Thursday, March 31, 2011

William's busy week

Monday: Grandpa, Omi, Mommy Helen went shopping. William had to come along.

Was it Tuesday when William had to eat lunch at a Panera place? He sat happily in his stroller enjoying pieces of sweet potato.

On Wednesday we noticed that it had rained so much that we could see ducks swimming from our back porch. That water is usually not there.

 But William came over anyway to play with Grandpa and Omi.

He really can sit now all by himself.

He learned very quickly that he can open and close the blue thing on his new toy.

What is more fun than playing peek-a-poo? See how the legs are going.

William loves avocado. His doctor said it is good for him.

In the evening we all met at Logan's for dinner. Mommy had brought the cover for the restaurant's highchair which Aunt Sarah had bought for William.

And then William had to try out the new car seat because it had to be adjusted. In ... and out ... and in ... and out. The patience a baby has to have.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

First Post about William

William Alexander is the son of our oldest daughter Helen and her husband Ben, born on May 14, 2010. He was born two months early but you would never know it today. He is a very sweet, happy, friendly baby, smiling most of the time . On the other hand he seems to know what he wants and lets you know.

They live in Nashville, Tennessee, so we don't see them so often. But of course there is the telephone and Skype etc. Because of our trip to Germany, India and Nepal, we saw them last at the end of January. We arrived on Friday at our little townhouse and Helen and William came over to see us. Helen is very good to come over and see us when we are in Nashville but we were so busy playing with him that I totally forgot to take pictures. It was a bit dark to take the video, but here it is anyway:

Saturday evening Ben, Helen and William had been invited by a nice couple, Janet and Roy, from Ben's side of the family. Since we were going to be in town, we were invited too. Also there was Matt (Ben's half brother) with wife Stacey and daughter Avery. It was a lovely evening.

Everybody enjoyed playing with William before dinner.

Roy was grilling hamburgers on his "Green Egg". 

The weather was not cooperating so James had to help.

Avery is offering sweet potatoes to William.

William learned that your mouth puckers when you lick lemon, even three times.

Janet (Matt's mom) and Roy were wonderful hosts.

The cousins.

And everybody enjoyed playing with William after dinner too.

India/Nepal 2011 - Day 19 - home via Delhi

 Bye-bye Kathmandu, Nepal.

Bye-bye Himalaya Mountains.

Hello, Delhi Airport.

I like the row of hand-sign sculptures.

I think this is very clever.

Hotel beauties.

Crowne Plaza Today, Gurgaon, for one night.

Gurgaon is the Millenium town with high rises they are very proud of.
The next day we had to be out of our room at 2 pm (late check-out), left our luggage with the bellman and tried to waste time till it was time to take a taxi at 9:30pm to the airport for a flight way past midnight.

So we took a walk. We were told that there was a market not far which we hoped would be something local and interesting. Well, it was a supermarket. But the walk was interesting nevertheless. 

The hotel is in the background of the camel's head.
 One of my favorite pictures ... with 'the arches' and the 'no parking zone'.
 Home Friday night! On Monday our delivery from India arrived. Look at that big crate!
Packing material excelsior ... perfect for making lacemaking pillows.

Got to assemble the base.

Perfect fit for the room.

Toasted with a Virginia bubbly.

India/Nepal 2011 - Day 18 - Kathmandu

This day's sightseeing tour starts by traveling to Chovar and its vast gorge. First we stop to visit the Jal Binayak Temple ... steps down.

Then we walk over the suspension bridge.
Legend has it that the god Manjushree created this gorge so he could use it to drain the water from the Kathmandu Valley when it was still a lake. So many stories!
Shouldn't this bolt be attached to something?
The new bridge right next to it.
We have a wonderful panoramic view from here ... if it wasn't for the awful stink out of the water underneath the suspension bridge which chased us away very fast.
You can see the temple from here too.

First we visit the village of Khokana.
Khokana, a traditional and tiny Newari village eight kilometers south of Kathmandu (on the outskirts of Patan), which has its own history and has retained its tradition and culture. It is a living museum and recalls medieval times. The farming community of Newars who live here are mostly dependent on agriculture and much of their daily activities take place outside of their dwellings.
Yes, ducks and dogs! Everywhere!
There are women sitting outside spinning, men crushing seeds, and other daily activities. The village is famous for its unusual mustard-oil harvesting process in which a heavy wooden beam is used to crush the mustard seeds in order to extract the oil. It is believed that a share system was used in the past here. This oil can be consumed, but it can also be used for therapeutic massage. This was also the first village, indeed the first habitation, to be electrified, before Kathmandu.

It was so peaceful walking through that little village early in the morning when it was crisp but sunny.

Men were sitting at the corner playing a board game.

Here James asked: Which one is the old goat?
This dog enjoyed being on the roof. Love the Coca-Cola sign. So doesn't fit in.

Walking by this shop. The women are working on a traditional wedding dress.

This is the neighboring village of Bungmati.

The communal waters! On the steps in the back ...

... a woman washing her hair.

A boy getting his therapeutic massage with the mustard-oil. He doesn't seem to like it very much though.

This lady was knitting. I showed her the continental way without waving your arms and doing the thread wrapping thing. She did it right away very well. It was such a friendly moment.
I am sure though she went back to her "old" ways as soon as I was gone.
The way to the temple.

The temple square.

weaving a floor mat.

Mustard-oil therapeutic massage.

This is were I bought two (identical) necklaces made from yak bones. One is for Sarah and the second I have used to make earrings to match the first necklace and the rest of the beads are going to be divider pins for lacemaking.

And on with the bus to the next stop.
A room full of spinners.

Making the skein.
Same place, different room. Carpet weaving.

And, of course, the sales room.
Our farewell dinner is in a very special place. The bus drives us to the Babar Mahal Revisited Restaurant in the Rana Palace. 
Lonely Planet review:
This unique complex of old Rana palace outbuildings, originally built in 1919, has been redeveloped to house a warren of chic clothes shops, designer galleries, handicraft shops and even a wine shop, as well as a couple of top-end restaurants and bars. It's aimed squarely at local expats and wealthy locals so prices are as high as the quality. It's southeast of the city near the Singh Durbar government offices.

Step inside Baithak restaurant within Babar Mahal Revisited and you’ll wonder whether you time traveled back to the 19th century, the beginning of Nepal’s Rana rule.  The restaurant is made up of a royal banquet hall, fit for a prince, walls lined with oil paintings of the Rana family, resplendent in thick velvet capes and decorated head dresses in rich reds and golds.  Long wooden tables are set with starched white napkins, crystal ware and shining silver utensils.  Stepping into Baithak is truly a magical experience, and that’s all before the food has arrived.(from the internet - I could not have said it better myself)

During the meal we were entertained by traditional dancing.