Monday, October 20, 2014

Best Birthday Present Ever?

I got this birthday present on Saturday from Swedish friends.  I can't remember being more excited receiving a birthday present. . . .maybe ever?  Borje Salming signed jersey.  My name.  Wow.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week in Ireland

Mel and I just spent a fantastic week in Ireland with good friends Ryan and Jody from Calgary.  Very good times had by all.  Thanks to Gaga and Nana Barb for watching the kids!

Right on arrival we got straight to it by scoring some highly-sought-after tickets to the sold out Hurling final at Croke Park between Tipperary and Kilkenny.  We had four of the 82,000 tickets to the event!!!  It was an amazing game and hurling is a great sport to watch.  It all seemed like madness to us with basically no rules that we could figure out, but the skill was incredible and the action was non-stop.  Highly recommended if you ever get the chance.

Sunday morning we made our way to Lahinch and enjoyed our first pints of Guinness as the sun set.

Monday morning we started walking towards Doolin.  As you can see from the photo above, Mel was wearing an air-cast on her left foot due to a hairline fracture sustained during a recent football match.  If you know Mel then you know a wee fracture isn't enough to slow her down, so she carried on and walked the full 30km to Doolin, including the first bit on the beach in Lahinch.  Note the footprints. . .

The Cliffs of Moher were absolutely stunning.

We were excited to get to Doolin and experience some traditional Irish music in the famous O'Connor's pub.  It didn't disappoint as we had a fantastic night with the best seats in the house to a group of very talented musicians.  The place was hopping for a Monday night.

The guy in the red sweater looked like he could be Bill Murray's cousin. . . .

The next morning we squeezed in a round of golf at the local pitch and putt.  Check out the Cliffs of Moher in the background.

Wednesday's hike from Fanore to Ballyvaughan was the best of the week.  This was up through "The Burren", a beautiful and barren landscape with a very well marked trail.

We had lots of time and the sun was shining, so zzzzzzzz

Some very nice scenery along the way.

Somebody tipped us to visit a wee pub in Ballyvaughan called O'Lochlainn's.  It is famous for its huge selection of Irish whiskey.  We 'enjoyed' some of that, plenty of Smithwicks and another great night of music.

Thursday morning we headed up to the Connemara for a nice drive around and a stop at the famous Kylemore Abbey.  Just look at the nice couple. . . .


After a fun night in Galway we headed back into Dublin on Friday and did the standard tour of the Guinness factory.  Too bad I hate the stuff - there was a lot there.  Here we learned how to pour one correctly.

And after a really good meal on Friday night all that was left for Saturday was a trip to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College.  Nice long room with lots of old books.

It was great week with lots of good food, friendly people, plenty of laughs and lucky weather.  Life is good.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Around the World Oregano (AKA I feel like an idiot)

I like oregano, especially on pizza and fresh tomatoes.  But I found it hard to find oregano here in Turkey.  We could easily find thyme, but they just aren't the same.  

So I asked Mel's mom to bring some when she came to visit this week.  At first I was so excited -   real oregano from Canada, and a whole giant container of it.  Yes!

But then I felt like a real idiot when I read the label on the back. . . . .

. . . .product of Turkey.  Doh!

Clearly I need to look harder to find the oregano here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More from Grandma W's visit

Mike didn't have that many photos of Grandma's visit so I wanted to post some more. . .
Everyone had a great time and we were able to share some special moments together. There was some hiking, swimming, boat tripping, exploring and sewing!

We sure miss you!!

Patiently waiting at the airport for Grandma to arrive.

Sewing project with Grandma

Nope it's not a beaver dam! It's how they make charcoal here in Turkey.

Hiking in Agva

Oscar with a little friend hiking his own mountain.

Our guide dog for the day. He followed us out of the village and stuck with us the whole day. Almost took him home. .

Can you see it?

Grandma and Libby in front of the many water fall pools.

Mike swimming in the pool while Grandma and Libby look on.

Isaköy- translates into english/turkish- Is a village!

Libby in the new mosque in Ortaköy with a view of the 1st bridge in the background.

Grandma giving Mike his 40th Birthday present early. When you come and visit you can experience. So clever!

On our Bosphorus Boat cruise for the day.

Mike and Grandma W watching the storm roll in.

Mike and his ladies!

Weee we love boats!

Hardship on the boat. Champagne!!

3rd Bridge construction. . .yowzers!

Oscar rescuing Mike.


My not-so-little man Oscar.

Libby hamming it up. .

Happy kiddos!!

This photo really gives you an idea of how big the third bridge is.


View of Beykoz from the water. Beautiful!

Adventure with Grandma to Kadiköy.

Libby and Grandma on the boat.

Sewing bags for the Canadian Table and International Day.

New park near our house with a suspended bridge hiking trail. Fun!

Grandma with her biggest fans.

What do you do on a hot day after a hike? Jump in the pool in your underwear!