Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Ukrainian Wedding

Anne-Laure and I had a really good time at Olga and Stéphane's wedding in Kiev. The caviar was spread, the vodka flowed and the crowd danced. I haven't had time to process all the pictures, but here is one of my favorites of Olga leaving her parents home after Stéphane "bought" her (A Ukrainian tradition).

The rest of the trip went well, though Yalta was a little bit of a disappointment...though not as much as a disappointment as having my wallet lifted while riding the subway on the last day...bastards.

I'll post the other pictures once I've processed the RAW files.

до свидания (do svi-dan-niye)!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Third Time's the Charm

Theo turned three yesterday, though we celebrated his birthday on Sunday at my in-laws. All went well, except for a nasty bump he received while running to see me (and tripping and nailing his head on a chair).

He loved all of his presents, but his new bike was his favorite. He spent the afternoon riding it and hitting golf balls in the backyard.

It's hard to believe how much my life has changed since 11:21 pm on August 18, 2005. Theo, you're my pride and joy!

Anne-Laure and I are off to the Ukraine for a few days, but I'll post more pictures when I return.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Carolina in My Mind

Anne-Laure, Theo and I just came back from a two-week stint in the Carolinas. We thought the trip "over the pond" would be easier this time since we had booked the new Lyon-JFK flight. This was not to happen. First, the in-flight entertainment system wasn't working, which we were counting on to help occupy Theo during the nine-hour flight. Secondly, Theo didn't want to sleep and gave a 45-minute screaming session that can be best described as a cross between a beaten chimp and a Tom Waits song. He finally fell into a slumber just before the plane touched down...then we spent another hour on the runway.

After deboarding and clearing customs, we checked the flight status on the JFK-RDU run. It read "On Time," so we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Sam Adams Brew House (guess whose idea this was) since the flight wasn't for another two hours. After the meal, we rechecked the departures to find out that the RDU flight had been canceled. Therefore, I went to the gate to find out what we needed to do. Do you remember the scene in "Gone with the Wind" where Scarlett is assisting the wounded soldier, and as she looks up, the camera pulls back to show an infinity of bodies that needed to be cared for? This was basically the scene in the JFK terminal.

The madhouse of finding out our fate took three hours. The service representative originally could not get us a flight out of JFK until Tuesday evening (it was currently Sunday). Fortunately, she was able to book us on a flight from LaGuardia Monday evening and told us that the best solution was to leave our bags at the airport because it would take the baggage claim people hours to find it. Now I'm all for an adventure, but having no luggage, no sleep and a baby with no patience is not my idea of fun. After several phone calls, my parents were able to book us hotel in Manhattan (hey, if you're going to spend the day in NYC it ain't going to be at the airport), so we took a taxi into the Big Apple.

Our hotel was by Times Square and I ran out to pick up essentials while Anne-Laure dealt with the now completely exhausted Theo. We all slept well (except for Theo that woke up at 2:30 am) and rose early to explore the city that never sleeps. Anne-Laure and I know New York quite well, so we took Theo around to all the "fun" places in the immediate area: Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Trump Tower, FAO Schwartz and Central Park. He loved every bit. We met our good friend Joe Priest for lunch before heading to the airport.

Once we arrived in NC, things calmed down...except for my lung infection. I was already sick before we left, but I ran out of medicine on our arrival and was still coughing up multi-colored phlegm. Therefore, I went to the doctor, took an x-ray and received more medication (everything is fine now). The rest of the week in NC was calm. We mainly shopped and ran errands before we left for Myrtle Beach.

My parents bought a time share in MB a couple of years ago and my whole family was there this year. The weather was perfect and Theo had a blast playing with his cousins. Most of our time was either spent on the beach or in the pool. Highlights of the week included swimming, playing pétanque, the family portrait, good seafood and the Wii bowling contest (I’m still amazed at Hannah’s skill).

The trip back to Lyon was uneventful. Funny thing: we ran into our friends Sophie and Cyril in JFK. We were all of the same flight back, which was cool.

Anyway, I’m starting to ramble due to lack of sleep, so I’ll sign off. I’ll post more pictures later.