Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Rydes!

Although we did holiday cards this year, we didn't do our typical cheesy letter with photos. Here we are, getting into the spirit a little early this year...

Liam and the Blue Princess

For weeks, Liam has been telling us he's dressing up as a "blue princess" at school. All became painfully clear when I attended the school holiday party Tuesday - he was a shepherd in the school nativity scene! He revised his party line -- and proclaimed he was a "sheffer". It was a wonderful morning -- I probably had a better time than most of the children, however, as evidenced by the photos. I don't know how they managed to get 20 3 year olds to sit still (and be quiet) and frown for 30 minutes....

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Trou d'eau douce

We spent a fantastic weekend on the east coast with Tim, Mel, and Sarah. Very relaxing and a great bungalow - Les Cilaos. Saturday, we took a boat across to Ile aux Cerfs to swim and relax. Mel and Tim parasailed -- Steve's back was bad and I was a chicken but they had a fabulous time. Liam enjoyed himself in the shallow water. Overall, a top weekend!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Grandma time...

Finally, we returned to Darlington for the last bit of our trip. Liam had great quality time with his grandmas, and it was good to see family (and do a bit of Christmas shopping!). Liam paid a visit to Santa at Metroland -- and requested a new computer as well as a mobile phone.

Overall, a wonderful trip -- although we're not sad to be back in a tropical climate!

Dublin it is...

After Staithes, Steve and I had a romantic weekend at a country inn, and then headed back to Darlington to collect Gwen and Liam for our week in Dublin.

Despite the rain, we had a great time. We took a city tour, and highlights included the city zoo and Temple Bar areas. Of course, several pints were enjoyed as well....

UK Here We Come!

After a little setback, namely Liam's five-day hospital stay due to a lung infection, we finally made it to the U.K.! My mom was already there and she and Steve's mom met us at our rented cottage in the lovely seaside town of Staithes. We enjoyed daytrips to Whitby and York, attended the village bonfire night (Guy Fawkes), and relaxed. It was a great opportunity for Liam to reconnect with grandmas!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The hen night...

Mel and Wendy -- love the tiaras!

We had a wonderful sunset cruise in Grande Baie, followed by dinner and drinks on the boat. Unfortunately, the stag night was less successful as the groom had fallen and dislocated his shoulder earlier in the day.

Jacqui and Mel

Jacqui, Mel, and Suvi

Friday, October 19, 2007

It's wedding season....

in Mauritius! One last weekend -- here's a very cheesy Liam all spiffed out in his seersucker suit! Steve and I attended a hen night/stag night last and will attend another wedding Sunday!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Trip to Casela

Happy Columbus Day!

We ventured down to the Casela Bird park today. We had a chance to check out some wildlife, feed pigs Cecile and Roy, eat lunch, and play on the playground. While we weren't swarmed by birds, Liam proved to be a true ladies' man -- he was swarmed (on several occasions) by Chinese textile workers enjoying their Sunday off!


Liam and I took a lovely stroll around "Pamplemousses" Gardens today. These world famous gardens are actually named Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens in 1988 in honour o the late Prime Minister. The garden's origins go back to 1735 when then-Governor Labourdonnais bought a house in the grounds which he called Mon Plaisir. What began as a humble self sufficient vegetable garden developed into a major fresh food source for ships calling at Port Louis. In 1768, French horticulturist Pierre Poivre moved in, introducing plans from all over the worlds. The current specimens include about 80 palms and at least 25 species indigenous to Mauritius. It's a wonderful place to relax and explore and one of the few places where Liam can roam to his heart's content!

U.S.S. Normandy Part III - Adopt a Sailor

As part of this fantastic weekend, we hosted three sailors and some others for a BBQ Saturday night. Lots of food and drink -- great to have an opportunity to get to know some of the folks from the ship!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tour the Normandy....

The crew of the Normandy generously offered the opportunity for Embassy folk to tour the ship. Impressive!

USS Normandy, Part II

Attended a great reception on the flight deck. Fun crowd, good music, and spinach ceaser wraps! Nice to meet some of the folks on board and mingle with our contacts!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Welcome U.S.S. Normandy!

The U.S.S. Normandy pulled into port today -- what a wonderful sight. It's a gorgeous day -- sunny and bright. The police band was there and it was goosebumps stuff! We're involved in a number of activities with the ship over the next 4 days so stay tuned. It's certainly an honor to be able to work with these men and women who are serving their country in such a far-away place. (Wait --isn't that us, too?!). At any rate, looking forward to spending quite a bit of time on board and hosting some of the sailors at our home this weekend.

Here's a view from the bridge of the city of Port Louis -- the Embassy is located straight ahead in a non-descript office building.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Liam's First Day of School

Liam rejoined Martine'colette for his second year of preschool. He's in the big kids' class now -- but will be joining familiar classmates from last year. He was very shy at first but soon warmed up when he saw old friends and new toys!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another one bites the dust...

Margaret, Wendy, Sebastian, Suvi

Sebastian, Margaret, Kevn, ????

'Tis the season in this biz where folks come and go. I'm not sure we EVER really get used to losing and making friends at such a rapid pace -- but we end up knowing a heck of a lot of people all over the world so that's the upside. Our buddy Margaret just left -- on to bigger and better things in Beijing! (Just in time for the Olympics etc. -- if you lose your passport, she's the one to know!). Margaret was a great friend and colleague and her (near) constant smile kept us going on many a day! She was our social sponsor when we arrived, hosting a welcome brunch, so it was fitting for us to host her farewell brunch.

Karen, Roger, Liam

Amb, Virginia, Steve, Mitch, Ian, Bill, Steve

Monday, August 20, 2007

Petanque and paella, part II

In what could likely be termed the first ever (annual?!) diplomatic corps petanque challenge, the U.S. proved victorious over our colleagues from Australia and the U.K. (we even beat the U.N. team). Once again, we spent our weekend eating paella and playing petanque. Liam was unmoved by the competition, preferring to do his own thing and roam the vast gardens at the McCarty House, the Ambassador's residence.

Steve throws his first ball of the day...

Liam roams the grounds in search of a bigger/better stick.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A day at the circus...

We took Liam and his friend Murdo to the circus a few weekends ago. No animals but lots of trapeze acts and scary clowns. They were mesmerized -- for about fifteen minutes. Afterwards, we hit the carousel -- a more popular diversion.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pig roast!

Some fellow dips wanted to get together and learn how to roast a pig -- the pacific islander way! Our resident pig roasting expert, Henry, was on hand to show the gents how to do it. It's a shame but we don't have the after picture. It was tasty!

Another exhausting weekend

Liam and Steve maintain such an extensive social calendar that they virtually collapsed this weekend under the strain...sacking out on the couch for some much-needed rest.