29 August 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods

One of our primary motivations for going on this trip was so that Lincoln could meet his great-grandmother,  so right after returning from Lille we hopped a train for Grenoble. Lincoln and his great-grandma were very pleased to meet one another. Lincoln especially liked the new cars she had waiting for him.

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That afternoon we went to a park to play for a while. The park runs a little train for kids, so Jonathan and Lincoln took a ride.


The next day Jonathan’s uncle, Patrick, took us to the centre ville of Grenoble. We visited the (outside of the) long-time home of Jonathan’s grand parents. Lincoln was doubly tempted into a boulangerie by his old love of stairs and his new love of French bread.


We have had some really bad luck with hats this summer. This is hat #3 and we almost lost it a couple of times in France. At least it only got wet this time.

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We visited a few playgrounds and Lincoln played his heart out.

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Some family shots. It’s too bad Chantal wasn’t there, or we could have had four generations.

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Even though I didn’t get the perfect picture of Lincoln and his great-grandma that I wanted, the trip was a success. The two of them really hit it off. She fed him cakes, gave him toys, and played with him, what’s not to like? We hope we can go back again soon so they can get to know each other even better.

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28 August 2010

Chez les Ch’tis

Next on the agenda was a weekend trip to our old stomping grounds. We stayed with our good friends, the Denués. Their two kids, Eliot and Eugenie, had changed so much and were so much fun to play with! In classic Lille style, it was pretty chilly and rained some while we were there. Oh well, c’est le nord.

Natacha planned such amazing meals for us while we were there. When we arrived we enjoyed a classic French lunch before heading out to feed some ducks and explore. Lincoln had never fed ducks before and he didn’t really get that the bread wasn’t for him to eat. Unfortunately, we got rained out before we got much further than feeding the ducks, so we went home and had a delicious dinner.


On Sunday we went to church in the morning and saw many of our old friends. It was so nice getting to catch up and to sing the hymns in French. I didn’t realize how much I liked that.

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After lunch at the Denués we headed to the zoo and the citadel. On our way from the cars we walked by this amazing log. Apparently a homeless man came upon this fallen tree a few years ago and started whittling it. He worked on it for about two years, and now there are carvings covering the entire thing. Children come to the citadel and play with their PlayMobile toys on the log and the mayor decided to have it preserved. It was amazing.

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Walking around the zoo. Natacha brought a package of Paille d’Or (which are sort of cookies, I guess) as a snack for the kids. Lincoln could not get enough.

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Like I said, Lincoln loves stairs! And, apparently, Charles needed a turn in the stroller.


Eliot played a lot of DS while we were there and Eugenie would just sit and watch. He’s lucky that she doesn’t demand a turn, but she’s still a little small for that. It was so funny to hear him say “Zut!” or “Ce n’est pas juste!” when Mario didn’t do what he wanted him to.

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On our last day in Lille we had lunch in the centre ville and then walked around for a while. Unfortunately a lot of shops were closed because almost everyone in France goes on vacation in August, but it was so fun just to be back in our French hometown. Thanks Natacha and Jean-Sébastian for such a fun weekend!

26 August 2010

The Eiffel Tower-A Partial Failure

How can someone take their child to Paris for the first time and not take their picture with the Eiffel Tower? Pure negligence if you ask me. We were right there, you can see the bottom of it, but did we get a nice picture of him smiling with the whole thing? Nope. I can’t believe it.


Here’s my feeble attempt at making it look like we got a picture of the whole thing. Maybe next time.

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Lincoln really enjoyed playing by the tower, though. As we walked down toward it he had to run his hand all along this metal fence thing. Even when the fence stopped and went into the ground, he followed it until the end. And anywhere with stairs is a playground to Lincoln.

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We did a little better at night. Here’s a few of the pictures we took.

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25 August 2010

Charles Goes to France

We had a little time after Jonathan finished his job this summer and before we could move into our new apartment in Ithaca, so we decided to spend a little time in France. It’s been a little more than two years since we moved back and we were really missing it. Lincoln also needed to meet his French relatives, so that gave us another great excuse to go.

Lincoln was an absolute prince on the plane. I was really nervous about the long flight, but it was overnight and he slept virtually the whole way.


Our first whole day in Paris, we went to the Basilique Saint-Denis. Although this is not one of Paris’ most famous churches and a bit out of the way, I would highly recommend visiting it. All of the kings of France are buried there. It was amazing.

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Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

The problem with visiting churches with a chatterbox little boy is that they have great acoustics. And there is no keeping Lincoln quiet when he decides he has something to say. As a result Jonathan and I saw the basilica in shifts.

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Lincoln, while playing outside, could still be heard throughout the basilica. I think our days of visiting churches are numbered.



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And here they are. Lincoln and Charles with their namesake, Charles Martel. He was sort of shoved back in a corner, but we found him and, after some maneuvering, we took his picture.


01 August 2010

Houston, we have a problem

Lincoln is becoming more and more of a climber and recently he’s been getting a lot better at it. Here he is climbing onto the coffee table. That boy cannot be left alone for one second.