The Misadventures of Kai and Pixel »

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Winter has arrived

After several years of ignoring winter, Andreas and I decided that we had to get back on our skis again. For a few years, it was tough as Kai wasn’t interested and he was also too big to throw in a sled. This problem has now been solved: a week of skiing lessons over the Christmas holiday turned Kai into a winter-loving kid. We quickly scheduled our first official winter adventure in Lake Louise before he lost interest.

Kai and his friend Gonzalo took downhill skiing lessons at the Lake Louise Resort while Andreas and I got back into our cross-country groove. (We’d been training for the past month in Edmonton so that it wouldn’t completely kill us.)

The photos show Kai and Gonzalo’s progression: 360 degree turns at the end of the three days. Wha???  (They are now better downhill skiers than I am…) Andreas and I skied along the old highway 1a, across Lake Louise and up to Moraine Lake. We pretty proud of that last one because our old “round” bodies were able to ski uphill for 2.5 hours…

We also skated on Lake Louise — amazing lighting=some amazing photos.

Kai gave this weekend a 10/10. Gonzalo gave it 9.5/10 due to some issues with the blankets at the hostel. We agreed: it was that awesome. We have now booked two more trips to Lake Louise before the winter is up.

christiane hamannFebruary 2, 2016 - 2:55 pm

Hallo Ihr Lieben,

das sind ja tolle Winterbilder! Eis und Schnee in Mengen am Lake Louise! Wunderbar, dass Ihr alle Ski lauft und sogar Schlittschuh! Haben wir früher auch gemacht! Wie lange ward ihr dort? Kai sieht Klasse aus mit seinem Helm, sein Freund auch!

Ganz viel Spaß euch allen und “Ski heil!”


Turkey and Lego and Bison, Oh My!

The best part of living overseas is meeting other people who are living overseas. The biggest bonus: these people usually like to travel and will likely show up to visit (even if you live in a remote Northern Canadian city!)

This Thanksgiving, we were lucky to have a visit from our friend Thrifty Travel Mama and two of her boys. They ventured up from 35 degrees Arizona to see what Canadian Thanksgiving might be like. Edmonton pulled out all of the stops, showing off with two days of beautiful, warm fall weather. We had a great time showing them the old Edmonton street car, the river valley and our bison neighbours in Elk Island National Park. We even arranged to have a bison block our hiking path, which resulted in our having to jump a fence to get around him. When we had a few minutes off from all of this excitement, we ate turkey and the boys built forts and lost themselves in Lego worlds.

Hopefully, it was exciting and deceptively warm enough that they will come to visit again!



It’s August – Go North!

In August, we headed north to Hamburg and up to the North Sea coast. These places have a lot of significance for Andreas’ family. His mom’s family settled in Norden (near the North Sea) after the war, and Andreas and Conny have lots of good memories of visiting the area and their grandmother during their childhood. Andreas really wanted Kai to experience a North Sea vacation with lots of biking and sandy beaches: Mission accomplished!

We stayed in Norden in the apartment where Andreas’ grandmother used to live. Here we ate Fischbrötchen, flew kites, and had a look at all of the lighthouses and windmills with Conny, Karsten, Christiane and Fritz.

Almost every second day, we would head to one of the North Sea islands, all which have beautiful long sandy beaches. Cars are limited on these islands so we would either bring our bikes or walk, depending on what was allowed. You can see the beautiful beaches in our photos. K&K&J&J joined us for these adventures, and the three boys had a great time in the sand and in the muddy tidal flats.

No family trip to the North Sea is complete without a visit to Cuxhaven, where Andreas’ two aunts live. Andreas’ cousin Claudia was also there with her two children. We spend the day with them in Bremenhaven, exploring the tall ships that were docked in the harbour.

We topped off our trip north with a stop in Stuttgart on the way back to Freiburg. Our friends Dietmar and Alice have a garden in Stuttgart, and we toured around the Swabian Jura with them, looking at caves and castle ruins.

And that was a wrap on our summer in Germany!