Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vive Le (Tour de) France!

Before I get to the Tour - I thought I'd share a couple of photos from our (Ian and my) little "camping" trip. Ian has been wanting to sleep in the tent for a while, so I set up the tent in the back yard. Catherine made us some 'smores for the occasion, and we told some ghost stories. All in all, we both had a great time.

This isn't camping as I used to know it - check out the great view we had of our castle here in Thallictenberg. Ok, ok, ok. So I used a bit of Photoshop magic - but not much really. I actually took this the evening after the camping trip, and we didn't actually sleep in that precise spot. But it definitely was less than a 30 second walk away.

The next morning we took off for Belgium - the Tour de France was coming our way, and only about 2 hours or so away (by the main roads, which we didn't take). We were actually driving on our way to Spa, Belgium when we stumbled upon the actual race course for Stage 2. We stopped and set up shop. There was a fair bit of build-up prior to the bicyclists arriving - more cars, motorcycles, helicopters. Then the first (attack?) group went by and shortly after that the main (chase?) group. The actual main group was past us in less than 30 seconds. I'm sure Lance Armstrong was in there - but they were going so fast that there was no way to pick anyone out from the pack.

We then made our way to Spa and caught the peloton again (the chase pack had caught up to the attack pack) as it was finishing the stage for the day. You can see from the signs only two more kilometers to go (just under 200 for the day).

And no amount of image stabilization would make these guys look sharp - it was starting to rain, was darkish, and they were going too fast. Still it was fun. Now we can say we've seen Le Tour de France. One more thing off the list!



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

As you might imagine, the 4th of July doesn't hold much significance here in Germany - it's a pretty low key celebration here. Though it has been a Euro-centric sports extravaganza; what with the Germans whipping the Argentineans the other night, and the Tour de France starting yesterday.

Nothing much new here, but I did take the camera out yesterday to snap some photos of the kids. It was HOT (for Germany) and later in the evening, as things were just starting to cool down I took the kids outside to burn off a little steam. You can't tell from here, but Ian is sitting on his bicycle in this photo.

And one of Leah sitting on her bike.

Both Ian and Leah were pretty tired of pedaling in front of the house by the time I took this one.

After all the biking fun, just to be sure I had worn them out, I had both Ian and Leah run up and down the driveway. They had a good time racing each other, then holding hands on the way down, then holding hands on the way up, and every conceivable permutation thereafter.

They really play pretty well with each other. Catherine and I are so lucky!

I hope all is well out there with everyone. Enjoy your 4th!