Thursday, June 9, 2016

Turkey Travels: Europe June -August 2016

Months before we left for our second Europe adventure I kept seeing turkeys. First siting, two ran through our back yard. Second, we had to stop our car to avoid running over a falmily of them. Then while visiting a friend (yes you April) a large Tom was spotted in the back of her yard. She had never seen one on her property before. Why turkeys? They live in Northern Indiana but we don't see them that often. A little animal research unveiled their spirit represents abundance, from the North Americans' perspective at least. Of course, they are a signature of Thanksgiving, a time of reconiging what the year has brought and a time of gathering and sharing all the goodness of the year. Abundance seems right.  What better spirit to send us off into another summer of travel. It is abundantly good for Colin and his research to move near his lab but in truth it is quite a treat for Calum, Hadley and I to spend the summer exploring new places and spending time with each other. This summer we are hoping to make it to Italy to see streets made of water and Roman coliseums. We are also planning on visiting London to see Ethne, Colin's mom. We are staying on the French/Swiss border again so each day is an adventure just leaving the apartment. We have fresh bread and produce half a block away.

So turkeys it is, our turkey travels. Strangely we even stopped in Turkey to change planes. A new stamp in the passport and the beginning of our adventure. We has a safe flight, and Turkish beans, roasted meats and mango desert on the plane. We are off to a nice start. Here are some pictures out our apartment windows. This home is located at the bace of the Mont Seleve (picture one) about 15 minutes form lake Geneva (picture two). Picture three is the boys watching Mindcraft videos their current favorite thing to watch. We will be here for the first month and then we are heading to a place right next to CERN. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What not to Blog About

Coming home from the local pool I was pulled over by the French police. Not one, not two but five. I wasn't the only one and yes I guess I was going 70 km in a 50 km area but really five police? No passport and not enough euros to pay the fine on the spot. What is an American to do? Thankfully one of the officers spoke English. She and the others were wearing full on police gear including guns and bullet proof vests. Sweat pored off the women's face. Had she been alone I think she would have sent me on her way but with the small army I needed to pay the price. 
"Ninty euros" she said, to make this be done."
"But I only have 20, we were at the pool, it's all I have, and my drivers license."
"Where are you staying" she asked
"Ok we keep your id and you go home to get the euros." (Not making this up.)
Now a sense of fear and relief comes over me. I can go get the cash. 90 euros? That's about100 us dollars. Well that sucks, but look they aren't arresting me. I should be happy. So I zipped home, actually I crawled home, no more zipping from now on, and got the cash. I had to borrow from Calum who still has his spending trip money but at least I had the cash. They said it had to be exact amount, could not make changes. (Again not making this up.)

Now back at the scene the police officer made me get out of my car. They couldn't understand my license, needed the license number and my address. They also wanted to know where I was born.
"Texas in the US I said."
Still wanted more info, "the city too."
Afterwords they had me sign the ticket, and hand over the cash and then they said with a kind of French smile, 
"Ok,it is all done".
Just glad they didn't yell at me.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

England: Beach in Margate

We took a day trip to Margate, a sea side town about an hour from where Colin's family lives. There were lots of tide pools and chalk rocks to play with and Hadley decided to go deep in the sand. There were a few people in the water but the water tempeture was cool. Colin visited this beach when he was young with his parents and sister.
Here is Hadlen in the sand.

Here is Calum in the tide pools.

England: Boat ride and Dover

Now we are in England getting ready to celebrate Ethne, Colin's mom, 80th birthday. We drove to a sea town in France called Calais. There has been some difficulties in this town due to a large group of people trying to get to England via the train tunnel and on the ships without passports. There were police everywhere as will as trucks backed up for miles due to the closure of the tunnels. We had no difficulties getting over by boat but we will see how the return trip goes. Here are some pictures of Dover the sea port we arrived in. This area is known for the chalk cliffs as well as Dover castle where lots of stritagic events took place in World War II . 

You can see the castle in the middle of the cliff. On clear days you can see France from the cliffs.


Hadley, Calum and I went to the Netherlands to see my collage friend Reena and her family. Rena and Rob took really good care of us and we had a great time with them. We went to a beach, visited their daughter Mira's school, rode bikes to a Van Gough exihibet and on some dykes and even spent a day in Amsterdam. All that and a wonderful barbecue with Robs sisters and family. So nice to see Reena again and if we make this summer trip again we will visit her and her family again!

Here is my boys and Mira, Reena's youngest daughter, at the beach.

Reena and me.

Beautiful park surrounding museum with Van Gough exhibit.

This park offered free bikes that you picked up on the outer edge and could ride all over the park.

Family barbecue!

Hadley feeding sheep we found on the dike bike ride.

This is called the seven bridges in Amsterdam and the kids we took an a relaxing boat ride!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Heat Wave

We have been having a heat wave in Europe. Yesterday it reached almost 100° and there was such a long line at the swimming pool we go to that we ended up heading out to the lake instead. There was a full moon no breeze and we were able to swim past 9 PM. These are pictures of Calum and I are swimming out to a little deck in the middle of the swim area. This part of the lake is about seven minutes from our house.

It was so nice that we're planning a picnic this evening and to hang out in the water like we did last night.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Evening Walks

The house we are staying in instilled in you is situated about half a block from a river. Many evenings we finished dinner and head out for a walk along the's a lovely walk and last night I brought my camera so that we could take pictures of this place. We even found a geocache without even using the iPhone. We just stumbled onto it and knew what it was. The boys bring their walking sticks each time we go and usually their pocket knives in case they want to do a little whittling along the way.

Walking sticks.

Taking a little break.

The geocache.

I would really like to keep the evening walks going even when we get back into South Bend. It's a really nice way to end the day.