Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fun Polish Discovery

We learned something new this week!  On our trip, we stopped at "Fort Pulaski" on Tybee Island, GA.    We knew  of the name "Pulaski" because it was also the name of a nearby a city where I lived,  growing up in WI.  Still, I guess I never thought much about the history behind the name, until now!   We were delighted to discover that Casimir Pulaski was of Polish nobility who believed in the cause of freedom and came to America.  He was an American military commander who fought in the Revolutionary war, saved the life of George Washington, and has been called "the father of American cavalry"!
I love this little story in particular, found on his Wikipedia page.:
One of the first tributes to Pulaski was paid when George Washington on November 17, 1779, issued a challenge-and-password set for identifying friend and foe when crossing military lines: "Query: Pulaski, response: Poland".

Anyway, they had this book for sale in the gift shop.  The story and illustrations are captivating!  I would recommend the book for probably ages 6 and up (it's a little long) but worth the read.   An exciting way to celebrate Polish/American history!

On a different note, I had a quick question for those who have already traveled to Poland.  What did you do about your mail for 6 weeks?   Just curious. 


  1. Thank you so much for the recommendation on the book. I'm going to order it from Amazon! It's a perfect way to get my son to read.

    As for mail - we put a hold on it for 6 weeks. You can do that online. You can also extend it online.

    You get the option to get it all delivered on a certain date or pick it all up. We preferred the delivery because I didn't see myself being able to leave the house with my husband alone with three Polish speaking kids immediately after we return.

    You do need to call your mortgage company and your banks and credit card companies to place an extension on due dates during your stay in Poland. They can do that for special circumstances. Make sure you get everything in writing or at least take down names and times you spoke to them (speak to managers only!).

    Also, you'll need to talk to the credit card companies to ensure they are aware you will be in Poland or they will place your credit card on hold the first time you try and use it there, suspecting fraud.

  2. You can also set up automatic payments with many banks for your mortgage etc while gone so you don't have to think about it. Also, remember to stop newspapers if you get them! These can be donated to schools, credited to your acct, or even held if you wanted them (we usually go for the credit). Definitely let the credit card companies know! We went to Disney and they double checked on us- even when we had called. Give them precise dates and have an international number available just in case. They can be real buggers these days.

  3. Ditto on the mail - just have it held. I'd look into paying bills online while you are away if you are not already. You can also suspend many other things while traveling long periods of time (magazines, netflix subscriptions, gym memberships, parking contracts, etc). It all adds up! And they are all worth a phone call to see if it is possible, some are more willing to make accommodations for you than others.

  4. You are always finding the most interesting Polish facts. Thanks for sharing.

  5. For the bills we did not have set up on line, I just wrote the checks and gave them to my sister who lives in the area to mail on the appropriate date. We even paid our church offering ahead of time! Ideally, it was so convenient to have complete on-line banking.

  6. We had a friend collect it and also check on the house for our 7 weeks away. We also had a cat sitter who offered that as part of her service. I agree with all the other commenters, call your bank about debit, cash cards, and credit cards. When we were there the best exchange rate for us was to use the ATM.
    Cool history facts, thanks!

  7. Love the story on Casimir Polaski! I new most of it due to the fact that when I started teaching, we would get the day off from school. I read up on it so that I could tell my students a little about it! However, we no longer get that day off anymore.

    As far as mail, we put in on hold. We take care of most of our billing on-line, so James just made sure that everything was set up before we left. I agree with Kelly! We used our Debit card almost everywhere and got the very best exchange rate. Plus, James was able to double check and keep track of our purchases (and billing) on online banking! Everything went really smooth.