Collection of random summer photos

Every now & then I look through my photos on the computer & realize that I have lots of random photos that don’t fit into any one specific blog post, so here is a random assortment of pictures from the past month or so.

The wild flowers are amazing in May, especially the poppies!!

My little country girl all ready for her field trip to the farm!

Chocolate ice cream to celebrate Mother’s Day!

Audrey chose this outfit herself! She asked, “Does it match, mommy??”

One of our 10th graders had been asking to have a llama party since the beginning of freshman year (Random, I know!). As he was not returning for his junior year, I made special ‘llama’ cupcakes for our last class party!

So tired after school that he fell asleep right in the middle of eating his sandwich!!

Mommy & Ezra birthday date at McDonald’s – where else?!?!

Pretending to be a panda bear & eat the bamboo

Like father, like son (Micah always reads while he walks to work)!

The magic shorts on their last morning – they finally got a rip down the back seam! Considering he got them for his first birthday, I’d say we used them up!

“Take a picture of my drawing, Mommy!”

At our church baptism

It was extra special, because one of our 10th graders got baptized!

Making homemade lemonade

Ezra wrote a long message on the day his friends left town. This is only the first part of the message. Translation (for those who don’t read ‘Ezra’): No one come, except Daddy. Don’t come because,…” The message went on to say that he was sad, because his friends had gone. 

Getting her cast re-wrapped! She had a hard cast around the back and was simply wrapped around the front to keep her leg immobile, but still allowed her leg to breathe. 

Ezra drew his own sharks & whales!

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Family Vacation, Day 6

We started our last full day of vacation with another market, this time in Saint-Remy-en-Provence. Once again we found some fun treasures as well as some delicious food!!!

My find at the market: old French postcards!!!

Another delightful picnic lunch! We found this little courtyard park tucked away in the ruins of a convent in Courthezon in the suburbs of Orange.

The Roman Theater in Orange from the 1st century A.D. and one of only three that still has the back wall standing! It was really impressive & the acoustics are still really good! You can see them getting the stage ready for an upcoming production!

Taking a break after our climb to the top on a very hot day!

A statue of Caesar Augustus watches all the plays! 

The triumphal Arch in Orange

A good Roman city had to have a Theater & an Arch! 

We had a nice relaxing night at our place followed by a 10-hour drive home the next day! Sadly, we didn’t take a single picture on our way home! Given that we did little more than drive home with stops only for eating or gas, the kids did remarkably well.

The highlight from our trip home was Audrey coloring a picture and then insisting on giving it to the lady working at McDonald’s near Zaragoza when we stopped for dinner! Needless to say, the lady was a little confused, but happy!

It was a fun vacation & we really enjoyed the chance to explore Provence with our friends!

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Family Vacation, Day 5

This day started little earlier than the day before in order to reach one of the markets shortly after it opened.

The town of Gordes

Delicious cheeses!

Ezra loved smelling all the different kinds of soap!

Colorful pottery!

These is a house built & inhabited long ago by people in this region. It seemed like it would be cool in the summer & possibly warm in the winter, but without any windows, it was really dark!

Poor girl was so tuckered out from our morning at the market (& her nervousness of her leg getting bumped) that she fell asleep mid-snack still clutching her bag of chips!

Sénanque Abbey near Gordes

This funny vehicle was parked next to our car & we all assumed it was being driven by a young man, but thanks to Audrey’s extended nap I was there to see a couple in their 50’s come, pull themselves up into the cab & drive off! The fun things you get to see when you travel!!

Time for our market lunch: comté cheese, cherries, olives with provencal seasonings, olive tapenade, crusty bread, & a sausage that I would pay good money to have again that also had figs in it!! This was a lunch to rival all other picnic lunches!!

Audrey was happy about lunch!

Next on our sightseeing tour was Roman ruins in Vaison la Romaine

The church in Vaison la Romaine

More lavender as we continued our drive!

Our last stop was a Huguenot museum in Le Poet Laval as our friend is interested in their history. Micah, of course, was happy to go along! The wife & I sat in the car & knit! 

I forgot to take a picture of our dinner, but we enjoyed wonderful thin-crust pizzas on a quiet street in Grignan.

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Family Vacation, Day 4

A beautiful view on our way to Arles

Recognize this cafe??

It’s the cafe from Van Gogh’s painting, Cafe Terrace at Night!

The obelisk in one of the main squares

Ezra had a blast playing in the water!

St. Trophime’s Church

The cloisters of the church. I don’t know that I’ve seen a lot of cloisters with a second level or at least not one that they let tourists visit!

Time for an ice cream break!!! It was DELICIOUS!!

Our friend was excited about the english book exchange in the ice cream shop!

Roman baths

Ezra wanted to take pictures of the ‘wild animals’. Sadly, the only wild animals around were pigeons! 

Inside the Amphitheater

This particular amphitheater was bricked in & used as a walled city during the middle ages. Turrets were added for protection, which have not been removed, so we got to enjoy the view from the top!

A view of the Amphitheater – they think that there were 200 dwellings in here! You can also see one of the three turrets!

Handsome boy!

The Gallo-Roman Theater

The city of Arles still uses the theater & it seemed they were getting ready for a ballet recital!

This French girl was trying to talk to Ezra, so he did what any normal TCK would do – he pulled out his foreign language! Sadly, his Spanish didn’t end up helping him that much! 

Meanwhile…

Poor Micah was missing all the sights as he shuttled Audrey from an urgent care clinic to a radiologist clinic, back to the urgent care clinic, & finally to the hospital where she…

got a cast for her broken leg!!!!

Poor girl was trying to climb around on a merry-go-round (not the carousel type) at a park during lunch & hit her shin on a metal bar! She ended up with a hairline fracture & a nice big cast above her knee! No crutches, though, because she is too little. Instead she has to be carried everywhere! 

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Family Vacation, Day 3

We enjoyed a slow morning at our vacation rental & then made our way to the city of Avignon.

The kids had been seeing carousels around & so we decided to give them a treat & let them ride one! This one was a two-level one!! The kids headed straight for the top!

The “Palais des Papes” or Palace of the Popes – For almost 70 years there were 2 popes, one in Rome and one in Avignon. This palace was the residence of the French popes during those years.

The kids getting ready to walk around the Palace. Audrey, of course, was hoping to see a princess! We didn’t have the heart to tell her that princesses weren’t really supposed to be in this castle!

In the courtyard

Our whole family!

Our little princess

Ezra & Daddy – taken by our burgeoning 3-year old photographer

Our lunch at Chez Alya! We all decided to order the Lunch “Menu” (this means you get to choose from a very set small menu that the chef has chosen) & it was fantastic! I think our lunch was about 2 hours long from start to finish and it was wonderful!!!

Audrey even made friends with a little french girl!

The street where we ate is where they cloth dyers used to live & work – it was a beautiful street!

No meal is complete without ice-cream!! (The adult “menus” came with dessert, but the kids were more than happy to have ice cream cones a little later!)

Place du Palais (Main square in Avignon)

The Rhone River with the Pont d’Avignon in it

Ezra specifically asked me to take a picture of him in this tree!! Such a big boy these days!!

Such a cool girl!

Pont du Gard – a 2,000 year old Roman aqueduct. The most amazing thing to me is that it was built without mortar!! 

H&M 

One cool dude & one cute princess!

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Family Vacation, Day 2

All packed up & ready to drive the rest of the way to Provence!

Beautiful hills around our hotel

Breakfast in the car!

Even though he is away from Spain, this boy still loves his churros!

A beautiful house in the mountains of Andorra

Gorgeous hills!

Crossed into France, but looking back at the mountains in Andorra

Carcassonne!

Time for lunch!

Storming the castle gates!

Walking through the cute streets!

Checking out the view outside the castle walls

Walking along the castle walls

The princess in the castle (Audrey insisted on having her picture taken as a princess!)

Our very serious map-reader!

One last view of Carcassonne!

And yes, we’ve played the game, although we did not play it in Carcassonne, which would have been pretty fun!

France has lots of tolls & as we approached one, we realized that the lanes with which you could pay with a french card were all moving, but the ones where you had to pay with cash were nearly at a standstill. As we neared the front we discovered the reason: motorcycle bikers were blocking all the lanes, except for one, so everyone was having to funnel through one lane. We soon realized based on the police & the camera woman that we were experiencing a french protest! We’re still not sure what they were protesting, but they certainly made us a little later arriving at our vacation rental than we planned! However, we arrived only a few minutes before our friends from Germany, so it worked out perfectly! 

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I forgot to take pictures, so this is a picture from the website of the backyard of our vacation rental! It was a wonderful place & was just perfect for us!

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Family Vacation, Day 1

We picked up our kids as soon as their last day of school ended & headed out on our family vacation to PROVENCE!!! Our destination on our first night was Andorra, a tiny country located between Spain & France

It was fun to watch the landscape change as we got closer to the Pyrenees mountains & especially fun to add another country to our list!

Getting greener!!

We made it!!

A very fancy parking garage – looking out the window to see the street below!

The city of Andorra la Vella, the capital city

Everywhere we go our kids find these & love sitting on them!

A spa located in Andorra la Vella – so fancy!

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