Thursday, November 18, 2010


Part 1 of the two-part finale of the enormously popular Harry Potter films opens in theaters today.

Léah as Hermione, the female protagonist in the series:


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Iron Boy

Gabriel has never seen either of the “Iron Man” movies. But, the idea behind Iron Man is very appealing to a young boy - with enough smarts and resources, someone can build a technologically advanced suit of armour and become a superhero.

Earlier this year, Gabriel had stated that he wanted to be Iron Man for Halloween. I told him that we should build a suit rather than buy one and for the last few months, that has been our project together.

We used recycled plastic from milk and orange juice jugs for the panels of the armour, and the housing for the chest-mounted "uni-beam" was fabricated from a yogurt container. It took us weeks to collect enough materials for the suit.

We “sewed” the panels together using cable ties and used many coats of spray paint.

For the defining trait of Iron Man’s “uni-beam” light, we installed a camping headlamp in the chest piece running on rechargeable “AA” batteries. (This doubled as Gabriel’s flashlight for trick-or-treating.)

“Iron Gabriel” all suited-up and ready for some heroic candy gathering for Halloween:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Preparation

Last year, our kids weren’t able to fully celebrate Halloween in Costa Rica, so this year, they are making up for it by:

Decorating like crazy

Enjoying the Pumpkin Fests with activities like walking through fake graveyards.

We attended a Halloween party last weekend and the 3 kids wanted to dress up in scary costumes.



Very scary…

More cute than scary…

Scary, scary, and cute scary ready to go to the party.

The kids had a great time at the party. At one point in the night, the children wrapped each other up like mummies.

We are excited for Halloween this Sunday night!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park, a World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is a top family travel destination and a must see, at least once.

We started our Grand Canyon adventure last Spring on Route 66. The kids were excited to drive on this historic route which was introduced to their generation in the Disney/Pixar movie “Cars”.

It gets pretty cold that time of year at the Grand Canyon. We weren’t equipped with warm enough clothes so we had to buy some cheap hats and gloves at a dollar store.

(My cheap hat was the “Smurfiest” of all of the hats.)

I just love Léah’s cheeks in this picture.

The canyon offers so many lookouts with views that cannot be matched.

Now we need to schedule the time to visit the other six natural wonders of the world!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend, we made a trip to a pumpkin patch so that the kids could pick their own pumpkins. They were allowed to pick any pumpkin that they liked as long as they could carry it out of the patch themselves. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Naxos, Greece

Naxos is a mountainous island. The capital of the island, Hora, has a well-preserved Venetian castle and is full of beautiful whitewashed houses with small windows, surrounded by stone-paved narrow alleys.

The windmills on Naxos are not a trademark of the island like Mykonos but there are some nice ones. Their architecture is similar to the windmills found on the other islands of the Cyclades with a round shape, white colour, and a pointed roof.

Naxos has more than 98 kilometres of fine golden sandy beaches with superb crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Selling seashells by the seashore

We stayed at a family run studio apartment situated only a few minutes walk to the beach and the small city of Agios Prokopios. The apartment had a sea view and the hospitality was incredible – our hosts graciously brought us fresh eggs and vegetables for breakfast every day.

The most famous landmark of Greece's Naxos Island is the Portara, a massive 2,500-year-old marble doorway that leads nowhere.

The Portara is the entrance to an unfinished temple that faces directly toward Delos, Apollo's birthplace. For this reason most scholars believe it was dedicated to Apollo. Under Venetian and Turkish rule the temple was dismantled so its marble could be used to build a castle. The doorway, however, was so large and heavy it could not be used, so it remains standing alone among the ruins.

Naxos is a great island for families. Calm waters for young kids, and great restaurants. Highly recommended!