his bed the last night of his fourth year. I am so grateful for all the time I have had with him and what looks to be a wonderful future together. He is a true blessing.❤️

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