Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

Paris sight-seeing: eiffel tower, musée Rodin, Sacre Cœur

After a down day inside, we ventured out via metro to see some things. I get turned around often, so lots of extra walking and tired kids.

I was excited to see this Van Gogh, titled Pére Tanguy, because I used the painting as inspiration for a beginning painting class project this past winter.

My paintings… (super zoomed in because I forgot to take a closer photo)

The original…

Xander was too tired to go back out later for dinner, so just Simon and I went out and did some shopping. My friends told me I needed to sample the fancy little yogurts in jars, so I stocked up. My fav is lemon. Yum!

Train to Paris

We said goodbye to Kinsey and England and took the train to Paris!

The boys were starting to get homesick and travel fatigue, which can be seen in the photos. Ha!

Our flat entrance, and teeny tiny elevator. The flat is in the Montmartre district and has been decorated with the modern, space saver units. It is pretty posh!

My first entrée in Paris was apparently a hit because the boys kept stealing my potatoes au gratin side dish, and dipping everything in my duck sauce.

Local junk food sampling is always a hit with kids.

Bike tour of london

We spent our entire first day in London in bed, watching Netflix. I guess we needed a down day!

Day two was a bike tour. We navigated the Underground and had a wonderful, albeit rainy, time riding fat tire cruisers through the parks and around the royal buildings.

The clock tower was covered in scaffolding for repairs.

The tour guide used Simon as a prop to describe the torture, dissembowling, and quartering of those accused of treason.

Simon was thrilled to be picked out of the crowd but later told me the guy was pulling at his arms a little rough and gave him a playful slap upside the back of his head at the end.

Simon stopped into a barber shop on the way back to our accommodations.

England trip, days 6-7.

Kinsey had a celebratory meal out with family and friends for her birthday.

Then we said goodbye to Oscar (staying home with dad) and took a train to London with Kinsey.

England trip days 4-5: Pub, Bolsover Castle, and Bakewell.

Tooling around in our little rollerskate rental car, we drove through the countryside and visited some sites. But, not before our second big breakfast at our new favorite pub: The Green room.

Simon not so happy with his bacon butty he ordered on the first outing, but he was much happier with the Full English on the second try.

Bolsover castle: the boys did a quest to find all the hidden coins and trivia questions, filled in the answers, and received a giant chocolate coin when we exited through the gift shop.

Bakewell: a quaint little villiage with shops, cafes and nature.

Driving in the UK and Broadsworth Estate

More stuff around Sheffield, car rental and trip to Broadsworth estate and garden.

I rented a car and Kinsey directed while I nervously drove on the opposite side of the rode, shifted with my left hand, and navigated the ins and outs of the roundabout system they have. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck…but did not cause an actual wreck. Whew!

Heeley City Farm in Sheffield, England

For our first full day in the UK, Kinsey took us to a local city animal park and lunch with her mom.

Trip to England and Paris

Originally, I was going to use some accumulated air miles to take a solo trip to visit a friend in the U.K, but flights were so cheap through Iceland I was able to add on two more!

Xander, Simon and I planned our adventure together. Isaac actually did not want to go(!!??), so deciding who would go wasn’t too difficult. Poor Lotus wanted to go but her travel stamina would be problematic for a single parent trip. 🙁 She is sad and we will plan a make-up adventure for just the two of us. Jason had just transferred to a new job, so the three of them stayed home for some quiet fun of their own.

Our first week was spent in Sheffield, staying with my friend Kinsey from school, and her 7yo son Oscar.

Grumpy faces because we were sat against the bathroom wall and could not recline, but not really grumpy…

Xander’s photo of the snowy peaks as we flew into Iceland…

Doctor Who filming took place right in front of her building and the tardis lands in the spot we are standing. I’m looking forward to spotting it in season 11!

We slept by a floor to ceiling window view of the city and enjoyed watching the traffic and lights below.

Simon turns 11

Simon had a nice day at home for his 11th birthday. A requested donut run, and then he got a new and improved duvet, gummie assortment package and a mini drone that has been buzzing around the house.

Xander is 14

Xander turned 14 and we had a wonderful day at home: homemade doughnuts, my ugly homemade cake, virtual reality gaming. 

Speaking of teenagers, my oldest (16) isn’t too keen on having his photo on the internet. I might need to lock this thing down in the near future, after 14 years. Wah!