Thursday, May 17, 2012

Face Paintings, Swimming, Biking and Friends

You could say that by now we have settled into a little bit of a routine here in our new home in Düsseldorf. It's quite nice - not too crowded of a schedule, leaving plenty of time for excursions and play. 
Here are a few highlights of what Sophie has been up to over the past couple of weeks, waiting for temperatures to warm up a little so that she can play more outside.
Our little bunny
 While playing at the gym's childwatch on a Sunday morning, she was lucky to have her face beautifully painted by a professional visagist. Needless to say, Sophie enjoys the childwatch and I enjoy my zumba class. ;-)
 On Mondays, Sophie started swimming classes at the gym. When she has learned to swim independently she will take a swimming test called "Sea Horse" certification. The pool is too deep for her to be able to stand anywhere, so for her first class, Andrew jumped in the water with her. By the second week, I was able to just watch her from the side. She is making big improvements, but above all she loves the water and feels so proud to be learning how to swim.
 Learning more important stuff: we took the training wheels off her bike and she has been pedaling laps around our little square which is perfect for bike riding. I'm sure there'll be a few scrapes and bruises before she is steady on two wheels.
 On Saturday, May 12 we went to the Old Town with our neighbors where they had a European Union Festival. Oddly enough the Greece booth seemed to be the most popular one that day. 
Here is Sophie and Andrés enjoying some French Chansons in front of the music stage.
 Of course Sophie could not pass up the face painting booth. And us big people could not pass up the Austrian wine and French tartes flambées.
 This time Sophie chose a dolphin pattern. 
 May is full of holidays in Germany (May Day, Ascension Day and Whitsun). One of them was today, and since the weather was cool but dry, Sophie and I decided to cycle back to the wild animal park in Grafenberg which had that fabulous playground in the woods. We were here last when Sophie's friend Ciaran was visiting. Sophie met some kids the same age at the playground and was brave enough to try out the giant slide over and over again.
 Then we still had a carrot and an apple to give to the bambis. The young wild boar had grown quite a bit and were losing their stripes. There was a bit of a funky smell near the boar enclosure, so we did not linger there for long.
Deer enjoying our apple.
Then it was just an all downhill ride for us home. 

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