Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 5, 2013

We spent some time at the beach this morning before heading back home.  
It was scorching out there with the sun beating down on our heads, but Jed didn't seem to mind a bit.
How in the world do kids do that?? 

Although, I have to say, Jed doesn't look none too pleased about something in this pic...
think it's the weather?  :D

July 4, 2013 - Part 2

 It sure is hard to take a decent pic of a bird that won't stay still!  :)

 Old Orchard Beach Pier (naturally).

We were near enough to the area where the fireworks were being launched 
to take this fabulously blurry pic.  :)

Happy Independence Day!

July 4, 2013 - Part 1

We went to Old Orchard Beach for the 4th of July celebration.  It was hot out, and Jed was able to swim right up to the time the fireworks started.  I'm not sure who had more fun - him playing in the water, or us watching him.

  Do you see the loon in the middle of this picture??  :)

July 1, 2013

More beautiful summer flowers!

June 29, 2013

 Jed's been busy this summer, building with his Legos....

...and reading an old copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 
a gift from our Winthrop neighbor Mrs. White. 

June 22, 2013

We made our first trip this summer to Fast Eddie's in Winthrop.  We love this place because of the 50s atmosphere, and the fact that we can eat outside and play games while we wait for the food to arrive. 

This game was so fun...there were these tubular goals with several rows of horizontal tubes that you had to try to wrap the string balls around. 

We didn't make Jed ride this by himself, in case you're wondering.  :)

After dinner, we stopped by our old neighborhood to visit with the folks who are living in the house we were renting when we first moved to Maine.  They're the owners of the house, and though we were sorry to have to move when they decided to move into the house themselves (back in 2010), we still like them very much. :)  In fact, they are very much like Southerners...they actually seem to like drop-in company, and they make us feel right at home when we visit.  Afterwards we popped over to the beach behind the house to take a peek at our old stomping grounds.  Still beautiful.

June 19, 2013

Jed's friends Ben & Ryan came over today to play in the lake.  
I have no idea what was up with the pirate hat.  :)

One of the loons was flying around quite a bit, I'm assuming on a fishing expedition.

June 17, 2013

 Summer flowers!!

June 13, 2013

We spent three days this week in Auburn for a Classical Conversations Parent Practicum.  While I was learning the beauties of math (who knew?!), Jed was taking writing classes.  Lo and behold, he volunteered to read one of his stories the last day...quite an accomplishment for a kid who hates to write!  Ironically, I love to write, and he is the math whiz...but we're both hoping to strengthen our weaknesses.

June 10, 2013

Two of my favorite pieces of art.  This art quilt was a gift from our artist friend Jos in New Zealand.  I don't think she even knew we're huge bird lovers around here.  :)  My favorite bit, though, is the glass slide in the upper middle unexpected!
This little bit of heaven includes a painted canvas with multi-colored fibers sewn onto the surface.

June 5, 2013 - Part 5

Our last dinner in Quebec was spent at Creperie Le Petit Chateau, just a few steps from Le Chateau Frontenac and across the street from the beautiful building I took pictures of our first day here.  It would have been nice to dine al fresco but it was a bit nippy outside; however, we were sitting beside a wall of glass so our views were excellent.

This was the nicest restaurant of our visit...linen tablecloths (under the paper), elegant waiters and beautiful crepes!  They were different from the ones we had our first night...the cheese was tucked inside but the other ingredients sat on top, like my apples.  Topped with maple syrup, it was a delicious way to end our trip.  Rain was heading in so we decided to pack up and head home the next morning.  Adieu, mes amis!

June 5, 2013 - Part 4

We spent the rest of the day wandering around Lower Town and ran across this fountain that Jed loved because of the creatures posted both around the perimeter and the interior, all of which are spitting water at one another.  :)

At one point we stopped at a bench on Rue Dalhousie to look at the map and try to decide where to go next.  A couple of blocks later I realized I had left a shopping bag on the bench and I panicked.  Jed took off running to rescue my bag, with Tracy following at a progressively greater distance.  :D  I was so thrilled to see them return with the shopping bag in hand!  Jed was my hero that afternoon.

June 5, 2013 - Part 3

This is the Place-Royale (Royal Square), which was the center of New France's first permanent colony in the 1620s and served as its marketplace.  The bricks of the street are laid in a circular pattern.

Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Victories (Church of Our Lady of Victories) was built in 1688 and named for French naval victories over the British in 1690 and 1711.  It is the oldest stone church building in Quebec.

June 5, 2013 - Part 2

We stopped for lunch at Le Lapin Saute on Rue du Petit-Champlain in Lower Town.  This was one of the highlights to me.  We ate outside on a lovely terrace beside a small garden that bordered the street where a street musician was playing the fiddle.  It was absolutely heavenly.
Tracy and I shared an appetizer which included homemade lapin (rabbit) “rillettes” with carrots and onions confit.  Rillettes is a preparation of meat similar to pâté. Ours was actually more similar to pulled pork than pate, but it was delicious served on sliced French bread.  Confit is a generic term for various kinds of food that have been immersed in sugar water and preserved, and is a speciality of southwestern France.  The onions were sliced and the carrots were shredded, and they were both very sweet, like preserves.  A tin bowl of tiny pickles, similar to gherkins, was also included.  Our dessert - carrot cake, naturally.  :D

One thing we noticed about restaurants in Quebec was that they were generous to children.  Jed's meal of chicken tenders included an appetizer of cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon (there were three so we each had one and they were delicious - of course, just about anything wrapped in bacon is delicious), along with a small salad and these adorable rabbit cookies for dessert.

Even the check was charming, served in this glass cup with Merci etched around the rim.

June 5, 2013 - Part 1

We took off for Lower Town today, which we discovered is full of shops, and thus, full of people.  :)  This is Rue Sous-le-Fort, which ends at the St Lawrence River and begins at Rue Petit-Champlain, which is the main street through Lower Town.

The funiculaire is a glass-enclosed cable car which descends from the Terrasse Dufferin near the Chateau Frontenac down a steep slope to Lower Town, landing behind this building, Maison Louis Jolliet.  Built in 1683, it was home to Louis Jolliet, a Quebec-born explorer who was the first person of European parentage to explore the upper Mississippi River.  We didn't take the funiculaire down, preferring to take the steps winding through the streets, but by late afternoon we were too tired to even think about walking those steps back uphill and gladly paid our $2.25 to ride the cable car.  The view was excellent but my camera battery had died by then and I didn't get any pictures.

June 4, 2013 - Part 4

After a late dinner of French hamburgers (yes, apparently there is such a thing - mine was Le Tennessee, made with a Jack Daniels sauce and caramelized onions - woo-hoo!) and a game of chess at our table, we went back to the hotel and wandered around a bit, taking pictures of the lobby.  This is one of the chandeliers.

The main lobby; the revolving doors are to the right, with the concierge desk beyond them; in the foreground on the left is a hallway to a wing with shops, with the front desk further on to the left.

 A bit of art in one of the shop windows.

A letter chute beside the elevator; you drop your letter in and it goes downstairs to the postal department.  Not sure if this is still in use - the hotel dates back to the late 1800s.   We took the elevator to the 18th floor in search of windows to take some outside pictures.

The only window we could find that was operational opened inward and was so small I had to hold the camera outside the window and snap away without looking through the lens viewer.  Most of the pictures were too blurry to keep.  Even the ones I kept are not great, but I'm glad to have them nonetheless.

June 4, 2013 - Part 3

After leaving the Parc des Champs-de-Bataille, we wandered towards the Colline Parlementaire (Parliament Hill) area until we came across this beautiful fountain and discovered it was in front of the Hotel du Parlement (Parliament Building).