Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A busy busy summer: Amelia's Birthday

Hard to believe that Amelia turned one already!  Solly and Leo had a great time at her party, and she is finally starting to keep up with the boys.

Solly thought that Amelia was ready to use his walker, which he has lent her until his baby sister needs it.  In return for his generosity, he demanded a few rides around the yard.  I was amazed at how strong Amelia is on her feet!  And Leo, of course, was playing with a ball.

Solly learned another new trick from Leo--climbing trees!

It's amazing to watch these kids grow up together.

A busy busy summer: Burning Beast!

In addition to travelling, we've been having a busy summer!

Last year, Peter and I went to "Burning Beast", a festival that advertises as a cross between Iron Chef and Burning Man. We noticed that lots of people brought kids to the event, so this year we thought we'd try to bring Solly.

Burning Beast is a fundraiser for an artist's collective where great Seattle chefs go to a farm north of the city to cook meat with few modern conveniences. Really, it's a big meatfest.

Oooooo, almost time to eat!

Solly used his cuteness to cut a very long line to get to the pork bellies, which made him a bit of a celebrity that day.

He definitely enjoyed the food, as did we.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Solly hitches a ride from Amelia

Phew! Now that I am done posting Paris photos and videos, I can start to catch up on the rest of summer. This little gem is from the first birthday party of little Amelia, the daughter of Luc and Melissa. We are lending them Solly's little wagon since she is learning to walk and it will be a while before the new baby is ready to use it. Solly was happy to lend it to Amelia... for a few free rides.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Solly goes round!

Here is the last video I'm planning to post from Paris. This pretty much sums up Solly's experience.

Now I can start working through all of the summer photos before the baby is born!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Having fun storming the castle

A longish video, including Pinky's tour of Castle Murol.

Solly being Solly

Working my way through the hours of video I shot in France. This is a collection of some of the cuter highlights, although I could easily have chosen 20 other clips!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Solly at La Villette

At the Children's Museum in the Museum of Science at La Villette.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Solly goes to Paris!

Clearly, the highlight of our summer was a trip to France with the whole Selkin clan in late June/early July.  As I mentioned, I posted a whole album of photos from the trip.  If you are interested enough to be on this blog, you will probably enjoy the album.  That said, I boiled it down to the highlights to actually post here.


Solly really understood that this was a special trip.  He got into the spirit by staying up late in restaurants, drinking his water from a wine glass, enjoying good bread and pastries in the morning, and trying on some traditional French headgear.

Our first full day was spent in the Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the best public parks for kids I've ever seen. It has a charming carousel that we rode a bunch of times, ponies, a classic puppet show, rental model sail boats, an amazing playground, even an apiary!

We did a little traditional sightseeing, as well.  Solly was particularly excited about the Eiffel Tower, which he is still talking about.

Then we took a boat ride to the Notre Dame cathedral.

The next day we split up, with the bigger kids going to the Louvre, while we hung out at the Champs Elysees and the Jardin des Tuileries.

After a few days in Paris, the gang piled into matching cars, and drove south to Clermont-Ferrand, the town the Selkins called home for a year while Carl was on sabbatical.  On the way, we stopped to see the impressive Cathedral at Chartres.

We also visited a castle at Murol.  I think Eli's kids really enjoyed this part.

Guess which brother has vertigo?

Our gang left Clermont a day early so we could get an extra day in Paris.  After a train ride that Solly particularly enjoyed, we visited the Centre Pompidou to see some modern art and an incredible view of the city.

On our last day, we went to La Villette, where they had a cool geodesic dome.

The children's museum there (in the Science Museum) included an area especially for small toddlers.  They had a kid's construction site (wait until you see the video of this!), and a water play area that kept Solly busy until they closed.

The last few nights we stayed at a hotel in the airport.  The view from our room fascinated Solly.  Toddler TV!

We enjoyed the sights, but obviously, the best part of visiting France was the food!  Solly particularly enjoyed eating lots of new things (and some old things he doesn't get to eat often).

We were shocked when he asked Peter to try some of his escargot, but even more shocked when after trying it, he picked up the little clips and starting digging in for more!

You could say that he was in it for the butter and garlic, except the next day he tried steamed periwinkles... and kept asking for more!

If you asked Solly about his trip, he'd talk about planes, trains, buses, taxis, "real" cars, boats, horses... he even rode many different vehicles and animals on many different carousels (and we tried them all).

But truly the best part was hanging out with the family.

Solly was a trooper, but ten days of late suppers and few formal naps took their toll.  Totally worth it!

Thanks, Carol and Carl, for a once-in-a-lifetime trip!