Friday, September 26, 2008

Fall Soccer

What's going on while we're all at home most of the time?


And other stuff, but the soccer makes the best photos.

Tristan's playing his 3rd season for the U10 Terminators, and is having a great year, scoring at least one goal in every game so far.

And here are some pictures to prove it.

Move Ahead


Zoe's not playing this year, but she is participating in an after-school running program called "Girls on the Run," and really enjoying it. She'll be running a 5K race at the end of the fall.

In unrelated photography news, I'm saving my money for the soon-to-be-released Canon 50D, my current "good" camera (Sony DSC-H2) has a half-busted shutter release button, so the shutter lag is a full one second or longer, which makes shooting action an absolute pleasure, Zoe's broken Canon A570IS is in for warranty repair (!), and Tristan has been doing some fun work with his Lego minifigs recently. Check out his pictures on Tristan's Zooomr Account. Hopefully he hasn't snuck in any colorful obscenities that he's currently so fascinated with.

One of these days, I plan on posting about:
  • our early August weekend in Washington DC where we met our new nephew Zane Saia
  • our Roth Family Vacation to Black Rock, NC
  • the Ben Folds Five reunion concert

One of these days.
Friday, September 19, 2008

Paris. One of my favorite cities in the world

Our friends Ron and Lisa are going to Italy, France, and Spain for their 15th wedding anniversary next week, so I sent them my recommendations for Paris. Not to waste all that typing, I'll tell you what I told them. Here it is.

Paris. One of my favorite cities in the world. I've only been there twice, but I plan on returning as long as I'm able to. You'll have a wonderful time.

Before you go, read up! I like the Lonely Planet books a lot. Also spend some quality time with Google Earth. There's a lot of good information there, plus it's always helpful to be able to picture in your mind how the city is laid out, and generally where the big things are. Having a Metro map card to carry with you would be a good thing too. The metro is pretty straightforward and economical. You can probably get passes for the length of time you'll be in the city, plus just about everything is accessible via the Metro. The station entrances (like a lot of things in Paris) are very cool looking and worthy of photography.

When you first get to Paris, the best thing you can do is take a boat tour to get a feel for the layout of the city. The long, open-topped boats are called Bateaux Mouche, and can be located near Pont de l'Alma over the Seine. . . the river that divides the city. There are day and night rides, the latter often including dinner. Prices vary, but the daytime no-meal rides are fairly inexpensive.

The Seine river has two islands in it; Île de la Cité (where Notre Dame Cathedral is located) and Île Saint-Louis (ill san whee). When you visit Notre Dame Cathedral, (if you arrive via the Metro), you'll exit at the Cité station. Since the station is well below ground in the middle of a fairly small island, you'll notice that the walls are reinforced steel bolted into the dirt. It's like being inside a giant ship, and is very cool.

After you check out the cathedral, walk outside toward the rear of the church to the end of the island. There you'll see a pedestrian bridge over to the Île Saint-Louis. On this island they make a very special ice cream that is not sold anywhere else. It's called Berthillon, and is available at several places. Just look for the signs. It is awesome, and you must try it.
Brasserie Berthillon
There are also some cool creperies,
Creperie Le Sarrasin
small grocery stores, cafes, and a decent toy store if I remember correctly. Ile Saint Louis is my favorite place in Paris.

The other major tourist sites are also worthy of a visit; Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysses, Monmartre, Sacre Couer, etc. And of course, the Eiffel Tower. The tower is surrounded by parks, and you'll see a lot of old men out playing petanque, the French version of bacci. (they make for excellent photos too) When I first saw that at age 27, I decided that's how I want to spend my retirement; playing petanque under the Eiffel Tower. Going to the top of the tower is definitely worth it, but for the best views (and photos) of the tower itself, I recommend the Trocadero. . . a plaza a short distance (0.3 miles) northwest of the tower, across the Seine, and up a slight hill.

As far as food goes, you cannot go wrong in Paris. I first discovered panini there. The boulangeries (bakeries), pattiseries (pastry shops) and brasseries (taverns) are awesome, as are the restaurants, and bistros, cafes and groceries.
L'Alimentation, L'Ile St. Louis, Paris
Be sure to check out Panache and Liptonic. The first is a beer/lemonade combo, and the second is an alcoholic tea, I think. You buy them in cans like soda. A cool thing to do at night is take a walk on one of the quays on Île de la Cité. A lot of people like to picnic there, eat baguettes and cheese, drink wine, sing songs, smoke a little doobage, etc. It's very casual.

So that's the bulk of my Paris knowledge. I know you two will have a great time, and I look forward to seeing your pictures.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Another Beach Weekend

I know I said I'd talk about travel gear in my next post, but since I'm taking so long to do that, I figured I'd get this in before it got too stale.

We went down to the coast a few weekends ago for a typical beach weekend for us; leave work Friday, go to the beach Saturday and/or Sunday, drive home Sunday afternoon.. We ate at The Steak Barn in Kinston on the way down. No need to go back there a second time. It's the kind of place my mom would've liked; everyone in there was her age or older, and they had good pie. Other than that, it was very unimpressive. We'd passed this place a million times, and it's pretty cool looking on the outside, but the enchantment stops there. Oh well, now we know. Next time: The Beef and the Baron.

Saturday, the beach. Atlantic Beach still hasn't worked out their parking issues, so it was back to Fort Macon State Park again. I didn't bring anything valuable to lose in the surf this time.


Roll With It

Wave Action

And since Flickr now hosts videos, here is one:

Dinner was takeout from Sanitary Fish Market, which is always good.

Sunday the kids went fishing with Laura and Graham. They did a pretty good job with their Scooby-Doo and Barbie fishing rods and reals, catching some puppy drum in no time.

Jennifer and I drove back home while the kids stayed down at the coast for the week, doing some more fishing and discovering that they really like golf!
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