Bleu Lavande

We have not done many road trips this summer.  It seems like at this time last year, we had already done about five.  With that being said, it’s time to catch up.

The Eastern Townships is a great place to go for a road trip, as well as to see some beautiful scenery.  This weekend, we decided to go down to Stanstead in the Eastern Townships, in order to visit the Bleu Lavande (lavender) estate.

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It’s quite a drive to get there and if you like peace & quiet, rolling hills and wide open spaces, it will be worth it.  If you like lavender and all things that smell good, going to Bleu Lavande will be a bonus.

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For me, it was the photo opportunities that i enjoyed the most.  In all honesty, i thought the estate would be a bit more impressive.  Aside from the cafe and the store, all there is is rows, upon rows of lavender.

One side note: there is no indoor plumbing.  If nature calls, you are going to have to use the “Johnny on the spot” facilities that they provide.

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There is a guided tour of the estate that you can take, but walking around and simply enjoying the scenery, seems to be the best way to enjoy the estate.

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I don’t quite get the appeal of going here (i think you have to be female to do so), but there were plenty of people visiting when we went.

I must say that the area is very peaceful and once the band at the cafe had stopped playing, it was dead silent.  It was a nice change from the hustle & bustle of the city.

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The next four photos were taken from the parking lot.  It really is a breathtaking view.  I can only imagine how beautiful it is after a dusting of snow or when the fall colors are out.

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Going back home, there is endless photo opportunities of beautiful landscapes.  The only problem is, there is not many places where you can pull of the road.

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One of the dangers of driving down in the Eastern Townships on narrow, two lane roads, is wildlife.  A deer can jump out at any moment and give you the fright of your life and one did just that to us.

We were driving along a paved, winding, two lane road through a wooded area and at one point, i caught this brown object out of the corner of my right eye.

Subconsciously, i knew what it was.  However, it did not fully register until it had jumped out into the middle of the road, that it was a deer.

Within a split second of me first seeing it, we were staring at a full grown deer at a point in the road where we were going to be in another split second with our car.

Brake!!!!!

Though i was in the passenger seat, i nearly put my foot through the floor of the car, bracing myself.  I really thought we were at least going to clip him, if not hit him head on.

Luckily, my wife had seen him quite well and by always having her foot on the brake, we managed to stop and the deer went about his business of getting to the other side of the road.

Venison steaks were mere feet away.

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Thanks for looking.

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Street Art

I took the old X-pro1 out today.  Well, it seems to be old, what with everyone’s attention – even Fujifilm’s – on the new X-T10 and the “newish” X-T1.  The poor X-Pro1 (Fuji’s first interchangeable X series camera)  has sadly been forgotten.

However, i am still extremely fond of it and will not give it up for any of the new gear.  It does what it is supposed to do: take photos and it is damn good at it (i do have some input, of course).

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This is the kind of graffiti i like.  I love these wall murals that are around Montreal.  I found these ones in NDG (Notre Dame de Grace).

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The FOV of the 27mm is great.  I always felt a little restricted with the 35mm.  On the X-Pro1, i have a really compact system with the 27mm lens.

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The colors in these murals are just wonderful and i think that is what makes them so interesting and eye-catching.

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For this photowalk, all i had with me was my camera, nothing else.  I did not bother with a spare battery, because i knew what i was going to shoot and i had enough juice in my battery to accomplish what i wanted to do.

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Thanks for looking.

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Cornu Aspersum

On Sunday, i was playing with my daughter in our backyard and we found a snail hanging under the leaf of a flower.

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I took the leaf off the flower with the snail still hanging on and showed it to my daughter.  She got a kick out of the snail when he poked his head out and his little antenna extended.

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Since snails are not that hard to take care of, i decided to keep him.  I put him inside a little aquarium and provided him with a rock, some bark, twigs, dirt and some leaves.  I was surprised at how much he could eat.

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I clean out his little house every other day and give him fresh leaves as well.  On the most part, he sleeps hanging from the cover of the aquarium and is only active during the night.

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He’s a nice little pet to have for my daughter.  It’s easy to take care of him and he costs nothing to keep.  It also let’s me spend a little quality time with my daughter.

Thanks for looking.

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A Little Getaway

I have been on long vacations (a month) and short vacations that last but a few days.  Personally, i would rather take a bunch of short vacations then just one, long one.  Though, i am looking forward to spending a nice, long month in the Philippines again.

After Canada Day, we went down to Burlington, Vermont to have a few days to relax and made the weekend extra long.

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The great thing about Burlington, is that it sits right on the shore of Lake Champlain.  Burlington also has a nice walking trail along the front of the shoreline, with various spots where you can look out onto the lake.

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While there, we ate a pretty neat restaurant, called “Splash”.  Now, the food is okay, so don’t expect gourmet dishes.  It’s a simple fish & chips, hamburgers & fries kind of place.

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But, what is really neat about the restaurant, is the fact that it is not only on the water front, it’s actually out on the water!  Not only that, but you can sail your boat right up to the restaurant’s dock, get off and have a meal.  Pretty cool.

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Sitting out on the deck or “dock”, you have a really great view of Lake Champlain and all the boats that are out sailing.

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Walking back from the restaurant, we spotted this dinosaur made out of plastic bottles.

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Here is a view looking up the trail that runs along the shore front.  It’s elevated from the shore, so you are actually looking down at the lake when you are on the trail.

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On our way back home, we stopped of in a nice park in a small town not far from Essex Junction.

This seagull was very brave and had his eye on our lunch.

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I spotted this hole that a woodpecker had made in one of the trees in the park.  I could not believe the size of the hole.  Seeing that there was still sap dripping, he must have just finished making this hole.

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I love the Champlain Valley.

Thanks for looking.

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Thousands Of Bricks

Some weeks ago, Brick Fest 2015 came to Montreal.  Essentially, Brick Fest is an exhibit for anyone who loves Lego.

I took my daughter to Brick Fest, since she loves Lego and is very innovative in building her own Lego creations.

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It was not a very large exhibit, but i do think that it satisfied even the most particular Lego enthusiasts.  There was something for everyone, ranging from Duplo creations, to Lego Technics.

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I really liked this Lego creation, a reproduction of Habitat ’67.  It was very well done.

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The old space Lego that was on display brought me back to my childhood years.  Why did the helmets of the spacemen always break at the chin?

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This guy was roaming about on the floor.  Perhaps he was verifying if people were real Lego lovers or not.

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Here is another Lego creation that i loved.  Anyone who lives in Montreal should recognize this building with ease.

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This Lego creation is probably my favorite.  The creativity that went into this is something else.  As far as i know, there is no Lego kit for this; therefore, the builder thought all of this out by themselves.  Quite amazing.

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I need this R2D2 to bring me cold drinks from the fridge!

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Nope, no WordPress or Instagram icons here.

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It was really a great day and i was very impressed by all the different Lego creations that people built.  If you like Lego, i advise you attend this exhibit the next time it’s in town.

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Thanks for looking.

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A Little Bit Of Downtown

What amazing weather we are having this weekend.  It may have been hot and sunny, but there was a nice wind today to somewhat cool you off.

Along with the great weather, i had a wonderful day with my daughter.  We went for a little walk downtown, had a bite to eat (McDonald’s) and spent some time in church.

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I bought the X100T along and managed to fit it in my belt bag.  No camera bag required.

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Along with the camera, i also brought along a spare battery and SD card.  All of this fit into my belt bag, along with my camera.

It really is awesome to be able to carry an APS-C camera with you, without a bulky camera bag to lug around.

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It was really nice to have a leisurely walk with my daughter.  It was nice to hear that she had all sorts of questions about what we saw around us.  She was also quite impressed at how tall PVM was.

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Thanks for looking.

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No Internet At Home

Technology is great, when it works.

Home internet service has been around for a while now; therefore, i can’t comprehend how a gigantic telecommunications company (just think of what rings at church weddings) are unable to provide me with a stable, DSL internet connection.  You would really think that it was as simple and rudimentary as posting a letter.  Obviously not.

This past Saturday morning, i had no internet at all.  Seeing that this issue has been ongoing for quite a few months now, i was not very pleasant to the tech support guy when i called my ISP.

After about 30 minutes on the phone with him, he promised me that i would not experience any more outages.  Well, i guess he goes home when i eat dinner, because my internet was once again unavailable as the evening came on.

The next day, Sunday, was worse.

I rebooted my modem so many times, i lost count.  It’s a good thing that age has calmed me down, because i was really wanting to take a hammer to the bloody thing.

Anyway, i called tech support again and was finally directed to level 2 support.

Level 2 support came in the form of a very nice young lady, who was all the way in the Philippines.  After a combined 2 hours on the phone with her, going through all the trouble shooting steps that we could, she apologized for not being able to restore my internet service and told me that she will be sending a new modem to me.  Great.

Moving forward to today, we apparently have internet service at home.  I don’t know how long it will last, but at least it is up…  for now.

I was wanting to post some of the photos i took while in Burlington, VT; but not having internet access most of Saturday and all day Sunday, i actually had to find other things to do.

I am supposed to get a new modem (apparently, it is their latest & greatest one, bla bla bla) tomorrow.  I am crossing my fingers that this new modem solves the problem or else i may have to resort to claw hammer resolutions.

Stay tuned…

Thanks for looking.

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