Pictures from Sweden (Part 2)

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A quick upload while waiting in Kastrup for our flight to Oslo (and then home). Note to self: the WiFi at CPH is very good for a free connection.

More pictures of the lake from Dan's cabin.
More pictures of the lake from Dan’s cabin.
Kronobergs slott (castle), Sweden.
Kronobergs slott (castle), Sweden.
Will on the walkway to Kronobergs slott near Växjö in Småland, Sweden. The ruins are located on an island in lake Helgasjön,  Will, Susanna and I went to the ruins while Ben went fishing with Dan.
Will on the walkway to Kronobergs slott near Växjö in Småland, Sweden. The ruins are located on an island in lake Helgasjön. Will, Susanna and I went to the ruins while Ben went fishing with Dan.

 

Pictures from Sweden (Part 1)

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On Friday, the boys and I took the train from Copenhagen to Alvesta, Sweden. We had to switch trains twice – our original train from Copenhagen was cancelled and we had to pass through an ID check at Kastrup Airport before crossing the border into Sweden. It was a little stressful to have to figure out where to go, but at least the people at the information desk spoke English.

In Copenhagen central station, we met a French family on their way to Stockholm that spoke little English and no Swedish. They stuck with us for the train swaps at Kastrup and again at Malmo.  Their daughter sat next to Will on the train ride from Copenhagen to Kastrup, thinking he was older. She was shocked when he said he was 13. She was 18. Of course, it embarrasses Will when I tell the story. But his new haircut makes him look older.

On Saturday, we had Isabella’s christening – Susanna posted pictures on Isabella’s website.

Sunday was an easy day. We cleaned up from the celebration and the boys took it easy.

Monday we went to Kosta and got fish pedicures and ate lunch. After lunch we took a guided tour of the glass blowing factory. In the evening, Susanna’s sister, Rebecka, took the train back to her home, and we headed out to Susanna’s Dad, Dan’s, cabin which is near Sävsjöström, Sweden on Alstern Lake. The boys and I were going to camp out for the night, but after dinner Will felt sick, so Will and I came home while Ben camped out with Dan.

This morning, Will, Susanna and I went back to the cabin and joined Ben and Dan for breakfast. Breakfast was followed by checking out Dan’s harvester, and Ben rode along while Dan took down a few trees. We spent this afternoon taking it easy and playing kubb while the boys took turns trying to figure out the antique (1960s) moped.

Susanna keeping warm next to the sauna at the cabin on the lake.
Susanna keeping warm next to the sauna at the cabin on the lake.
Enjoying the brisk Swedish evening on Alstern Lake, Sweden.
Enjoying the brisk Swedish evening on Alstern Lake, Sweden.
A low camera angle and short (8-inch) wall make Will look like a giant at Herråkra Church, Sweden
A low camera angle and short (8-inch) wall make Will look like a giant at
Herråkra Church, Sweden
Will and Ben watching the glass blowers work at Kosta, Sweden.
Will and Ben watching the glass blowers work at Kosta, Sweden.
Will taking alone time to carve points on sticks at the cabin on the lake.
Will taking alone time to carve points on sticks at the cabin on the lake.

Pictures from Sweden

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Susanna and her dad by his camp on the lake.
Susanna and her dad by his camp on the lake.
Susanna's sister, Sofia, setting up flowers at the church the day before her wedding.
Susanna’s sister, Sofia, setting up flowers at the church the day before her wedding.
Susanna, beautiful as always, ready for Sofia's wedding (and of course, 4 months pregnant).
Susanna, beautiful as always, ready for Sofia’s wedding (and of course, 4 months pregnant). Sofia had to fix Susanna’s hair the day before the wedding after declaring that the hair cut she got here before the trip looked like a 5-year-old had cut it. Rebecka added that she thought that Susanna had cut it herself. Both honest as only sisters can be.
Sweden_Grandparents
Hanging out with Susanna’s grandmothers (Ruth and Kerstin) in traditional dresses (Värendsdräkt) from their region in Sweden. Time for the reception and drinking to begin.

More Pictures from St. Louis

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I’ve been a little slow to finish posting the pictures from St. Louis. We have had a busy 10 days since we got back from our vacation. Now I need another vacation.

Benjamin exploring the roof of the City Museum. Yes, that is a bus hanging over the edge of the roof. It reminded me that I don't really like heights.
Benjamin exploring the roof of the City Museum. Yes, that is a bus hanging over the edge of the roof. It reminded me that I don’t really like heights.
Susanna and Benjamin resting before our tour of Cathedral Cavern.
Susanna and Benjamin resting before our tour of Cathedral Cavern.
Susanna enjoying the City Museum, St. Louis. Beautiful as always.
Susanna enjoying the City Museum, St. Louis. Beautiful as always.

Summer Trips – Pictures from St. Louis

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Susanna, the boys, and I are taking a little over a week to drive to St. Louis and visit family. We spent a couple of days in the Ozarks camping in a huge cabin (so not really camping). We spent two days floating on the rivers down there, and even toured a cave (Cathedral Cave). Today we went to the City Museum for the morning, and tonight we will watch fireworks in Webster Groves.  Here are some pictures from the trip so far:

Ben and Brady taking a break at the City Museum
Ben and Brady taking a break at the City Museum
Susanna and my dad at the entrance to the Cathedral Cave.
Susanna and my dad at the entrance to the Cathedral Cave.
Climbing at the City Museum, St. Louis.
Climbing at the City Museum, St. Louis.
The Curtis boys at the City Museum, St. Louis.
The Curtis boys at the City Museum, St. Louis.
Exploring the City Museum, St. Louis.
Exploring the City Museum, St. Louis.
Will and Ben in motion (as always). City Museum,St. Louis.
Will and Ben in motion (as always). City Museum,St. Louis.

Pictures of Cancun (Part 2)…

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More pictures from our family vacation to Cancun, Mexico last week. Just in because maybe someone isn’t sick of vacation pictures. Anyway, I’m almost done. Probably one more dump of pictures tomorrow night.

Will playing at the beach by our hotel (completely ignoring Susanna's requests to look up for the picture)
Will playing at the beach by our hotel and completely ignoring Susanna’s requests to look up for the picture.
Enjoying the beach by the hotel (picture by Benjamin)
Enjoying the beach by the hotel (picture by Benjamin).
Benjamin enjoying his drink by the beach (and not too happy to be the subject of the photograph)
Benjamin enjoying his drink by the beach (and not too happy to be the subject of the photograph).
On Tuesday, Will and I borrowed one of the resort's catamarans for a short sail. Despite many hours sailing our own sailboat, a water depth of maybe 10 feet and lifejackets, Will clung to the middle of the boat for the first 20 minutes sailing.
On Tuesday, Will and I borrowed one of the resort’s catamarans for a short sail. Despite many hours sailing our own sailboat, a water depth of maybe 20 feet, and life jackets, Will clung to the middle of the boat for most of the trip. He said it wasn’t the same without a cockpit to sit in.
Benjamin enjoying the swimming pool at the resort.
Benjamin enjoying the swimming pool at the resort.
Susanna: "Just one more picture, please."
Susanna: “Just one more picture, please.”
On Wednesday, Ben and I went on a snorkeling adventure for the morning. Here we are waiting to get underway out to the reef.
On Wednesday, Ben and I went on a snorkeling adventure for the morning. Here we are waiting to get underway out to the reef.
Benjamin enjoying the water at the reef on our snorkeling adventure on Wednesday.
Benjamin enjoying the water at the reef on our snorkeling adventure on Wednesday.
One of the may underwater sights that Ben and I saw on our snorkeling adventure.
One of the may underwater sights that Ben and I saw on our snorkeling adventure.
Benjamin swimming ahead of me at the reef.
Benjamin swimming ahead of me at the reef.
Benjamin enjoying a break after snorkeling, before our van ride back to the hotel. "Dad, can you get me another drink, please?"
Benjamin enjoying a break after snorkeling, before our van ride back to the hotel. “Dad, can you get me another drink, please?”

Pictures from Cancun (Part 1).

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We spent the past week in Cancun, Mexico for the boys’ spring break. We took tons of pictures, and I’m sure it will take days to sort through them all. But here is the first bunch.

Susanna enjoying the view from the room on the first night.
Susanna enjoying the view from our room at the Hotel Riu Caribe in Cancun Mexico on our first night.
Heading to dinner the first night. Of course Ben didn't want to wait for the picture
Heading to dinner the first night. Of course Ben didn’t want to wait for the picture
Enjoying the shade next to the pool.
Enjoying the shade next to the pool.
Picture of our hotel by Benjamin Curtis
Picture of our hotel (Riu Caribe) by Benjamin Curtis
Will hanging out by the pool.
Will hanging out by the pool.
Making sand castles in the white sand on the beach in Cancun.
Making sand castles in the white sand on the beach in Cancun.
Ben taking a break from snorkeling.
Ben taking a break from snorkeling.

 

Confluence and Ohiopyle Pennsylvania (Vacation Part 2)

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The boys waving to the train as it passes our house

We had a wonderful week in western PA.  I’m writing this from home – I forgot my adapter to download pictures from the camera – as well as a poor (sporadic) Internet connection prevented more posts from the trip.

The last two evenings after dark we played many rounds of “flashlight tag” with all the kids (both the young ones and the “grown up” ones).

The second day was just spent hanging around the house, playing in the water.  I took the boys and we put life-jackets on and floated down the river from the back of our house to the takeout above Ramcat Rapids.  It would have been fun to run the rapids, I’m just not sure we could have made it home from below the rapids easily.   We even saw two Northern Water Snakes while we were wading in the river.

I also headed into town to find some beer.  That was a challenge, the only package store in Confluence was several miles out of town, down a side road, attached to someone’s house.

The water playground above Ohiopyle Falls, PA

The third day was our big outing day.  We headed to Ohiopyle before lunch.  We spent an hour playing in the rapids above the falls.

Even Felix (the Rwandan graduate student that my dad and Barbara are sponsoring) swam the rapids.  He can’t swim, so he stayed in the shallows (there aren’t any lakes or big rivers near where he grew up in Rwanda).

We ate lunch at the Ohiopyle Bakery.  I would recommend the bakery for lunch to anyone visiting the town.  The prices were good, and the food was wonderful.  It was a short walk from where we had parked and played in the water.

After lunch most of the group wanted to go for a bike ride (Ben included).  Will, Felix and I stayed to play in the water.  We visited the natural waterslide  (and all went down the slide once – Will went more than once).  It was a bit rough, bouncing off the rocks on the way down, but fun.  I’m sure it would have been a lot faster if the water weren’t so low.   We even saw a huge snapping turtle in one of the natural pools in the stream.

After the slide, we went back to the rapids above the falls and spent the rest of the afternoon playing there until everyone else returned from the bike ride (Ben rode 6 miles).

The final night we walked over to the edge of the property to watch the bats fly out of the man-made bat houses on the property.  It was amazing to watch – I have never seen so many bats at once.  We stood about 20 feet from the bat house and watched them fly into the evening over our heads.

Yesterday we headed into Ohiopyle for breakfast and then drove home.

The natural water slide in Ohiopyle, PA
Will posing at the rapids above the falls in Ohiopyle, PA
Ben working his camera in Ohiopyle, PA

 

Pictures from London

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Susanna and I are enjoying our last minutes in London at the SAS Lounge in Heathrow Airport (it is a nice benefit of being a Star Alliance Gold member – I can use the lounges on international flights).  Next stop is Ottawa on Air Canada.

The last full day in London was a blast.  We went to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in the morning.  It was well worth the time spent there – lots of fun.  Susanna didn’t make the scream tunnel (too scary I think), but her mom, Charlotte, and I went through.  I thought it was funny (not too scary), but the girls in the line behind me were terrified (they were holding on to my coat for dear life the whole walk – and I didn’t even know them).

We had lunch at a hamburger place nearby, and then off to shopping (okay, not the whole day was fun),  We spent way too long at Primark shopping for clothes.  Dan got bored and went for a drink.  I eventually wandered outside and sat on the street to watch people walk by.

We returned home in the early afternoon.  Susanna and I went town to the hotel spa.  It was a little disappointing.  The steam room was nice,  but the hot tub wasn’t so hot (more of a warm tub).  That night we went to Cafe Rouge for Dan’s birthday dinner (after drinks, games and gifts in the hotel room).

This morning we were up early and took the underground to the airport.  I recommend getting an oyster card to get around if you go to London.  It is a prepaid card – you are charged the lowest rate for each trip you do.  No stressing about paper tickets.

As promised, pictures from the trip:

Centaur at the British Museum (this is for Will and Ben)
Ben's Cookies (Kingston High Street Station) - we never went it, but thought the name was worth a picture
View from our walk around Notting Hill
The required photo of Susanna in a phone booth.
And of course... Rebecka in a phone booth