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Grand-Hammonds at EBH1739 viewsEBH is Sonja's amazing day care center. 8 kids, 2 teachers, and a host of wonderful interns and work-study students drawn from Meredith's child development majors. Plus, it's only a few hundred yards from Hilary's office on campus.mudmine
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Sonja and Forrest blowing bubbles1739 viewsWell, she's not quite got the blowing part down yet. But she does seem to like eating the bubble stuff off of the wand. mudmine
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Our itinerary208 viewsAltogether the trip was about a week and a half: four days in Turkey followed by a week in Greece. We flew to Istanbul, took the train to Ankara and back to Istanbul, then flew to Athens. We drove to a number of places on the mainland and the Pelopponese, and then flew from Athens to Santorini, where we ended our trip.mudmine
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Sonja and mom, relaxing in the den201 viewsmudmine
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Acropolis the Areopagus192 viewsWe flew from Istanbul to Athens early in the morning, and so had the whole day to explore the city before meeting up with Hilary's parents back at our hotel in the evening. Our first stop was the Acropolis, which you can see in the distance of this photograph. The rocky outcrop from where this picture was taken is the Areopagus, where Paul preached to the Athenians c. 51 AD. In Ancient Athens, a group of city elders met at the Areopagus. Under the reforms of Solon (638 BC–558 BC), the Areopagus was intended, like the US Senate, as a counter-weight to the more democratic Assembly. As such it was the center of aristocratic power in the city, until the reforms of Ephialtes in 462 BC stripped it of all its powers save the right to try murder cases.mudmine
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Streets of Changsha, early morning187 viewsMany of the newer apartment complexes in Changsha had kind of a Jersey Shore vibe: lots of pastel colors and fancy beach house-looking buildings.mudmine
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Sonja puts on some lip balm186 viewsmudmine
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Sonja and Beckett at snack time184 viewsmudmine
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Bath goggles, version 1.0182 viewsThese are actually Hilary's swim goggles. They proved ineffective, so Sonja got her own pair later.mudmine
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Beckett helps Sonja put on her bib180 viewsmudmine
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Sonja in hat and mittens174 viewsFor some reason--perhaps the 90-degree weather--hat and mittens are a popular play costume these days. mudmine
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Joanna and the toddlers172 viewsmudmine
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Sonja enjoying a snack at her table172 viewsmudmine
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Examining a giant stone egg168 viewsmudmine
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Joanna and Rowan166 viewsmudmine
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Another smile for the camera165 viewsHow's this, paparazzo?mudmine
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Bathing with protective swim goggles155 viewsWater in the eyes is a leading cause of minor irritation! But then, no irritation is minor to a two-year-old.mudmine
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Checking out the otters153 viewsmudmine
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Duelling tour guides in Danang152 viewsAfter Hoi An, Christine had to go back to Hanoi, so Hilary and I were left without local-language support for the next leg of our travel. We arranged with our hotel back in Hoi An for a car to Danang, where Christine would catch a plane to Hanoi and we would catch a bus to Bach Ma National Park. After seeing Christine off, we were dropped at this travel office, where there was no bus in sight and the employees did not speak any English, but managed to make it clear that they had no knowledge of any prior arrangements for our travel. So we called the hotel employee back in Hoi An, who spoke English fairly well, and had her talk to the travel agents. Eventually we were told that a bus would be by in a while. During our wait we had to fend off offers from other agents and guides (like the guy in the yellow striped shirt) who could not or would not understand that our plans were made.mudmine
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Hilary cooking in the kitchen147 viewsYou can see some of what we've added to the apartment to make the small space more livable. 1 commentsmudmine
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Floorplan of our apartment147 viewsThis gives some idea of the space we have and the furniture we've crammed into it. 1 commentsmudmine
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Clive in cold weather141 viewsClive is definitely not a lap cat. At most he'll sit beside you for a while. But in cold weather, with no heat in the apartment yet, he has learned to seek out warm places. That can include a lap, although he never really gets comfortable there. But then he found that Hilary's notebook computer also puts out a fair amount of heat, so he could soak up some BTUs without sitting on anyone's lap.1 commentsmudmine
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Clouds at sunset141 views2 commentsmudmine
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Who else could make a hippo suit look sophisticated?134 viewsmudmine
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Hilary enoying the deck (and some cider)132 viewsmudmine
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Sonja and Hilary during the last days in the Baltimore Ave apartment132 viewsmudmine
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Hilary in the kitchen131 viewsWhen we first moved in, we had our things from our previous Philadelphia apartment still in storage, so it was a little like camping indoors until our storage cube could be delivered. Once it was delivered, however, we had a great deal of difficulty finding a place for everything, and missed the simpler days before all our stuff showed up. 1 commentsmudmine
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post office at Beijing University127 viewsThis is the one in the foreign guesthouse, where they still put stamps on (unlike the university's main post office, where they just run the mail through a machine to stamp it).mudmine
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EB & Sonja, comedy duo127 views1 commentsmudmine
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Clive soaking up some sun126 viewsThe apartment's west-facing windows let in lots of sun in the afternoons. 1 commentsmudmine
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Neighboring row-houses121 viewsThis is taken from the deck looking north. mudmine
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Clive in one of his hiding places118 viewsClive is an ultra-shy animal. The first thing he does in any new environment is find some dark place to hide. In this apartment one of his first choices was in the back of the bedroom closet.mudmine
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Sejal and Hilary at brunch118 viewsOnce we had the place looking more-or-less presentable, we had some friends over for brunch. mudmine
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Flood on the corner of Baltimore Ave. and 43rd115 viewsSoon after we moved in, there was a tremendous rain storm that flooded the intersection below our apartment. You can't see much in this photo, which was taken at about 2 AM and is kind of blurry, but the whole intersection was under at least a foot of water. Much of West Philly is built on what used to be marshland, and the drainage of the streets still largely follows the former routes of the streams the streets were built over. This intersection is a local low, and floods regularly whenever there is a large rain. Alas, our car was parked near the intersection, and it was flooded, too. It took about a month for the interior to dry out.mudmine
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Clive stretches out on the couch115 viewsOnce he gets used to a place (and the people in it), Clive can relax as well as any cat. mudmine
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A workable living room, finally!115 viewsCompare this picture to the earlier one of piles of boxes in the same corner. The apartment is still too small for all the stuff we have in it at the moment, but it's slowly becoming a nice place to live. mudmine
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