Monday, May 28, 2018

Benjamin's swim meet at Crépy en Valois

Benjamin improved all his times at his meet this weekend!

He dropped:
  • 3 seconds on 50-meter freestyle
  • 4 seconds on 50-meter butterfly
  • 5 seconds on 50-meter breaststroke
  • 29 (!) seconds on 200-meter medley

He's made huge progress on his butterfly. 

And he swam the 1500-meter freestyle, for the first time, in 24 minutes, 35 seconds, the second half faster than the first half. (He actually swam 1575 meters, because the officials forgot to whistle for the final 50... oops...)

Monday, May 7, 2018

Gratuitous Gala Photo

She turns 7 this summer.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Observation Tower & Septmonts

While Lynne & Danny were visiting, we took them to the newly-reconstructed observation tower in the Retz forest. The original tower was an observation post for the French army during World War I. 

Noah, Benjamin, Danny, & Lynne at the top!

We can see our town!
Then we stopped on the forest road, and walked to the WWI British cemetery on the side of the departmental road. (Rather dangerous... but nowhere to park closer to it.) 

 Then we went on to the town of Septmonts, to visit its castle.
Septmonts church
Inside the castle

Part of the castle walls

Looking out from the castle

Insert moral about things growing anywhere...

Noah, me, and Benjamin at the top, top, top of the stairs (Benjamin is not THAT tall, he is on his tiptoes!)

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Dragon's Lair

When our friends the Tomaneks came to visit, we took them to see the Caverne du Dragon, or Dragon's Lair. This was a large limestone quarry that was used by both the Germans and the French during World War I, located right on the front lines, which are shown in the photo here. 

After the visit, we had a picnic at the ruins of the Vauclair Abbey nearby. Here is the old dovecote.

Since our last visit, they've added a medicinal herb garden. 

Then on our way back, we stopped at the chapel and WWI cemetery in Cerny-en-Laonnais.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Noah's third meet of the year

Noah's third swim meet this year was in St Quentin. 

Ready to go!

Noah came in 2nd in 50-meter breaststroke, 3rd in 50-meter freestyle, and improved all his times. He improved by 7 seconds on his 50-meter butterfly!