April where we live is a little unpredictable...warm spring sunshine one day and then a stormy grey day the next. The cherry blossoms emerge in all their glory and some years you have to be quick to capture them in photographs before they all get blown away in a rain and wind storm. This year, I was lucky and on a few visits to Garry Point, I was able to capture the cherry blossoms from different perspectives.
And looking very closely...
And one of my accidental favourites...I used the fish eye lens instead of my macro lens on my olloclip but love how this turned out.
Last week I was fortunate to visit New Orleans for three days to attend the big (like 8000 people big) annual NCTM math educators conference. I was presenting a session on Friday morning and attended sessions on Wednesday evening, Thursday and Friday afternoon. I filled in any free time with exploring the city.
First impressions of New Orleans...unique, lively, very rich in a deep, historical culture and beliefs. New Orleans has always been on my bucket travel list and I am so glad I was able to go - only wish that Neil and the boys had been with me to experience it!
My first night there I got talked into going to a Haunted History tour of the French Quarter. The history part was fascinating...the haunted part, not so much!
I had my first beignet at Cafe du Monde for breakfast on Thursday morning before I headed to the conference. I hopped on a street car that took me along the Mississippi River to the French Market area of the French Quarter. Such historical and beautiful streets and archictecture.
On Friday evening, some colleagues and I did our own little tour of the Garden District, stopping first at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Fascinating.
The houses and gardens (mansions, former plantation houses, etc) were stunning.
Being mathy types, we got kind of fixated on arrays in the doors and windows of these historical homes.
After this, we decided for a full-on juxtaposition and headed for Bourban Street. We walked down a block and decided that was enough. Beads hanging from lamp posts, lots of celebrations going on...quite the experience.
I tried my best to try all sorts of regional cuisine, so along with beignets, I tried...
chicken and andoullie gumbo
catfish po' boy with remoulade sauce
And what kind of regional treats do you bring home for the family? Well, Cafe du Monde beignet mix of course as well as Voodoo Hot Sauce and Pralines (there are praline candy stores and kitchens all over town).
It was a great conference in a great city with lots of great food!
I have lived in the Vancouver area all my life and I realized today that I have never been to Maple Ridge. Colin was registered for a fencing competition at 1:30 at Meadowridge School and we left at 11:30, thinking I had lots of time. Well, mapquest and the Mary Hill Bypass led me astray and we ended up at the end of Fern Crescent with no way out and fields all around us. Hmmm...thank goodness for lovely people walking their dogs and Siri. We got there just in time...it was a long haul and we took a very different route back, over the Golden Ears bridge and along the new 17.
There were 16 youth in Colin's Y14 Foil event so we started out with two poules. Colin started out strong and then things unravelled as he got two yellow cards, one of his foils broke and another failed. I was able to borrow a foil from the host club and he was able to continue but he had three losses before rallying and winning his last two bouts in poules.
It wasn't Colin's best first round and we didn't realize that it would affect his ranking later on as it usually just determines your ranking going into direct eliminations. Oh well...I am always learning new things about the fencing world.
He went into direct eliminations facing a fencer from Dynamo and easily won 15-5.
The next direct elimination was "intense" (Colin's word) and then disappointing. Colin fenced a very tall and talented female fencer that he is not familiar with and her dramatics threw him a bit off. He got down 5-0 and then stayed in it at 10-5 and then just pushed through, tied it at 11-11 and then went ahead 12-11. His opponent had a bit of a meltdown at this point and stopped fencing, just as Colin had gained momentum. In Colin's 6 years of fencing, I have never seen this kind of behaviour before during a fencing match. Again, the fencing world is alwyas interesting.
Colin lost 15-12 and was eliminated, ending up in seventh place. Not what he had hoped for so he was disappointed. This competition had medals for everyone in the top 8 which we've never encountered before. Colin didn't really see it as a "real" medal so didn't feel the need to stick around for the formal medal presentation. Our day would have been 10 hours away instead of only 9 if we had stuck around!
So, always a learning experience. Colin has two more competitions this June - one in Coquitlam and then the Provincials in June. Colin knows that if he wants to feel better about his results, he's going to need to put a bit more training in, finding time around volleyball practices and games!