Thursday, 30 June 2016

Our Family's First Mariner's Game!

My parents invited us to join them for a Mariners baseball game at the end of the school year, so we packed up & headed South for the day.  I drove us through the border, since we were going into the States & visiting my family, I figured it would be easier if I answered the border guard's questions.  Chad good a good laugh after we got through the border though...

Guard: "What is the purpose of your visit?"

Me: "We're going to a Mariner's game."

Guard: "Where are you sitting?"

Me: "Way up high."

To be fair, my parents bought the tickets & all we knew was that we were going to be sitting in the highest section!

We had some extra time once we got to my parents' place before we had to leave for the game.  Asher received a few birthday presents...

 A Lego shirt in a BRIGHT colour!

 And a kit of catchable bubbles!

My parents have a large garden, & we happened to be visiting just as the raspberries were ripe, so the kids & I decided to sample a few

But look who else enjoyed the bubble kit!

We made it to the game, & I was delighted to discover we got to sit in the sun for a few hours!

The kids signed up for the kids club, which is free, & received a backpack, lanyard, photo ID tag, & wiffle ball.  They were adamant that they needed team shirts as well, & since they weren't too expensive, we acquiesced...  I'm sure it was the shirt that made the game so exciting for Asher!

The Mariners were getting trounced, so we left the game early in order to get the kids to bed before midnight.  Overall we had fun, but I realized that my kids didn't know much about baseball!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Last Day of School!

It's hard to believe that another school year is over!
Chancery just finished Grade 2, & Asher finished Grade 4.  I think Chancery is looking forward to going back to the same school next year.  It will be the first time that she won't be switching to a new school after just one year, & Asher traditionally switched every 2 years, but we are looking forward to staying for multiple years!  Maybe even through high school, who knows?

Here they are at the end of their last day of school!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Double Digits!

Chad's parents came to watch the kids while we were in Paris, & they left on Father's Day, which was a few days before Asher's birthday.  Since we were planning on having a small celebration with them, we got an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen & had been eating it for the past few days.  So, by the time Asher's birthday rolled around, there wasn't much left of the cake which is why there is no cake in the photos!

It's tradition in our family that the person having a birthday gets to pick which restaurant they want to go to for dinner,  Asher got to double up on this since we had the early celebration with Grandpa & Grandma.  He picked the Dublin Crossing Pub since he knows he can walk right up to the bar to ask for refills of his lemonade, to eat with Grandpa & Grandma.  Then on his birthday we let him pick again, & he chose East Side Marios.  I checked to see where the nearest one was, & it's in Cranbrook (800 kms away), so we opted not to go there.  His next choice was Boston Pizza.  Before we left for dinner, he opened his gifts!

Let the games begin!

Every piece of tissue paper must be checked to see if there's something hiding amongst the folds!

"You have combined 3 things I love!  Harry Potter, Lego, & Nintendo!"

I was glad to see that he was so excited about this book.  It's the 4th in the series, & I ordered it before Christmas.  It finally came about 3 weeks before his birthday!
Book 4 "Tales of a Sixth Grade Muppet"

Another book by David Walliams.  The kids love these books!

You really can't go wrong with Lego can you?

Happy Birthday to my 10 year old!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Last Day In Paris

Another day of walking.  At least we don't feel bad about all the sweets we are eating!

We keep seeing these double decker carousels, but they must cost too much to ride since we never see anyone on them! 

We walked to the Sacre-Coeur Basilica.  There were lots of people, & there was a mass happening when we got there, so we sat for awhile.  I found it funny that they still let people in to look around while they are having their services.  I don't think I've ever been in a church in Canada or the States that has tourists wandering around during the service! 

We stumbled upon the Gare du Nord train station.  We didn't bother going into it since most train stations are alike inside. 

We were almost home when I spotted this shop.  I had to get a photo for my dad, since Mello Yello is his favourite soda! 

We had a quiet dinner at the flat & tried to finish up the contents of the fridge before leaving.  I had been on a quest for a crepe most of the day, but had never found one for what I thought was a reasonable price.  So we headed back to Notre Dame since there were quite a few creperies in that area.

We found one!

But I wanted another one, so I went back for more!

I asked the man for another crepe sucre with more sugar.
He poured it on, "is this enough?" he asked.
"Yes, that's good," I replied.
Then he added more before telling me with a grin, "This is really bad for your teeth!"
I promised I'd brush them afterwards.

On our way back to the flat Chad spotted an ice cream shop that had pistachio ice cream!  He couldn't resist, & the lady working there rewarded him for not asking for a sample of every flavour by giving him an extra scoop of pistachios on top!

Total Distance walked: 13 km

Total Distance for the week: 61 km

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Paris From Above

We headed once again to Notre Dame to get in line nice & early to climb to the top of the cathedral.  There were not many people ahead of us, but the line grew quite a bit as we were waiting.  We managed to be in the second group that got to go up, so we were pretty happy about that!

 There are lots of gargoyles & animal drain spouts on the cathedral.

 We had a nice view of the city, & it wasn't raining!

We even got to go into the bell tower

We had seen "The Great Canadian Pub" the day before, & we decided to stop for lunch there.  I had poutine, it was ok, but not great.  The restaurant was really dirty though.  As Chad said, "it looks like they had a busy night last night & didn't have time to clean up afterwards."

This photo captures my thoughts on how good the experience was...

After lunch we headed to the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, which was basically a very, very expensive department store.

We came, we saw, we couldn't afford anything!

 More walking lead us to stumble upon the Centre Pompidou which is a modern art museum among other things.  We came, we saw, we did not go in.

As we walked home we stopped at a shop & purchased some macaroons.  They were also delicious!

Total distance walked: 8 km

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Paris is Closed

Day one of free time for Chad!  It was a little bit rainy, so we decided it would be a good day to be inside.  We had wanted to climb to the top of Notre Dame, so we went a bit early to check how long the line was.

The line was longer than our patience, so we decided we'd check back later or come another day.

On to the Louvre!

 It was Tuesday.  The Louvre was closed as it is every Tuesday.

On to the lock bridge!

I had read that the locks had all been removed from the lock bridge, apparently this is now the lockless bridge.  They put glass on the side so you can't put locks on the railings anymore.  Instead they filled the bridge with strange sculptures.

On to the Eiffel Tower! 

We made it!

Unfortunately there was a union strike, & the Eiffel Tower was closed.  We checked online this morning & it doesn't look like it will be reopened while we are here at all.

On to the Arc de Triomphe!

I almost lost my will to carry on after everything else was closed, but we persevered!  We arrived, but we couldn't figure out how to make it into the centre without dying.  Granted, we didn't try too hard.  We were hungry, & we wanted to eat.  We strolled down the Champs-Elysees in search of sustenance and found a nice cafe where I had a delicious lunch of mussels & a crepe.

After lunch we headed back to the flat.  We'd done a lot of walking & were pretty much done for the day.  We stopped at Notre Dame again, but the line was still too long, so we continued on.  Chad noticed a little patisserie & we decided to reward ourselves for all the exercise we had done by buying some treats.

I don't really know what they were, but they were delicious!

Total distance walked: 13 km

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Paris At Night (Kind of)

One of Chad's classmates offered to drive us around Paris at night so we could see the monuments lit up.  Unfortunately when they picked us up at 9, we discovered that we were going to see the city at dusk rather than full darkness, but we carried on anyway & got some nice photos.

The Institute de France 

The Eiffel Tower with a football hung in the centre because of the Euro Cup which is happening now.

Here we are!

The Arc de Triomphe.  We drove around it in the crazy round-about!

The Louvre

We drove past the Eiffel Tower the night after Chad's graduation & I got this stellar picture.  The lights also twinkle every hour for a few minutes.

The traffic was a little lighter at night than it usually is during the day, but it was still pretty crazy.  The drivers seem to be pretty aggressive, but they also let other cars merge quite regularly, & they don't honk their horns much.  It was interesting to experience.

Total Distance walked: 9 km

Monday, 13 June 2016

A Quiet Day to Myself

Yesterday was the first day of Chad's meetings.  I spent most of the day in the flat reading & watching TV since it rained quite a bit.  At the end of the day I walked to meet up with Chad & some of his classmates for dinner.  Just like normal, I was going to be early, so I killed some time by stopping at a Starbucks.  My only complaints was that I can't use my Starbucks cards here.  Not sure why, but I keep getting told they won't work.  I also didn't see any special French Starbucks gift cards to add to my collection.

 When translated to French, this is how my name is spelled!

At dinner many of the others were ordering wine or beer, neither of which I like, so I opted for my regular Jack & Coke.  When we got the bill we discovered that the bottle of coke was €4.50, & they gave me a double of Jack (which was a premium whisky) & that cost €14.50.  My drink cost more than my meal!

Total Distance walked: 7 km

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Another Graduation

Chad likes learning.  When I met him 18 years ago, he was just entering University on the Pre-Med track.  Shortly thereafter, he decided becoming a doctor would take too many years of school, so he switched majors to Ag-Bio Tech halfway through his first year.  We got married that summer, & moved to Alberta, so he switched schools.  For his third year, he switched majors again to Economics.  When he finished his Bachelors, I figured he was done with school, but he felt the lure of further education.

The next year found us in England while he pursued a Masters in Philosophy.  After that he had to choose between 2 opportunities: go back to Canada & farm, or get a Doctorate in Logic.  After weeks of trying to decide between the 2, he felt the call to go into the ministry.  A few months later we had moved to Michigan so he could get a Masters of Divinity.  When he completed that degree he had gone to school for the same amount of time it would have taken for him to become a doctor!

He got his first job!  A few years into it he heard the siren call of education once again, this time for a Specialized Masters (MS) in "Consulting & Coaching for Change" & 2 years later I found myself at another of his graduations!  Will this degree be his last?  Probably not.

Here he is, all ready to go!

Chad receiving his diploma

Hooray!  He did it!

Proof of where he graduated from... the sign around the corner advertised for the coffee shop & said "HECoffee".  He opted not to get a photo by that sign.

His classmates opted not to get their class photo taken by the professionals & have to pay 30 Euros for a photo.  Instead they comandeered a picnic table & had their loved ones take photos on their phones.  It was quite comical! 

Total Distance walked: 4 km