Saturday, May 02, 2009

Puppet Shows

When we were in Paris 2 weeks ago I took Sophia & Alexandra to their first Marionette Theater in the Champs de Mars. A classic French childhood experience, but one that Sophia didn't want to go to when we lived in Paris (she was scared of the puppets). Having seen a couple of puppet shows at birthday parties, and other people houses, she was desperate to go. Seeing her enjoyment of the Theater, and then hearing her talk about it for days on weeks, Nana & Papa thought she might enjoy her own theater.

So we went to the amazing toy store in Avignon Le Bonhomme de Bois, and (after going crazy on tons of other toys and crayola markers/paints/etc ~ they don't sell Crayola in Munich) we brought the theater home for Sophia. All week in Provence she has been entertaining us in the evening with puppet shows, she received 3 puppets with the theater and then figured out that she could also play a puppet! We laughed thru most of them, and she had helpers some nights... I can see years of play, and very complicated plots ahead of us!

Ice Hockey Country (aka Switzerland)

We left the estate for Bern, Switzerland - figuring that Bern is a little over half way and that would give us an easier drive on Sunday. As we arrived at our hotel ( a brand new Holiday Inn that was clean, simple, and attached to a new mall complex that had an AMAZING water park in it), the front desk worker asked if we were there for the World Hockey Championship. Obviously, Troy's interest was immediately peaked. We said no, but asked who was playing. He thought it was US vs France that night. Interesting. Having been to the French Hockey league Championship game, we weren't too impressed by the level of play, but thought it might be a fun thing to see the US in action.
After Nana & Papa volunteered for babysitting duty, Troy found out that it wasn't US vs France, it was US vs RUSSIA!!! At that point there wasn't a question of if we were going to go or not. If there were tickets, we were there!

Swedish Team fans

We were 2 of 10 Americans at the game and the Russian fans were loud & crazy! Beers were good, the stadium was more like a barn that seated 7,000 people than a state of the art stadium (we are truly spoiled by our stadiums in the US), but it was fun, and the Russian team was amazing (with at least 5 NHL players). The poor US guys were just completely outplayed, out manned, out maneuvered. The 4-1 ending score was a gift, and the US goalie was actually named player of the game!

** End note: Russia beat Canada in the finals for the Championship, Sweden beat the US for 3rd place.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Alexandra's attempts to walk

This week Alexandra has really figured out how to walk assisted by one of us adults, and Sophia has been trying to get Alexandra to walk with her as well. There is some success in that, although two stubborn children trying to figure out which way to go is very frustrating to them, and entertaining for us.

But when she falls, it is quite the dramatic slow motion event!

Best to fall on grass...


I think that Bonnieux is now one our favorite little spots in the world. In the foothills of the Luberon wine region, it was a perfect size town with a great mix of a market (except it didn't have a butcher). The town is built down a hill, old church at the top, new church at the bottom, and the market takes over the twisted road going thru town. We had a great family lunch together with more regional food - love those salads with grilled veggies & hot Chevre! and then Troy & I drove back to have play time with the girls on the grounds while Mom, Dad, Brehan & Caro focused on more wine tasting! (they found some wineries open on the holiday!) A fantastic last day, the week went so fast ~ as vacations always do...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sophia's play time

Sophia is such a great age to travel with. More than once on the 4 day drive back & forth, nana & papa mentioned what a great traveler she is. Of course if you plug her in with a DVD player, iPod Videos, andreading games on her little playstation, you can get thru just about any drive - plus she loved being in the car with her Papa & Nana...

Once at the estate she took advantage of every tree, blade of grass, stairway to heaven, jumpoline, petanque game, and wand of bubbles to get all of her energy out. And we all loved every moment!

And then, she slept...

Playtime for Alexandra

Afternoons on the estate were full of attempts at the pool, attempting to jump on the trampoline, attempting to walk, and crawling along the grass. All parts of Alexandra's personality that is emerging ~ when she isn't stuck in her "playstation".

It is so amazing to have her here & part of our lives...

Attemps to Swim

The pool at the Moulin is not heated, a fact that may be preferred during the blazing hot summer when the nights are warm, but keeps it very cold right now when our nights are still quite cool. Sophia was begging to get into the water, so we kitted out the kids & brought them over to the pool.

Sophia was very brave & swam once down the pool, then just stuck her feet in after that.

Alexandra kept climbing in & out of the water, shes never been in a pool that wasn't at least 30c, so I think she was a little confused as to why the water was so cold.

Wine Tasting at Chateau Neuf de Pape

Wine tasting at Chateau Neuf de Pape is unreal. Walking down from the Chateau, to an actual cave built into the hillside where wine has been stored for hundreds of years. 7 wines to taste (including 2 whites - who would have guessed?!), surrounded by dusty bottles, private lockers (for people who want to store wine for years & don't trust themselves not to drink it if they brought it home), muddy floors from the constant dankness, and an old water hole.

A bit like seeing the Holy Grail and living the good life afterwards...