Oct 202012
 
Goethe and two very creepy looking women

So, one of the things that is sort of annoying about the kids’ schedules is that there are many days when they get out of school at completely different times.  Generally, one or the other of them will be ready 2 hours earlier than their sibling.  Since it is 1/2 hour drive from Hogwarts to home this creates a dilemma.  If I drive back home, then I can have an hours rest.  But I create an extra hour of driving.  On the other hand, if I hang around near the school, well, I have to figure out something reasonable to do in Strasbourg with the other child for a couple hours.  Sometimes we shop, or get a snack.  Sometimes we explore.  Thursday DS and I decided we wanted to find a good park.

We tried at first to make it to the biggest park in Strasbourg- L’Orangerie.  But, oddly, we couldn’t find a place to park once we got there!  Then we got lost in the University area for a while and eventually found ourselves just a few blocks away from the school.  I remembered there being a decent park nearby, so we wandered until we found this place.  And, honestly, it is one of the best community parks I think I have ever seen! 
  
First: the obligatory Clean Up Your Dog Stuff photo.  France as a zillion of these and every one is hysterical:

“And Here?  Who will pick up Kiki’s Turd?”

Then, we went into the park.  I have to admit, it seems to have a little something for everyone.

Table Tennis courts are common park inclusions throughout France and Germany
But, the large water-play area is unusual!  The girl in red kept demanding that
I “pussez la button pour ma douche!”  Push the button for my shower!
As her parent was not in sight, I declined.

Rope climbing

DS is sitting on a sled that slides back and forth on the runner- I think it is
meant as a sort of balance trainer for skateboarding.

Soccer practice area enclosed by a cage- there were also
basketball courts here
Large clay area for bocci- these old men all had
magnets on chains to retrieve their balls so they need not bend over

This is only about 1/3 the area with the clay court

And then there was the main beauty feature- a large, meandering duck pond.  Really quite stunning.

DS had not seen this many lily pads- you can see a mallard swooping just above the
leaves

Blurry, but here he was coming in for his landing
And, touch down
There were a few swans

DS and I were walking in semi-silence around the pond- occasionally oohing or awing.  When he saw the swan he looked up and without missing a beat said “I once saw one of those go to the bathroom- it just opened up a hole and everything fell out all at once!”  Then he skipped on ahead, leaving me to blink and cope with the new image of Swans gifted to me by my preteen.

I have no idea how she managed it, but this lady was
feeding only the white ducks.  There were dozens of mallards,
but around her were only these four.

The park attracted people of all sorts.  Older folks walking in pairs, people with dogs, many many people with kids, folks on bikes, joggers, disabled people, and many people out for some sort of exercise.

This young man was one of a couple who seemed intent on getting an upper-body
workout.  When DS looked interested in the apparatus, he asked him in perfect
English if he wanted to swing.  Then he took a running start and got the
thing spinning fast enough that DS had to hang on while his legs swung
out behind him.
Then the young man proceeded to do pull-ups WHILE swinging and
spinning around!  Here DS has dropped off and is looking for
a chance to grab the handles and get back on

 One very nice feature of the park was a particularly extensive set of adult-targeted exercise equipment.  Even in this urban park, most of it was maintained and functional.

DS took my photo
One of the few broken pieces- DS
still managed to make it work for him

 And what, pray tell, is THAT?

I thought at first it was for climbing or just a sculpture
Zipline!

Not a great one, but still relatively fun.
I gave it a try- Sturdy!

 To my amusement, the ground was littered with these weird nut things.

What are those- they look sort of like….
Yes- they are chestnuts!  Much of the park was coated with huge, lovely chestnuts!
And not a squirrel in sight.

 (EDIT- A friend tells me these are actually slightly poisonous ‘horse chestnuts’ and google seems to confirm.  I wasn’t planning to eat them, but still- good to know!)

And, there was art- not a ton, but this statue caught our eye.

Other Bits-Back home, Orcish War Machines were back.  First one turned the earth over.

Big Blades

Nice rows.  thought they would leave it like this over winter

But, a second machine came a few days later and smoothed it out:

Oddly enough, this took way longer to do than that…..

Also, ordered some gluten from England.  Cost way to much to have it shipped, but it worked.

High bread was created!

Hogwarts Update: This is me ready to do battle with a Wild Snape in his natural habitat.  I thought it was time to pull out my hipster layers and 2.5″ heels.  And, yes, my hair was looking mighty fluffy that day.

I am a bit over 6′ in heels.  Snape… isn’t.  That was an interesting chat.  Mostly we agreed to completely disagree and have no common ground whatsoever.  But, DD will cater to his OCD by not messing up her papers with … drawings.  The man was practically apoplectic about the state of her “presentation”.  You could just see his strict world order unraveling at the seams when presented with such unacceptably ‘unstructured’ papers.  Mind, you, DD is incredibly structured, herself.  It is just that her structure is slightly different than his.  He was actually quivering when he pointed to a small, amorphous doodle to the side of one paper. It looked a bit like smoke and I could cover it with my thumb.  So, DD will draw on a separate sheet. And the two of them will each attempt not to show open hostility in class.  Other than that, we can just do our best to teach her French and work to just get through the year.

Today, we went back to the fischmarkt.  I had some terrible scampi and some really greasy deep fried jumbo prawns.  Sort of disappointing.  But, still, fisch!  Or at least, Seafood!  When we arrived in town, the church bells were pealing- long and loud.  Turns out this nice couple here was getting married :)

Weddings in these parts are not quiet affairs

And by the time we walked back, all the kids were outside with heart balloons

 The fish may have been disappointing, but David liked his ‘French Crépe’ served on- is that a waffle cookie?  Yup.  Ok, then!

He likes them with cinnamon and sugar
This also caught my eye.  ‘The Original Wattwurm!’ They sell very large wurst. 
Wattwurm apparently means “Mudflat worm”… YUM!

Just in time for Halloween some jumbo spiders have moved into the back of the garage.    Hard to tell in the photo, but that one is about 2″ long.  There is one of equal size hiding up the tube to the right.

I like spiders.  But, yeah.  CREEPY!

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