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20. October 2019 19:10
by Rene Pallesen
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Boracay Phillipines

20. October 2019 19:10 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

With Kim having a few weeks gap between jobs and badly needing a break she wanted to go somewhere re
With Kim having a few weeks gap between jobs and badly needing a break she wanted to go somewhere relaxing and where the water and weather would be warm.

After a bit of research we settled on a week to the Phillipines to an island called Boracay.

This is a small island with the most beautiful beach we have seen anywhere outside of Bora Bora (interesting that both have the name 'Bora').









The boys (and adults) managed to get a mighty sunburn already on the first day.


The island also has the most amazing sunsets at the beach.










Also lots of activity on the beach in the evenings whereas during the day is is mostly empty.


We stayed in a large resort built around a golf course. It had seven swimming pools and we spend a lot of time here relaxing with the boys and sipping cocktails.










It was really nice in the evenings to sit in a bar listening to cruisy music. Most of the restaurants and bars would have live entertainers on in the evenings.


One day we went on a snorkeling trip around the island. The boys are well accustomed to snorkeling now and love it. Unfortunately I didn't bring an underwater housing on the trip, but I can say that the coral reef looks to be in a good shape although a lot of the larger schools of fish and large predatory fish seems to be scarce.







We also did a day trip to the main island where we went through one of the local caves.



The cave was full of little bats and also had other creatures that were attracted to the bats and insects such as a snake and spiders I've never seen before.
We even spotted a large hermit crab (size of a hand).




We also went to a local river where there was waterfalls and also rafts for the boys to have a play with.




The food in general was pretty good although we only tried a couple of local dishes (Phillipines is not famous for its food). Especially some of the seafood was really nice.



The way we got around the island was on these small tricycles. There are two types, the old ones pulled by a small moterbike and then the new ones which are all electric. The government wants to have all the old ones off the roads by 2024 which is very sensible both environmentally and economically as even the locals say that they make more money on the new ones.






The main road however is horrendous. In late 2018 the island was closed for 6 months to any visitors due to them sorting out a lot of issues with the sewage system. This means that they have dug up the entire road to install large pipes along with a road widening. A lot of this was still ongoing with the main road being full of holes, but given that it is such a small place it was alright to still get around.




19. September 2017 16:09
by Rene Pallesen
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Lucas 5yo birthday

19. September 2017 16:09 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Lucas just had his 5th birthday.It was celebrated at the local park with his friends and we had hire
Lucas just had his 5th birthday.

It was celebrated at the local park with his friends and we had hired an entertainer to do some activities with them.


























































































19. December 2016 13:12
by Rene Pallesen
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Christmas family photo 2016 - Naughty Elves

19. December 2016 13:12 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

It has been another year and again Merry Christmas 2016.Following the tradition I have created anoth
It has been another year and again Merry Christmas 2016.

Following the tradition I have created another family photo for this year. Aiden and Lucas are growing older and also more naughty, so this year we decided to do something different and let the parents have a quiet evening while we let the boys 'hang out' together.


20. October 2016 13:10
by Rene Pallesen
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Camping at Cattai

20. October 2016 13:10 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

For a long time I had wanted to introduce the boys to Camping. Since Kim had never been camping eith
For a long time I had wanted to introduce the boys to Camping. Since Kim had never been camping either and wanted a certain level of comfort we looked around for suitable location within easy reach from Sydney.

We eventually settled on Cattai National Park as it has a lot of amenities such as flushing toilets, hot showers and allows camp fires.

Kim also asked some of our friends if they'd like to join, so we ended up going three families together.





We bought a new tent which by most standards is huge, but has plenty of space on rainy days (which we didn't have) for cooking and eating inside the tent as well as air mattresses for sleeping on.
We also had a camping table and chair and amazingly we were able to fit it all into the booth of my car.










Apart from Lucas getting a little cold during the night it went very well. The boys had a blast of a time making up games, eating food (constantly), fishing (no bites) and eating roasted marshmallows.













I also tried a Danish specialty, 'SnogBroed' (Twisted Bread) which consists to of a sausage and bread dough wrapped around a stick and then baked in the fire. Mavis made one that turned out perfectly - unfortunately everyone was too full from eating to really have a go at it (Maybe next time)



In the evening and morning there were lots of kangaroos in the camp ground, which the boys quickly chased away.

20. October 2016 13:10
by Rene Pallesen
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Scarborough Family Trip

20. October 2016 13:10 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

It has been a while since we did a family trip with the family. Kim's dad is getting older and it is
It has been a while since we did a family trip with the family. Kim's dad is getting older and it is getting harder for him to do longer extended trips.

The family found a nice house at Scarborough just an hours drive from Sydney. It was a beautiful coastal home with room enough for the whole family and with the conveniences of a large kitchen, a fireplace and TV for the kids.





The inlaws recently got a dog and she made it on the trip as well.



More importantly, it was just a short walk to the Scarborough hotel for coffee in the morning.





And also plenty of beaches nearby.





20. October 2016 13:10
by Rene Pallesen
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Royal National Park walk with friends

20. October 2016 13:10 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

We are trying to keep the boys (and ourselves) more active on the weekends. This weekend Audrey aske
We are trying to keep the boys (and ourselves) more active on the weekends. This weekend Audrey asked if we wanted to join them for an easy walk at the Royal National Park (about 30 minutes drive from home).



The walk was along an old horse carriage trail (Lady Game Trail) and was fairly level and easy walking the whole way. We made it well past the half way mark where there is an old watering station for the horses before turning around.



I think the kids eventually managed to walk almost 7 kilometers without too much complaining which is pretty far for their little feet.


7. January 2016 18:01
by Rene Pallesen
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Christmas 2015

7. January 2016 18:01 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

This year we decided not to celebrate on the eve of the 24 and just stick with the 25th at KC's plac
This year we decided not to celebrate on the eve of the 24 and just stick with the 25th at KC's place (too much cooking otherwise). I was responsible for the Christmas ham (with limited success).

It was a relaxing day and the kids were very exited about their presents.

























7. January 2016 18:01
by Rene Pallesen
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Hunter Valley Christmas 2015

7. January 2016 18:01 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

Between Christmas and New year we went to the Hunter Valley with Sasha and his family.We stayed over
Between Christmas and New year we went to the Hunter Valley with Sasha and his family.

We stayed overnight in a cabin in Lovedale.




During the day we tasted wines at the various wineries (found some good ones).






















The kids also loved playing at the cabin in the evenings.

























































16. December 2015 12:12
by Rene Pallesen
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Christmas family photo 2015

16. December 2015 12:12 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

It is almost Christmas and I've just completed our annual family Christmas photo and this is the fin
It is almost Christmas and I've just completed our annual family Christmas photo and this is the final version.



It was an interesting process getting to this photo this year. Last year we did a photo in the kitchen of us baking a cake, but this years photo has so many more elements to it.

The idea came from a combination of Kim and my ideas. Kim wanted to do a photo of the boys through a crystal ball. I actually bought the crystal ball right after Christmas last year with this year in mind.

We did a test in front of the tree in early December which was reasonably okay, but Kim didn't like the feel to it. She wanted more snow (pretty ambitious on a summers day here in Sydney Australia).



My idea for our family photo was based on me wanting to do a story of us as a family out in a snow storm 'Looking for Santa'. I had purchased a bag of artificial snow and a Christmas cape a few months back and we had some lanterns downstairs so I pretty much had all the components in place for the shoot.

I knew I had to do it as a composite with the boys as there was no way that I would be able to get the photo with all four of us at once. We did the photo over a couple of days, on the first evening (after the kids had gone to bed) I took the one of Kim and myself holding the lantern. Once I had this photo I could show it to Aiden and Lucas so that they knew what we needed them to do (Lucas just had to copy Aiden).



I had Gaffa taped markers on the floor so everyone would know where they were supposed to stand. Inside the lantern I had hidden a speedlight gelled with CTO to make it look light the lantern was lit. We are actually lit by a large Einstein strobe also with CTO, grid and barn doors to control the spill of the light.
At the back left and right were another two speedlights providing a bit of rim light to emulate moon light.

Because of the first 'failed' attempt of the crystal ball I got the idea to extend my 'Looking for Santa' photo into Santa's shed where he would have a crystal ball where he could look at us looking for him.
This would require three components - The crystal ball, the lights from the Christmas tree to create atmosphere and then Santa himself. I created Santa by hanging a hat on a chair which was easy to light and then I had another light which I used to balance the ambient with the lights from the tree.

The final photo all combined looks like the following, but in the end we decided to just use the tighter crop in the first and final photo.

1. December 2015 12:12
by Rene Pallesen
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7th Anniversary

1. December 2015 12:12 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

This month Kim and I had our anniversary.I cant believe we have been married for 7 years...still lov
This month Kim and I had our anniversary.

I cant believe we have been married for 7 years...still love her to bits.