Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clowning around and a turkey too!

Addison's class just finished up a circus unit at school.  All of the year 1 (our kindergarten) students dressed up like clowns, sang a couple of songs, and showed off some of their new skills.  There was juggling, tight rope walking, and pie throwing.  The assembly was very cute and I am so thankful I was able to be there to watch my sweet little girl.  

 Addie with some of her friends.
 The dancing and antics were priceless to see.  
 Thanksgiving is not a well known holiday here in Norway.  Addie did have Thursday and Friday off of school, but Jon still had to work.  Thursday night we had a small meal with one of Jon's coworkers that had a few Thanksgiving favorites, sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole.  On Friday we had an official appointment we had to go into the city for.  Here are Addie and Ben riding on the train.  They are getting to be very good travelers on public transportation here in Oslo.  We are amazed at how well Garrett does with moving sidewalks and escalators.  
 Friday night we were invited to a friend's house for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  It was a great way to celebrate the holiday.  Everyone brought a couple of things and we had quite a feast.  We also had a lot of kids.  This was just the big girls' table, 4 little girls all around 5 years old.  They all had at least 2 younger siblings.  It was chaos and it was awesome.  
 Our hosts supplied yummy turkey
 and great hospitality.
 All of the kids had a wonderful time playing with their friends.  
I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving wherever you celebrated.  We are thankful so many things this year. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Arcades and Gelato

When we prepared to go to Venice Jon and I talked about all of the amazing places we were going to take the kids.  We tried to think of child friendly activities that would also help them learn about and appreciate Venice.  At the end of the weekend the kids had discovered their favorite place in Venice, an arcade on the Lido island.  They loved the video games and ride on toys.  
 This was their absolute most favorite thing to do.
 Daddy got to enjoy playing a few video games too.
 Garrett wanted to shoot, but he couldn't reach.
 Addie driving a race car.
 Garrett doing some driving.
 Addie was having so much fun.

Gare Bear climbed up in the tree with the monkey.  
 Going around and around in circles.
 On the walk home Jon was such a trooper, after carrying Garrett in the back pack all day he was able to carry both boys back to the hotel.
 Back at the hotel we were all able to dig into our favorite treat, gelato!
Garrett really enjoyed the chocolate and strawberry gelato.

 Addie did too.  I didn't get a picture of Ben, but he liked it too.
You just never know what kids are going to enjoy.  You can plan an amazing trip and they end up liking something completely different.  As long as they had fun I am happy.  It will be a fun story to tell them when they get older.

More Venetian Fun

After my fun adventure in the photography tour we all met back up and I got to hear about the kids' adventures with Jon.  Then we caught the ferry at sunset to head back to Venice for dinner.

 This hedgehog mask was so cute.  My mom, Nannie, loves hedgehogs so we are always on the look out for these little cuties.
 Dinner not far from Rialto.  We ate outside because none of the tables inside the restaurants were big enough for our family.

A little flashback to Jon and I's first trip to Venice, August 2006.
My sweet girl enjoying her spaghetti.

 A family picture on the Rialto.  I love any picture with all 5 of us.
 All the kiddos ready for bed.  This was our the bed in the master bedroom, they were so cute cuddling together.
The next morning we were up bright and early to see the birds in Piazza San Marco.
 Another family picture!  The self timer is hard with kids.
Another flashback!
 You are not supposed to feed the birds, but Jon thought it would be fun to have the kids try it out.  We had a few crumbs that we used to attract the birds, it wasn't hard.
This was Jon 6 years ago.
 I took Jon and the kids to some of the places that Giovanni had showed us on the tour.  In the fish market we showed the kids all of the produce and fish.  This box of salmon was from Norge, or Noway!
 Crossing the grand canal on a traghetto.
 Little Gare Bear liked riding int he back pack, he was even able to take a nap back there so we could all keep moving.
 We walked around for most of the morning in Venice, this was one of my favorite shots of scenery.

Next on the agenda was a trip out to Murano.  We got to the island and had a little picnic lunch.
 The glass sculptures were so pretty.
 We got to watch a famous Murano glass blower at work.
 He made a pitcher that shattered from not being cooled properly and a horse.  It was amazing to watch the artist at work.  A lump of hot glass was pinched and spun into these shapes in just minutes.
 This collection of horses was sitting on the floor of the workshop.
 I love the colors and textures of this wall.
 Another glass sculpture.
 From Murano we headed out to Burano.  On the way we passed these amazing homes.

 On Burano the kids needed a drink.
Garrett wasn't quite as precise as Ben when he put his head under the faucet.
 Burano is a tiny little place with lots of character.
 The sunset was beautiful.

The colors were amazing too.
 The orange and blue made me think of the Gators.  Go Gators.
 Jon's seafood dinner included fried sardines. Yum.
 On the way back to the dock we saw these swans floating around.
Addie was very excited to see the swans.

These matching pajamas never get old.  I will be so sad when they outgrow them.
 Up bright and early Sunday morning.
 As we were heading to the airport I tried to take pictures of important places during our time here.
 This was the very unassuming entrance to our hotel.  You walk down this path and to the right to get to the main office.
This was the view from the terrace over our room.  That is the beach and the ocean just beyond the trees.  
 We walked from the hotel back into town with our suitcases.  Addie was determined to pull this suitcase.  When she put her purse across her shoulder and set off pulling her suitcase I was so proud.  She looked like a professional little traveler.
 This Billa was a great little grocery store.  It saved us a lot of time and money in the morning to have breakfast ready to eat.  Milk, cereal, yogurt and extra drinks were great to have. We did find out that the kids do not enjoy Italian apple juice, but we did find orange gatorade that everyone liked.
 As we were leaving Lido we saw this, an Italian garage sale.  I love garage sales and this opportunity to see what the people of Lido wanted to sell was very interesting.
 It was sponsored by a church and they had a couple of tables full of little treasures.  We stopped for a minute so I could check it out, but I couldn't find anything I was willing to carry through the airport for the rest of the day.
 We boarded the Alilaguna ferry to take us back to the airport.  We passed this old falling down building and Jon was in love.  He loves history so much.
 Garrett enjoyed the ride to the airport as long as he could stick his head out the window.
 You can see the airport in the distance, we even got to see a couple of airplanes take off.
 Finally back on land with a 7 minute walk ahead of us.  The kiddos did very well with the walk back to the airport.

We had a fantastic weekend in Venice, I can't imagine a better way to celebrate my 30th birthday.  I know I am a lucky girl to have such a generous husband.  It was a little more difficult to bring the kids with us, but it was so much fun to see them experience such a magical place for the first time.