Monday, August 19, 2013

Camping Part deux!

I was fooling around with my macro filters. It was fun to play around with the camera.

Its called improvising. Tony was catching up on Storm of Swords and we were both refueling on coffee and tea after the night before.

 The kids didn't need many toys this time around. I brought their crayons, plastic tools and a couple cars and they mostly explored in the ferns and searched for bugs.

They also thought that hiding behind the tent or under the table was fantastic.

Really curly fern. More camera time. 

We tried teapot with the kids, knowing that they wouldn't come close to finishing it. It was nice until everyone was exhausted. Tony had a great idea to piggy back children up hill, and gave me the heaviest one. Once I gave up, grumpy had a meltdown and sat in the middle of the trail and screamed. He had given up. I still made him walk down with me. He was not impressed. Sadie did really well for a 3 year old. She didn't whine hardly at all.

This is another meltdown before nap time. Sawing moss off trees was great until she stole the saw away from him. Nothing could make it better for a while, until chocolate was found. Then everyone forgot about that stupid plastic saw. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

we went camping! part 1

I think we're going to be a camping sort of family. Not like the ones who are all hardcore and go during any season (like winter), but more like the ones to try and go once a year in the summer. This is what Tony wants, and I like his plan. Last year we got camping gear for Christmas, so we obviously needed to test it out. Obviously.

The first day (I said DAY, so we'll get to NIGHT later) was great. We started setting up the tent and the kids were stoked. They mostly just ran around the campsite and looked at all the new plants and trees, and then they both wanted to help. Thankfully I packed their "tools" as fun camping toys. So Sadie went to work helping daddy hammer tent pegs, and later on she made her own BUG TENT which is the pile of rocks with a stick in the middle. Lucas was sawing plants with his toy saw and handing out tent pegs.

When we arrived it was overcast and cloudy, and then the thunderstorm rolled in. Sadie would yell THUNDER!!!! and Lucas would immediately find the nearest adult to cling to. We looked for lightening flashes and it thundered all evening before raining.

Nighttime was something else. The kids were SUPER excited to be sleeping in a tent. They each had a flashlight and a glow worm and refused to stay in their sleeping bags for longer than 2 minutes. They jumped and giggled and flashed their flashlights at each other. It was the best bedtime ever...until it became the worst bedtime ever.

They were both exhausted. Sadie was winding down, laying in her bed, singing to herself or glow worm or whatever. Lucas was past it. Tried taking the flash light away. Instant meltdown. Then he wanted to colour in the app on my Kobo. Then he refused to turn off the flash light. He got super screamy 15 minutes before the parks official "quiet time" and nothing we did could fix it. It was 11pm, and Lucas finally fell asleep, flashlight shining in his face, on top of his sleeping bag.

I was so wired, I didn't really sleep well. I felt half awake all night, and around 2-3 am I heard owls hooting at each other in the woods. I've never heard owls before, so it was a treat for me, even if I was the only one awake to hear them.

My fearless girl. I was not paying attention to her, and all I heard was HAPILLAR! I turned around and saw this little guy creeping up her arm, and her with a look of sheer glee. She loves her small creatures. She put him in the bug tent and they both watched it creep around in there.

 Kids both slept until 7:30, which was early given the wild night before. They loved drinking tea and eating outside. Sadie called every meal a PIC-ICK. She loves picnics.

 Another victim of the bug tent. She was overjoyed to find a snail. She called him NAIL and poked him in his antenna, and then Lucas followed suit.

 We found a trail that was right behind our campsite. It led to a GIANORMOUS douglas fir tree. Very cool. The kids liked that hike. It was short. Perfect for them. We found many banana slugs along the way, but thankfully they didn't touch them.

Sight seeing! Berlin Part 2

The Berliner Dom. The first church built was in 1465, and then was replaced a couple times, before settling with this one in 1894. It wasn't too far away from us, it was a nice walk. Such a beautiful church.

On my way back from the Berliner Dom, I saw circus folk handing out leaflets on their new shows. Very cool.

 Neptunbrunnen! Famous fountain of Neptune near our hotel next to St. Mary's church. The four ladies holding it up represent the four main rivers or Prussia.

The Red City Hall. It was surrounded by construction, which made me so sad, as its such an interesting building.  It was built in 1869, damaged heavily in WWII, then rebuilt between 1951-56. They now use it for the Senate. The construction surrounding it looked like and smelled like sewage that was put on pipes above ground. We found out later that it wasn't sewage, it was marsh water. Apparently Berlin is built on a marsh, so when they do any new construction, they have to suck water out from the ground first.

I'll have more pictures to come. My computer has been wonky and I have lacked patience to wrestle with it.

So the first official day I was in Berlin, I walked a LOT. It was hot, like 28 degrees. I stuck around the area near the hotel a bit. Tony and I didn't have cell phones, so I'd check back at the hotel around noon to see how he was doing over gmail chat. At our hotel there was bungee jumping, so I'd turn on German tv and listen to the screams of people jumping off the roof. In the evening Tony would return and we'd head out for dinner. Not sure if I have dinner pics from every one, but I've got a few.

Lately I've been distracted by other projects, so I've been slow on these blog posts. I've been meaning to make a headboard and 2 quilts, and other tiny projects. The list never ends. Second quilt is for me, its going to be one that will be quite dear to me as I incorporated materials that were my Grandmas. I'm making it a large queen sized quilt. My first queen sized quilt was too small for my bed. Our bed has a big pillow top mattress. Stupid mattress.

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Our trip to Berlin

 This was my excited nervous photo of us before we got some lunch. I was terrified of the thought that I was going to be flying. It was right as we stepped into the airport. I was so uptight I just wanted to get through security and be done with it. Luckily, security was a breeze, and we had a lot of time to think about my impending doom...ahem, I mean, fancy flight to Europe.

Blurrrry.....We had quick lunch at the airport, and then met up with Tony's coworker for drinks before the flight. That was nice. Took the edge off a bit. The first flight was the big long one, 9 hours or something fierce like that. Lufthansa was our airline, and they were very good. I have nothing to compare them to, but it was really nice. I should have taken a gravol and slept, but no, I was up the entire time. It makes for wicked awesome jet lag afterwards.  BTW Tony's poster tube did not have to be checked thankfully. It just fits the overhead compartment :)

We took another shorter flight to frankfurt. It was easier for me, knowing what to expect. Our seats weren't together for this one, but I read my book and shut my eyes on the takeoff. I hate takeoffs. They are like the first hill on the roller coaster. Never will I open my eyes.

We arrived! This was our hotel at Alexanderplatz. Its pretty much the centre of the city. Conveniently near all types of transit and food, and even a few touristy things. We got in around 2:30pm, did our best to stay awake, and going out for dinner helped. We ended up wandering around and found a nice brewery by the river.

I ordered the bratwurst, sauerkraut and potato salad. It was one of my favourite meals. Lacking in veggies though, and that happened a lot on this trip.

Tony had the sausage salad. It was good, but to me sausage salad sounded weird.

Tony's coworker Shaun had the pork shank, or pork knuckle. Also, strange sounding but delicious. They also had beer, and I had coke. I'm just not into beer people. I did taste it while out there though, so there's that.

So after dinner, we dragged our tired bodies back to the hotel and fell asleep promptly by 8pm. We were both awake at 3am ready to go. Jet lag is quite something. Thankfully we had expensive internet to browse and german tv to fall back asleep to.

Another batch of pictures to come. Next time there'll be ones of what I got to see while wandering Berlin.

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