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Beau's Journey » 2008 » February

Archive: February, 2008

February 19, 2008: Farm update…

  No new news on anything to do with the farm.  I guess it will happen when it happens.  I dream about it every night as of late.  Several times a night even!  It is funny how something can stick in your mind.  I am still wondering how the big Oak Tree did out there.  I have not heard anything.  A couple of people said they were going to check on it though.  I am anxious to see if it survived the ice storm.

  From the photographs below…I think this is my favorite one


February 19, 2008: Evening in Zurich…

  Spent the afternoon and evening wondering around Zurich.  Zurich really is a beautiful place to visit.  The architecture here is just wonderful.  Europe in general has some amazing architecture.  The cobblestone streets that cover Zurich make it a cool place just to daydream and gaze into all of the shop windows.  They go all out here to decorate the windows.  Lots of pizzazz!  We found a big music store that had some instruments in the display.  I thought about Sue and her years of music teaching. 

  The evening was chilly…not cold though.  Temperatures were around 40 degrees.  A perfect sunset behind the hills to the west.  You could see the silhouette of the church steeples and buildings.  See the photograph below.  Peaceful.  A perfect evening all the way around.

  We had a hard time finding a restaurant though.  A lot of places are closed on Sunday (most places for that matter).  So we found a nice little restaurant near the Limmat  River (this is the body of water you see in a lot of the photographs).  Anyway, so we went inside and it was a bit nicer than what we wanted or expected.  Nevertheless, we were here now…and we were quite hungry.  So we decided just to stay. 

  A nice well dressed gentleman met us at the door, so I nodded and said "good evening …we would like a table for two."  He said, OK.  He walked around a bit and then came back and asked me something.  Well, my ear was full of water from taking a shower earlier in the afternoon.  Somehow I managed to get the water a bit further into my ear than normal.  So everything sounded sort of muffled.  So I looked at him and said "just for two please."  He said, again, "no no how long for the table would you like."  I looked at Joey and shrugged my shoulders and looked back at the gentleman.  I said "just long enough for two people will be fine."  I kept thinking to myself "why would it matter how long the table was?"  So he sighed and ruffled his brow a bit.  He said in a slightly louder voice and harsher tone "no no how LONNGGGG will you be staying with us to eat tonight."  I said OHHHHH well just long enough to eat.  lol  He said "so maybe two hours?"  "Maybe one hour?"  I said "no no one hour will be the longest we will stay." 

  So needless to say that at times things are lost in translation.  I am sure he thought "stupid Americans."   lol



Here are some photos I took this evening – Zurich, Switzerland

Joey on the steps of one of the streets in Zurich – there are so many little streets here.
One could become easily lost if it were for all the large church steeples to help guide
your way back and forth.


Lammat River in the background…





Moon rising between two church towers


The moon over Zurich this evening



Larger photo here – my favorite photo of the evening


Toy Store with antique trains and wind up toys



We found a nice music store, which made me think about Sue Henry back in Paducah.







So David said that all of the mannaquins looked distressed in Zurich.  Joey and I have decided the same.  Some of them look like they need to be redressed as well.  I don’t get some of these outfits!  Perhaps my sisters will appreciate them a bit more than I did.







The is the ugliest dress I have ever seen (sorry if anyone reading this
actually owns that dress).  lol



Again – YEEEESH 🙂

February 16, 2008: Made it safely to Switzerland

  We have made it safely to Switzerland.  Nice plane ride over – smooth.  Temperatures here in Zurich are in the 40s during the day and into the 30s at night.  Not mad!  It is supposed to be 48 on Tuesday.  I can handle that!  Starting to think about SPRING!  Can’t wait!


February 16, 2008: Obama Speech…

Nothing worthwhile in this country has ever happened unless somebody, somewhere is willing to hope. Somebody is willing to stand up.

Somebody who is willing to stand up when they are told "No you can’t" and instead they say, "Yes we can."

That’s how this country was founded. A group of patriots declaring independence against a mighty British empire—nobody gave them a chance—but they said, "Yes we can." That’s how slaves and abolitionists resisted that wicked system, and how a new president charted a course to ensure we would not remain half slave and half free.

That’s how the greatest generation—my grandfather fighting in Patton’s Army, my grandmother staying at home with a baby and still working on a Bomber assembly line—how that greatest generation overcame Hitler and fascism, and also lifted themselves up out of a Great Depression.

That’s how pioneers went West when people told them it was dangerous, they said, "Yes we can."

That’s how immigrants traveled from distant shores when people said their fates would be uncertain, "Yes we can."

That’s how women won the right to vote, how workers won the right to organize, how young people like you traveled down South to march and sit in and go to jail, and some were beaten and some died for freedom’s cause.

That’s what hope is. That’s what hope is.

That’s what hope is, Madison.

That moment when we shed our fears and our doubts. When we don’t settle for what the cynics tell us we have to accept. Because cynicism is a sorry sort of wisdom. When we instead join arm in arm and decide we are going to remake this country, block by block, precinct by precinct, county by county, state by state. That’s what hope is.

There’s a moment in the life of every generation, when that spirit has to come through if we are to make our mark on history. And this is our moment. This is our time.

Barack Obama – Madison, WI Victory Speech

February 15, 2008: Snowflake Therapy…

  I found this article and it made me smile – for obvious reasons.  🙂


Iraqis find hope in newly falling snow (Snowflake Therapy)
Huachuca Scout ^ | MSG Timothy Soliz

  These are the words of MSG Timothy Soliz

  Iraq – In the wee early hours of Jan. 11, the generator powering our containerized housing units, or CHUs, quit working. It didn’t come back on for six hours, and we hit an overnight low of 25 degrees. I woke up freezing in the middle of the night and found myself buried in the abyss of a cold, black metal CHU.

  I stumbled out of bed and stubbed my right big toe. After screaming a very short prayer…ahem, I think you know what I mean… I managed to find some warmer clothes, threw them on and crawled back into bed. I tossed. I turned. My big toe throbbed. I could not get back to sleep.

  When I finally got up for good, I was feeling quite cranky. I opened my door and saw a spattering of snow on the boardwalk that we use to stay off the mud when it rains. Being from Michigan, I didn’t give the snow a second thought.

  I decided to make coffee and check email. No sooner had I poured my first cup of joe, I heard a knock at my door. It was my 40-year old interpreter, who I’ll call Kareem. No one can know his real name or it will mean certain death to him or his family, or both.

  When I opened my door, I saw Kareem smiling and looking up at the sky with an absolutely beautiful look of joy on his not-so-handsome, leathery-skinned face.

  “Never before have I seen snow!” he exclaimed. “Snow has not fallen in this part of Iraq in many, many years. No one in my family can ever remember seeing snow.”

  A snowflake then landed on Kareem’s age-lined check and quickly melted, and I couldn’t distinguish whether it was merely a melted flake or a tear of joy. This man has known nothing but atrocious living conditions and brutal leadership in this land that seems forsaken. But suddenly, he seemed to be transformed into an innocent child, a child who once again believes that maybe there is hope for his people.

  Then I noticed more “snowflakes” melting on Kareem’s cheeks. He was crying tears of joy! They were warm, salty streams of inner exuberance that he simply couldn’t hold back, and he wasn’t alone.

  I learned that people in central Iraq up to 80 years old were exulting in the pureness of a fresh snowfall.

  Millions of Iraqis – Hardened-hearted as a result of their life’s lot – were crying like happy children, unashamed and obviously thrilled with the promise of a future being different that their past.

  Maybe healing has begun a a result of one tiny snowflake. And then I got to thinking. Governments can’t make these people happy. Their religion does not appear to me to make them very happy. Their living conditions do not make them happy. But snowflakes did.

  Maybe what this country needs is snowflake therapy.

  The snow was gone in a few hours, but the sweet joy it brought to millions of war-ravaged people here in central Iraq will last a lifetime.


Kathy Gibbons: Iraq snow melts away too fast


It created a healing, soothing picture.

For a moment.

I’m talking about the news that came from Baghdad a week ago Friday. It had snowed for the first time in recent memory in the heart of the Iraqi capital. News stories reported people streaming out of their houses and businesses, and phoning friends and relatives, to rejoice at the experience.

It was practically a miracle, in a place that is sorely overdue for one.

The stories said there were no reports of bloodshed for the duration of the snowstorm. Reading about people laughing and sharing camaraderie because of the snow, marveling at its beauty, even feeling, as one local was quoted, "joy" — a rare commodity in Iraq these days, it seems — I felt hope.

For a moment.


February 14, 2008: VALENTINES DAY!!!!! Packing for Switzerland…

  Well, for those with power out there  – HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!!  Hopefully everyone is warm and cozy in their offices or homes today.  I know that Julie Kohn STILL does not have power.  Several of my friends in Livingston, Ballard, Pulaski, Massac, and Pope Counties do not have power yet!  Incredible.  At least it is a TAD warmer today with Paducah already showing 35.  Temperatures are struggling though.  I was hoping for forties today.  Not looking very likely unless the southerly flow picks up here in the next hour or two.

  We are packing for Switzerland.


  We went to see the new movie "Spiderwick Chronicles" tonight.  Great movie.  We like Freddie Highmore and his movies.  Great actor.  Worth seeing!

February 13, 2008: Round Knob, Illinois – Ice Damage & The Comer Story

  UPDATE:  Email from Kay Comer (house below)

  Don’t ever try to tell me there are no modern day miracles…or that God doesn’t answer prayers…I spotted Billy in the mid 60’s and used prayer to ‘snag’ him..when he didn’t even know I existed. But that’s another story for another time.  🙂 

  Let me tell you about my ice sorm miracle. Our power went out last Monday evening…just like everyone else’s in Massac, Pope, and Johnson Counties.  We were without power & heat  until Saturday at noon.  We have A fireplace, so we cooked in it…made coffee in it…and
slept in front of it.  So compared to many, we were already blessed. We have cell phones,
but they’re Tracfones and maybe the battery power doesn’t last as long in them as others,
I don’t know.  But I Tx’d with Kim all night Monday night & by Tuesday morning…both our
cell phones were dead also. (dumb I know…but I didn’t think at the time we were in for a
long haul.)


  Tuesday morning…when daylight came…we were totally isolated from the outside world.
Our road…which most of you know is a long winding private lane…was totally under
brush, trees and one major tree was across what the kids named Copperhead Crossing decades ago. 
We had no way out…everything was ice covered, making it almost impossible to even walk. 
Trees and limbs were still falling from the weight of the ice. Billy made me stay inside
‘because’ trees and limbs were still falling and we had power lines down, but he went out to
start trying to ‘dig us out’. I sat in the door with the inside door open…and looking out the
glass storm door so I could see him and know that ‘he’ was ok.

  Wednesday morning started out the same way…but I was really getting antsy because
we were not able to contact the kids and check on them…as Billy was back up on the
road Wednesday morning…continuing his ‘dig out’…I was sitting back inside the glass door,
with a quilt over my lap, watching him and worrying about the kids.  So I said, "God, you know
I’m not a person that needs to be pampered.  I don’t need the power back on…I don’t need the
tv…I don’t need the heat…but I really, really need to make contact with our kids, so will
you ‘please’ give me a way to know they’re ok."  It was a short prayer…but from the heart…and
I felt at peace…because I really have tons of faith…and expected ‘something’ from God…I
just didn’t know what.

  About 15 or 20 minutes later…I heard the sound of a cell phone coming on behind
me on the coffee table.  Ours give a little ‘fairy tale’ noise when it comes on. I
just put the quilt on the floor, said, "Thank you Lord"…and walked over to the phone
and picked it up…not even especially surprised that it had happened. I picked it up
and it was black…but I just dialed Kim’s number…she answered and I said, "Kim,
shut up and listen…I’m talking to you on a totally dead cell phone…there is no
signal…no bars…God made this call for me and I have no idea how long he will let
me talk" I told her we were ok but stranded until dad could get us out and
asked her About her, her brothers and the rest of the family…she quickly filled
me in…I was hesitant to hang up because I didn’t know when I would be able to talk to
her or any of the kids again….but we hung up and the phone dial was Still black…I layed it
back on the table…thanked the Lord again for letting me make the call…and went out to tell Billy.

  Shortly after noon…Kim and Kevin came walking in from the top of the hill…And they had
brought us a phone charger that you plug into the car to charge your phone…we didn’t
even know they existed for tracfones or we would have Already had one. But that’s just one
example of what God can and will do.

  I’m sure many people look back on last week and think…’what a nightmare’.
And to some extent … It was…but thank the good Lord…Billy and I were able to
Make our storm week…kind of an adventure.  In the evening when it was too dark to
work…and there was no TV , etc…we told stories, listened to the scanner And just made
the best of what we had. We had to stay awake most of the night every night to keep the
fireplace going…because it was just too bitter cold to let It go out…but we took turns with that.

  So that’s my ice storm miracle story.  I absolutely believe in miracles…I hope
you Do too!  Because miracles only happen for those who believe!

  So for now…forget forwarding stories about the "One eyed, one horned,Flying purple people
eater"or the "Grasshopper that ate New York" and think about forwarding this
story about a modern day miracle

  To use a well known phrase of Sue’s…"Praise God For Whom All Blessings Flow"

– Kay Comer, February 17, 2008

These photographs were sent to me from Kim Jackson.  This is the Billy and Kay Comer residence.  The Round Knob area was hit fairly hard by this ice storm.  A lot of tree damage – as you can see.



















February 13, 2008: Waterloo Snow…

  We picked up a few inches of snow overnight.  Looks like 3-4 inches around the city.  My car was covered!  I took a few photographs this evening.  These are near St Jacobs and Waterloo, Ontario.

Sun setting…tractor in the snow


A WINTERY sideroad…


Farm west of St Jacobs.




Sunset – beautiful little country church



  These photos were sent to me by Chris Ellis.  Just incredible damage in Livingston County.  Salem, KY photographs.

Livingston County, Kentucky


Livingston County


Livingston County, Kentucky


Livingston County, Kentucky


Livingston County, Kentucky
Lola Road in Salem, KY


Livingston County, Kentucky


Livingston County, Kentucky


Salem, Kentukcy – car was right off main street and 60 going towards Salem Spring Lake Nursing Home


Frances in Crittenden County, KY


Crittenden County


Livingston County – Salem – Lola Road – that is a house under the tree.


10:15 p.m. – State of Emergency in Hopkins County, KY
A shelter is open for anyone who needs a place to stay for the night.  It’s located at James Madison Middle School, 510 Brown Road.  Nortonville City Hall will also be open for anyone who needs a place to stay. There is a curfew on travel through 5 a.m. Wednesday.  Only emergency vehicles are allowed to travel at that time.

10:00 p.m. –
As of about an hour ago about 20 Crittenden County, KY Residents were housed in a shelter at the Crittenden Co. Elementary School.
County Judge Executive Fred Brown says about 2/3rds of the county is still without power.




February 12, 2008: 9 p.m. Snowing in Waterloo

  Snow continues.  We have picked up 3-4 inches so far tonight.   Not bad!



February 12, 2008: Winter Storm Sunday Night – Quebec City

  Here are some photographs from Sunday Night in Quebec City.  We had heavy snow for several hours.











A wintery night in Quebec City, Quebec


Boat crossing the St Lawrence Seaway on Monday Morning…

February 12, 2008: Quebec City Winter Carnival

Quebec City


Kids running in the snow at the Winter Festival


Hands with a globe – peace sign 🙂


A wintery scene in Quebec City


That is one crazy sculpture!!!!


Maybe I can take this guy home with me.  Wonder how long it would take for him to melt?  I think he is
safe for at least a few more weeks.  😉



Lots of kids playing in the snow today


Hey Sue how about a BISTRO OUTSIDE!!!!!


These kids are dancing – trying to keep warm


The party is outside in Quebec City!



Winter Festival 2008




How cold is this guy?  He looks frozen to me.














February 12, 2008: My car is covered in snow!

  Well – it snowed while I was gone!  More snow is starting to fall this evening. 

  WHAT A MESS back home.  Tommy says that there are trees down in Lone Oak – tree branches and power lines all over the place.  Massac County has been without power since yesterday.  It may be 1-2 days before power is restored.  The ice storm is about over but it has been a big one.  Police are asking people to stay home.  Livingston County, Kentucky has been shut down – emergency vehicles only are requested to be on the roads. 

  From the WPSD TV 6 Web-Site

4:24 p.m.- Paducah Police are requesting citizens who do not have to get out stay at home this evening and overnight. Road surfaces are refreezing and becoming hazerdous. If you must be out, police say be aware of deterorating road conditions and use caution.

4:12 p.m.-Area power outages-


1,220 Harrisburg
1,162 Anna Jonesboro
1,066 Metropolis/Brookport
698 Vienna
585 Marion


8,624 Cape Girardeau
1,569 Dexter
1,010 Jackson
721 Delta/Chaffee
425 Kelso/Benton/Miner


3,000 without power, majority in Livingston County near Burna, Salem, Joy and Lola. Other part is West McCracken/Ballard County Line, Kevil, West Paducah.

Patrick Kerr with Jackson Purchase says power will be out for some time, probably overnight. Encouraging people to find friends, family with power, or hotels or shelters. Also, if line down, don’t touch it and DO NOT try to hook up generator to their electric service, don’t hook it to panel or meter, could kill you or line workers!

 3:08 p.m.-The Livingston County Judge has issued an Executive Order restricting traffic on ALL roads in Livingston County to local traffic ONLY, for the remainder of the day, and County Judge Chris Lasher is advising local residents to not travel at all after sunset, with the exception of emergency vehicles only.
The US 60 Ledbetter Bridge is closed due to an accident. Several crashes are being reported and traffic is backed up in both directions.


   Meanwhile here in Waterloo, Ontario




Snow is just starting to fall here in Waterloo.  Light snow so far.


February 11, 2008: Made it back to Waterloo!!!! Posted lots of photos…

  We made it back to Waterloo this evening.  The plane ride was about 1 1/2 hours.  There was a small delay.  Weather I suppose.  It is cold here in Waterloo.  Temperatures tonight are going to hover around 0 degrees to 5 above zero.  BRRRR!  That is actually colder than Quebec City!

  A MAJOR ice storm is hitting the Paducah Area.  Massac County and McCracken County are reporting trees down and power lines.  Dylan was without power as of 8 p.m.  Hopefully they won’t be without power all night.  It would certainly make for an unpleasant evening.  It looks like temperatures will rise above freezing after midnight in Paducah and perhaps after 2 a.m. in Metropolis.  We can hope! 

  Portions of Southeast MO and Southern IL will have a lot of power lines down and trees.  This is a big ice storm.  There have been reports of thundersleet and ice across Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Western Kentucky.  Amazing weather.

  I have posted a TON of photographs over the last 24 hours.  It will probably take you awhile to look at all of them!  I still have some more to go through. 

  We will be leaving for Switzerland and Russia at the end of the week.  I wonder how cold Moscow will be?



February 11, 2008: New KIVA Partner

Adel is 32 years old and lives in Nabatieh located in south Lebanon. Adel owns a
shoe store and his shop is frequented by loyal clients who are inhabitants of the
surrounding area. In order to sustain and develop his business, he needs a loan
from Al Majmoua to buy merchandise.


About the Entrepreneur

Name: Adel Madi
Location: Nabatieh, Lebanon
Primary Activity: Shoe Sales
Loan Use: To buy merchandise
Date Posted: Feb 9, 2008

February 10, 2008: Kids in the snow…Quebec City











February 11, 2008: Quebec City

Standing in front of the snow sculpture – Innovation


The ship is finally finished 🙂



How about a violin made of ice!!!!


Deep snow.





February 11, 2008: Out and about the city – lots and lots of snow!

Clearing the sidewalks.  Now you don’t see that back in Paducah!  I wish!



How about those outdoor restaurants and bars?  Only in Quebec City!


A wintery street.






If you can’t beat ’em join ’em



One horse open sleigh? 


I am starting to feel sorry for the horses.  🙂





Just how deep is that snow?  Obviously this person doesn’t get out much.




Quebec City


That is one cold driver!!!




Drifting snow.  🙂  I would love to look out my window in the morning and see that.




Snow Snow Snow





February 11, 2008: Winter Carnival Sights!!

  Mixture of photographs that I took over the last couple of days.  The Winter Carnival is going full force around the city.  Off and on snow has only added to the wintery scene.  We had heavy snow overnight with high winds. 


400th Anniversary of Quebec City – Ice Sculpture


The St. Lawrence Seaway behind me – lot of ice flowing down and up the river






They are still working on the boat sculpture – coming along nicely though



Downhill car racing – just one more winter sport for the Winter Festival!!!!







Some VERY chilly clowns!


…In a one horse open sleigh (okay well two horses then)



I can only imagine what these two are thinking. 








If I could just bring all of this home with me




The band even plays in the snow….wouldn’t your lips get stuck to the instruments????



There were a lot of kids out and about – all bundled up!


Winter Carnival 2008 – time for some warm exercises


Now this is the way to celebrate winter!






Joey out and about the city




St Lawrence Seaway in the background…





The kids of Quebec City celebrating the 400th anniversary of the town.


What a life!!!!  Faster now!


Can this little guy even see????





February 11, 2008: A cold morning in Quebec City

  A cold morning across this region.  Snow fell most of the night and winds started gusting over 40 mph.  Some blowing and drifting snow around the city.  We will be heading to the airport later this morning.  Waterloo is our next stop.


A WINTERY QUEBEC CITY!   I have a feeling this horse will be happy when winter comes to an end.


Yesterday afternoon before the snow started to
pick up.  That is our hotel in the background.


February 10, 2008: The Winter Carnival Night Parade

  Allow me to set this scene for you.  🙂  Imagine a temperature of around 20 degrees.  The sun has gone down.  You make your way to the other side of the city – hopes are high for what is called "Winter Carnivals Night Parade."  Now we have never been to a night parade before (OK well Disney when I was like 7 years old…but that doesn’t count).  Anyway…it is a cloudy evening.  Wind is blowing lightly. 

  We are going to the Winter Carnival Parade with my friends Adam and Keith.  I have known Adam and Keith for about six years now.  We first met in Toronto, when I lived up there.  Adam is big into photography.  Keith has a brother here in Quebec.  He is currently serving in the Canadian Military in Afghanistan.  He should be back in a month or two.  Keith moved back here because his brother asked him to.  So Keith is excited that his brother will be returning home soon.

  Anyway, as we make our way towards the parade route we see a flurry or two.  Nothing major.  All good.  The drive takes about 15-20 minutes.  We left the hotel at 6:30.  The parade STARTS at 7 p.m.  No problem!  We arrive in time to see hundreds of people streaming towards the parade route.  Parking is a nightmare.  Our friend Adam and Keith are hosting our visit tonight.  Adam is driving and manages to find a great parking spot.  We are now only one block from the parade route.  We hurry along in an attempt to find a good standing spot. 

  Once we arrive at the street, that the parade will come down, we find a little hill and decide that this will be a great spot to watch the parade.  We notice a Tim Horton’s behind us and hot chocolate does sound good.  So we all decide to go grab a cup.  The line is just about out the door.  It seems that everyone has decided that coffee and hot chocolate sounds good!  We are in there about 10 minutes.  Not bad.

  We head back for our little spot.  I decide to build up my little hill with some snow.  I pile the snow on and pack it down.  Even if I can get a few inches higher then I can see better.  It is now 7:20 p.m.  We stare intently towards the direction where the parade will arrive from.  We don’t see much.  Behind us, on top of the Burger King, is a DJ.  He is playing all sorts of music.  "Hey Mickey you’re so fine…you’re so fine you blow my mind – hey Mickey" – don’t I know this song from when I was in high school?  I think so.  Flashback to the ’80s.  So the music is nice.  People are dancing.  There is an older woman in front of us that appears to be having a great time.  She has been dancing since we arrived.  I finally figured out why.  After about 20 minutes it starts getting a little cold.  No big deal though because I am certain that the parade will start at any time. 

  At 8 p.m. we are sure that we see some lights down the street.  This must be it!   The parade is starting.  We anxiously await the first float.  I joke about there probably not being any cheerleaders in shorts.  Snow starts to fall.  Oh GREAT – I think.  SNOW!  This is just what the parade needs.  A winter carnival parade should surely have snow just to make it feel right. 

  At 8:05 p.m. we realize that the lights we saw where simply a police car.  Oh well – perhaps this means the parade will start soon.  Joey is saying that his fingers are getting cold.  I give it a half hearted – well if they start to burn then let me know.  We might need to go inside for a few minutes.

  At 8:30 p.m. we think we see the parade.  I announce to everyone that I see it – I see it.  I see some lights coming.  This must be it.  The parade has finally arrived.  We have now been standing out in the cold and snow for over 1 1/2 hours.  Joey is telling me that his fingers feel pretty cold.  He has gloves on but apparently not the best.  My toes are starting to get cold – even though I have winter boots and wool socks on.

  At 8:35 p.m we see that the lights we saw were actually simply a van coming down the road.  We are not sure why but some sort of van advertising some company.  It is in French so I can’t read it.  At this point I am having flashbacks to the Toronto Christmas Parade back in 2003.  I went with Andrus and David.  Let’s just say it was FREEZING and a raging snowstorm covered us in snow.  It was fun though – not sure I would do it twice.  Starting to look like I WILL be doing it twice – except this time it will be in Quebec instead of Toronto.

  At 8:45 p.m  I see some lights.  Using caution, since we had been disappointed the last few times, I announced that I see some lights but won’t commit as  to what they are.  The snow starts to fall harder.  Joey’s hat and shoulders are not turning white.  My camera bag is turning white.  The wind is blowing a bit harder.  By this time we are all cold.  We debate, in our minds, whether or not this was a wise choice of activities for the evening.  We had not had dinner yet.  We had planned on eating afterwards.  Oh well, surely the parade would start shortly.

  At 9:00 p.m.  there still was no sign of the parade.  The snow was now falling steadily.  Joey tells me that his fingers are really getting cold now.  I suggest he go in for a bit.  He says he is afraid he might miss the parade.  lol

  At around 9:20 p.m. we see some lights.  This time it appears that the parade is realllllly going to start.  We see a truck coming.  This must be it!  After 2 hours of waiting the parade is finally here!!!!!!  The truck inches towards us…slowly as you might expect from a parade.  In front of the truck are two police cars – they go slowly.  This is the third time tonight that the police cars have passed us by (the same ones because they would go to the end of the parade route and turn around and return to the front).  ANYWAY – this is the parade!

  At 9:30 p.m. the truck finallys arrives at our location.  It is an OREO truck.  We think…OK – well ummm an OREO truck.  Better than nothing.  Right?  Maybe they will throw us some cookies.  YES YES they are throwing something into the crowd.  COOKIES – surely these must be cookies from the OREO cookie truck.  So Joey puts his hands into the air – I wave back and forth – making every attempt to get us some cookies.  Here they come – they are coming – flying through the air towards Joey is a box.  A BOX OF COOKIES!   No wait…these are not cookies.  Joey grabs the box and it is cereal.  A box of cereal.  Joey laughs and decides that they are throwing cereal into the ground to stave off starvation.  We have only been there for 2 1/2 hours – standing in the snow and cold. 

  FINALLY the parade arrives.  Floats – lights – DJ music playing loudly – it all had a Mardi Gras flavor to it.  People were clapping and shouting.  Kids were blowing into their Caribou horns (these are 2 foot long pipe like things that kids blow into – they make a very loud sound like a Caribou).  So the music is going loud and we are all loving it.  Lot of nice floats.  The parade is several blocks long.  It lasted until about 10:45.  The snow was a nice touch.  By the time it was over, however, we were all frozen.  My feet were froze – Joey’s hands were froze – Adam and Keith took it all in good stride (perhaps because they are Canadian). 

  In the end, we decided that it was worth the wait.  Scary…I know.

  I have finally come to the conclusion that people in Quebec EMBRACE winter.  They love winter (or at least they act as if they do for the tourists).  They make the best of what most people would consider bad weather.  They have festivities in the snow.  They play in the snow.  They walk in the snow.  They have parades in the snow.  They have BBQ stands in the snow.  They even fly kites in the snow.  They stand for hours just to see their favorite snowman – Bonhomme!  I think I have finally discovered a place that I could live!!!!!


  Here are some photos that I took during the parade


This is the OREO truck – we were very excited!  Not so excited after we got the cereal box (see below)


Joey with his box of cereal – a real prize!!!!  Well worth the 2 hour wait.


Beau – Adam – and Keith


That would be me on top of the little snow
pile that I made – I actually gained about
a foot!!!



Bonhomme baby rattle!  A VERY LARGE BABY AT THAT!











BONHOMME – their favorite snowman







BONHOMME – having a great time.  BONHOMME is at the end of the parade – just like Santa Claus.



February 10, 2008: Tornado Outbreak Update…

  The SPC page now was 113 tornadoes listed.  Simply incredible.



  We woke up this morning to a heavy fluffy snow.  It looks like feathers floating down from heaven.  The temperature is -3c and the wind chill is between -10 and -20!!!!!  BRRRRR 🙂  I LOVE IT!!!!!


Looking out the hotel room this morning 🙂


February 9, 2008: Ice Hotel

Heading for the Ice Hotel

















Entering the club area of the Ice Hotel






The Ice Hotel – Front Entrance




February 9, 2008: Ice Hotel

Does Joey looks cold? 


Ice Hotel 2008




Ice Hotel – the club room


David in Joey in front of the Ice Hotel entrance


Thinking about going to bed












February 9, 2008: Ice Hotel

Two beds in the Ice Hotel












Joey trying to stay warm in from of the fire up at the cottage – near the Ice Hotel



The chapel area of the Ice Hotel

February 9, 2008: Some more Ice Hotel photos…

  Here are some more photographs from the Ice Hotel.


I think these ladies are trying to keep warm


I tried to keep warm as well…it was -6c in the hotel.   BRRRRR 🙂


Joey and Beau



Another ice chandeler



Ice Hotel 2008








A bear carved in the ice…


Ice Gnome 🙂


February 9, 2008: Winter Carnival Snow Sculptures

  They are making LARGE snow sculptures here at the Winter Carnival.   Each country is represented by a team of sculptors.  There will be a judging on Sunday Afternoon.   I will have to go back and take photographs of the finished sculpture.  Amazing what you can do with snow!!!!


Working on the snow sculpture






I liked this once!




Innovation – the new light bulb 🙂



This will eventually be a ship!!!!!


This will eventually be some wolves attacking a guy in an igloo 🙂  Will take a picture once it is finished and
post it on the blog.










February 9, 2008: Winter Carnival

  Some of the sites around Quebec City over the last day or two – Winter Carnival 2008


This is the view from our hotel room – looking below


Another view below the hotel here on the St Lawrence Seaway


Old town area – Quebec City



Some very deep snow in the downtown area!!!!



Joey in front of one of the old churches in the downtown area of Quebec City


Ever hear of HUMAN FOOSBALL????  WELL NOW YOU HAVE!!!!  These kids were having a blast at
the Winter Carnival.



Check out the LARGE ice hanging from the roof.  Best to get out of the way of those icicles.


Joey and Beau in front of the Ice Castle – Quebec City Winter Carnival




Joey in front of the armory museum.  HUGE icicles.



Downtown Quebec City – Old Town


Winter Carnival



This is the St Lawrence Seaway in front of our hotel 🙂  Lot of ice floating down the river.  Occasionally the ice
flows back up the river – depends on the tides. 



Winter Carnival 2008




February 9, 2008: Quebec City – last night

  We walked around the "old town" part of the city last night.  Lot of nice shops and restaurants.  Wintery scene with a lot of snow on the ground and everything decorated for winter carnival.  The old town part of Quebec City is a beautiful area.  I can only imagine what it is like in the summer.  🙂  I am sure it would be the hot spot to visit.


Old town – yesterday evening.  Nice shopping area – nice area just to walk around.  We found an art store
that had some nice snow paintings.  I got two for our new house.  I think we will have a snow theme


Joey next to a large Native American Ice Sculpture,  There are a lot of nice ice carvings around the city.







A Wintery Day In Quebec City, Quebec