24 November 2011

A Little Nice Hockey

WE'VE BEEN GOING to most of the home ice hockey matches this fall, and the local team is doing very well. Armed with a new crop of Finns and Slovaks, Les Aigles de Nice are sitting tied for 2nd place in France's First Division. The local paper even gave some hockey love today. The story talks about the big increase in atendance at games (we can attest to that!) and Sylvain Roy, the guy mentioned in the headline, is the team captain and the coach of the Nice under-22 team. (Note: Jean-Bouin is the name of the home arena).

We've been spending a lot of time at the ice rink lately as I've mentioned before. Henry and Patrick have started the "Hockey School" sessions on Monday afternoons, and Henry had just been invited to play for the Nice under-9 team, something he is very excited about. His first "game" will be in a few weeks near Aix-en-Provence. Because the nearest sheet of ice is almost 100 km away, it looks like we'll be making a few road trips on Sunday's this winter.

Ready for practice!

03 November 2011

Tiring But Never Tired

LAST WEEK I returned from my 35th trip to Geneva in the past two years. Because I have finished all my coursework, I'm only going every few months now -- just to meet with my adviser to review my project and plan the next steps. With any luck, I'll only have 2 or 3 more trips before I finish the program.

While the trips themselves (both the travel and the work) can be tiring, I never get tired of this view. What a beautiful city:

I also never get tired of the lamb kebabs at Cafe Istanbul near Gare Cornavin -- but I didn't take a photo of that so you'll have to take my word for it. Oh, and the 4 Starbucks shops within walking distance of my hotel are a nice change of pace from the very average coffee I normally get near my house.

02 November 2011

This is NOT the Film Festival

ONE THING IS for certain: the G20 meetings that start in Cannes on Thursday should give all Hollywood-types a little dose of humility. The security measures for the G20 make the Cannes Film Festival look like a picnic for children. Total neighborhood shutdowns; motorway closures; airport closures; school cancellations; alternate traffic patterns; 12,000 police; constant air and sea patrols; and that's just for the days LEADING UP to the meetings.

It's really quite a huge undertaking. We've seen a good deal of evidence

for it already -- from the two policemen stationed at every single overpass on the A8 motorway, to the constant hovering of helicopters. Quite a boost to the local economy, I image -- assuming, of course, the 15,000 expected protesters don't recreate the havoc they created at the EU Summit in Nice in 2000 (good part starts at the 8:00 mark).

The security measures are astounding:


I SUPPOSE IT wouldn't be October (uh, November) without a look at how our family celebrated Halloween. It's not a very popular holiday in France, but I must admit that the French seem to be slowly catching on (as evidenced, perhaps, by the Halloween-themed ice-skating session we went to this afternoon at the Palais Jean-Bouin).

But they haven't caught up enough to make trick-or-treating a sure-fire way to get candy -- so we normally organize our own evening of candy and fun (and, as usual when it comes to planning fun things, when I say 'we' I mean Kerri). And we always make sure to get into our get-ups nice and early.

Sports theme for three out of the four. Psycho pumpkin theme for one of the four.

Cupcakes -- and good, moist ones thanks to the Halloween box that arrived from Kerri's parents.

I don't know that I really have much to say about this one.

Intense, sporty fellas.

Attention Dan Snyder: if the Shanahan thing doesn't work out (and it looks like it may not) I have an idea for your next Head Coach.