Oliver Turns 4!

Oliver turned 4 years old today. We had a lovely birthday party for him at Point Pleasant Park.

Brittany organized a face painter and a balloon artist, both who were very talented (though the boys all just wanted ‘light savers’, probably the easiest thing in her repertoire). She also made a Hulk pinata which turned out to be too much of a match for the children and required a Quackensmash to open it up.

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Cottage life with Gabriel and Oliver

Our Kline Street Kin offered to let Brittany and I use their cottage this past weekend. Needless to say we jumped at the chance. It was the first time they boys have spent any real time in the woods (at least where they were old enough to enjoy it), and it was also the first time that Brittany spent with an outhouse (since I’ve known her).

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2013-12-05 Photo Slider

Arduino Powered igus DryLin Camera Slider

I enjoy the technology of photography as much as I enjoy the process and the results. I think this actually limits the quality of my photography because I don’t have as many brain cycles for thinking about the image.

This post shows some of the details of another example of this. Camera sliders are becoming very popular and much more common for hobbyist photographers like myself. There are lots of different sliders designs and products available online and at your local photography store. Some are as simple as a few pieces of pipe from the hardware store, others can be considerably more complex and made of carbon fiber or integrate other features.

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Paris and Rouen (3 of 51)

Versailles and Rouen

Here are some more photos taken as we stopped in at Versailles after renting a car and hitting the open road.

We were on our way to Rouen, where we didn’t have a hotel booked, in advance. We ended up staying in a reasonable hotel that happened to be right outside where we parked our car after getting to the city center.

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Paris (55 of 57)

Paris almost Seven Years Later

It his hard to believe, but it was almost seven years ago that Brittany and I went to Paris last and got engaged. Actually, if you look at the old photos and see how skinny I am, it’s not that hard to believe.

Paris was our second stop after Iceland (see Iceland Day One and Iceland Day Two). Paris and Iceland provide extreme contrasts between natural beauty and man made beauty, isolation and urban density, simple design and ornate.

One of the things that changed in the last seven years was the invention of Airbnb, which is where we booked our apartment located a few blocks away from the Eiffel Tower, in the 7th arrondissement. The apartment was compact, as was expected but was a very nice spot to travel the city from, and allowed us to be very comfortable during our stay.

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Iceland Day 2 (62 of 78)

Iceland Day Two

Our second day in Iceland involved a 3 hour ATV trip as well as several hours at the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. We had a bit of time to kill prior to our ATV tour and our guide suggested we try out a local coffee shop, Cafe Bryggjan. The coffee shop was filled with historic photos, books, and old timers. They were filming an Icelandic promotional video that featured the coffee shop. As a result, we were treated to complementary coffee and some informative conversation with the shop owner.

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Iceland Day 1 (17 of 26)

Iceland Day One

This is the first of a series of photo posts from our trip to Iceland, Paris, Rouen, Bruges, Amsterdam and Delft.

This entire trip came about as a day dream of heading off on a trip without the boys. As I write this, having arriving back in Halifax, the boys are causing absolute chaos in the house, Brittany is back to cooking lovely meals, and I’m back to thinking about work and the household to-do list (manly things, like building fences and garages).

We flew overnight from Halifax to Reykjavik on Iceland Air. A little groggy, we had a coffee and croissant in the airport as we waited Avis to open and give us the keys to our rental car. As we had our coffee we wrote a few messages home to let them know that we had arrived safely on the first leg of our trip. We also put together our plan for the day. It was too early for anything to be open so we decided to hit the road and tour the Golden Circle, a 300km tourist route close to Reykjavik.

Without enough time to tour other regions of Iceland, the Golden Circle was perfect for our short stay in Iceland because it got us out to see a variety of environments, historic sites and natural beauty. The roads were all but empty, but the main attractions of the route (like the big waterfalls and geysers) still had bus loads of visitors cycling through.

When we got back to town, we checked into our Hotel and walked across the street to a place that was featured on Yelp. We tried to hit the town, but instead made excuses about the nightlife only picking up on the weekend and instead made our plans for the next day which included a three hour ATV trip and the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

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Oliver’s 2nd Brithday Party

Brittany once again put together a wonderful Birthday party. This year the was face painting, carnival themed food (popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs) balloons and pony rides.

It was a beautiful sunny day and the grandparents had the boys the night before so Brittany and I could get everything setup the night before and that morning without the kids going nuts for all the party paraphernalia.

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Gabriel Turns Three!

Gabriel had his 3rd birthday party today with family and friends. The day was tremendously successful, with Brittany planning a really fun event, with a homemade cake, cupcakes and turtle chocolates, and treat bags for the little ones. Ray’s Reptiles provided the entertainment and education for the day, which was fun for both the adult and the kids.

Nana came down early to help with the baking and Oma made a piƱata for the kids to take turns at.

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Another Cape Breton Motorcyle Trip

Just like in the past:

I’m getting ready to head out on another annual motorcycle trip around the Cabot Trail. This year I’m traveling lighter than before, taking my smaller Givi hard bags. In some trips in the past we have camped along the way. This year we are opting to drive up to Little Narrows on Friday, do a full day of Cabot Trail riding on Saturday and then back home on Sunday.

In recent years, on each trip my family responsibilities have increased. This year more so then ever my family will be in my thoughts as I tour this beautiful province.