Archive | September, 2014
Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Daily Pics: Return to the Big Apple

One very sleepless red eye journey later, we are back in the big smoke. Delirious and lugging insane amounts of luggage, we make our way to Big Red’s apartment to catch some much needed shut eye. Frankly the rest of the day is one big blur. Somehow we manage to engage in conversation and eat Seamless web delivered Indian food (how I miss delivery) in front of our lovely friend who is on a juice cleanse. Not only did we subject her to the smells of chicken tikka masala, samosas and naan bread, but to add insult to injury Baby Boy O would burst into tears everytime attempts at cuddles were initiated. Going to chalk this one down to jet lag.

 

Manhattan skyline from front seat of a car

Good morning Manhattan

 

Baby in orange car seat

Baggage safely delivered. Knocked out cold.

 

Yesterday’s post: Farewell Canada

Tomorrow’s post: 24 Hours in Manhattan

 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Daily Pics: Farewell Canada

For every hello there is a goodbye, and today we say a sad “see you later”. It has been an amazing week and a half, being with family. This bit is never fun, but it is a great reminder to enjoy every moment because it is only this very moment that we have.

 

In bed with the grandparents

Good morning to you, good morning to you, good morning Baby Boy O, good morning to you

 

Runny eggs in a bowl

Dad’s breakfast speciality, perfect runny eggs

 

Baby and grandma

Poh Poh I don’t want to leave, can you come with me?

 

Aunty teaching baby to use chopsticks

Learning to eat with chopsticks

 

Siu Mai

So many yummy things to try

 

Har how

Daddy’s favourite

 

Gai lan

Don’t forget the greens

 

Loh bak

Traditional favorites

 

Lai Wong bao

My favorite

 

Baby and grandma at dim sum

Poh Poh’s favorite

 

Grandpa pushing stroller down ramp

After lunch shopping so Gong Gong can buy Baby Boy O an outfit

 

Grandparents giving baby a red packet

Thank you Gong Gong and Poh Poh

 

Kisses and hugs for baby

So many hugs and kisses – Poh Poh wouldn’t let this one go!

 

Family photo with mum at Vancouver airport

See you soon!

 

United States departure sign

Back “home” we go

 

Me and baby with bear

But not before running into a big black bear

 

Baby sleeping in sling

Fast asleep before the plane takes off

 

Mum dad and sleeping baby on a plane

Waiting to get off the ground

 

Baby sleeping in bassinet on plane

Thank goodness for the bulk head seats with the bassinet

 

Flying into the sunrise

Sunrise. Hello New York!

 

Yesterday’s post: Forget The Ryder Cup

Tomorrow’s post: Return to the Big Apple

 

 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Daily Pics: Forget The Ryder Cup

Move over Ryder Cup, Coquitlam hosts a tri-nation competition between Australia, Canada and the USA. Tensions run high in a non stop 18 hole battle. Conditions perfect, players in top form with three hole in ones, but Team USA brings out its secret weapon – baby tiger – to win the inaugural mini-golf championship.

 

Presents for baby

Started the day by unwrapping lovely presents for Baby Boy O

 

Baby helping to unwrap presents

Such a good helper

 

Baby surrounded by lots of toys

Spoilt rotten by all the Canadian relatives 

 

Baby with grandma looking at FaceTime

Seeing his second cousin on FaceTime!

 

Baby asleep

Too much excitement for a little kiddo

 

Mini golf at eaglequest

Well rested and off to mini golf

 

Mum and dad playing mini golf

Team Australia came out of the gate strong

 

Mum celebrating her hole in one

With the first hole in one

 

Taking a long putt

Tensions run high

 

Baby and mum playing mini golf

Team USA pulls out its secret weapon

 

Uncle celebrating hole in one

Team Canada sinks the second hole in one of the series

 

One handed baby feeding, hole in one

Shot of the day – one handed, whilst baby is feeding, hole in one

 

English Hubby celebrating mini golf victory

Leading to a strong Team USA victory

 

Mini golf victory cheer

At the end of the day everyone is a winner!

 

Baby sleeping with mini golf scorecard

A riveting tournament

 

Baby in aunts arms getting grumpy

Home time after a long day of opening presents, mini golf and mall

 

Grandma giving bed time bottle

Bed time bottle with Poh Poh

 

Simple home cooked Chinese dinner

Sitting down to a simple home cooked dinner prepared by Aunty J

 

Pomelo

Finishing on a sweet note

 

Yesterday’s post: Family Day Out

Tomorrow’s post: Farewell Canada

 

 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Daily Pics: Family Day Out

Vancouver finally turned on the sunshine as we explored Stanley Park. So many things to see and do, that we timed out and will have to add it to the future bucket list. The English Bay area reminds me of St Kilda, downtown has skylines akin to New York City, apartments near Stanley Park are reminiscent of Hong Kong’s peak living, all set against the backdrop of beautiful mountains. It is a spectacular and friendly city.

As we get to the last few days of our trip that awful feeling of so much to do and so little time to do it, starts to sink in. Hiking, biking, walking across suspension bridges…I will just have to add it to the bucket list for next time. The focus of our trip was to have quality family time and that is all that matters.

 

Family in a car

Day trippers

 

Tall office buildings

Downtown

 

Japadog food cart

The world famous Japadog

 

Ordering at the japadog food cart

We *had* to stop and try it

 

Five japadogs

Smells delicious

 

Eating japadogs on the street

Tastes even better!

 

Waterfront views from Stanley park

Off to Stanley Park with lovely waterfront views

 

Totem pole

Cool totem poles

 

Several totem poles

Each with a special story

 

Walk along Stanley park sea wall

Going for a nice walk along the sea wall

 

Lighthouse above the sea wall

Past the lighthouse

 

Family posing in front of totem pole

Back to the totem pole park

 

Two ladies playing

Singing nursery rhymes (incorrectly)…”sing a song of six pence, a pocket full of flies…”

 

Bike riding along the sea wall in Stanley park

Definitely on the bucket list for next time

 

Mum and dad at prospect point

Having fun at Prospect Point

 

Baby carried by dad

All snug in his bear suit

 

Dad and baby looking at musician

Listening to music

 

View of bridge from prospect point

Enjoying the beautiful views

 

Canadian flag in the sun

We heart Canada

 

Shadow on Robson street

Next stop, late lunch

 

Cooks making dumplings

At a yummy dumpling place

 

Dad playing airplane with baby

Followed by daddy airplane

 

Baby in sunlight on dad's shoulder

And basking in the sun

 

Family at Grand Palace Chinese restaurant

After lunch comes big family dinner with the Canadian branch

 

Baby grandma and aunties

And lots of cuddles and presents from the Aunties!

 

Baby grandma and uncle

A family favorite

 

Family photo

Capping off a brilliant family day out

 

Baby reaching for camera

He agrees!

 

Yesterday’s post: Rain Rain Go Away

Tomorrow’s post: Forget The Ryder Cup

 

 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Daily Pics: Rain Rain Go Away

It has rained every day this week, but we’ve been stealing moments out and about where we can. Today’s excursion was to the library (again) and the local mall (again). Baby time was so much fun that we had to drag English Hubby along with us to sing renditions of itsy bitsy spider, twinkle twinkle little star, if you’re happy and you know it, and more. There appears to be a simple formula to writing a nursery song – repetition, make it rhyme and give it a few simple hand actions, then viola, a hit with the under two year old crowd. Thirty minutes of kiddy fun where adults don’t have to hold back their inner child. In that moment the world seems so simple and pure. Then off to the mall to get long overdue new prescription glasses.

 

Baby in bed

Grandparents wore him out!

 

Baby lying on grandpa

A perfect cushion for Baby a Boy O, and hot water bottle for Gong Gong

 

Baby in stroller in front of library sign

Off to the library for baby time

 

Baby on dad's shoulder looking around

With so many little ones in one room, Baby Boy O is taking it all in

 

Baby and grandma sitting in library

Sing song and cuddle time with Poh Poh

 

Baby with frowning face carried by grandma

Hey, these nursery rhymes don’t make sense!

 

Man pushing stroller in the rain holding umbrella

Rain rain go away…

 

Baby in car seat in the rain

…come again another day

 

Chili crab, vegetables, salmon and roast duck dinner

Home cooked happiness

 

Yesterday’s post: Baby Sing-a-long

Tomorrow’s post: Family Day Out

 

 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Daily Pics: Baby Sing-a-long

Baby Boy O went to his first baby class today – a free baby play time class offered by the Coquitlam public library. What a wonderful way to encourage literacy, expose little ones to reading and a love of learning. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, Poh Poh who was singing her heart out or Baby Boy O who was thrilled to be among other little babies.

We went on our first date night since leaving NYC. It was a marvelous night out where we got to pretend to be normal people who aren’t sleep deprived. Baby Boy O managed to sleep most of the evening, except for a mini meltdown which made poor Poh Poh very sad. Luckily he had lots of grown ups at his beck and call, and Aunty J had the magic touch. All was fine in the end. The balance was restored to the universe.

 

Baby wearing bear suit in stroller

Cruising to the library

 

Grandma carrying baby in the library

Big squeeze

 

Baby in the library

Fascinated by all the books

 

Bucket of KFC with chips and coleslaw

Lunch at the mall – delicious at the time, regretful later

 

Uncle and baby on the couch

Full babysitting services – we will come again!

 

Asian salsa

Date night at the fusion Japanese heavy metal themed restaurant

 

Sushi roll

How grown up of us!

 

Yesterday’s post: Food Fest For All

Tomorrow’s post: Rain Rain Go Away

 

 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Daily Pics: Food Fest For All

The food theme continues. Baby Boy O had his first foray with “solids” (watery rice congee) and we ate our way across Granville Island. Thankfully the weather held up long enough for a walk along the waterfront. Anything to burn off the calories from the fish and chips, spinach and rice pie, fresh beet salad, mushroom and chicken pot pie, snapper stew, apple pie a la mode, mango cheesecake and chocolate desserts. Decadent.

 

Baby playing with butterfly toy

Morning play with his new favorite toy

 

Baby and grandpa touching fingers

And his favorite Gong Gong

 

Baby fallen asleep in Aunty arms

Chilling out with Aunty J

 

Baby sleeping on blue blanket

Catching some zzzz’s

 

Grandma at stove cooking baby food

Poh Poh preparing his first meal

 

Pan with congee cooking

Made with rice, water, mummy’s milk and love

 

Bowl of congee with orange spoon

First “solids”

 

Dad holding baby eating first food

So yummy!

 

Baby wearing bib with food on face

Gimme more!

 

Handmade local goods sign

Off to Granville Island

 

Grandparents dad and stroller walking along

Exploring

 

Fish and chip camper storefront

On our own foodie and art tour

 

Granville Island Public Market

Granville Island Public Market

 

Fresh raspberries

Seeing red

 

 

Carrots and lettuce

Fresh and green

 

Red and green grapes

Nice and sweet

 

Boxes of loose tea along a wall

Anyone for a cuppa?

 

Dad and baby having a cuddle

Lunchtime cuddles

 

Pot pie with salad on a plate

Pot pie feast

 

Man holding fish and chips

A man eating fish

 

Apple pie with lots of ice cream

Extra scoops of ice cream because Baby Boy O gave the lady a big smile!

 

Waterfront dock and bridge

Walk along the waterfront

 

Seagulls flying up in the sky

Fly away birdies

 

Boat and ice cream statue

Anyone for ice cream?

 

Invasive species street art

On the hunt for street art

 

Face street art

More spotted 

 

Painted concrete silo art

This is how you turn concrete silos into works of art

 

Sign that reads come in we're awesome

Yes we are

 

Three people jumping

One

 

Three people jumping

Two

 

Three people jumping

Three!

 

Walking along wooden path

A nice long walk

 

Canadian geese on the lawn

Real Canadian geese

 

Mother and daughter holding onto pole

Mother and daughter pole dancing

 

Family photo

Family photo

 

Grandma bathing baby

Bath time after a big day out

 

Mum feeding baby a bottle

Starting to hold his own bottle

 

Yesterday’s post: Tasty

Tomorrow’s post: Baby Sing-a-long

 

 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Daily Pics: Tasty

Everything revolves around food in a Chinese family. Before breakfast is over there’s a discussion about lunch. During lunch, plans are being made for dinner. A full fridge is a sign of a happy family, and feeding is a way to show love. It’s a wonder we don’t weigh a ton by now!

 

Baby in blue blanket asleep in grandmas arms

His protector

 

Baby fronting at nectarine

Not too keen on the nectarine

 

Baby eating a toy car

Much prefer the taste of the car

 

Baby with magazine of Prince George

Checking out the other Prince

 

Mum eating spaghetti bolognaise with chopsticks

Italian spag bol eaten with chopsticks! Pasta did come from China after all

 

Yesterday’s post: Grandma Gone Wild

Tomorrow’s post: Food Fest For All

 

 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Daily Pics: Grandma Gone Wild

23 weeks and growing fast. Baby Boy O is a little bean pole. He seems to grow taller each day, resulting in a wardrobe malfunction and a quick trip to Babies R Us to pick out new onesies. A perfect task for a smitten Poh Poh.

 

Baby on activity mat with 23 week sign

Growing up fast

 

Grandma holding onesies

Went in for onesies…

 

Butterfly rattle toy

…came back with toys!

 

Car toy

First car

 

Baby smiling on activity mat

One very lucky boy

 

Yesterday’s post: Sweet Sweet Sleep

Tomorrow’s post: Tasty

 

 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Daily Pics: Sweet Sweet Sleep

All the excitement and jetlag has finally caught up with us. Baby Boy O was a terror, and only Gong Gong could get him to sleep for a sweet two hours. I was worse for ware, struggling in the afternoon and throwing out my back. Thankfully we had many willing hands to keep the little one well entertained and I had lovely mummy hands for a back rub.

 

Grandma and baby sitting on the couch

Just before the meltdown

 

Baby sleeping on grandpas shoulder

Clinging onto Gong Gong for dear life

 

Baby sleeping on grandpa

Two hours later…

 

Happy baby on activity mat

…then waking up so happy and full of beans!

 

Grandma reading baby a book

A story before bath and bedtime

 

Yesterday’s post: So Much Attention

Tomorrow’s post: Grandma Gone Wild

 

 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Daily Pics: So Much Attention

There’s nothing like a baby’s power to turn grown adults into incomprehensible mush! Baby Boy O has been oooh’ed and aaah’ed and hugged and kissed and rocked and cuddled and sung to and played with and more.

 

Grandpa picking up baby from crib

Gong Gong couldn’t wait for him to wake up to play!

 

Baby in bed with grandparents

Lazy morning in bed

 

Uncle and baby head to head

Cheeky and adorable – which one is which?

 

Aunt and baby having photo taken

Morning paparazzi

 

Baby and Aunty touching fingers

Playing his new favorite game – touching worms

 

Mooncake

Belated Mooncake celebration

 

Baby in stroller chewing owl

Time for a walk on a beautiful Autumn day

 

Grandpa, me, Baby Boy O and Grandma

No words needed

 

Grandma pushing stroller in park

Poh Poh pushing her precious cargo

 

Grandma and sleeping baby in front of lake

Nap time pose

 

Autumnal tree

Changing of the seasons

 

Dim sum plates on table

Delicious dim sum lunch with extended family

 

Grandma, Aunty and crying baby posing for photo

Had enough! Sorry, nothing personal Aunty T

 

Baby in car seat smiling at dad

Next moment all smiles, then tears again – jet lag catching up

 

Baby sitting on grandmas lap

Poh Poh can’t get enough

 

Grandpa with baby on lap

After prying him away, it is Gong Gong’s turn

 

Grandma and baby singing karaoke

Afternoon serenade

 

Baby with microphone

Baby karaoke

 

Yesterday’s Post: I’m So Happy I Can’t Sleep

Tomorrow’s Post: Sweet Sweet Sleep

 

 

Friday, 19 September 2014

Daily Pics: I’m So Happy I Can’t Sleep

Firsts are always special and memorable, but this one takes the cake. Having Baby Boy O meet his Poh Poh and Gong Gong is like having all rainbows meet in one spot. Pure joy. Even though it was three in the morning after a long day of travel, Baby Boy O was on his best lovable behavior, melting hearts with smiles and cuddles. Poh Poh sweetly declared, “I’m so happy I can’t sleep”. Even though we were dog tired, sleep at a moment like this is so overrated! There is nothing like family and even though we are in Canada, it feels like home.

 

Man assembling stroller

Unleashing the beast. Stroller games

 

Dad pushing stroller in Vancouver airport

Hello Vancouver. The anticipation builds

 

Grandmas first kiss with baby

The first kiss

 

Baby meeting both grandparents

Double trouble! Baby Boy O loving the attention

 

Grandma holding baby and baby holding heart necklace

He has her heart

 

Grandma holding baby

Cuddles, cuddles, cuddles

 

Aunty and baby

The cuddles continue with Aunty J

 

Baby on play mat with dad, grandpa and grandma

So much attention!

 

Baby held by Grandpa

Someone loves their Gong Gong

 

Grandpa playing with baby on black couch

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands

 

Baby held by smiling grandma

Out to lunch with another serving of cuddles from Poh Poh

 

Baby held by grandpa with grandma talking to him

She won’t let him go!

 

Baby and grandparents looking in mirror

Mirror mirror on the wall…

 

Baby carried by grandpa

Who gives the best cuddles?

 

Grandma kissing baby

Who gives the best kisses?

 

Chinese lobster dish

The lobster theme continues at delicious dinner

 

Baby in stroller with lamb toy

Lamb chop

 

Mum and uncle on couch

Debating the future with Uncle J

 

Yesterday’s Post: 2,444 Frequent Flyer Miles

Tomorrow’s Post: So Much Attention

 

 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Daily Pics: 2,444 Frequent Flyer Miles

We are now officially part of the parental mile high club – earning our stripes by taking a baby on a long haul international flight. Baby Boy O racked up his first 2,444 frequent flyer miles. I’ve never been so thankful for various inanimate objects, namely our stroller that packs away beautifully, the bulkhead bassinet on the plane and our blue mama baby sling. Of course full accolades go to English Hubby for precision teamwork and the little one for sleeping the whole way through.

 

Dad and baby in a diner

Breakfast in Jamaica (Queens)

 

Messy room with crib

Packing mayhem

 

Man folding stroller

Dry run with the stroller

 

Baby with bags at the airport

Checking in

 

Mum with baby sleeping on plane

Sound asleep

 

Yesterday’s Post: NYC Babies Who Lunch

Tomorrow’s Post: I’m So Happy I Can’t Sleep

 

 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Daily Pics: NYC Babies Who Lunch

Soaking in the NYC vibe. It’s true, I’ve missed the unique charms of the city – wafting sewer smells, crazy cab drivers, jackhammers on Second Avenue, that “24/7 I’ve got somewhere important to be, so get out of my way” look that steels most New Yorkers’ faces. Before taking off on the road trip Baby Boy O made sure we experienced the city that never sleeps (…through the night). Today he’s reunited with his womb buddies, and we reconnect with our Bradley class comrades.

 

View up second avenue

I heart New York

 

Baby being carried, looking out the window

Morning cuddles with Aunt Steph

 

Pm an with stroller and picnic blanket on ground

Picking our picnic spot

 

Man wearing dad T-shirt and baby on his lap

Who’s your daddy?

 

Eight babies lying on a picnic blanket

What’s the collective noun for babies? Gaggle, storm, wail, spew, swarm, dribble or headache?!

 

Brooklyn bridge view from cab window

Running late as usual

 

Pub dinner on the table

Babysitter for the boys and yummy gastronomic pub feast with N+C in Park Slope

 

Yesterday’s Post: Salvation Taco and Pizza

Tomorrow’s Post: 2,444 Frequent Flyer Miles

 

 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Daily Pics: Salvation Taco and Pizza

Today was an anemic photo day. More due to the iphone running low on battery, as opposed to lack of interesting subject matter or story line. Oh contrare, significant it was. I was excited to be back in the urban jungle of Manhattan. Baby Boy O is growing up fast, getting his shots and a clean bill of health from Dr S. I finally had some me-time, indulging in a much needed haircut and buying a new pair of skinny jeans, returning to pre-bump sizing (as a SITC fan I now fully appreciate the gravity of Miranda’s skinny jeans moment). Witnessed the end of an era culminating in farewell drinks for Kumar. Delighted with Baby Boy O’s #bestbabyintheworld performance when he fell asleep in a noisy bar, slung to me. Revisiting our old haunts and enjoying delicious bites at Brick Lane and Patsy’s with Aunt Steph. Happy. Smile.

 

Baby with measurements written on piece of paper

Measuring up

 

Yesterday’s post: Another Three States

Tomorrow’s post: NYC Babies Who Lunch

 

 

 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Daily Pics: Another Three States

And so it continues. The last push out of Connecticut, through New York and down to New Jersey. We fly out of JFK on Thursday to Vancouver to met up with my folks. Before our mini Canadian vacation, our tiny house on wheels needed a few things fixed at the dealership in New Jersey, we have a whole bunch of everyday life stuff to do in New York City and lots of friends to catch up with. It’s been a logistical circus, but with luck it will all fall into place over the next five days.

 

Baby in the car

The calm before the storm

 

RV on road passing service sign

This is what four and a half hours of driving looks like…

 

RV passing elm st sign

…at times smooth, at others a nightmare…

 

RV heading toward NYC

…following the signs to NYC…

 

RV at tollbooth

…tolls, tolls, tolls…

 

RV passing manhattan

…skirting past Manhattan…

 

RV heading to the bridge

…heading for the George Washington Bridge…

 

RV rounding a corner

…round the corner…

 

RV under tunnel

…under…

 

RV on bridge

…over…

 

RV past manhattan skyline

…last glimpse of the city that never sleeps…

 

RV with plane flying overhead

…incoming at 10 o’clock…

 

RV between two trucks

…rest stop wedgie, dealing with crying baby…

 

RV at tolls

…more tolls…

 

Baby in rear view mirror reflection

…are we there yet?

 

Yesterday’s post: Indulgence

Tomorrow’s post: Salvation Taco and Pizza

 

 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Daily Pics: Indulgence

When was the last time you had a lazy, potter around, let time take its course, sit in bed, read books and eat chocolate day? Hurrah for precious aimless moments like these. So good for the mind, body and soul.

 

Baby reading in bed

Reading in bed with my little boy

 

Baby in stroller with monster hat and blanket

Taking a walk around Charlie Brown campground to see what we could see

 

Baby with thumb in mouth and cute hat

Playtime – songs, tickles and cuddles

 

Baby in jeans

Finally getting dressed in the afternoon

 

Dad and baby hanging out in bed

Daddy joining in on all the fun

 

Chocolate in bed

Thank you lovely neighbors for the delicious chocolate. Feeling rather decadent

 

Yesterday’s post: One Cry Baby and Four States

Tomorrow’s post: Another Three States

 

 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Daily Pics: One Cry Baby and Four States

We start our push back to NYC rather ominously, with a big cry baby who manages to wail through most of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Baby Boy O no longer seems to be impressed with his car seat chariot. Impatience is creeping in even at such an early age. We have a long journey ahead of us!

 

Man at RV rump station

English Hubby taking care of business

 

Dad and baby buying cereal in a supermarket

Stopping for supplies at Trader Joes where my boys do a cereal dance in aisle three

 

Baby in car seat with binky

Possibly the last mildly happy face we get for about 70 miles

 

Baby spit up on leggings

Baby Boy O strikes again. Spit up on perfectly clean clothes

 

Welcome to Connecticut sign

We finally make it to Connecticut

 

Man sitting by a campfire

A well deserved end of day beer by the campfire

 

Yesterday’s post: Rainy Day Pie

Tomorrow’s post: Indulgence

 

 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Daily Pics: Rainy Day Pie

After all the Portland foodie excitement we have a tasty souvenir – a delicious home baked blueberry pie. It’s a rainy day, perfect for catching up on email, drinking decaf coffee and eating pie.

 

RV in the rain

Driving to Ruth’s

 

Half a Maine blueberry pie

Half a pie left…doesn’t last long

 

Slice of Maine blueberry pie

Best pie ever!

 

Yesterday’s post: The Foodiest Small Town in America

Tomorrow’s post: One Cry Baby and Four States

 

 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Daily Pics: The Foodiest Small Town in America

Portland is a little morsel of goodness. There is a passion for food, a pride in local grown and made. So there is no better way to get acquainted with the city than to eat our way across it on a foodie tour. For a little town of 65,000 people, it boasts 315 restaurants, a good handful of them renowned on the dining scene. This food resurgence has reshaped this industrial port town. From hand cut potato donuts, artisan rubs and vinegars, craft beers, artisan cheese and even the revival of mead. It is a complex layer on layer of food, culture, people, attitude, lifestyle and beliefs. Stealing inspiration from Heidi who took a two year sabbatical with her husband to sail across the world, upon return quit her job, opened a travel inspired fancy food store – travel far, eat well, live long. I can definitely subscribe to that!

 

Baby wearing hug the DJ T-shirt and striped cap

Rocking the Portland hipster scene

 

Portland lobster company restaurant

Voted best lobster roll in Maine

 

Mum and baby smiling in the sunshine

With my favorite little person in the whole world

 

Maine foodie tour sign

A delicious find

 

Lobster pineapple and strawberry tasters

Lobster heaven, followed by pineapple with espresso balsamic reduction and strawberry with chocolate balsamic sauce

 

Vervacious sign

Started by Heidi and her husband after a two year sabbatical sailing the seas

 

Stacked balsamic vinegar

Elevating the humble balsamic vinegar

 

Wall of artisan meat rubs

Divine rubs

 

Travel far eat well live long motto

Yes please!

 

Three dollar Dewey sign

Back when the harbor was a place of ill repute, $1 for a lookie, $2 for a touchie, $3 for a…

 

Mum feeding baby under grey cape

Baby Boy O gets his very own foodie tour

 

Old port cobblestone streets

Old Port vibe

 

Farmers market

Weekly farmers market at Monument Square

 

Sunflowers

Sunshine and happiness

 

Band of buskers on the street

Music and life

 

Baby in stroller in front of cupcake sign

Heart and soul

 

Cherry tomatoes

Amazing produce that just screams “eat me”

 

Heirloom tomatoes

Heirloom delicious

 

Cheese case

Getting cheesy

 

Cheese on a plate

Made from cows who eat grass in the lowlands packed with mineral run off blah blah blah

 

Pickles on a board

Pucker worthy mustard pickles

 

Portland town hall

Taking in the history and the sights of Portland

 

Baby looking out

Taking it all in – what curious sights, sounds and smells

 

Stonewall kitchen store

Home batch to major league

 

Scones and Maine blueberry jam

Killer scones and Maine blueberry jam

 

Portland street

Maine street

 

Portland donut shop

Hole in the wall (pun intended!)

 

Bar with hanging mugs

Gritty’s the original brew pub

 

Beer

Refreshments

 

Baby staring at beer

In awe

 

Cobblestone streets with homes and factories

Lots of walking on a three hour tour

 

Graffiti of dog

Eye spy street art

 

Street art of old man

Raw talent, torn apart

 

Randy leading the foodie tour

Randy’s stats – 127 million pounds of lobster, 3.2 million traps, 3400 miles of coastline

 

Seagull on lobster traps

And one lone seagull waiting patiently for the scraps

 

Harbor fish market sign

Iconic fish market where we had delicious smoked mussels and shrimp

 

Lobster in mans hands

Straight from the sea

 

Shellfish on ice

Mermaid food

 

Old wharf warehouses

Fishing roots, anchored to the sea

 

Fore street restaurant

One of the best restaurants in America

 

Two fat cats bakery

With a reputation that travels far and wide

 

Homemade pies

Made from scratch

 

Whoopie pie

Important enough to debate in the legislature. Maine’s official treat, the whoopie pie

 

To do list

Definitely on the list everyday!

 

Eventide restaurant

All this tasting and walking made us hungry

 

Peekytoe crab roll

Peekytoe crab roll

 

Fried oyster roll

Magnificent fried oyster roll with pickled vegetables

 

Baby with spoon in mouth

Getting in on the action with first spoon in mouth experience

 

Bakery sign

Portland in a nutshell – transition from industrial to food capital

 

Baby with oversize sunglasses

Playing it cool

 

Sign for beer geeks on a door

Beer geeks rule

 

Craft beer

They know their stuff

 

Lobster rolls

Couldn’t resist, but it think we are well and truly lobster rolled out

 

Yesterday’s post: Transit Day

Tomorrow’s post: Rainy Day Pie

 

 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Daily Pics: Transit Day

Transit days are my least favorite days. Packing up the RV – I do the inside, English Hubby does the outside – cleaning, driving then unpacking when we get to our next location. Baby Boy O shed a few tears today from the back seat of the car. It may have been the teething, or having to listen to his mother’s poor rendition of various 90’s music pop hits. Regardless, a three hour journey feels twice as long with a little one in the back. Thankfully we made it to Portland relatively unscathed. Looking forward to tomorrow’s foodie tour of the Old Port.

 

Mist over the pond

Magical morning. I’m going to miss this view

 

Baby licking nectarine

His first lick of real food

 

Store that sells wedding dresses, guns and ammo

Some of the funny things you see in transit. The blushing bride can pick up her dress, guns and ammo at the same time!

 

Man in drivers seat of RV in a supermarket carpark

Becoming pros at the supermarket carpark lunchtime stopovers

 

Yesterday’s post: Cruising Toddy Pond

Tomorrow’s post: The Foodiest Small Town in America

 

 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Daily Pics: Cruising Toddy Pond

The nautical theme continues from The State of Maine to Baby Boy O’s first boat trip. Our campground hosts – Jet Boat Ruth and Western Mass Justin – kindly invited us out on their boat. There’s something about being out on the water that is so relaxing and calming. There is a clarity with water. It dissolves and cleanses. It is shapeless yet fills every shape perfectly. It can be rough on top, yet calm underneath. Fluid or frozen, change leaves no mark. Funny how two hydrogen and one oxygen molecule can mean so much, in so many ways.

 

Baby in an infant life jacket

Safety first

 

People on a boat

Lovely morning with Jet Boat Ruth and Western Mass Justin

 

View of pond

Toddy Pond in all it’s watery glory

 

Woman on boat looking out

So very relaxing

 

Baby in life jacket sleeping

So very sleepy

 

Baby in a camping chair

Happy little camper

 

Full moon and pink sky over toddy pond

Perfect full moon evening – Happy Mooncake Festival

 

Yesterday’s post: State of Maine

Tomorrow’s post: Transit Day

 

 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Daily Pics: State of Maine

We’ve been exploring the local area. Little towns that pin the map. Spent the afternoon in Castine, whose town motto is “under the elms and by the sea”. That sea heritage shines through with Main Street heading down to the shoreline, and the Maine Maritime Academy it’s anchor institution. We had planned to see Fort George, but ended up on The State of Maine instead – a ship previously used as an oceanographic vessel that has been recommissioned for training for the MMA. In short a bunch of students on the high seas.

 

Baby smiling in bed

Morning smiles and wishing all the dads in Australia a happy Father’s Day

 

View of lake through dirty RV window

Even a dirty window can’t marr the view

 

View of the shoreline in castine

Pretty tiny town of Castine

 

Sign for Markel's bakehouse

In search of cake and wifi

 

Cookie and coffee

Found. Sugar high with gluten free peanut butter and choc chip cookie

 

Mum and smiling baby at cafe

Baby Boy O causing a stir with the locals

 

Baby with plate on his hand

Playtime improvisation – Baby Boy O’s Super Hero shield

 

State of Maine training ship

Off to see the State of Maine

 

Gangway to ship

Permission to board

 

Baby with official badge

All official on his first boat

 

Deck of boat

Engineers dream boat with four anchors and lots of other moving parts

 

View from the Captain's chair

View from the Captain’s chair

 

Baby and dad listening to the tour

Listening intently to shipmate Stevens and asking questions about pirates

 

Man cleaning RV window

Then back home scrubbing the decks, making room for an unobstructed view

 

Yesterday’s post: A Day of Naps and Swimming in Toddy Pond

Tomorrow’s post: Cruising Toddy Pond

 

 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Daily Pics: A Day of Naps and Swimming in Toddy Pond

A day of glorious sunshine followed by an evening of torrential thunderstorms to wash the humidity away. Toddy Pond (all 10 miles of it) was so inviting. Being able to walk to the edge of our campsite and slide into the water was irrisistable. I managed to suck it up, overcome my fear of deep water and swim out to the pontoon for some sunbathing. Summers should be like this for everyone. Long. Lazy. Days.

 

Food pavilion

Delicious sausage, egg and cheese breakfast at the campground restaurant

 

Toddy lake with pontoons

Refreshing swim in the lake, whilst English Hubby worked

 

Baby with dog binky

Baby Boy O spent hours mastering his new trick that English Hubby taught him – binky in, binky out

 

Baby with fedora hat over face

One way to cover up

 

Toddy pond with a yellow pontoon

Swam all the way to the pontoon, not bad for a water novice

 

Dark skies at balsam cove

Skies getting ready to open up. Coincidently we were watching the movie Noah

 

Turkey sausage, butternut squash and green beans on a plate

All cosy, delicious and warm inside the RV

 

Yesterday’s post: Farewell Acadia, Hello Walmart

Tomorrow’s post: State of Maine

 

 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Daily Pics: Farewell Acadia, Hello Walmart

Leaving Acadia is like saying goodbye to a good old friend. You know the next time you meet, you will pick up just where you left off. The two things on my bucket list for next time are to explore the carriage roads by bicycle, and kayak some of the waterways.

 

Baby smiling

Happiness in a smile, but not happy to leave

 

RV in a walmart car park

Stopover at Walmart to replenish groceries and supplies

 

Baby sleeping on a couch

Ended up having lunch in the car park whilst Baby Boy O took a much needed nap

 

RV on the road in the distance

Short haul drive to our next campground in Orland, near Bucksport

 

Two chairs facing the pond

Front row seats to Mother Nature at Balsam Cove Campground

 

Nany on activity mat in front of lake

Having fun in nature’s playground

 

Baby in dad's arms sitting on camping chair

Great news over Skype from Grandpa F

 

Campfire burning

Perfect campfire evening

 

Yesterday’s post: Picnic by the Pool, Bass Harbor, Cadillac Mountain and Meat

Tomorrow’s post: A Day of Naps and Swimming in Toddy Pond

 

 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Daily Pics: Picnic by the Pool, Bass Harbor, Cadillac Mountain and Meat

Seeing the magnificent sunset from the top of Cadillac Mountain has made me wonder how many of these majestic moments do we actually enjoy in our whole entire lifetime? Of course the sun rises and sets each day, but if you were to count up the number of sunrises, sunsets or even picnics that you savor, would they be more than the number of episodes in a season of bad TV?

 

RV parked in a spot

Our spot at Bar Harbor Campground

 

Baby on belly looking at Skype

Baby Boy O’s morning chat with grandparents on Skype

 

View out to sea

Doing some meditation looking out to sea

 

Picnic by the pool

Lunch time family dip in the pool and picnic

 

Mum cuddling baby by the pool

…and of course a cuddle

 

 

Sign for Bass Harbor

Afternoon hike in Acadia at Bass Harbor

 

Bass harbor lighthouse

Another lighthouse

 

 

Silhouette of dad with sun shining behind

  More rocks to climb

 

Dad and baby standing on rocks by the sea

My favorite people

 

View of islands from Cadillac mountain

Then off to Cadillac Mountain to see the sunset

 

Moon over Cadillac mountain

Half moon rising

 

View of sunset over sea with dad pushing stroller

Soaking in the sunset all around the mountain

 

Dad pulling stroller up stairs

Hard work keeping the cover on with strong winds blowing

 

Beautiful sunset

A gazillion differs colors

 

Sun setting below horizon

Dropping below the horizon

 

Sunset with silouhette

Final burst

 

 

Sign for Mainely meat

Hungry

 

Blueberry beer

Local speciality – blueberry ale

 

Empty plates

BBQ delights. Polished off 14oz

 

Yesterday’s post: Thunder Hole, Otter Point and Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park

Tomorrow’s post: Farewell Acadia, Hello Walmart

 

 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Daily Pics: Thunder Hole, Otter Point and Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park

One thing we’ve learned when hiking with a baby is to take advantage of the mornings. Baby Boy O is on his best behavior, the day is still mild and you get your pick of parking spots as there are fewer people out and about. We managed to leave the RV just after 9.30am. Wonders will never cease! Today shaped up to be a magnificent sunshine day in Acadia. Complete contrast to yesterday’s fogged in vistas. Out came the umbrella, Singapore style, for shade. Whatever keeps the little one happy and allows us a few more precious moments outdoors.

 

Beautiful oastline

Acadia in all it’s glory

 

Baby and dad standing on rocks

Scramble across rocks

 

Wave at thunder hole

Called Thunder Hole for a good reason

 

Lone tree by the edge of cliff

Lone survivor

 

Mum and baby hiking with an umbrella

Hiking Singapore style, bringing our own shade

 

Shoreline at Otter Point

Beautiful Otter Point vista

 

Mum and baby at otter point

Baby and me

 

Lake shoreline

On to Jordan Pond for lunch. Not a bad view

 

Stroller parked on side of lake

The little one napped through it all

 

Dad pushing stroller along carriage road

Hike along the carriage road, surprisingly good for strollers

 

Rocks on mountain

Rocky road

 

View of lake from mountain

Gorgeous view of Jordan Pond

 

Mum and baby wearing sunglasses

Way too much sunshine!

 

Yesterday’s post: Great Head Trail in Acadia National Park

Tomorrow’s post: Picnic by the Pool, Bass Harbor, Cadillac Mountain and Meat

 

 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Daily Pics: Great Head Trail in Acadia National Park

This is what we’ve been longing for. That moment when the proverbial fog lifts and all the planning, saving, packing, moving, fixing and doing finally makes sense. Out the door by 10.30am which is a small feat with a little baby and an even slower English Hubby. On the Great Head trail an hour later. Even though the actual fog never lifted today, Acadia is still a treasure worth seeing.

 

Acadia national park visitors center

Acadia the great

 

Dad and baby at beginning of Great head trail

Excited to get on the right path. Baby Boy O grumbled a little then went to sleep in his carrier

 

Dad with baby hiking through tress

Into the great unknown, praying the little one will cooperate for the next 2 miles

 

Baby and dad on rocky trail

Climbing steadily

 

Sign post for great head trail

Fork in the road, follow the blue markers

 

Baby looking intently

The little one wakes and soaks up the surroundings

 

Fallen tree over great head trail

Loving the trees that come in all shapes and sizes and angles too

 

Family standing near edge of bluff

Don’t step back!

 

Fog covered ocean view

Seeing through the fog

 

Pine tree standing by edge of cliff

Standing tall against the elements

 

Beach with still water reflecting the landscape

Leading to Sand Beach

 

Man walking through grass path toward beach

Walking the path to the ocean

 

Family standing on beach in Acadia

We made it!

 

Small birds on sand beach

 

Baby with puzzled look on face

Now that we’ve finished the hike, where’s my milk reward?

 

Yesterday’s post: Lookout at Camden Hills State Park

Tomorrow’s post: Thunder Hole, Otter Point and Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park

 

 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Daily Pics: Lookout at Camden Hills State Park

Enroute to Acadia, we have a little peek from the top of Camden Hills. The plan was to hike around the top of the mountain, but we were taught another valuable lesson in parenthood – babies don’t like bright sunshine and middle of the day outdoor activities. Live and let learn.

 

Baby in front of kisses stand

Priceless kisses for free

 

Dad carrying baby wearing sun hat

Enjoying the view from the top of Camden Hills

 

View from top of Camden hills with fog over harbor

A touch of Maine fog

 

Grumpy baby

Too much sunshine makes Baby Boy O grumpy

 

RV going over a bridge with a view

Bridge with a view

 

RV on road to Acadia

Acadia bound

 

Rainbow over the lobster pound

What’s at the end of the rainbow?

 

Bar harbor lobster pound

Lobsters of course!

 

Yesterday’s post: Long Walks in Owl’s Head and Rockland

Tomorrow’s post: Great Head Trail in Acadia National Park

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