Wednesday, July 2, 2014

a visit to Gringott's Wizarding Bank

dragon starts to rumble...

Day 2 on Diagon Alley, and Duncan I made it onto the Gringotts Ride (which involves a walk through the bank. Amazing! Text to follow later.  Here are some pictures.
you can feel the heat on the street....
Animatronic goblins... scary real...

Duncan submits to a selfie...

Open vault

Hogwarts Castle

 Hogwarts castle was... well.... amazing.  the wait lists can run up to 210 minutes.  yikes.  we went in early when the wait was about 20 minutes, and that was too short!   the castle is FULL of stuff, and i wanted the line to move slower so I could watch it all.  it was also hard to photograph because it was moodily dark:  things were visible, and the ambiance was excellent, but it just doesn't capture will without a flash (and there is nothing more irritating in a line than people using their flash.  ah well.  :-)

statues in the fireplace

staircase to dumbledore's office
stained glass window in the hall
The Pensive

Monday, April 14, 2014

flat david goes to fencing class in Victoria

During the visit, Duncan took Flat David to fencing. Duncan and his friends Felix and Peter belong to a fencing club and to twice a week. they thought David might want to give it a try.

David did great.  Indeed, he got a few hits on Peter.

There was a minor injury at the end of the bout when it came time to shake hands.

That is, there was loss of limb!   A bit terrifying for Peter, but nothing that a bit of minor surgery with tape couldn't fix!

the 'handshake of horror"

More of Flat David in Victoria - a trip to Cadboro Bay Beach

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Paris Day 2 - at the Louvre

Day 2 in Paris with Arta and Bonnie.  We had a fabulous day at the Louvre.  we started early and stayed late!  started off with Flat David (here, bonnie is just folding him up to carry him inside), and a morning of beautiful blue skies!

We decided that the strategy was to go small:  just pick a small area, and stay there.  so... today was greek and roman antiquity.  

Good strategy, since things went slow (ie. figuring out where to put our coats and bags, and get the audio guides (on a 3DS), and the figure out how to USE them (no small thing for three generationally challenged adults!)

headless Athena Parthanos?
We would do 1.5 hour, then stop for a snack or break, and to debrief.  

Things I loved?  

Lets see.  

1.  The room with the Venus de Milo.  Then i really loved the Caryatid Room.  

So many great sculptures in there.  Must say, hanging out with Duncan and the Percy Jackson series has really helped me get a better handle on the characters.  

Saw an Athena Parthenos with no head!  :-) (which is only fun if you are reading rick riordan books with your kids).

Hermaphroditus Sleeping (son of hermes and aphrodite)
2.  Hermaphroditis.  

Given that I got to hang out for the Transgender Workshop in Victoria a few weeks back, I particularly loved this statue! 

Read more  here! 

looks a bit like Alex?!
3.  We hung out with several heads of Marcus Aurelius.  

We also saw a statue of some dude who was marcus aurelius's good friend.  

Can't remember his name, but we all decided he looked like Alex!

4.  I kept being reminded 
a serious ceiling detail
that we were in a Palace.  

The ceilings were really lovely.

detail of heads of a hydra
5.  Enjoyed the room with all the Borghese stuff.  

Winged Samothrace was off visiting somewhere else, but there were other amazing sculptures to enjoy.  

I liked the one of a hydra getting its head cut off.  

Such simple pleasures!
Three tired women at the end of the day

Louis XIV off on a jaunt....

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Flat David comes to visit

Duncan and Flat David hanging out on the balcony

We received a large envelope in the mail.  We opened it up and discovered .... "Flat David"!

"Ice-cream cake?"
My nephew David Camps-Johnson lives in Salmon Arm.  His grade 3 class had been reading a story about a boy named Stanley, who, flattened by a falling blackboard, is able to mail himself around the world to visit different friends and have different adventures.  

The teacher decided they should make flattened versions of themselves, and send them off to explore!

Lucky us!  Flat David had arrived for a visit to Victoria! 

Add caption
His timing was exceptional, as he arrived in time to celebrate Duncan's 13th birthday on March 5!

taking time to smell the flowers with Kiwi
One thing flat David noticed was that, unlike most of Canada, Victoria was not covered with snow.  On the contrary, in March, Victoria is green! 

Well...not TOTALLY green.... there is also lots of yellow.  Yep, the daffodils are already growing in the backyard!

Stay tuned for more of the adventures of Flat David!

The road trip begins...

5:55am, pulling out of the driveway
The day finally arrived!  

After months of planning, for this blessed day, Steve, Duncan, Jim and Ben are off on a road trip:  4 men in the car, on their way to Disneyland, and then a wander back home via Hollywood, San Diego, San Francisco, etc.

...and away they go!

Alex and I (and Kiwi) will be holding the fort here in Victoria.  We will see if they manage to send home photos of their adventures!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Morning Sky in Victoria

You know those moments when you get the quick message from the universe to 'slow down and just look around for a moment,' and that 'life is good'? Got such a moment this morning while running through the kitchen trying to gather together scattered fragments for the day. The view out the window stopped me in my tracks, and then had me running for the camera. The picture can't do justice to the sweep of colours stained across the sky, but maybe it will help me remember the moment later today when the pace of things leaves me again feeling less than in control. Breathe, and look around.