LAS VEGAS!

Koko had no idea where they were flying, but he didn’t mind.  The plane trip alone was tons of fun!  But then the landscape outside got more and more interesting, a lot like San Diego.

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The plane got lower and lower and Koko saw a town.

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There was a long strip of BIG buildings.

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Then Koko heard the plane’s captain say, “Welcome to Las Vegas!”

Koko and mom got a shuttle and made their way to the Flamingo Hotel!  It had a lot of pink, way more than at the underwear store, but Koko didn’t mind.  He was dazzled by all the lights!

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Mom dressed into summer clothes because Las Vegas is much hotter than Kamloops, at least in the winter.

Mom stuck Koko in her sparkly bag because she was pretty sure some people would be spooked by a Tiger on the Las Vegas strip!

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Mom and Koko saw the world’s biggest ferris wheel and thought it would be VERY neat to ride.  Maybe on another night…

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Here is the hotel from across a very big intersection.  Koko had to be sure to hold hands when crossing.

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Koko was confused when he and mom saw the Eiffel Tower and said, “this must be Paris!” but mom told him there is a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas.  Silly tiger!

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Yay! Another Plane Trip!

After all the orchestra and symphony rehearsals and concerts were done, Mom and Koko went to the airport in Kamloops for a flight. Did you know Kamloops has an airport?  The last time Mom flew out of this airport she was pregnant with Ryan!  That was waaaayyy back in 2000 when mom first played with the Kamloops Symphony and was a guest violin player with an Opera company in Dawson Creek!  It’s been a long time and mom looks forward to flying out of this airport many more times in months to come!

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Koko was super excited to fly out!

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Here is what Kamloops looks like after the snow is gone but before the leaves come back in Spring.

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This is what the mountains between Kamloops and Vancouver look like from above!

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We landed in Vancouver and Koko thought the airport was HUGE!

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Then we saw some HUGE animals!  Koko took this picture of mom.

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Here’s a selfie with a Tiger, a Moose and a Mom!

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Koko liked Mr. Bear!

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Mom was inspired to howl with the wolf!

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My my, Mr. Wolf, what big Teeth you have!

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Yuck!  Mom went underwear shopping at a store with WAY too much pink!

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Koko felt very small in this big airport.  The ceilings were way, way up there!

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Koko found a really cool collection of Donald Duck toys at our departure gate.  We gave up on counting them because there were too many for baby tigers to count.

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We got onto ANOTHER plane on our way to a surprise place.

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Koko really liked seeing the super big mountains.

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Another Orchestra?

Just when Koko thought the symphony was done, mom still had her usual Sunday rehearsal with the Brandenburg Orchestra.  Mom is a sectionleader with this orchestra, which means she is the boss of the second violins and helps them to make their bows all go the right direction at the same time and she gives them hints to play the music more beautifully.  Mom enjoys being a member of these two groups because she says music “feeds her soul.”  Koko found that comment to be confusing because no one EATS music there!

Here is Koko helping Mom play violin and lead some of the second violin players.

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Here is mom’s violin teacher and symphony colleague, Jane.  She really liked the cuddle Koko gave her!

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Mom likes to enjoy some really yummy food when she is in Kamloops with orchestra.  It’s tricky being there because she doesn’t have a house to go to and cook, but Koko didn’t seem to mind eating nothing but restaurant food the whole time!

Mom does this so much with symphony and orchestra weekends she has even made friends with some of the restaurant owners!  Koko got to meet some of these friends: the owner and her son at the Indian restaurant!

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Koko Joins the Symphony!

How many baby tigers do you think have been to the symphony?  I am guessing very few. Well, this baby tiger did even better than that!  He got to experience what it is like to play IN the symphony with Mom!

Here is Koko getting the violin ready to play with the Kamloops Symphony!

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Next Koko went to a rehearsal.  This is a fancy word for “practice.”  He met some really nice musicians who made a lot of noise. At first the musicians were nervous that there was a tiger in the rehearsal space!

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But soon enough Koko had taught them how to be fierce like tigers and they were getting along just fine!

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The symphony’s flute player, Jeff, did such a good tiger roar it even scared Mom!

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The next day he and Mom out on the stage during another rehearsal.  He was nervous seeing the big stage and hundreds of seats out in front, but Mom told him to start by waving the conductor’s stick when no one else was around. He enjoyed this so much he asked if he could conduct the concert.  Maybe next time, Koko.

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Koko tried playing the French Horn, but just fell inside the bell!  Silly Tiger!

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He then saw the Double Bass, which is a lot like a GIANT violin.

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Then he tried playing the Timpani.  He loved the way they sounded like big, booming bombs when he hit the mallets hard!

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He finished off playing in the second violin section with mom.  At one point he was spooked by the nearby viola section, which looked a lot like it was overtaken by pirates!  Mom laughed and said, “Silly tiger, those are just viola players. That’s just the way they dress.”

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Here is some of the wind section and the violin sections just before the last rehearsal, which they call the “dress rehearsal.”  Koko was confused because no one wore dresses!

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Koko was amazed how LONG the musicians must rehearse.  It is hours and hours of practice, but mom says it is worth it for the beautiful music they make together.  The treat at the end is to play the concert. Okay, and it is always a special treat for all the musicians to have dinner a drinks after the rehearsals together.  So much of what makes music fun is the relationships the musicians develop together.

This picture shows mom and Koko spending time with lots of wind players, the conductor and a bass player.  She was the only violinist, but then again, Koko was the only TIGER!

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At the end, Mom and Koko were so busy playing in the concert they didn’t take pictures of it.  But here is a picture of them as they were about to go on stage to perform!

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And here is a picture of them after the concert coming back to mom’s billets’ house.  Billets are really nice people who let musicians who live far away stay in their homes during concerts.  It is so much easier for mom to do this than to drive home at midnight, but it also means she misses her Eli!

You can’t really see Koko because he fell asleep in her purse during the drive home! Can you see his paw inside the red purse?

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Here is mom with her billet friends, Kyle, JP and Ryan.  Mom was happy to have played another concert, but so sad it would be another month until she could do it again with the Kamloops Symphony.

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Spring Break 2015

Eli and mom had to be apart again at the start of Spring Break.  Here we see Eli and Mom having a GREAT tiger cuddle at bedtime.  Don’t worry, Eli.  Koko will take good care of Mom, and Mom will take good care of Koko!  You will have Kiki to keep you busy.

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Mom packed her violin, her symphony music and black dress, and a bunch of other luggage for a surprise trip with the little tiger afterward!

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Shopping!

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First Mom returned some light bulbs and Koko was sad to say goodbye to them. Mom told him it was okay and they were going to buy different ones at another store. The returns clerk thought Koko was adorable. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ccb/70764738/files/2015/01/img_5980.jpg
Next we went to our favourite Seattle store: IKEA!! Koko saw the sign and started purring from happiness. Mom would have purred to if she knew how.
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Next we stopped for lunch. Koko had Saithe fish. He thought it was delicious and really wants to eat more fish at home. He hopes Eli will keep an open mind at trying new foods and wants Eli to know fish is very healthy. What do you think, Eli?
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We looked at lighting and Koko pounced up on top of some funny lights. What a silly tiger!/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ccb/70764738/files/2015/01/img_5986.jpg
Ryan now has super nice energy-efficient bulbs for his room. Koko found the last six in stock. He is very excited to do things to help our environment and protect other Tigers!
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At one point Koko took a nap while Mom looked at fabric. Isn’t he precious?
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Next Koko found the rug Auntie Gail wants. Koko was happy to help her out because she is so nice to our family.
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The highlight of the day was certainly getting the family’s first snow blower! Not only will it help mom keep the driveway clear for her students and customers, but Ryan can start a snow removal service for the neighbourhood.
Getting the machine into the car was tricky. The men at Sears tried many ways of getting it into mom’s Prius hatchback but mom knew the right way to make it fit. Mom is super amazing at making things fit in this car.
Here is Koko in the back seat on the new blower.
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Here are the really helpful, strong men who did the heavy lifting. They were happy to have their photos taken with Koko.
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Seattle visit!

On January 1 mom got up early to finish her knitting. She made a purple scarf for Angela, isn’t that nice? Koko said it was very warm and soft.
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Mom and Koko then drove over the international border to the USA. Maybe the border guard didn’t think tigers should come into Washington state or something, because he searched mom’s car and was really cranky. Mom had wanted to ask to have Koko’s picture taken with the officer and is glad she didn’t ask him because he would have frowned in the picture.
We got to Bridgette and Richard’s house and played tons of fun board games. Here is Koko with Aidan and Gabbi. The kids were super sad Eli and Ryan couldn’t come along for this trip.
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Here are two new members of the household Eli has not yet met. The orange kitty is a boy named Jinx and the fluffy tabby is a girl named Spooky! Koko cuddled up with them by the fireplace and had a nap. Spooky even started cleaning and kissing Koko! Isn’t that so sweet?
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New Year’s Eve Party 2014

Mommy and Koko had a super fun time on New Years Eve.
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Koko had lots of tasty snacks. Look how much he ate! The plates were full at the start of the night. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ccb/70764738/files/2015/01/img_5943.jpg
After some loud board games Mom and Angela sat in a quiet corner and knotted while talking. Koko had a nap so he would have enough energy to stay up until midnight.
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There were fireworks! But we were so busy watching them we didn’t get a picture. However, mom and Koko did pose for a selfie together.
Happy new year, Eli. It’s now the year 2015.
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The last day of 2014

The day before New Year’s Eve Koko had a FaceTime chat either Eli and Ryan. He was really happy to see his special boy smiling and well. So was mom.
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The next morning, on the last day of 2014, mom spent some time in the hottub with Aunt Marlene. They drank grownup coffees. Koko didn’t want to go in because, like Eli, he thought the water was too darn hot, and he drank tea. Here we are after mom got out to get ready to go into town. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ccb/70764738/files/2015/01/img_5916.jpg
Next mom and Koko went fish shopping with Angela. She had just purchased a super huge aquarium so she needed more pet fish to fill it up. Koko behaved himself at the fish store, even though he really thought they looked quite tasty.
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Soon the fish went into their new home. Koko watched quietly.
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Then Koko made a bad choice and tried to nibble on Angela’s big goldfish, “Bovine.” Koko got a time out for this and apologized afterward to Bovine for his lapse in manners. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ccb/70764738/files/2015/01/img_5932.jpg

Ladies’ Day in Maple Ridge

Angela took us out in her truck with Aunt Marlene for a fun Maple Ridge day. As we were driving Koko saw a really cool hydro-electric damn so we stopped to have our pictures taken.

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Next we went to a really weird store owned by Angela’s friend. They sell army gear, funny stickers (it’s a good thing Koko can’t read yet) and machetes! Koko wanted to bring one home for Eli but mom said he’s not old enough for a machete yet.

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Then Koko watched mom trying on big poofy ball gowns and fancy evening gowns at Value Village. It was kind of boring for Koko. Silly mom, she bought three dresses but argued they cost less than one of them would have new at her favourite formal dress store, le Chateau.

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Cousin Angela was just as bored with the experience.

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Next we stopped for lunch at a strange little diner that looks like a shipping container! Koko ate lots of French fries.

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