Trip to France 2009 – Normandy

We took the TGV back form Strasbourg to Paris, no “cacastrohpe” this time! Marjorie and Noah waited at Gare de l’Est with all the luggage while Roger walked to Gare du Nord to pick up our rental car. He came back an hour and half later with a 2-door car. Marjorie was perplexed “They did not have a 4-door car???” Roger: “Heuuuu, well…., they offered me a family car or a 2-door Audi A3, so of course I took the A3…”. Moral of the story: never let the man pick up the rental car by himself! It was our running joke every time we had to exert effort to get the car seat from the back.

So back to our sheeps as the French expression goes, we went to Marjorie’s Aunt’s in Paris to meet up with her cousins and aunt. Marjorie’s cousin Cedric, his wife Celine and son Malo were coming from Normandie and going to Alsace and we were doing just the opposite so we decided to meet up in Paris. We met Malo for the 1st time. He is a cutie, he will be 3 in September. Malo and Noah had a great time. Malo was singing songs and playing with Noah who relished in the attention. As Malo kept pointing out to us and his parents: “ This is my little cousin – insert lisp-“ as he was petting Noah. Too cute.

noahmeetsmalo

After having lunch with everyone on the Monday, we drove to Marjorie’s grandpa’s in Normandy where we spent the next ten days. We spent a lot of quality time with Noah’s great-grand-father and his girlfriend Fernande. Papy was very happy to meet Noah, he seemed to be in awe. We also visited with a number of cousins and other family members.

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Trip to France 2009 – Alsace

Our trip to Alsace started with a TGV ride from Paris to Strasbourg. It was the first time that Roger and Noah took the TGV and it was pretty cool. The beginning of the trip was a bit rock’n roll as Noah was hungry and a bit unhappy. People around us looked a bit worried… So as he ate, we heard a few diaper explosions and thought we probably had a “cacastrophe” on our hands. Did we ever. Mister had pooped up to his shoulder blades! As Mom sat him up to clean his poopy back, he threw up all over his mother’s lap… He thought it was real funny as he parents had beads of sweat coming down their foreheads. But quickly, everyone enjoyed themselves. Dad and Noah were really impressed at going 320 km/h. He was looking out the window with his huge eyes looking a bit perplexed.

In Strasbourg, Perrine, one of Marjorie’s best friends from childhood picked us up at the train station and we spent the next day a half visiting with her, her husband Loic and their daughter Charlotte. It was great to see them and especially to finally meet Charlotte (who was born on December 23rd). We saw them a couple more time during the week as Roger highjacked their kitchen for a nice meal one evening and they came over for a nice Alsacian meal cooked by Marjorie’s grandmother

perrine_et_cie

Noah and Charlotte had a great time hanging out.

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Trip to France 2009 – Paris

Depart pour la France – 2009

This summer, we have planned an 8-week trip to Europe where we will primarily be in France (with the exception of 3 days in London to visit some friends). This will obviously be Noah’s first trip to France and he is excited to visit his “Mother’s Land”.

Here is our world traveller with his passport:

noah passport

We took the plane the evening of July 13th and to his parent’s amazement and delight Noah did not make a sounds on the plane as he slept the whole flight except for a few giggles during landing!

noah plane

Tata Chantal came to pick us up at the airport and we spent he next few days in Paris with Chantal and cousin Florian. The jetlag was not too bad as Noah mostly slept on the plane (his parents not so much). We arrived in Paris at noon and then stayed up until 11:00 pm in order to get ourselves back on schedule. It was a bit hard, as we had skipped a whole night. However, for the most part, Noah started adjusting quite well.

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Noah’s Baptism

Noah got baptized on July 12, 2009. Auntie Denise and Cousin Justin came to visit from Alberta a few days before as Justin is Noah’s Godfather and Auntie Denise was standing in for cousin Kristan who is Noah’s Godmother. They enjoyed hanging out with Noah. We spent a day at the Jazz Festival; we all had a great time.

A lot of family and friends came for Noah to the Baptism. It was a very nice ceremony and the priest was really nice. Tata Sego read a nice passage and then on to the baptism part. We were a bit concerned because it was a baptism by immersion during which Noah was going to be dipped in water three times. We expected screaming but Noah was very happy smiling away at the priest, it was great!

baptism dip

baptism-final dip

After, we dressed Noah in his white toxido. It is a very special outfit as it was born by Noah’s Godfather Justin at his own baptism almost 20 years ago. All the boy cousins in the Laforce family who have been baptized were baptized in that outfit: Travis, Justin, Daniel, Kurtis, and Kyle. Denise and Justin looked very happy to be there for Noah.

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Visit from the Alberta Laforces

Uncle Gerry, Auntie Bernadine and cousins Laykin, Dana, and Jaycee came to visit. We met them in Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day, it was a lot of fun.

GerryFamilyFlag

We spent the day on Parliament Hill. Noah was proudly waving the Canadian flag. He had a blast.

Noah Flag

In Ottawa, we also went to visit our friends Curtis, Marnie, Evan and Nathan. They will come meet us in France in August. Nathan and Noah had a great time catching up.

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Noah’s Arrival

Hi,

Well, we usually use our blog to talk about our travelling adventures, but we have now embarked in the greatest adventure of our lives: parenthood! Our son Noah arrived 3 weeks early on March 25th 2009, weighing 5lb 13 oz and measuring 48cm. You will never guess where Roger was when Marjorie’s water broke, yep a Habs game! It has been a very exciting time, albeit tiring at times… Noah is a happy baby for the most part, of course he has his moments. He was pretty small but he has been a very good eater from the start and he is growing like a weed! For those who think “I don’t want to read about the baby, I want to see pictures” you can find plenty of pictures in our photo gallery, in the Noah Album. We may have gone overboard a little but you know how it is with first time parents!

Lima (April 4, 2008)

Our last morning in Peru :-(. We went for breakfast and again spent an hour talking to Angelo and getting a virtual tour of downtown Lima and its history. He gave us all kind of interesting details about all the places we were going to go visit. We then took a cab to Plaza de Armas in downtown Lima. The Plaza is a beautiful square with the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and other great buildings. When we arrived, the changing of the guard at the Government Palace was going on so we watched it for a while. It was really hot that day. After the changing of the guard, we went for a walk around the square and the area. We made our way towards Santo Domingo church but could not see much because it was during mass. Santo Domingo is home to the remains of Saint Rose of Lima, Saint Martin de Porres, who was the first black saint in the Americas, and San Jaun Masias. Since we couldn’t really visit it, we decided to go for lunch. We had some chicken Peruvian style, it was really good. After that, we made our way to the San Francisco church where we had a guided tour.  The tour was very interesting and gave us a lot of great information.  Built in 1674, the yellow church is considered the best example of the “Lima Baroque” style of architecture. The carved portal would later influence those on other churches, including the Iglesia de la Merced.  The central nave is known for its beautiful ceilings painted in a style called mudejar (a blend of Moorish and Spanish designs).

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Lima (April 3, 2008)

That morning, we woke up around 9:00 am and walked to our B&B for breakfast. Even though we were staying at a hotel two blocks away, we still had breakfast at our original B&B. After breakfast, we talked to Angelo the owner, who gave us some very useful information on the city and historical facts. We then headed out to walk around around Mirafores which is the neighborhood that we were staying in. We were headed towards the ruins of Huaca Pucllna and went through the Petit Thouars market on the way there where we spotted places to come back to for shopping. The Huaca Pucllana ruins are ruins of a 5th to 8th century AD ceremonial and administrative centre of pre-inca Lima culture. The pyramid of small adobe bricks is 23m high. We took a tour of the ruins which was very interesting. Our tour was given in french. On the tour was another couple. The girl was from France and the guy from Lima. We started talking with them during the tour and found them very nice. At the ruins, they also have a small zoo with Alpacas, lamas, guinea pigs, and the Peruvian hairless dog also called “hot dogs”. They are called this because their body radiates heat. Due to the dogs higher body temperature, the owners of these dogs used to use them to warm their beds before going to sleep. The visit to the ruins was very interesting. Once again, we saw a culture that was able to build structures that have survived numerous major earthquakes while buildings that are built today can’t. The only bad thing with the tour is that we were exposed in the sun and we ended up pretty sun burnt. It was a bit frustrating because we had been so careful up to now.

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Puerto Maldonado to Lima (April 2, 2008)

That morning at breakfast, we told Freddy that some money and our swiss army knives had been stolen. He seemed quite mortified and went to talk to the rest of the staff. We got out stuff ready and went down the rugged path one last time. Before we got in the truck, Freddy explained to us that a young man who had an accident with a brain injury, was working at the lodge for a few days as part of his rehabilitation and had been stealing. When we got back the office in town, Tatiana was very apologetic. She said they had searched the young man and found the money and the knives and gave them back to us. The priest running the shelter also came to offer him apology.  After we left the office, we went to the market to do a bit of shopping, went for ice cream and them made out way to the airport.

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Puerto Maldonado (April 1, 2008)

This morning, we were woken up in the early hours of the morning by the torrential rain. Just the sound of the rain was impressive, try to add thunder and lightning while you are in a little straw hut and you have the full effect. It was kind of cool. As a result of the rain,  the description of the day will be pretty quick. It rained most of the day and we just chilled… We read, slept a lot, of course went for breakfast and lunch. Roger and I watched the Motorcycle Diaries in bed that morning on our Itouch – what a great movie.  After lunch, the four of us played dice with Freddy.

In the afternoon, the rain stopped and Roger went on a jungle walk with Freddy.  He didn’t see many animals as it had just stopped raining but was impressed with how dense the forest was.   When he came back, Kevin and Roger went down to the pool while Melissa and Marjorie sat on our longchair on the deck chatting and appreciating the magnificent view of the jungle. That afternoon, Melissa realized she was missing money in her wallet. So we all decided to look and see if anyone else what missing anything. Kevin realized he was missing his swiss army knife and after a while Roger realized he was missing his too. It really sucked! We were the only guests there and we were in the middle of the jungle so it tends to limit the number of potential suspects… We decided to wait until breakfast the next morning to talk to Freddy about it and just enjoy our last night there.

That afternoon, we had a few drinks on the deck overlooking the jungle. We then went to the bar to have some Pisco Sours.  The Pisco Sours were great.  We ate another great supper and then played cards for a while (well until we had lights as we had electricity only from 5pm to 10pm.)

All around, despite that we didn’t get a chance to visit much of the jungle because of the rain, we enjoyed the day as it was the first day since the start of the trip where we really just hung out and relaxed.