Sunday, November 13, 2016

Jakub's Birthday Weekend

It's November 11th and while all of the world celebrates Veterans day, we here at home celebrate Jakub's birthday.  This year we spent two days doing just that.

The day starts off with breakfast in bed...

We then went on a super cool hike to the Moucherotte.

Birthday Man.

It was pretty coooold up there.
Pretty amazing views, winter wonderland overlooking Grenoble.

As we got higher there was heaps of snow.  Up to our knees and we met some skiers on the way.

It was much easier to go down than up.  The kids took turns sledding down.

In the evening we went to a Mexican restaurant, stuffed ourselves full and fell asleep. :)

The next day we had a small party at home so I prepped up some nice French food and a cake :))

I think it was a successful family celebration this year - happy birthday Jakub!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Canada Trip - PART I - VICTORIA

Here we are five years later since we left our Canadian home.  A three year European adventure turned to be a five year stay (and now even longer) in Grenoble, France; what we now call our second home (or third for Jakub and I).  

Jakub has been fortunate enough to visit Canada on several occasions since we have moved to France, but the children and I have not been there for five whole years.  It was time to go back to visit our family, friends and all those special places we missed so much.  I was also really craving the spaciousness and savage nature that we don't have over here in Europe.  

For the first part of our trip we stayed in Victoria for a few days.  It was challenging to try to visit all those places we used to go to (favorite beaches, restaurants, etc.) and see all of our friends and family.  We stayed at my mom's place, which was our base and my mom took great care of us by cooking and providing support when we were frantically packing for our road trips.  We also got to see my uncle and aunt and several of our close friends.  By the way, most of our friends have had children after we left Canada, so we got to meet many new (cute) faces!!!

On each part of the trip I took a picture of our little travel mascot "Pascal" to capture the location of our trip.  Enjoy.


The trip begins.....VICTORIA, BC.   Pascal chilling on some fine barnacles.

Kids with grandma at the Victoria harbor sea walk.

The young man and the sea.

Fleming beach Seagull.  We used to go climbing at this beach quite a bit....

Looking out towards the US mountains.

Another favorite beach.  Close to UVic and Queen Alexandra.  Almost no people here - so relaxing!

So much space, no people around, just wonderful.


We went on a one day trip to Botanical Beach, which is a few hours drive from Victoria along the coast.  The beach is well known for it's dramatic waves during the high tide, and stunning tidal pools full of marine life during low tide.  We were also quite lucky to sea a black bear a safe distance away.

Botanical beach trip with grandma.  Time to have lunch.

Bull Kelp (largest brown algae)

Typical West Coast rainforest foliage.

What botanical beach is well known for - tidal pools with tiny marine life.


So much fun exploring this place.

Salt and time can corrode even the strongest of chains.

More nifty seaweed.

We found some pretty cool sandstone features.

These pools were almost like mirrors.

Can you see the black bear??  Our first encounter with wildlife.  We also saw a sea otter scurrying along the beach.


One evening we got to hang out with Adam, Michelle, Bradley and Audrey.  They made a very delicious Canadian style BBQ for us, so we ate good food, chatted, played with the kids and had a very pleasant evening - thanks guys!

Mmmmmmm, Canadian BBQ, sooo goood.

Bradley - clever look on his face.  After dinner his moment came - "desert time" :D

Audrey, a very adventurous little girl.

Adam taking care of business.

Daddy's girl.

Bradley inherited some of Tommy's toys, so they were having a great time building some fancy car tracks.


We had another BBQ with Emma and her lovely family.   (Ian, Amelia and Gabi)  The girls were so full of energy I forgot what it was like when our kiddies were younger.   I was wondering if the house will stand while all of our 4 kids plus the neighbor's kids were chasing cats inside.  Even though we only had a few hours to catch up on our lives and bring up some of our fun memories together, it was wonderful to see everyone.  Thanks for having us!

Total mischief in her eyes ;)

Sitting down for a few seconds.

Somehow, Amelia was not able to hold still for the photo :)  (What a surprise)

And when she did hold still, she made a funny face.  How typical :))


I have a group of friends in Victoria that we used to meet up and meditate with.  We'd also hang out together over some nice food and talk about all sorts of interesting things.  And we still do keep in touch.  We went out for sushi and meditated of course!

Can't ever get enough of good sushi.

My friends :)
And that wraps up most of the Victoria activities.  It was great to be back and see everyone, and kind of sad and nostalgic because so many great memories flooded back.  I think it's very challenging to be a global child, because you end up getting swept around the world and landing somewhere else than where your roots are.  As I said, this is now my third "home" in France and it's not easy to try to resettle again.  But we're quite lucky because Grenoble is not such a bad place to be. 

Let's see what the future brings!