Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"We saw the noceros!"


Taking advantage of yet another Nepali holiday - this time Tihar - we took the short 20 minute flight to Chitwan National Park.  Chitwan is considered a World Heritage Site and is located in the Terai lowlands.  We stayed in the beautiful Barahi Jungle Lodge which is situated on the west side of the park right along the river.  The kids immediately fell in love with their room and thought the painted bird poop above their bed was an added bonus.  It is definitely a much quieter area compared to the other side which is overrun with hotels, lodges, and travel agencies.  Hopefully, it stays that way. 

 
We did all the touristy activities like the jeep safari, canoe ride, village ox cart ride, and the elephant bathing during the 3 days we were there.  The star animal attraction of Chitwan is the rhino or how Ember likes to call it, "noceros" and we saw several!  We also saw plenty of monkeys, white-spotted deer, wild boar, crocodiles, and different species of birds.  I'm not a bird person, but I have to say there were some beautiful colorful birds out there. 

We learned for the first time that rhinos like to
hang out in the water.

Oh, I think I'm slipping.....

A visit to a local home.....complete with baby farm animals!

Deer like to hang out where the monkeys are because when
they shake the trees, the yummy leaves fall to the ground.

Elephant bathing!




It was nice to get out of the city for a few days and reconnect with nature.  This was exactly what we needed.



Who knew dead frogs were so fun to play with?


Flying High in Pokhara

coming soon!

Catching Up

It's been exactly 89 days since we landed in Kathmandu and I must say, everyone is happy.  The kids have settled in well at their schools and of course, have made some great friends.  Robbie and I have met a whole community of people, both expat and local, who enjoy the outdoors as much as we do and we have quickly thrown ourselves into the trail racing and hashing scene. 

Nepalis are very kind and gentle people.  So even though KTM can be a bit loud and busy and chaotic, it's also surprisingly calming at the same time.  On a clear day you can see the mountains in the distance and it reminds me how pretty cool it is to be able to say that I live here. 

Stay tuned to see what adventures lie ahead for the Blanchard family in this vibrant Himilayan country!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Namaste!


Well, we finally made it to Kathmandu!  It was a long journey, but the 2 night stopover in Doha helped with the jet lag some.  Mason and Cadyn have been in school for almost a week and so far they are loving it.  Ember will start at the French school next month.

We have been welcomed to Nepal with smiles and open arms by both locals and the expat community......I think it will be a good two years.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mini-Cow Kids Triathlon


The kids completed their first triathlon in Columbia this weekend.  Both finished very well in their age group despite not being able to train much.  Cadyn actually started to feel ill the morning of the race but somehow found the strength to finish strong.  I know we're their parents, but seriously, these kids are amazing!





Unfortunately, we weren't able to snap pictures of each leg of the race either because of obstructed views or we just couldn't make it in time.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another Hectic Home Leave

Popsicles make everyone happy.
Coming home is always nice.  We get to see family, visit with old friends, go to the movie theater, shop at Trader Joe's, enjoy different cuisines at some of the best restaurants.....basically anything one might consider Americana.  Putting fun aside though, home leave can also be very hectic and stressful.  In our case, there were consultations for Robbie, various medical appointments for the whole family, meetings with lawyers to update our will, house repairs/maintenance to make it more attractive to potential buyers, summer camps, administrative details that needed to be taken care of for my mom.  It may not seem like much.  However, try cramming all that in with the fun stuff and 30 days goes by in an instant.  But as I mentioned before, coming home is nice and we were lucky enough to fit in some fun.  Check it out.

A little Georgetown fun.

A very serious looking paddler.....in a
princess dress


Shelter from the heat on Roosevelt Island.


Ember's first trip to the Baltimore Zoo.





Flag Ponds Nature Park, Md




Beach time and dinner in Solomons with Halmeoni.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hershey Park


There wasn't enough time to make a trip down to Disney World.  So the kids had to settle for the next best thing......Hershey Park!  Fortunately, there were plenty of different rides for all three to enjoy from giant, crazy roller coasters to merry-go-rounds.  Needless to say, they all had a blast.  Instead of staying in the park, we opted for a comfortable cabin just a 5 minute shuttle ride away.








Saturday, June 17, 2017

À La Prochaine, Maroc

Words can't describe how sad we feel about leaving Morocco.  The people, the land, the memories.....we couldn't have asked for more.  Morocco is truly a magical place with warm, welcoming people.  There will always be a special place in our hearts for this amazing country.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Au Revoir Elementary School!


Diploma in hand
It feels like yesterday when we first dropped off Mason at Columbia Academy for his first day of Kindergarten.  We have watched him grow over the past six years into the strong, intelligent, compassionate, and talented boy he is today.  He'll be starting the next phase of his academic life at the Lincoln School in Kathmandu pretty soon where exciting new opportunities and new friends await him.  Good luck, Mason!  We know you'll do great things!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Cousin Sarah


With only a few weeks left in Morocco, we honestly did not think we would have any more visitors. But leave it to cousin Sarah to prove us wrong and surprise us with a week long stay vacation with the Blanchard family before heading off to vet school.

Although it was a quick trip, we were able to show her Rabat, Marrakech, Fez, Moulay Idriss, and Volubilis.  Next time, we hope to cousin Stacy!

The beautiful Riad Larroussa

Putting in an offering





Our very passionate and knowledgeable guide



The (smelly) tannery