August List

August 29, 2016

For Savoring: Your Life is a Poem
For Watching: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
For Birding:  How A Feeder Revived My Marriage
For Reading: Green Island
For Laughing: Flight of the Conchords Watch Penguins
For Playing: Machi Koro
For Listening: Tiffany Aching Disc World Audio Books 
For Examining: Art in Pond Scum
For Sampling: Taiwanese Junk Food

Canadian Postal Cheer

August 24, 2016

I went to Canada and fell in love with their mail boxes. Colorful and peppy, those cheerful depositories made me want to stuff them with encouraging letters and bills with pretty stamps. It's funny how traveling makes the mundane aspects of daily life so much more interesting in new places. Grocery stores in other countries are far more interesting to me than grocery stores at home. And now it turns out that mail boxes are, too.

And here's another thing those postal boxes made me think about. When I was a kid, sending postcards was a big part of our travel ritual. Selecting the perfect card for each recipient. Using scratchy motel pens to describe trip highlights to grandparents and cousins. Words and drawings spilling over the edges. A satisfying little stack of paper greetings ready to be mailed. I was actually pretty good about sending postcards all the way into my 20s and 30s. And I assumed that this travel ritual would continue with my own children. It seemed like a good way to push them to write while also maintaining contact with family many miles away. But as with most good intentions, it never really happens. Don't get me wrong. We keep trying. Or at least I keep trying. After careful deliberation, post cards always get purchased with specific recipients in mind and I always think that this will finally be the trip that kick starts a new desire to write personal notes and letters on a more regular basis. Sometimes they actually get written, but they rarely get sent and the reality is that I have a large box of postcards documenting most of our trips from the past sixteen years of marriage (any ideas on what to do with those?). And I can't even remember the last time we received one. To be honest, it is surprising that post cards are even still made and sold.  So here's to hoping that those cheerful Canadian boxes prompt a personal letter writing resurgence and may postcards continue to exist. 

Quebec City With Kids

August 23, 2016

Pack a soccer ball. Rent an apartment in the Old City. Eat poutine. Attend the Les Fetes de la Nouvelle France. Leave plenty of time for wandering and splashing in fountains. Eat crepes and chocolate croissants.Try to speak French. Get in line early for the spectacular (and free!) circus on Saturday nights. Stay for the fireworks over the St. Lawrence River. Stop to listen to street musicians. Fall asleep to the sound of horse drawn carriages tromping over cobblestone streets. Get up the next morning and repeat. 

Quebec City Charm

August 8, 2016

Quaint views, bursts of colorful flowers, and history oozing from her pores, Quebec City worked her magic on us and had me wishing we had several more days for wandering her cobblestone streets. We were lucky to be in town for the Les Fetes de la Nouvelle-France, but I also have to admit that some of our favorite moments were those that occurred away from the crowds.

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