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Friday, October 30, 2009

Orange!

K has been taking Karate for the past 6-7 months. He seems to like it most days. The class is held at 5-6 p.m. He is usually so tuckered out from all the days playing and activities, that I have to convince him, or shower him to give him enough energy to pull it off...
However, I just discovered that on Saturdays, there is a 9:30 a.m. class! We tried it last week, and he did well and was rearing to go!
On Monday, he had his first test, and he did pretty fine.
He graduated from white to orange.
Here is some of his testing photo's. This was not his whole class, just a few of the kids who wanted to get tested for promotion.
Dude, it was 1 1/2 hour long test. It was really hard to contain E, and keep him semi quiet for the whole thing...
I bet you that was harder than the test.
I should get some sort of belt, too...





See that broken board he is clutching? He chopped it in half with his deadly, stealthy, little Ninja hands!

We went to the local diner to celebrate.

He totally deserved a foot long, don't you think?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Montreal, The Biodome.

Well, when we learned about the existence of this place, we knew it would be a hit!
And of course, we loved it.
Here's a smattering:













After filling our noggins full of that goodness, we decided to head home!
We had a brilliant final day in Montreal. Canada was awesome, a road trip to remember. We'd like to see some other parts in the future for sure.
We have put it on our list!
So we meandered home. Trusty Mr. Tom Tom gave us a pleasant surprise.
A car ferry over Lake Champlain, from the upstate NY side over to the VT side!

Gotta love a good, surprise car ferry ride!
Anyway, that led us into Burlington, VT.
Which is MY kind of town.

Would love to explore VT some more as well.
So I hopped on my trusty phone which is outfitted with YELP.
We were in need of some good sustenance.

Yelp led us straight to Flatbread.
This place was outstanding, and let me tell ya about the beer....

The kids loved checking out the Distillery.

If ever in these parts, don't miss the opportunity.
And that wraps up our Canadian road trip!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Montreal!

Let's finish up Canada already. I am pretty good at getting side tracked.
See, I even side track myself. But you know, not all who wander are lost....
Anyway, this was Montreal!
We took a horse carriage ride around Old Montreal with an alcoholic, cheap beer drinking guide, with missing teeth. With his drink induced slurs, lisps from missing teeth, and french accent, we had no clue what he was saying. :>)

Also, at first when I asked what his horse's name was, he told me it was Monica Lewinsky! But then later he was calling her Marilyn Monroe....hmmm..
Here were some pretty old buildings,

I have no idea what they were because of aforementioned issues.
After the nice carriage ride, we got some ice cream,

wandered around,

and went back to the hotel to sleep!
The next morning we hit the Notre Dame Basillica.
You would not know from the outside, even though it was a nice structure,

What a beautiful Church it was on the inside! It was amazing.

BEHOLD!



We have never gone to church, so although my kids know lots about many religions, we don't claim any organized type.
M saw all the candles lit and wanted to light one herself. I gave her the background on why they were lit, and that she could proceed with that as she waned to.

Afterwards, she came and told me, that she asked God that she wanted him or her to put her in a good place in this world, so she could help whatever way she could in this life.
Pretty thoughtful for a 7 year old.

Interesting tidbit, this organ has about 7,000 pipes!

d







Just to give you a size reference, this Cathedral can seat 3,000 and hold an additional 1,500 standing.

It was magnificent. This reminded me of visiting the ancient mosques in Turkey, particularly, the Blue Mosque. There is just something so peaceful and calming about all the purple, blue, gold hues, the stained glass, and the smell of incense.
But, of course, we had some more adventuring to do, we left that place of beauty and caravanned to the Montreal Biodome!
Tomorrow....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wolves!


We took a bit of a ride to go to the Wolf Conservation center.
It was an amazing experience, and a sound I won't easily forget.
First we chatted about wolves in general.

Then the fun began. We howled,

and howled some more,
Then out from beyond the trees, the howls were returned!
Let me tell you about how eerily beautiful and wild, and soul stirring that noise was.
I teared up, but no one noticed.
I am a dork like that though.
We trekked up to where the four educational ambassador wolves were held, and howled some more.

They had over thirty wolves on site. Mostly Mexican and Red wolves. However, they were being kept from humans, as they were hopefully going to be reintroduced into the wild and needed to keep their fear of humans.
We were able to observe wolf pack behavior and ask a slew of wolf questions.

I had a ton, but needed to refrain to give the kids a chance to ask some.
Pesky kids...

It was an outstanding day in the woods with my kids, their friends, and some wolves.
But we weren't done yet.
Nope.
No siree, Bob.
We were going off to the big city zoo!
That's another post.
Maybe later.