Near Alytus, Lithuania, July 14th, 2009. Jen and I woke up early and headed out with my mom's cousin Gintaras and a couple of other helpers for a balloon ride over the Lithuanian countryside. We were busy helping launch the balloon (it's quite labour-intensive!) but of course we managed to snap some photos whenever possible.
I took this photo shortly before takeoff. You can tell we're still on the ground because of the silhouetted trees on the sides of the balloon (we launched from a clearing in a forest).
Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful winter day here in Toronto. No snow, but it was cold, sunny, and bright. I'm also liking the fact that the days are starting to feel alot longer now, so we have more sunshine in the morning and longer in to the evenings.
Jen and I took advantage of the gorgeous day to do a bunch of errands that involved riding our bikes around the city, and finished off the outdoor activities with a pleasure skate at Campbell Park. This is our local ice rink, just a few blocks away, and every Saturday afternoon during the winter there are a couple of hours of pleasure skating time where no hockey/shinny is allowed. This winter it has been busier than I've ever seen it since moving here a few years ago. I'm not even that big a fan of skating. I mainly go to meet up with other friends and neighbours from around the 'hood, and to enjoy the campfire with fresh donuts and hot chocolate!
We didn't walk that far, but we really took our time enjoying the beautiful scenery around here. It was just a simple gravel/dirt road, but it offered up fantastic views of the Nemunas River valley on one side, and idyllic farms on the other. Of course, I had to stop and take photos of this nice yellow farm house!
We spent a couple of days visiting my mom's cousin Gintaras at his rural property near Nemunaitis, which is a small village next to the Nemunas River near Alytus, Lithuania. Hanging out here was a nice break from the last two weeks of somewhat fast-paced travel through European cities.
Here, we were able to go swimming in a pond, walk along quiet country roads, gaze out over the Nemunas River valley, eat fresh fruits and veggies from the garden, and just plain relax. Oh, we also went for a balloon ride. I'll share some of those photos soon too.
On the morning that I took this photo, there was a near white-out blizzard that seemed to last only a few minutes. I grabbed my camera as I got ready to head out the door so that I could take some nice winter photos of the neighbourhood while walking to the subway. Unfortunately, the snow nearly stopped by the time I got outside. Ohwell, I still had a nice walk to Dundas West station through a small amount of fresh snow, and I was able to enjoy the view from the bridge.
Walking through the woods with my mom's cousin Rasa and Jen, in Šeškinė, a suburb of Vilnius, Lithuania. Instead of heading into the city on this day, we went for a walk around Rasa's neighbourhood. We walked through the residential areas, as well as the local outdoor market, and some nearby woodlands.
Yeah, here I go again with the yellow houses. I will post another one tomorrow too!