August 31, 2013

Last Days Living in NYC

Even though we returned from our major road trip adventures in mid May we continued to rent our apartment in NYC frequently during the summer, while we traveled in the northeast.  But our apartment on W 76th St was still our home, until we made the move to Westchester in September.  And at the time of these photos we didn't know, for sure, when or where (if at all) we would be moving.  Now looking at these photos (and finally posting them) in January, I'm a bit nostalgic for it all.

One of our last walks to church.
Playground at P.S. 87--our closest playground and a favorite!

I tell her she can't wear high heels until she's 15...this is her solution.
I'm always amazed by her creativity.

I want to frame this one.

Winding Down

Riding the ferry to Old Quebec
Our journey has come to an end?!  We are making plans for settling down; at least for a year, maybe two.  And I have an intense desire to write down everything that has happened.  As we end this chapter and begin a new one I fear I will forget all that has occurred these last few months.  I've been a diligent photojournalist, but so much more has happened that photos just can't quite capture.  My photos can capture where we went, what we did, and our overall experiences.  But how does a lens capture the character development that has occurred in this life story of mine.  How am I to capture the many life's lessons I learned?  How important is it that I adequately chronicle the unique challenges that we faced and overcame these last several months?  Can the words I write on the page be as vibrant and captivating as the photos I captured?

I hope to be able to write our experiences and our memories that are still mulling in our mental archives.  I would love for Brian share some of his thoughts in this space.  And hopefully even Isabella will take the opportunity to write some of her favorite parts and, perhaps, not so favorite parts of our journey.  I personally prefer to focus primarily on documenting the beautiful and good that occur in our lives.  But, I feel it is equally important to share some (not all) of the figurative speed bumps that we blundered over.  And what we have learned from these intense experiences.  Because if there has been no character development in my/our life story, what good is this story at all?

August 30, 2013

Quebec City!

Visiting Quebec City has been on my "to visit" list for several years.  It is incredibly charming, with much of the old 17th century buildings still intact.  Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America and it has held onto its roots.
This was on our drive to Quebec City.  We decided to take the scenic route, through the countryside along the St Lawrence River.  I was surprised at how different the architecture was; many of the roofs were metal.
Our hotel was right across the river from Old Quebec City.  The ferry ride was easy and lovely.
Walking along the city's fortified city wall.

Brian found a cafe with amazing croissants and hot chocolate.  And when I say "amazing" I mean ahhhh-mazing!
Walking the streets in Old Quebec City.

 And, amazingly enough this is the last post about our crazy traveling adventures.  It's actually a little bit difficult to wrapped them up here, in this manner.  Life is always an adventure, but these months  (February 23, 2013 until August 27, 2013) were absolutely unforgettable.  There are many times I want to sit down and write about all the things I learned (about travel, our country, and myself) but it all seems a bit overwhelming and perhaps, too personal, to put in this space.  It's also so much into the perfect words.  Maybe all that is mulling in my head and heart will be able to surface out onto paper (or hard drive) in a honest, eloquent way.  But until then, I'm grateful I am able to document all that we do through photos and share them with you!

And I had to throw this one in.  This is actually in Vermont, at a rest stop on our way back south.  But I love that he just laid there and relaxed like that.  For just a few minutes.  Oh, how I love that boy!

Mount Tremblant, Canada

Brian found a great deal on a large, comfortable hotel room in the mountains of Canada.  It was a ski resort called Mont Tremblant.  I felt like we were at Sundance, but everyone spoke French.  We stayed there a few days and enjoyed our time.  The views at the top of the mountain were incredible.

My relaxing morning tea on the balcony.  So dreamy!
We took this gondola ride up to the tippy top of the mountain a couple of times.
My girl loves picking wildflowers.  From Texas to Quebec.

The "Skyline Luge" was an awesome way to ride down the mountain.

Her expression is saying, "What?  There's a toy inside my chocolate?!"
Isn't that a dream come true for any child? :)
We got her a couple more Kinder eggs while in Canada, cause we are good parents like that. ;)
Amazing, right? 

August 28, 2013

Oh Canada!...Montreal

"With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!"
For our finale in our grand adventuring we decided to take a trip up to Canada the end of August.  I had never been to Montreal or Quebec City and had heard great things about both.  Brian and I were both feeling rather fatigued with travel and were enjoying New York City and Connecticut that we almost didn't go.  But we both knew it would be great if we could get ourselves motivated, so we did!  And, of course, we are so glad we did it!  
Previous to this trip I had only been to Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON (and the Canadian side of Niagara Falls) so traveling through Quebec, seeing much older parts of Canada and a lot of countryside was very different.  Not to mention everything was in French.  By the time we had reach Quebec City we really felt like we were in a completely foreign land (unlike the Canadian cities near the U.S. border...which don't really feel foreign at all).
We had three destinations in Quebec, so I'm going to do 3 different posts.  First up, Montreal!

It rained during half of our time in Montreal, which is always a bit of a downer.  But it was still warm so we did our best to get out and enjoy the city.

A favorite stop in Montreal was the Jean-Talon Market.  So much amazing, delicious, fresh food!  I dream of living near such a market someday.

Just enjoying the city...

The absolute highlight of our trip, and a night I hope to never forget, was our last night in Montreal.    It was a warm night, we had enjoyed a yummy dinner out.  We were all pretty tired, walking back to our hotel room.  And we happened upon musicians playing classical music in the square in front of the Notre Dame Basilica.  We danced for probably an hour.  Brian swinging the kids in the air, their sounds of glee and laughter were beautiful on that gorgeous night in Montreal.  It was perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

August 19, 2013

I Love Vermont

My love of Vermont is no secret.  It started when I was teen when I would see photos of century old, quaint farm houses nestled in the lush, green hills.  Those photos spoke to my soul.  Those rolling green hills make my heart sing.  Each time I visit that beautiful state my love grows even stronger.

The pole on the left is a record of snowfall accumulation various years.  Crazy, right?!
Cheese tasting...yummy!!!

I love small towns...especially when we are almost out of gas.

Sunset picnic on Lake Champlain in Burlington

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