Weekend with Weird Talk and Cat Toys

I love long weekends and this weekend was fantastic!   Sometimes I feel like my words trivialize the fun we actually had… or… maybe I am just looking for excuses to not have to really write anything meaningful here.   (Today I listened to a “real” author talk about what it takes to write a novel and I realized that I am so clueless.. umm… don’t take that to far…  what I meant is that I am clueless about writing… I know other stuff… lots of other stuff)

Family Felting 09

The weekend started with Isabelle and I taking a nice walk and realizing that they have already started the free Saturday concerts at the Homestead.   That night a fantastic band named “Q’d Up” was playing.   (Jazz bands often have stupid names)  Next week a blue grass – Celtic -folk band will play. (you think they would pick a genre)   I remember the first time I took Isabelle to a “blue grass” concert.  I could see her French mind trying to process what she was hearing and halfway through the first song she asked me “What language are they speaking”…   I told her “hillbilly”…  she was very curious about this newly discovered patois… I finally confessed that they just have a really strong accent.

Family Felting 08
Hanna sneaking up on Gwen and Sam… trying to scare them.   I had told them that most likely a badger was in that cave… and badgers are dangerous.

Let me get back to this weekend… My kids were very excited since there older sister Hanna was driving up to Midway to spend time with us and to have some fun with felt.  (All I have to say is who would not want to come have fun with felt… )

Family Felting 01

Hanna had priced some felt cat toys and was complaining about how expensive they were so I invited her up and told her that along with the other kids we would make them.   I got out all of my wool odds and ends and four felting needles.   I knew there was going to be some finger poking and maybe some blood…  but like the “real” author said… every story needs conflict.

Family Felting 02

Being a good dad I worried about their fingers especially with Ben (my 7 year old).   I got out the duck tape and wrapped their “wool holding” fingers.   I told Ben they were “Robot Fingers”.   I reasoned that even if they did poke their fingers this should stop the needle from going too deep… hopefully avoiding blood stains on the carpet.

Family Felting 03

Well… unfortunately… despite the duck tape there was finger poking and blood. On the bright side… no carpet stains.   Ben took this poke like a brave little man…  and I took note of his little conversation.

Ben:  “I have blood all over my fingers”.

Hanna:  “Ya… that is what happens when you are doing this.”

Ben:  “Yep… it happens when you are having fun”…. several seconds later… “Papa… Can I get my fingers double wrapped?”

Family Felting 04
Ben’s cat… you can also see his double duck taped thumbs up!

I remember my grandfather secretly recording my siblings and I as we had our “odd” conversations… you know the ones that all kids have…  I have always wondered why he did this and now as I listened to their conversations I realized how funny kids can be.  I decided to take notes as I watched them poke wool… and I am going to share with you some of the “highlights”.

Sam:   “What should we call you Papa?”

Me:  “How about lord”… (not the sacrilege… the feudal lord)

Gwen:   “Ok… LARD”

Ben:  “OH!… that is even worse than what I call him”

Family Felting 07
Gwen made and alpaca… called it “Inky Dinky Do”… of course.. and stated “My alpaca has boobs”

Gwen:  “I am getting sick of doing this… it takes forever”

Sam:  “Gwen, when did you learn the virtue of not being patient?”


Bendidn’t say anything… just farted

Gwen:  “EWWW…  it’s spicy… Hanna can you smell it?”

Hanna: “I am not going to breath in with my nose”

Ben:  “I don’t know why I do it…”

Family Felting 06
Hanna’s felt ball and felt octopus/spider thingy.

Gwen (quoting from her civil war reenactment):   “the lord’s will be done… we have achieved the greatest victory in this war.  I have no regrets of my approaching death.  I fell in defense of my country”…

none of us were sure of why she started quoting this

Sam:  “Roasted!… ” small pause… “union scum”

Ben:  “Sam stop being a German tactic”

Hanna:   Laughing uncontrollably…

Ben: “why are you laughing with your big mouth”

Sam: “that is racist”

Family Felting 05
Sam’s felt balls… and of course being 12 he said “papa… look at my balls”

Ben:   mumbling and saying something incomprehensible…

Hanna:    “Ben what did you just say with your big mouth”

Ben:  “Boom roasted! by your big mouth”

Gwen:  “What does Hanna need most in life?”

Ben:  “A heart or maybe a brain”

Hanna:  “Felting is tearing my family apart”

Family Felting 10
Some odd pink “red nosed” mouse…   this might actually scare the cat instead of entertaining it.

I think I will stop the conversation stuff… I think it is one of those things that is much more enjoyable when you are actually sitting and watching them.   We had a very enjoyable time and then Hanna said good bye and went home.  As soon as she got home she sent us a picture of her cat enjoying our “homemade felt toys”…

 

Family Felting 11
Every blog needs pictures of cats… and this is my second!   You will note that the red nose is already gone

I also felted a little bit… although I preferred just sitting back listening and watching them occasionally poke their fingers.  By the way… double layered duck tape does do the trick.  Here is what I made… pebbles…. I think I want to make a pebble rug. (Have about 100 more to do) What do you think?

Felting 10

I hope all of you had as wonderful a weekend as I did!…

 

 

Weekend Finishing Alpaca Scarf

Well… my first raw fiber to finished scarf project is Inky Dinky Done…  (I am not being cute… or maybe I am..,)   Inky Dinky Do is the name of the Alpaca who offered its hair so I could make this scarf.

If you are not familiar with this project there are earlier posts! (you don’t have to go to these… this post will have cliff notes)

  1. Weekend with a Llama (Inky Dinky Do… actually an Alpaca)
  2. Avocado Dye and Inky Dinky Do
  3. Weekend Carding Alpaca (Inky Dinky Do)
  4. Weekend spinning the rolags (Inky Dinky Do alpaca fibers)
  5. Weekend Knitting (Manly… Knitting)

Scarf 03

This all began when a wonderful person (CLAIRE Small Holding Dreams) and a wonderful alpaca (Inky Dinky Do – I wished I could hug inky! )  sent me a gift of alpaca fibers. Those fibers left their home in England and travelled across the Atlantic to end up in Utah (where the heck is that) USA.   Can you imagine the trepidation and excitement those fibers must have experienced?

After enjoying many hours (more than I could have imagined… I probably should say days) the fibers have decided it is time to return home.   I said my goodbyes and sent them on their way.  I know that the fibers have dramatically changed during their time with me.  I hope that change is for the better.   I would love to see Inky Dinky’s face… not even sure they are going to be recognized.

Scarf 12

I created a “souvenir” box for those fibers.   It is fun to see that actual transformation from unwashed fibers all the way to knitted 2 ply yarn.  I actual really like this box.  It makes one wonder about the origin of this simple but amazing process.  Who was this person?…  who looks at a sheep (or alpaca) and says.. hmm I think I could make clothes out of them.   Do you think they talked about it before they did it?  I would have loved to listen to that conversation…  “hey… you know what?  I bet if I shaved that animal, twisted its fur, then tied it in knots… I could make cool sweaters, socks, gloves, and scarfs…. (he/she wouldn’t have said pants cause everyone knows knitted pants are weird)

I would like to share pictures from the beginning to the ending of my “scarf” journey.  (Maybe less words… I imagine I have already used up most of your patience…with my odd fiber voyage story)

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Fibers just arrived… and unpacked… and Ben not hiding his disappointment
llama-fleece-8
First washed batch!
avocado-dye-8
Dyed pink using avocado pits
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Carded and ready to be spun
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YARN!
knitting 3
Knitting…  I had to learn how to… 
Scarf 11
More Yarn! (natural color)
Scarf 10
more… knitting
Scarf 08
more dyeing, carding, and spinning
Scarf 07
and more yarn… I had no idea how much yarn a scarf takes….
Scarf 04
Knitting is DONE!!!
Scarf 01
Every handmade scarf needs a “custom” label… got this done at Wunderlabel…  and that is A.S.H… not an “A” followed by 2 “S”s… (the letters ash are my initials… ) 
Scarf 02
Label is now sewed on and the scarf is ready to be sent home!!!

All you are missing is me sending it off at the post office.  (almost took a picture but people were watching… ).   I calculated the time for the entire process… and … (please no mocking) this scarf took me 1 hour and 55 minutes per linear inch (2.5 cm).  I think I am horribly slow…

My fiber and wool adventures are not finished.  Claire also sent me wool… (Jacob Wool).  I am anxious to make something out of it… and yes… you can count on me boring you with the details as soon as I decide what I will be making with it.  I wonder if I can increase my throughput?….   maybe a spinning wheel instead of a drop spindle?

Thanks for taking the time to look/read this post.

Happy Mother’s Day

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.

– Rudyard Kipling –

I want to wish every mother out there (especially the ones reading this) a wonderful celebration and offer my sincerest words of admiration and gratitude.  Mother’s day… what a wonderful holiday… Motherhood is one of the central forces in our humanity and I am pleased that we have a holiday to celebrate it.

I would also like to celebrate… the “mothers” in my life… my mom and the mother of my children.  The feature picture is of my mom with my brother and sister.   (please… no making fun of the lederhosen)

Mothers Day 3

As a man I am obviously on the sideline with respect to motherhood.  While on the “sideline” I have been paying attention and I do not believe there is anything closer to our creator’s love than true motherly love.  I want to post something very personal (hopefully Isabelle will not mind).

Let me share some of our story…

 

In the beginning when I first was dating Isabelle I watched her with her sister’s children and immediately knew that she would be a fantastic mother.   I was a single father so “this time” I was wise enough to pay attention (or even care about this).   More over Isabelle wanted to be a mother.  She was someone much more brilliant than I… better educated… better career… simple she was better than me… period.  (I know… I definitely married up).   She had all of this but in her mind it was all second to the goal of having a family and being a mother.

Mothers Day 4

When we got married she wanted to have children right away and well being selfish I wanted to wait at least a little bit.  You know… have time together. (I was not ready to share)   I finally “gave in”… and this began all of our problems.   For some odd reason we just couldn’t get the “job” done. (not that I minded trying).   Month after month passed and still no pregnancy.  She cried often and I felt kind of helpless.  We decided to get “medical” help and while at her first visit they noticed a tumor in her breast.   Before they would do anything she had to have this removed.  This was the first “scary” surgery for us.   We got passed this and after a few embarrassing tests (both of us had to do these…) were told that we were going to need a little help.

We started fertility drugs and were told that at a somewhat precise time we would have to go to the hospital and “make” the baby there with the help of a doctor.   We were excited when the day came.  It was a Sunday and we hurried to the hospital.   I was less thrilled when I was given a cup and told to go into a small room.   The small room turned out to be a supply closet and I had to do my part there amongst the cleaning supplies.   To be honest it was a struggle and worse they kept talking to me through the door… somehow despite all of this I was able to “man up” and get the job done.  (wow that sounds horrible and it was horrible…   I kind of worried I would develop some weird thing for janitor supplies).

After less than an hour with the doctor everything was in place and fortunately all of this clinical stuff actually worked.   We were pregnant… and I witnessed Isabelle’s  joy despite the throwing up and increasing pain.   She was already bonding… talking to the baby… even writing a daily journal for the new life inside of her.

She started complaining all of the time saying that she knew something wrong.  When we would go to the doctor, he would do a quick ultra sound and say “everything is ok”.   I tried to comfort her and tell her “she was ok”…  don’t worry… etc… (really bad mistake… made me sound very unsympathetic )

One day I finally believed her and insisted that the doctor do something. He sent us to the emergency room.  They performed a CAT scan and she was taken immediately into surgery.   We actually had twins and one was ectopic.    Without going into too many details her fallopian tube had burst and she was bleeding internally.   I was scared to death… All of this “baby” stuff could make me lose Isabelle.   I remember staring at the wall during the surgery praying please let her live.  After what felt like days, the doctor came out and told me everything was ok with Isabelle.  I was allowed to go be with her as she awoke from the anesthesia.   The first thing out of her mouth was is the baby ok?   (I am such a dork… I hadn’t even bothered to ask).  Wow… her only concern was that of the baby.  Fortunately the doctor was there and could answer her question.  He explained everything and told her that we lost one of the twins but the other was ok.

After spending the rest of the pregnancy stuck in bed – “bed rest”…. along with a “down syndrome” scare… (nurse told us the baby had tested positive for down syndrome) we finally had a baby girl and we named her Gwenaelle.

Mothers Day 2

One week later…. we were back at the emergency room and Isabelle had to have her gallbladder removed.   (Jesh… I thought we were done with all of this bad luck) While she was having this third surgery  I was home with the week old baby… trying to convince her that a bottle was just as good as mom…  (lots of crying that night… both baby and I).   I remember thinking after all of this… at least she was able to have “one” baby and be a “mom”.   One is better than none…  after all of this there was no way she would want another… three surgeries along with a birth in one year.  (Her poor stomach looked like she had survived a horrific knife fight)

Less then a year later Isabelle said she wanted another baby… (I thought she was insane… plus… I was so not into going back to the supply closet)  I couldn’t imagine going through all of this over again… she must have some weird amnesia.  Her love and desire to have another child was well beyond any suffering or fear she may have had.  I again had to admit… she was so much better than I.   We were fortunate the second time and were able to do it all on our own.  We had Samuel and then with some coaxing from Isabelle we had our last child Benjamin.   Wonderful beings who I loved dearly… but I still wonder if I love them as much as I know their mother does.

Mothers Day 07

Looking back I can’t imagine going through what she did and being willing to go through it again.   I just wouldn’t do it.   I have witnessed first hand that special selfless love that a mother offers her child.   Isabelle was willing to sacrifice everything for them.   I honestly believe that the closest thing to God’s love that you will find on earth is that of a mother for her children.

Weekend Making a Lamp

This weekend the kids and I decided to make a lamp.   (I know kind of odd… )  I  kind of have a thing for lamps (not a fetish… just a healthy love affair)  I want to share with you our lamp making adventure… hold on tight… this is going to be thrilling.  (I am exaggerating a bit… in fact it might be extremely boring… and if that be the case just look at the pictures)   

SunnyBrook
My brother, sister and I… (think you recognize the picture) at Sunny Brook

Before I begin I want to provide some context around my love affair with lamps.  It all began years ago when as a kid we would spend part of the summer in a cabin located in a place called Sunny Brook.   Staying at the cabin was like going back 100 years … no TV… and no in door plumbing (this meant hauling buckets of water from the water pump and walking along a small path behind the cabin to a smaller “house”… a stinky place we called our “outhouse”)  We had a stove that you had to light a fire in to cook with and another large stove (pot belly) for heat.   As a young boy every day playing in the woods or at the river was a Huckleberry Finn-like adventure and the nights were spent under the flickering light of kerosene lamps  listening to mother read stories.   I remember intently listening while watching a flame dance around the wick… Something so uniquely intimate when light comes from such a personal source.

Our hearts are lamps for ever burning

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have such a nostalgic longing when I reminisce about those early formative years… and well to get to the point… I like lamps… lamps are my friends… not lights… but lamps.   If having light fixtures, chandeliers, sconces is like visiting a zoo… sitting next to a lamp is like having a dog curled up next to you.

Let’s get to the action!  This is not my first time around the lamp building “block”…. here are a couple of lamps I have made recently.

Lamp 1
Simple “Bucket Lamp”…  really quick project… and yes.. there is a hole in this bucket
Lamp 2
From the top… ya.. I admit it loses some of its charm from this angle.
Lamp 17
My bottle lamp… maybe more involved but still fairly simple.  The hardest part was cutting up the mirror for lining the crate.
Lamp 4
This lamp is fantastic from all angles… and spectacular at night

Now to this weekends lamp!

Lamp 6
Every good lamp begins with an idea… Here is mine.   I want to build an industrial lamp for my office.

Lamp 5

Isabelle (who loves shopping) went with me to our local home improvement store to help me get the parts… and to probably keep my spending in check.  While digging through the pipes a salesman offered help by asking us what we were fixing.  I said we were “weird” and that we were making a lamp…  he quickly said “oh” we have more people than you would believe doing exactly the same thing.   (hmmm…   I might have to go look for the lamp building online groups… not for help… just for friends)

Lamp 8

 The next step in this project is get the kids involved.   This usually means that the project will  take twice as long… but what joy.  (as long as they don’t ruin my lamp) I love seeing the kids “light up” and witness their minds moving a hundreds miles per hour as I hand them the plans and ask them to figure out what each part is for.
Lamp 7
We took a couple of short cuts with the electricity for now… (I will be adding an antique radio or something at the base to turn on each light and dim them).   I had to do my part to warn them about electricity and how dangerous it can be.   That adds to the adventure…  you know… saying stuff like… if this is done wrong we could all die and watch out… I think that part has rogue amps.
Lamp 9
They are so proud of themselves for laying out the base correctly and Ben (the youngest) insisted on pulling the wires… braving the rogue amps and all
Lamp 11
And now it is ready for the first test… does it “turn on”?
Lamp 10
It works… and we all lived!!!

Next we need to build the upper arm.   This was not built with pipes since it is always easier to have a lamp stay up if the base is heavier than the top.   Each kid took turns cutting the dowels… (and each cut had to be “re-cut” by dad… when they weren’t looking)

Lamp 12
We have the upper arm built and now all we need to do is paint the wood and pulleys to match the pipes

 

Lamp 13
The older kids Sam and Gwen spray painted the upper arm.   I cannot tell you how proud I was that they had done this without any runs… or missed spots.

Here is the finally product!   I am not sure that the kids “love” the lamp like I do… but I know they were proud of their accomplishment… they had lots of fun… and they spent  most of the day not looking at a screen.

Lamp 16

Lamp 14

Lamp 15

UPDATE:

Here it is in my office

lamp final

Last pictures from France

I have been home for almost a week… boy it is nice to be home.   I do miss France already and I want to share some “final” family vacation pictures.   I have already posted “typical” tourist pictures… and have saved “my kind of pictures” for this last post.  I hope you enjoy these unconventional vacation pictures.

WPD France 01

We took the TGV last Sunday to Paris the night before our flight home.   Isabelle’s sister and nephew took us to the train station and you can see them in this “selfie”… (is it still a selfie if there is a group?)

WPD France 02

I love the TGV and they have an interesting  advertisement campaign this year.   Here is an example of one of those advertisements.  Ben and I decided we could create one as well using a phone and Gwen.  (Ben’s sister… while she was sleeping)

 

WPD France 03
Sorry GWEN

 

 

WPD France 03
We love you…. Gwen… couldn’t resist… and had to post it twice…  (never gets old)

 

I have more advertisements…. I saw one for an Opera the first day I arrived in Strasbourg.  I am not much of an Opera guy… but if this publicity is anything close to the actual opera I really want to see it.

WPD France 04
I wonder if severed head “kissing” causes this opera to receive a Mature Audience rating

This was not the only “gore” based advertisement.  I saw another and at first I thought it had been “vandalized”… As I looked closer I realized that it had not been… it was designed this way.  (oh those edgy French)

WPD France 05

Kind of gross huh…

WPD France 06

Speaking of gross…  This is the toilet paper at my mother in laws house.   The “Soft & Saugstark” made me wonder… what is “saugstark”?   I decided to “google translate” this…

WPD France 07

I had assumed that “saugstark”  was German… but google tells me that it is Norwegian for “Juicy”.   I was using “SOFT and JUICY” toilet paper…  hmm   Gross.

Boy… I know this is random… and it is only going to get worse…

WPD France 08
This sign makes me laugh… “French but wild”…  Made me think of a new coffee table book title… “Where the wild things are… France”
WPD France 09
I drove by this tree in a small village… I thought it was paint at first… but it is actually wrapped in some kind of fabric
WPD France 10
Sam took this one for me…   Maybe just a bit too much detail?… I think I  we all get the idea…   the yellow part is not needed.
WPD France 11
In walking I noticed these ridged tiles every where… finally figured out they were for the blind… they show… (by texture) where to cross the street  and the nearest one shows where to catch the bus
WPD France 12
Do you every wonder where “delinquent” light poles hang out?
WPD France 13
SDF means “Homeless”… and this was on the front of a store.  Not sure I understand exactly what this all means… lots of “X”s… but the two that aren’t…  what do they mean… You can hug and charge batteries in their store?
WPD France 14
Bartholdi’s home town… Colmar.   Strange to see a model of the statue of liberty in the middle of the road.
WPD France 15
hmmm…. is this bad? or am I a bad person because I think it looks cool?
WPD France 16
Sometimes I wished I didn’t speak/read French… I would have assumed that this was a sign that didn’t allow mimes… or invisible walls constructed by mimes
WPD France 17
Ya… I can handle anger… but “rage’ scares me…
WPD France 18
This was in the front door of a store… I am not sure what it is suppose to do or be….there is something oddly suspicious about this fake dog
WPD France 19
Here is a frozen yogurt store… pretty cute… except the odd milk wavy thing in the middle…
WPD France 20
Here is a product called “eat me”…   do you think it is food?  Sure would be a horrible name if it was hand soap or worse rat poison!
WPD France 21
Everyone to the ice skating rink!   Babies included… Boy are they “customer greedy”… anything for a dollar… (don’t worry baby heads are soft… nothing bad can happen)
WPD France 22
This is a “PSYCHOGENEALOGISTE” office… I had never heard of this before.   I asked Isabelle if you went there and a “PSYCHIC” told you about your ancestors.   She says this was a “PSYCHAITRIST” who tells you which ancestor you can blame for all of your mental illnesses… (not sure which is worse)

This is all for France… Hope there was at least one picture that made you smile!

My new “Brony” Office

What happens when you leave your work for three weeks?

hmm…

Your office becomes a tribute to my little ponies and well you become 20% cooler. (a “Brony” thing… and I am embarrassed to admit that I know it)

brony 03

I got in early to work today… thinking I could get things done.  (Got home last night and I am on french time… so I went to work at 2:00 am).    This is what I found!…

Is ‘no’ an emotion because I feel it.
—  Limestone Pie

I thought I would share with you all of the hard work my co-workers accomplished while I was gone.

brony 01
Yes… that is a piñata and a mylar balloon… and we will come back to the “Whair” sign.   It is hard to see but even my white board was  edited… the pink writing… with “pony puns”

WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT ANGER? I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ANGER! I’M NOT UPSET! AND I’M NOT ANGRY! DO I LOOK ANGRY!?

—  Roxas
brony 04
Yes… so much to look at… so “hard” to be professional…
There is no wrong way to fantasize.
—  Princess Celestia from “Celestial Advice”
brony 02
They even changed out my pens and drinking glass…   and I was gifted a “Princess Celestia and Fluttershy” toy set… (I read that off the box… )… Please note the “hair” in the bag stating “for future ponies”….

Would a glow stick make you feel better?

—  Pinkie Pie, probably to Fluttershy
brony 05
Yes… I got a pony with real hair… actually I love this.   I am going to remove the tape and glue the hair on…   You can see behind it the “whair” hat I made

I think I got it… but just in case, tell me the whole thing again. I wasn’t listening.

—  Rainbow Dash

brony 06

Last of all back to the sign…   and yes that is human hair again.   What is “Whair”?  I made a wool hair hat…  (click this link if you are curious Weekend with Whair )… Honestly I do not know what to think about my new office decorations… it is awesome and creepy all at the same time.

What exactly is the function of a rubber duck?
—  Moondancer

I am left with one question… Whair is all of this hair coming from????

ponyon

I still have some final pictures from France I will be posting… I will try to do this when I catch up at work…

 

 

 

 

Strasbourg, France 2017

I would be amiss if I didn’t share some pictures of my wife’s home town… Strasbourg.   (Located in Alsace…  Just writing that makes me chuckle… pronounced “Al’s a**” ).  I am going to share some pictures taken while out walking.

Strasbourg 03.jpg

Thursday we dropped off the rental car and started our walk home.   On the way home we ended up at Flam’s.   Isabelle does not feel like we have really visited “Alsace” until we have eaten some “Tarte Flambe”.  This is one of the little “traditions” we have adopted since she left her home to come live with me.  (With that said… I did build a brick oven in our backyard so we could make these at home. They are delicious)

We all have our little “habitudes” when we get here. (Habitude→ Habit, Custom, Way) One of my “habitudes” is walking… lots of walking.  Because I wanted to spend time with the kids and wife…and because I think everyone should be like me…  I asked, begged, bribed and shamed the rest of the family into going out and walking with me.   (Isabelle wasn’t hard… the rest… well…)

Strasbourg 01

Here is yesterdays’ walking… 26 km (16 miles) over 4 and 1/2 hours.  If you look closely there is a McDonald’s stop.   This happened to be one of my bribes.  We invited Uncle Jack, Mami(Isabelle’s mother), Cousin Josh and Jarod and the children walked to and from McDonald’s which is about 6 km.

Strasbourg 02
Ben is missing… playing in the back with his “new friends”… while Isabelle was telling everyone how many calories they were eating.  (She is not a big fan of McDonalds)… I usually wont eat there either but ended up eating a hotdog.  (Didn’t know they had hotdogs at McDonalds and it wasn’t bad… well for McDonalds)

 

 

Strasbourg 06
Sam and Gwen in front of the colza (rapeseed) fields.

The two older children… Sam and Gwen…  decided to stay with me after McDonald’s and walk along the canal de la Bruche.  This is definitely one of my favorite walks.   Beautiful for miles and away from the noise and pollution of the city.   It is also a very easy walk since it is  paved and almost completely flat.

Strasbourg 04
I take a picture of this farm every year. (bet it is already in this blog…)  This is my dream home and it is right next to the canal trail… hmm someday.
Strasbourg 05
I only took this picture while walking on along the canal… and it is just after the canal.   (11 km later).   I think I was busy trying to get the kids to stop looking at their telephones.

The canal trail connects to a trail along the “Ill” river which leads into Strasbourg.   This is also a fantastic walk… and it leads to one of the more “picturesque” parts of Strasbourg.   This trail also happened at a fortunate time since the kids were starting to be bored with “nature” and were asking for something more “urban”… with pastries.  (Gwen doesn’t like McDonald’s and hadn’t eaten yet).

Strasbourg 07
Crossing this bridge (on the roof…) and taking pictures is also an every year tradition.  The feature and the following picture are taking from the top of this bridge.
Strasbourg 08
You can take some amazing photos from this view point… especially panoramic shots.  I have this picture in my bathroom… hmm  not sure why it is in my bathroom.
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Pont Couvert…   pretty awesome… Just after this bridge is Petit France, Strasbourg… One of the first things I saw when Isabelle brought me to her home town… I took the children on the very path she took me and of course… the kids didn’t care… jesh
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Entering Petit France… in front is a small bridge that swivels to let the boats pass.  I often stop and take a picture on this bridge.
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Here is a picture from that bridge.   I am looking the opposite way of the feature picture.
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Looking the opposite direction I can see the “locks” opening and letting a tourist boat through.  I once watched one of the gates get jammed by a log…  (when you have nothing to do… anything can be exciting)
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This is looking towards the bridge and you can see that it has swiveled open to let the tourist boat pass.
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Some of you may not know this but Johannes Gutenberg lived a good portion of his life in Strasbourg.
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Here is the cathedral of Strasbourg…  This was blown up in beginning part of one of the Sherlock Holmes film
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Another view of the cathedral and also one of the oldest buildings in Strasbourg the Maison Kammerzell.   Isabelle and I ate here with some close friends…   (Choucroute of course)

Sam and Gwen were real “troopers” for this walk. (saying that makes me feel so old)  I am not sure they enjoyed it like I did but they didn’t complain and Gwen got her “pain au chocolat”.

I will post one more time before I leave France.  I am starting to pack and getting that anxious feeling I always have just before I leave.  I wonder why leaving for home always makes me stressed…   I have been saving up some of my more strange (or if you know me typical) vacation pictures for the last post…  keep in touch I hope they don’t disappoint.