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America | No Place Like Travel
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Important Lessons

You know when you get that sixth sense that something is going to happen, but you ignore it in the hopes that you can just push it away? Well, it happened. On the drive from Sedona to Phoenix, Baby Boy O was playing with my iPhone. On the 10th failed password attempt my phone self destructed and erased everything. Everything. Every photo. Every contact. Every byte of data.

A sensible person would have backed up their iPhone, but the photo upload to Dropbox hadn't caught up yet so there are chunks of precious vacation hiking moments that were captured then lost, except for my feeble memory. I felt that sinking feeling when you know you've lost something and no amount of anger, sadness or regret will every bring it back. Inevitable. That was how it felt. Finite and unrecoverable.

As the shock subsided I came to accept what I cannot change, and to be thankful for the important lesson my dear son gave me – a reminder that nothing is permanent, and being in the moment is what counts, not the photos, souvenirs and keepsakes we accumulate. The photos may have been deleted, but that experience is always a part of me and for that and so many other things I am truly thankful.



Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Daily Pics: And Pick You Up Again

Lady Luck is on our side. I was sitting at the bank just about to cancel cards and switch over to new bank accounts when I received the call from Delta Baggage Services. They had found my carry on bag. New York City was testing what we were made of – kicking us in the teeth yesterday afternoon and picking us back up again today.


After a cab ride out to Terminal 4, a big hug to Vicky, Mimi, Lee and the Delta team, our stuff is back in our possession. Passports x3. Check books. Birth certificate. Laptop x2. Ipad. Phone. House keys. RV keys. Money and more. Although this stuff has a big impact on our lives, we came to realize that this stuff isn't our lives. We were all still ok. Passports and everything else can be replaced, yes, undoubtedly a major inconvienience, but not a tragedy. Thanks to all the people (including customer service Cindy) at Delta.



Monday, 11 May 2015

Daily Pics: Rough Landing

Welcome back to NYC. We arrived after a good flight, all intact, with everything, minus one very important carry on laptop bag. In the flurry of disembarking we left it in the overhead compartment. If it were any other item missing, it wouldn’t be as big a deal, but this one contained all our very important documents. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Passports, birth certificates, house keys, check books, laptops (yes, plural) the whole enchilada.

After two hours pleading with Delta baggage services, we left the airport empty handed and crestfallen. The bag is lost, possibly stolen. The missing stroller made it to the baggage pick up area, but the carry on didn’t. What next? It’s out of the jurisdiction of the 13th precint police. We have to return to JFK and file a report with the Port Authority police. The additional catch being that to file a report we we need to inform our respective embassies of our lost passports, but to do so requires us to file a report. Go figure. My head is about to explode. New York City has a way of kicking you in the teeth, just when you think you may have landed on your feet. At the end of the day it is a major inconvienience, but we are still happy and healthy, and we have the resources (and perhaps the strength after a good nights sleep) to deal with this dilemma. Upside is that Squee and Fatty Patty are with us.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Daily Pics: Just A Typical RV Day

Two more days to go before we leave Rover. It occurs to me that our RV has been the only real home Baby Boy O has known. Our 200 square foot tiny house on wheels. He's spent more time in Rover than anywhere else, other than my womb. Our nomadic rhythm is normal to him. Packing, moving, shopping, unpacking, swimming, is just another typical day. Boy, that's all going to change very soon!


Baby boy o with sunglasses

Little goofball


Stripping the bed

Stripping the bed


Baby boy o in laundry basket

Good wash needed


Walk around adventure bound

Morning nap walk


Thai lunch

Good ratings, disappointing Thai for lunch


Baby boy o smiling at balloon

That smile. Magic!


English hubby throwing watermelon into the air

Watermelon giggles


Feet on dash

Putting my feet up


Short nap

Didn't last long


Baby boy o with monkey

Monkeying around


Ball in swimming pool

Going nuts



Little vampire. Ouch!





Cooking vegan dinner



Friday, 1 May 2015

Daily Pics: Plane Plane

English Hubby is a plane buff. He spent his teenage years memorizing obscure facts about planes and all that pent up knowledge came flooding out. I was well impressed by his encyclopedic labeling of planes as we toured Davis AFB. Baby Boy O hasn't fallen far from the tree. He has an eagle eye for plane spotting. Two pigs in mud.


Baby boy o looking with big eyes

Hey, you looking at me?!


English hubby and baby boy o on the bus

Security check to get on the bus


Tour guide

English hubby's future volunteer role


Baby boy o looking at planes

Planes big and small


Sealed airplane

Sealed to keep out the desert dust and critters


Looking at planes



Attack helicopters

A for attack


Spare parts

Spare parts earning $10 on the dollar


Air command

Air command during the Cold War

Baby boy o asleep with mummy

Too much excitement

Planes cut up

Cut up so the soviet satellites can see


Galaxy carrier

You can pack heavy on this flight


Yellow Sea plane

Shiny planes


Baby boy o and English hubby

Pigs in mud


Red plane

Big red


Excited boy

So excited he doesn't know where to look!


Baby boy o in cockpit

Can't quite reach


Air traffic control

Cleared for landing


Baby boy o with wooden steering wheel

Pilot training for babies


Fiddly toy

So many fiddly bits


Baby boy o piloting a plane

Taking mummy for a ride


Chin ups

Top Gun training


English hubby eating chilli dog

Top Dog training


Helicopter on fork lift

So this is how you move a helicopter


Looking out at planes

Boys off to see the planes, enjoying a quiet moment


Green helicopter

Camo green


Baby boy o at rear of helicopter

Unafraid of danger


Baby boy o facing off to face

Staring it in the face


Entry to air and space museum

Air and Space Museum rocked!


Voted best in the nation sign

High expectations


Swimming pool at voyager resort

Not bad, but Monte Vista gets my vote


Indoor pool

Swimmy swimmy time


English hubby opening beer

Beer o'clock


Simple dinner

Real simple dinner



Basking in its glow


English hubby at table

Dinner date


Full moon

Vesak full moon



Thursday, 30 April 2015

Daily Pics: Time

We received some news today. The type of news where from that moment onward everything changes, yet everything is as it is and still stays the same. Life plays on. Sadness descends, only to the kept at bay by remembering how fortune has smiled on all of us and still continues to do so. How lucky we have been to have time and to have spent it wisely, without regret. For it is the only currency that cannot be earned back, traded or bought.


Skype with Sevenoaks

News no one wants to hear


Baby boy o and monkey

Bonding with monkey


Undercover RV storage

A place out of the sun


RV storage

Rover's temporary home


In and out burger joint

Old time burgers


In and out burger and fries

English Hubby's favorite


Seal coming off RV

Coming apart in more ways than one


English hubby fixing seal

Some things can be fixed


Smiling baby boy o

Moments like this add up to a life well lived


Dinner outside

Dinner Al fresco


Skype with mum

So far, yet so close


Us together

So much to be grateful for


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Daily Pics: Not a Day Over 55

Arizona is a snowbird retirement mecca, and finding an RV park that caters to the under 55 crowd is as easy as putting an octopus in a string bag (as Reader likes to say). Lucky for us, English Hubby has lovely salt and pepper colored hair, and many places tend to take a don't ask, don't tell approach, so we haven't yet been carded or denied. According to Jim, these RV resorts get quite wild in the Winter. Good to know we have something to look forward to!


Rice pot

What's cooking?!

Indian curry

Loving last night's leftovers


Laundry in stroller

Babe doing laundry


Washing up

More washing up


Baby boy o and box

Playing outside the box


Chicken thighs

Meal prep, thank you Real Simple!


Park models

Trailer trash or park models


Palm tree

Palm tree street


Golf carts

Rush hour at the activity center



Two sessions!


Resort living

Resort living


Swimming pool at monte vista

Not bad at all



Kitchen drumming


Baby boy O with green bowl on head

Funny boy!


Biting dog

Not quite getting the concept of giving Spot a kiss


Site 1423

Farewell 1423


Safeway trolley

Going for a spin around Safeway



Cruising with a melon


Casa grande

Casa Grand not Grande


Baby boy o smiling

Post office smiles


USPS boxes

Picking up a few more boxes

Pool instructions

We're definitely hanging with the over 55 crowd



Been spoilt at Monte Vista



Baby Narcissus smacked his head trying to touch his reflection



Nothing like an afternoon bubble blowing session


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Daily Pics: New York Frame of Mind

Less than two weeks now before we are back in New York City. In some ways it is exciting to be heading back to the big smoke, the land of take out and delivery, the city of convienience and cabs. That being said, I will miss leisurely strolls through the wide aisles of Safeway and not having to battle constantly for personal space. We've started putting our city lives back together. Organizing movers, renovations, toddler classes, nanny interviews from afar.


English hubby on phone

Organizing new windows and window guards


Baby boy o pulling to standing

Trying to pull himself to standing. Not quite there yet


Drinking from a glass

Thirsty business


Nanny posting

Nanny search continues


Bunny on the lawn

Bunny magic


Indian dinner

Not quite Brick Lane but a surprise for English Hubby nonetheless


Monday, 27 April 2015

Daily Pics: Monte Vista

I've grown quite fond of Monte Vista Resort and our little routine here. Baby Boy O and I go for our morning walk to Safeway. He falls asleep, I grab a freshly made green tea and peach drink at Starbucks, with an Asiago and jalapeño bagel, and I work on my book. We pick up lunch, head back to meet with English Hubby who would have finished his morning calls. We get what we can done with the little one in tow, trying to slide in a meditation session or gym workout, and then four o'clock swimmy swimmy time rolls around. We splash, we download, we head back and bathe the boy who is worn and ready for bed. Over the last week and a half we've fallen into a nice rhythm. Enjoying it whilst it lasts.


Baby boy o walking with toy

Morning activity, a stroll around the RV


Walk past tennis courts

Going for a walk


Safeway starbucks

I'll have the usual

Working at Starbucks

Work station


Snack at Starbucks

After nap snack


Baby boy o with Mesa locals

Chatting with the locals


Fork in the road

Fork in the road



Hummingbird song


Pool at monte vista

Missing this already


Baby boy o with Starbucks cup

The American side of him. Will have to show him what good coffee really is!



RV delivery


Napping with daddy

Afternoon nap with daddy


Mum and baby swimming

Swimmy swimmy time


Cuddles in the pool

Splashy splashy

Kisses in the pool

Kissy Kissy


Baby boy o dinner by the pool

Dinner by the pool


RV cover in box

Packing up is starting to feel real now



Sunday, 26 April 2015

Daily Pics: Bite of Arizona

The notion of a lazy Sunday morning escapes us. Baby Boy O was awake at the crack of dawn. The up side is that we are able to pack a whole bunch into a day. Off to the mall to pick up a few new items and then to the food truck festival. Not quite New York standards, but the upside is that we didn't have to line up for hours. Indulged in fish tacos, chickpea ciabatta and even an Indian fried bread, of the North American not subcontinent variety.


Baby boy o unwinding hatch

Adding more tricks to his kit bag


Flyovers in Arizona

Taking you anywhere and everywhere

Arizona mall

Mall rats

Clouds and mountains

Heading to rawhide for lunch


Bite of Arizona

Bite of Arizona food truck festival


Indian fried bread

A different type of roti


Hot tamale

Eyeing the hot tamale

Fish tacos

Delicious fish tacos

Food truck crowd

Not quite the New York food truck scene


Monte vista entry sign

Arriving back home





Monte vista gym

Family work out

Baby boy o reading

Some heavy reading


Reading spot book

Riveting plot line


Saturday, 25 April 2015

Daily Pics: A Mighty Big Thump

Huffington Post published “10 More Realistic Milestones For Your Baby Book” and we just ticked off number one (again) today. Baby Boy O was sleeping soundly in the middle of the bed. Thirty minutes later we heard an almighty thump and a fractionally delayed wail. My heart truly stopped for a second. Running back into the RV not knowing if my little boy is okay. The thought of him hurt weighs so heavy. I cannot even imagine the pain of families in Nepal who have lost their dear ones. How precious our human lives are.

Opening the hatch

Learning something new


Baby boy o breakfast sunshine

Our little ray of sunshine


Large flat rate box

Starting to think about packing...the end of the road trip is nigh


Baby boy o sleeping

Sleeping beauty


Shoes flung

An almighty thud, shoes flung off as I run into the RV


Family hug

Ok after cuddles and tickles

Baby boy o practicing his walking

Back to normal, diligently practicing his walking


Cheeky little smiler

Back to his cheeky self


English hubby with ipad

Off to lunch, but someone is addicted to bandwidth


Using free wifi

Things we do for free wifi


Disgusting pizza

Regretful pizza lunch. Never again, Peter Piper Pizza. What were we thinking?!


Baby boy onetime watermelon

Delicious watermelon


Gym workout at monte vista resort

Sneaking in a gym work out


Laundry day

In between loads of laundry


Scrawl look

His WTF face


Kale dinner

Much needed healthy dinner


Friday, 24 April 2015

Daily Pics: A Good, Good Day

Today has been a good day. Rain clouds came, gave a light sprinkle to wash away the dust, and things are a little clearer now. Our little threesome has found its groove and in this moment it feels good. Our nanny interviewing came to a close and we have three strong, yet very different candidates. Our neighbor, Psych Adam, wrote an article with five tips to handle transitions. We are doing all of them to varying degrees – mindfully anticipating what we may feel when the transition occurs, and anticipate how we feel. Check. Ask for help. Check, check. Keep a routine, sort of check. Know where you are going and keep things in perspective, barely check. Go easy on yourself, must remember to check. Things are a changing, and it has been a good good day.


Baby boy o tearing tissue in bed

Tearing it up


Baby boy o in stroller at Mesa resort

Morning nap walk


Rain clouds

Threatening clouds. Nice to have a bit of rain to clear away the dust


Safeway grocery

Our usual Starbucks writing table and Safeway stop

Picnic in front of RV

Concrete picnic


English hubby giving baby boy o some lunch

Lunching away


Baby and dad plane spotting

Plane spotting


Comparing watermelons

Who is bigger?

Naked bib look

Setting a new trend in baby ware

Bunny under the RV

Back from a quick Fitstar workout. Eye spy with my little eye something beginning with B


Boys reading

Big brains at work


Laptop with nanny interview

Interviews continue, last one done


Nanny list

Shortlisted from over 140 applicants

English hubby holding baby boy o in the pool

4 o'clock swim time again


Thursday, 23 April 2015

Daily Pics: Full Time Mummy

It is a tough job being a full time mummy. Baby Boy O is going through a barnacle phase, where he is stuck to me like glue. Half a foot away is a little to distant. Poh Poh says its a sign of how much he loves us and how deep that attachment is. We are searching for a nanny and all I can hope for is an angel sent down from the heavens to help us look after our little one. He/she will have to have the patience of a saint. Funny thing is we've not had one male applicant. Where are all the real men? Scared to step up to the plate?!


Superhero baby

What's your superpower?!



Finger eating

Eating with his fingers


Fork eating

Mastering a fork


Exploring cupboards

Exploring every nook and cranny


Button pusher

Pressing all the buttons


Pushing his walker

Watch out! Here he comes!


Baby bundle

My little bundle


Mummy's angel

Sweet little angel


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Daily Pics: Stand And Be Counted

All Baby Boy O wants to do is be on his feet. Holding his walker toy, lapping the coffee table clockwise then anti clockwise. It's fascinating watching his skills progress and the lightbulb go on in his head as he connects the dots. Makes me realize how much we take for granted as the synapses preprogrammed over the years fire on autopilot. Imagine having to relearn all of that again? We are no match for a baby.


Light switch

Mastered the light switch!


Mah mah holding baby boy o as he walks

Speedy Gonzales


Happy feet

So happy to be on two feet


Grabbing newspapers

Nothing is safe


Backyard pool

Breaking Bad backyard


Baby boy o with backward cap

Yo Yo Baby Boy O in da house!


Touching pink flower

Pincer fingers strike again


English hubby pool boy

Pool boy


Swim time not so keen

Not as keen today


Baby burrito

Baby burrito


Carrot and prune muffins

Healthy birthday carrot and prune muffins


Monday, 13 April 2015

Daily Pics: Tax Time is So Taxing

Every year it is the same mayhem. Receipts lost, statements missing, manual data entry and books aren't the only things to be unbalanced. Why in the age of Quicken, expense tracking apps and downloadable data are we still in this pickle? Because English Hubby is old school. I'm surprised the quill and ink has been retired. I've managed to extract a promise that next year shall be more straight through processing. The efficiency consultant in me is pleased with that acknowledgement. The cynic in me will wait 365 days to see.


Awake early and walking

Mr Early Riser


Morning walk with mah mah

Off for a walk with Mah Mah


Apple snack time

Snack time


Baby boy o with food all over face

Lunch time


Tax time work

Tax time


Toy cars in boxes

Car smash up


Baby boy o and deadly swimming

Highlight of the day


Elvis impersonator

Smallest Elvis impersonator ever


Ice cream truck



Walking around the coffee table

I want to play, not sleep!


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Daily Pics: Cooling Off

We took Mah Mah to see all the unique sights that Arizona had to offer. Museums, art galleries and the outdoors are so overrated. Instead we visited In and Out Burger, UHaul RV Storage and a supermarket on the way back to Scottsdale. Crying baby most of the way, and temperatures rising high. Thankful for Mah Mah's great idea to go for a swim to cool off.


Mah mah and baby boy o in bed

Snuggling up in bed


Space cadet

Cry baby space cadet



Visiting all the glamorous places


In and out

Panda Express or In and Out?


RV storage

Sussing out some storage for rover


Mah mah and baby boy I

Cooling off in the pool


English hubby and baby boy o in Scottsdale pool

Much needed giggles


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Daily Pics: Rock Art

English Hubby met someone who had a theory that ancient rock art may not have the awe inspiring meaning we sometimes attribute to it. Rather, it may just be as simple as a few bored kids told to go outside of the cave to play, having a bit of fun graffiting the neighborhood, leaving tags all over the place! I think regardless of the reasons why people choose to draw and write, there is something endearing about putting your thoughts out there and creating something to last. It is a way of transporting ideas through time and space. Whether it be ancient rock art or more modern forms of expression like blogging, storytelling ignites the imagination and connects people together.


Baby boy o with plastic container

Cheeky little guy


Family selfie

Hiding from the sun


Talking to national parks guide

Learning more about the desert


English hubby protecting private parts

Trying to protect private parts from a very excited little boy


Getting lift from park ranger

Getting a lift back from the ranger


Going on a hike

Off for a short hike


Prickly pear flowers

Blooming beautiful


Petroglyphs and fighter jet

Ancient and modern. Petroglyphs and fighter jets


English hubby on stairs.

Trying to cover up the warning sign



Cacti caucus


Stay off rocks sign

Between a rock and a hot place


Dear rock art

Oh dear


Spiral rock art



English hubby and mah mah

Belated Mother's Day cuddles


Rock art on stone

The original tablet


Mexican lunch

Late lunch


Cheese crisp

Glad we're hungry


Baby boy o playing with activity center

Another rendition of old McDonald had a farm...enough already!


Friday, 10 April 2015

Daily Pics: Zoom Zoom Zoom

Six more days till our little baby turns one. As a special treat Aunty Ems let him open his very first present. He was stoked. His chubby little fingers mauled the cars. Great entertainment as we repacked Rover to head off for a weekend in Tucson. A welcome break from a few days of intense work. How is it that we still don't have enough time in a day?!

Present wrapped in dinosaur

Every little boy's dream


Present tag from Aunty Ems

Thank you Aunty Ems!


Baby boy o looking at car present

What is this?!


Baby boy o playing with toy car

Is that how it works?


Toy car

Zoom zoom zoom


Baby boy o looking through the window

Peekaboo from our little house in Scottsdale. Little eyes watching us pack


Driving in rover

Road trip!


Mountain view

Back in familiar territory


Sitting outside with Mah Mah

Taking Mah Mah to Catalina State Park


Me and baby boy o

Dancing cheek to cheek


Stripping baby outside

No room for modesty!


English hubby giving baby boy o bath and squirting boat

Bath time fun!


Thursday, 9 April 2015

Daily Pics: Long Time Between Lychee Martinis

First adult only date night in a very long time. Mah Mah was kind enough to look mind Baby Boy O whilst he was sleeping, allowing us to escape for a few hours into the hot bed of fast cars and fake blondes that is the Entertainment District of Scottsdale. Armed with Yelp we decided to brave a sushi fix in the middle of a desert. It all worked out well with a delicious dinner, minus the wasabi laced sushi. All until the clock struck quarter to eleven and we turned back into pumpkins summoned home by a phone call from Mah Mah to a crying baby.


Bum shuffle start

Started off here...


Bum shuffle 2

...and ended up here, with tears because he was moving the wrong way!


Baby boy o eating blueberries and watermelon

Breakfast buffet

Scottsdale apartments under construction

Cowboy apartments


Scottsdale road

Road to entertainment and fashion districts


English hubby and Baby boy o having fish lunch by pool

Poolside lunching


Night time silouhette

The night is young, with a rogue parking ticket to come


Lychee martini

Way too long between lychee Martinis





Sashimi more




And more fish


Salmon carpaccio with truffles

Carpaccio with truffles


Braised beef

Braised beef goodness


Chocolate lava cake

Desert courtesy of our sushi chef, making it up for the wasabi incident


Check at sushi roku

Omakase surprise


Tacky bars

Getting way too old for public selfies


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Daily Pics: Happy Walker

Much happier today after a good sleep. Things just aren't as strange anymore, and the additional space of our little Air BnB house in Scottsdale isn't as scary anymore. Today we had wave after wave of boxes arrive. All our pent up purchasing from having no fixed address whilst on the road.


Happier baby boy o

Waking up on the happier side of the bed


Baby boy o with mah mah opening presents

More presents


Eating jook with mah mah

Jook makes everything better


Great little Scottsdale neighborhood


Baby walker

Look what mummy ordered online?!


Mum and baby boy o holding walker

Someone is super happy


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Baby Boy Grumps

Someone had the grumps today. Now that Mah Mah is over, our plan was to hunker down do get some work done – taxes, CRT, calls, nanny search, and a whole load of leftovers that need attention – but Baby Boy O was not going to have a bar of that. New routine, new house, new grandma. Not a great formula for happy baby.

Baby boy o and mah mah reading storybook

Not so sure about morning story time


Breakfast in the saucer chair

Yummy breakfast


Baby boy o opening presents

Thanks Mah Mah for my presents!


Lunch by pool with Skype

Lunch by the pool with Yah Yah on Skype too


Baby boy o upset

Not happy Jan! (...only people who grew up in Australia in the 80s will understand)


Monday, 6 April 2015

Daily Pics: Biosphere 2

Visiting Biosphere 2 makes me realize that we know so very little about the world in which we live, yet our actions and decisions are based on imperfect snippets of data that we extrapolate and codify and then etch into stone. We think we know more than we really do. We think we can control and predict, yet all we seem to be doing is shift a delicate balance further out to the edges where implications and consequences that were once inelastic become elastic and magnified in its environmental impact. Biosphere 2 is a poor but necessary replication of the original biosphere 1, the Earth. Poor because we can never replicate the complex systems that nature has evolved, not even with half a billion dollars and counting. Necessary as it is the closest thing we have for research and testing, the collection of data which fuels the computer models that fan the flames of our understanding of the very fragile planet we live on.

It occurs to me that the biggest mistake we can make is to think we can definitively know something. When we fall into that trap we shut the door on inquiry, we blind ourselves to the possible yet less probable, we stop reconizing that error allows us to grow and learn, and we fool ourselves into a false sense of security.


Baby boy o with bed head

Serious bed head


English hubby exercising on picnic table

Picnic table cum bench press


Baby boy o playing in RV with toys

Play things


Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2


Glass wall of biosphere 2

An engineering marvel

English hubby and baby boy o on biosphere 2 tour

Youngest biospherean in the group

Airlock door

Pneumatically sealed


Biosphere ocean

Simulating the earths oceans


Rainforest room

Rainforest room


Plastic garbage in ocean

What are we doing to our world?

Fire extinguisher sign

Anyone want to reach for the fire extinguisher?


Desert room

Simulating a desert (located in a desert...the irony)


Rock to soil experiment

Rock to soil experiment, break it down


Girl getting a little handsy with baby boy O

Get your hands off my boy young lady!


Biosphere lung

Expandable lung capacity of the biosphere


Walking in a tunnel

Getting deep down into the technosphere


Biosphere lung

Metal and rubber lung, so the heat expanded air doesn't make the biosphere explode


Outside the biosphere

Imagine spending two years sealed away


Highway roadside fire

We need that fire extinguisher now


Baby boy o holding oranges

Helping with the grocery shopping


Mah mah arriving at Phoenix airport

Welcome Mah Mah!


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Daily Pics: Saguaros and Old Tucson

Saguaros are majestic. They stand tall and proud, growing inch by inch every year. The Native American people believed that they were once people, from the earth and of the earth. To be treated with utmost respect. The unbreakable circle of life, for one day we too will return to the earth to rest.


Baby boy o Easter egg

This is all I get for an Easter egg?


Road to saguaro national park

Off to Saguaro National Park



Zola the tarantula


English hubby walking along the road

Walking the road after Guardian Angel Mike warned us about rattlesnakes


Kings canyon trail

Setting off on the trail


Yellow desert wildflower

Burst of yellow


Desert prickly plant

Beautiful and dangerous


Red flowering cactus

Flowering cactus


English hubby on kings canyon trail

Starting to warm up


Kings canyon desert view

Not a bad dessert view


Pink desert flowers

Blush and bloom


Purple wild flowers

Wildflowers everywhere


Desert selfie

My little desert trekker


Saguaro with two blooms

Which one is female...


Saguaro with one bloom

...and which one is male?!


Yellow cactus flowers

Yellow and prickly


English hubby hiking ahead in the desert

Full steam ahead


English hubby hiking over a hill

Over the hill and far away


Thorny desert flower

Thorn in the side


Cactus shaped like a heart

Prickly love


Six saguaros

Saguaro family


English hubby hiking on kings canyon trail

Beautifully raw landscape


Prickly cactus

Up close and personal


Pineapple cactus

I spy a pineapple


Hairy cactus

Hairy old man cactus


English hubby hiking up to peak

Heading toward the peak against the two hour time limit


Weathered bones

Weathered tree bones



Amazing cactus, over 100 years old


Cactus valley

Into the valley


Old tucson

English hubby going under duress


Gun slinging

Gun slingin'


Lasso cowboy

Lasso whipping Loop Rawlins



Anyone for ribs?!


Old Tucson movie set

Cowboy movie set



Little madam


Goat and horse

Petting zoo


Costumed woman

Step back in time


English hubby in a horse thief coffin

Too tall for a horse thief


Cuddle with mummy

Afternoon cuddle time


Sun setting through the tree

Awesome campsite at Catalina State Park


Mountains at Catalina state park

Perfect view of the mountains


Baby boy O walking on picnic table

Picnic table catwalk


Sun setting out the mountains

Sun setting


Star app

Looking over the night sky


Saturday, 4 April 2015

Daily Pics: A Desert Surprise

I had never thought much about deserts until today. Who knew something so seemingly inhospitable and hostile could be a thing of raw beauty and abundance. Plants, animals, birds and all manner of creatures seem to grow and thrive. They adapt in glorious ways. Adaptation is a skill. Change can be a gift. We booked our flight back to New York City last week. May 11 to meet up with Squee and Fatty Patty. But in truth I have been apprehensive and torn about returning back to the fold. It wasn't until this evenings conversation with Big Red that I surprised even myself. I had a game plan, a spark, a thing of raw beauty and abundance. It had been there all along, and all I had to do was hear myself say it out loud.


Baby boy o with Apple

An apple a day


Road sign for the desert museum

Heading to the desert museum


Yellow desert trees

Burst of color


Red flowering cacti

Beauty in the raw


White car advertising desert museum

Desert ark


Lizard sitting on rock

Hidden in plain sight

Bird into of prickly cacti

Standing tall even on a prickly surface


Desert museum loop

Doing the half mile loop


Bee stack

Condos for bees, sort of like NYC, rooms with a view


Desert scape

Peaceful, calm and open


Baby boy o looking over at little girl

Flirting with a girl way too old for him



Bob the bobcat


Falcons on cacti

Falcon landing


Two Falcons flying

Falcon free form


Up close cacti

Up close and prickly


Red desert plants

Nature's garden


Cacti sprouting

Sprouting out


Cacti standing straight and tall

Straight and tall


Javelina resting in shade

Don't call me a pig, I'm a javelina


Baby boy o with big smile

Best smile in the world


Desert family selfie

Desert selfie


Prairie dog

Fascinated with the prairie dogs


I'm watching you!


Cactus spikes

Getting stuck into cactus


Baby boy o looking at fish

Baby boy o loves fish


Yellow fish

Finding Nemo


Rollercoaster road back

Rollercoaster road


Tra-tel RV park

Catching up on news with Big Red


English hubby with happy face grilling

Happy grilling


Blueberry pie and ice cream

American as blueberry pie


Friday, 3 April 2015

Hello Arizona

Farewell New Mexico, hello Arizona. Our westward journey continues with a surprise lunch time find in Benson – delicious Mexican enchiladas and frajitas. Baby Boy O enjoyed the steak putting his newly emergent teeth to work. We are now in Tucson working out our game plan for this weekend's activities. So much to do and see.


Dad and a baby boy o in bed playing

Playtime in bed


Dust storm sign

This could get interesting


Road sign for Tucson

Heading to Tucson for the weekend

Road sign for Arizona

Land of the stop and frisk


Mi casa restaurant

Mi casa sous casa

Baby boy o and dad at lunch

Hungry hippos


Sizzling frajitas

Sizzling frajitas


Saucy enchiladas

Saucy enchiladas


Baby boy o excited

Someone spies a present...


Daddy with a ball

...from mummy and daddy


Baby boy o so happy with his new ball

Best thing ever!



First glimpse of Tucson


Sunset from barbed wire fence

Sunset from the RV park, where geriatrics and their parents stay




Thursday, 2 April 2015

English Hubby To The Rescue

My blog got hacked again. I don't understand why the cyber universe has decided to pick on my lowly space for musings. I haven't offended any dictators, I don't ask for credit card details or transact, I have no state secrets worthy of prying open. Evil hackers please leave me alone. All I can say is thank goodness for English Hubby. My techno-geek-double-spacing-hero. This is the best post-date night present you could give me: ousting my digital trespassers, sorting out my maps and (hopefully, once they reply to my ticket request) restoring order to the blog pic universe.


Baby boy o playing in the morning

My little ray of sunshine


New Mexico border patrol check

Border patrol ID check

Baby boy o sleeping with finge in ear

Not listening to you!

English hubby cleaning the RV bathroom

English hubby on a cleaning mission

Baby boy o crying from teething pain

Teething is no fun

Baby boy o sleeping through pain

Poor little one, finally napping

RV park in lordsburg New Mexico

Dust bowl stopover

Laptop backing up blog

My hero

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Date Night Flirting

We had a fun date night plus one. Up the road from the RV park was a little restaurant and winery that specialized in thin crust Italian pizzas (yes, made with 00 flour!), home made gelato and extremely big glasses of sweet red wine. The star of the night was Baby Boy O. Over the course of dinner his many admirers would come over to say hello. Pity he can't write yet, else he'd be dishing out autographs. The only person not impressed was the date of the pretty lady Baby Boy O was flirting with.


Breakfast with uncle Vince

Breakfast and long debates with Uncle Vince


Baby boy o crying next to toy balls

I don't want to go to Walmart mummy!

Fillet of fish

One of my many vices


Full moon over mountains

Full moon over mountains


English hubby opening door to restaurant

Date night at Luna Rossa


English hubby with wine and fitbit

Date night wine and fitbit combo

Thin crust Hawaiian pizza

Thin crust yummy-ness

Mesilla basilica

Walk into the old town square in Mesilla


Park bench in Mesilla town square

Listening to music and smooching with my man


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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Daily Pics: Breaking Bad Fever

Another sleepless night. Baby Boy O's fever seems to be easing off a little but there is still no reprieve for his sore gums. Given the situation English Hubby sacrificed his morning hike up to Guadalupe Peak and we pack up and drive toward civilization. When we break for lunch at Popeyes, Baby Boy O seems to be fighting fit, and demanding more chicken. By the time we park up in New Mexico, he's back to his old social self, absorbing every word of our conversation with Uncle Vince from the RV with the cool little Fiat 500 next door. A kindred traveller experiencing a change of pace, from Gulf Stream to A Class. Reflecting back on his life journey he says something that sticks like glue – there are no luggage racks in a hurst. Full stop.


Sunrise at Guadalupe

An early morning start. At least we get to see the sun rise


Packing the RV

Operation pack and go


Baby boy o smiling in carseat

Happy to be heading toward civilization


Guadalupe national park

Farewell, we will be back


Mum cuddling baby boy o with Guadalupe peak in the background

Precious cuddles


10000 miles on rover

Rover clocked it


My first drive in rover

First drive


Salt flats

Salt flats. The name says it all


Baby boy o unwell in car seat

Still not feeling great


Warning sign for barb wire

Post office stop. You'd think it would be pretty obvious


Baby boy o feeling better

Perking up in time for lunch


Popeyes lunch

So bad yet so good


Sign for El Paso

Heading to El Paso


Typical American highway

The quintessential American highway


Welcome to New Mexico sign

The land of enchantment



The inconvenient truth - where our beef comes from. Horrific CAFOs


Baby boy o in breaking dad onsie

Perfect for New Mexico. Thanks Mommy Wolfe


Baby boy o bathing outdoors

After talking to Uncle Vince, we fill up the outdoor jacuzzi


Monday, 30 March 2015

Boondock Fever

And the bad parent award goes to…us. Baby Boy O's fever is persistent and spiking. Perhaps a six mile hike in the middle of the day was not the smartest of all ideas. The poor thing keeps shoving his fingers into his mouth and crying out in pain. I wish it were an act to gain attention and extra cuddles but this time his need to be close is so real and so strong that he'd climb back up into my womb if he could. Of course whilst this is all happening we are boondocking – relying on our own water and battery electrics – in the middle of nowhere, with patchy cell phone reception, and over two hours away from the nearest children's hospital in El Paso. I'm not particularly religious, but I have whispered a few quiet requests to whomever is listening to keep my boy safe from harm.


English hubby doing dishes

Communal sink dish washing to try to save water


Baby boy sleeping fever

Restless night, sleeping his fever off

Guadalupe mountain in the morning

The mighty mountain, blocking any cell phone reception


Baby medication

Wet towels and Pedia Care therapy


Baby boy o and dad at breakfast

He still has an appetite which is a good sign


Rover parked at Guadalupe mountain

Some pretty funky parking to get all 32 feet in the spot


Baby boy o watching dad work

Watching daddy work


Happier baby boy o with mummy

Perking up a little


Guadalupe mountain evening view

Evening view


Baby boy o with mummy and Sophie the giraffe

Itchy teeth


Sunday, 29 March 2015

You Give Me Fever

We finally get the chance to go off the grid for a mountain adventure in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Baby Boy O has a teething fever. Started off with his hands in his mouth and lots of drooling, then progressed in the morning to a fever of 38.5 degrees. After a shot of baby Pedia Care he seems back to his normal self so we headed off on the McKirritck Canyon Trail for a beautiful 6 mile canyon hike. We fretted over him all day, making sure he’s well hydrated with drink stops every 20 minutes, well shaded with an umbrella and well cooled with a wet towel on his neck. He’s a tough little trooper and loved the hike, as did daddy and mummy. Teething really sucks.


Baby boy o having early breakfast

Little poppet feeling very warm


Fresh red tomatoes

Lovely present from a fellow RVer

Long freight train

Waiting waiting waiting

Caution high winds sign

Blown all over the road


ÏEnglish hubby cleaning wind screen

Perfecting the drive by photo moment


Guadalupe mountains

Heading to the Guadalupe Mountains


Rover at entrance to McKittrick canyon

Off to hike McKittrick Canyon


Start of the canyon hike

Start of a six mike hike, a little nervous given the little one's fever


Blue skies in the canyon

Raw and beautiful


Family photo in McKittrick canyon

Canyon pose

Dries river beds

Over dried river beds

Mummy and baby boy o under an umbrella

Nice and cool under the shade


Native plant



Smooth bark trees

Smooth bark trees, right in the middle of the desert


English hubby crossing stream

Hop skip and jump over the little stream

Baby boy o touching tree

Baby Boy O communing with nature


Spindly green plant

Where the wild things grow

Beautiful mountains and blue sky with clouds

Hallowed skies


Feeding baby boy o at the cabin

Pit stop at the cabin

Baby boy o eating fruit

Fruit break, yummy!

Baby boy o feeling a little better sitting on table

Feeling like his old self


Silouhette  of tree and sun

Thank goodness for water breaks every 20 minutes


Sweet little baby boy o

Little smiley guy


English hubby walking the trail

Trudging forward with daddy


Baby boy o carried by dad at the grotto

We finally reach the grotto


Family selfie

Canyon family selfie


Dad changing baby boy o on picnic table

Picnic table bush change


Cool grotto

Natural air conditioning


Baby boy o asleep in the carrier with dad

Exhausted, barreling back along the path


Stones on a river bed

Stone Age


Rocky River bed

Rock on!


Canyon trees

Getting weary in the heat


Glad to have made it back safely. Headed to the campground, navigated tricky parking and fired up the generator for some welcome air conditioning


Baby boy o in orange too carried by dad

My little trooper


Beware of mountain lions sign

Explains the scat on the trail


Baby boy o and dad sitting in camping chair outside RV

Settling in for the night




Saturday, 28 March 2015

Not Much Happens Around Here

We are diving through flyover land. Not much happens around here. Highways, rest stops, bad food, and two bit towns that help join the dots from point A to point B. Van Horn's claim to fame is its middle ground between Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Nothing more.


Baby boy o tiny on bed

Tiny tot

RV overtaking

We are actually overtaking someone!


English hubby cleaning windscreen

Pit stop and windscreen clean


Briefcases for sale at the flying j

The last remaining stash of briefcases in the western world, at the Flying J


Subway lunch

English hubby talked me into a tuna melt


Butterfly toy in RV

Have butterfly will travel

RV park in van horn

Smack bang in the middle of nowhere special


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Friday, 27 March 2015

Fat Dash

One supermarket shop, two fast food stops, four hours drive time, 240 more miles under our belt we made it from Medina to Fort Stockton. Due west along the gun barrel of Texas. We experimented with a new approach – driving two hours, breaking for an early dinner and bath time for Baby Boy O, and then back in the hot seat for another two hours. It sort of worked, with sporadic cries as the little one was woken from slumber by bumpy roads and the loud clattering of dishes and stuff in our RV. The experiment continues.


Baby boy o standing on a trike

Checking out the trike


Rover worked with Harley and stoller

Which ride would you prefer?


Medina hills

Drive through the hills


Long john silvers

Long John Silvers, surprisingly delicious fish and chips and good service too

Baby boy o in car shopping cart

Beep beep, move out the way!


Baby boy o in cart in supermarket

Stocking up at H.E.B.


Mummy and baby boy o under big sombrero

Hola sombrero


Baby boy o standing in RV

Half time break. Letting him stretch out


English hubby standing outside rover

English hubby piecing Rover back together


Mummy and baby boy o playing tickle games

Tickle games


Pizza Hut skinny pizza

Our second serving of fat fast food today. Pizza Hut's skinny pizza with an asterisk stating it is not a low calorie food!


Pizza Hut booth

Notice how wide the booths are?! Pizza Hut patron size


Roadside bathing

Post dinner roadside bath, all ready for bed and the final leg of the drive


Driving into the sunset

Driving into the sunset


Fire sunset

Sky's on fire

Driving to fort Stockton at night

Hello Fort Stockton


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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Daily Pics: Rhythm

It’s hard to believe that we’ve only been back in Rover for 10 days. England, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Hong Kong now seem so very long ago. It’s nice to have now found our own rhythm, a balance as best we can between work, play, family and ‘me’ time. Our clocks seem to have synced. It makes me happy to have a routine, a plan. Perhaps it is the illusion of order and control. I recognize it will change in the most unpredictable ways, but I’ll take it nonetheless.


Baby sleeping on four pillows

Four square


Stonewall Texas neighborhood

A walk around the neighborhood


Lambs in a field

Where’s Mary?


Cranky crying baby

Someone woke up very cranky


Baby standing on dad sitting in rocking chair

Handover time as per the new schedule


Baby trying to crawl

Trying to teach him how to crawl. He’s not happy at all!


Man sitting infront of laptop in RV

Still so much to do and so little time


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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Daily Pics: Me and My Boy

We’re camping out at Peach Country RV Park for the rest of the week. English Hubby gets to make sales calls and I get to hang out with my cheeky little boy. His personality grows stronger every single day and there are many giggles and laughs, but also grumps and tantrums. He came off his straight through the night sleeping schedule a few days back, mainly because of teething. We had to take some action to help him learn to get back in that sleep groove. Baby Boy O has mastered the art of standing. All good except he gets frustrated because he can’t do much else like move, sit or balance. He’s quickly entering toddlerhood and I’m busily reading books and searching for tips and YouTube videos to smooth the transitions. All that being said he is great company. I think we’ll keep him!


Baby playing piano

A couple of renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in C major


Baby holding onto chair and trying to walk

Practicing the art of walking


Baby in the stroller on the side of the road

Taking a long walk down to the Pendernales River


Baby lying on mat in activity center

Taking an afternoon nap after all that play


Man fixing the sink in the RV



Plumbers putty

Putty in my hands


Man cooking on bbq outside RV

Date night BBQ dinner al fresco


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Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Daily Pics: St Patrick’s Day Pot Luck

We are the youngest RVing family here. If you added up my age, English Hubby’s and Baby Boy O’s we would be getting more in the vicinity of our fellow campers. There’s a lovely simplicity that I see around me. At the same time getting old can be tough when you add to the mix Alan’s dementia, Betty’s limp and Linda’s failing eyesight, but there seems to be an acceptance that time moves and we move with it. No sweating the small stuff, focusing on the here and now. Today there was great excitement surrounding the St Paddy’s day pot luck dinner. Naturally we couldn’t miss the social even of the week, so I whipped up a simple stir fry for dinner at 5pm. 


Family breakfast outdoors

Family breakfast outdoors


Baby at ladies knitting circle

Joining the ladies knitting circle


Baby on activity mat

Playtime fun!


St Patrick's day potluck food

Steering well clear of the unidentifiable green stuff


St Patrick's day dinner

Loving the corned beef


Baby sitting on lady's lap wearing green

Going green


Baby at st Patrick's day dinner

Center of attention


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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Daily Pics: Infinite Change

Today is Pi day 3.14.15…and so on, infinitely, random and changing. It is written that the beauty of Pi is that it puts infinity within reach. Therefore today it seems fitting that we commit to make an infinitely wise change. We all have that mental list – eat better, sleep more, do more exercise, moisturize, drink more water, meditate more and so on.  Some day we will run out of time to take that journey of change. So today English Hubby and I have started reading the Zen Habits book, Mastering the Art of Change, and are committing to just one change as we work through the chapters in this book. That one thing is to get more exercise. There. It’s out there in the big wide world. 


Morning fog

Sometimes you need to get through the fog to get some clarity


Dad holding baby in supermarket

We had grand ambitions to refuel, hike and explore. Shopping as always took longer than anticipated


Baby sitting on supermarket scales

Weighing in


Lunch from whole foods

Thank goodness for Whole Foods


Fridge packed with food

Won’t be going hungry anytime soon


RV being refused with gas

Refueling, literally


Two iPads on dining table

After dinner commitment to change


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Friday, 13 March 2015

Daily Pics: Puppy Dog Tales

A restful day at the campsite. Some work, some admin and lots of playing with the little one. The sun finally arrived so we went for a few walks by the river and along the trails. Baby Boy O is now keenly aware of fuzzy four legged friends. Every time he sees one its a “woohf whoohf” greeting. 


Man making green juice in RV

Morning green juice made by English Hubby’s fair hands


Cricket the dog

Woohf woohf Cricket


Rvs parked in campground

Coming back from a morning stroll to the river


Baby asleep in RV

Down time


Baby with look of concentration on his face

Pure concentration


Trees and grass with blue sky and sunshine

Finally the sun comes out to play, after four foggy rainy days


Cute baby wearing baseball cap

Friday afternoon family walk


Man and baby walking with deer on trail

Dear spotting


Puppy dog book

Puppy dog tales


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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Daily Pics: Up and About (Sort Of)

Yesterday I casually wrote “can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow” and Baby Boy O delivers. This morning he hoisted himself up from sitting to standing position, using the strategically positioned car seat as balance bars. If that wasn’t enough, this afternoon he took his first independent steps! Holding onto the couch for dear life, legs shakey and a mix of pure fear and excitement. Small steps for him, big steps for all of us. 


Baby standing against car seat

Hoisting himself up with all his might


Man and baby eating lunch on picnic table

Family lunch outside, sharing it with a few wasps


Baby in bunk bed playing with toys

A few moments of quiet play, in between Pterodactyl like cries


Baby standing

Big steps for a small boy 


Boomerang meat pie

An Aussie boomerang meat pie. Close enough, and tasty. 


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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Daily Pics: Hunger Games

Baby Boy O has been eating up a storm. He can’t seem to get enough of food and milk, and his all time favorite, watermelon. Definitely another growth spurt on the way, adding to the mental leaps he’s already making. Everyday is a new day and learning just continues exponentially. I feel so fortunate to be able to be witness to these events – things we as adults take for granted day in day out – but from a little ones point of view, it is a huge leap to take one foot step after another and hold himself still, to sift out then eject an unsavory food item from a mouthful of food, to open and close a box and take out blocks from a container, to play games with his mummy and understand the idea of taking turns and rolling in fits of laughter at each other. My baby played quietly and even looked after me today as I recouped in bed. His sweet chubby fingers gently wrapped around mine as I napped. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.


Baby on tummy looking out

Sweet Baby Boy O looking at birdies by the Colorado River


Baby eating home made jook

Food glorious food


Dad and baby in carrier asleep

Daddy took him out for a walk to the activity center and along the trails


Colorado River Texas

After lunch walk to the river with mummy


Baby hair

His natural little coif


Baby standing on play equipment

Standing up and holding on like a big boy 


Baby sitting on slide

Having fun at the playgrounds and playing games with mummy


Pork roast dinner

Delicious roast dinner after an afternoon of play, cuddles and naps. Life is so very good


Map of the USA

Netflix date night in, and trip planning


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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Daily Pics: Mamamama

Baby Boy O has a lot to say. Today he did the talking for us both. He loves jumping into conversation, chattering away to Mike our fellow RVer. He made friends with Linda the next door camper too. Best of all those seemingly random syllables may actually mean something. Mamamamama appears to stand for mummy. His first official word. It’s close enough. I’ll take it!


Baby playing on RV floor with dad at computer

Playtime is becoming quite serious


Two men and baby taking outside of RV

Chatting with Mike, the first person online in 1946 when his dad and brother pegged him up with the rest of the laundry 


Baby reaching out to man

Sharing a moment with Mike who has many stories to tell


Bridge over the Colorado River in Columbus Texas

Bridge over troubled waters


Sign for Thousand trails Colorado River Texas

Home for the next few nights. Hot dogs in the activity center tonight, ice cream social tomorrow


RV parked by the Colorado River

Landing a coveted spot by the river


Demand for rent notice

Sorting things out


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Monday, 9 March 2015

Daily Pics: The New Normal

We are settling into a new normal. Baby Boy O wakes us, he feeds, we play. Breakfast, clean up, admin, pack and go. We shop for essentials or gas or something, we lunch and we drive further. He cries, laughs, moans, smiles and more. We reach our destination where I unpack the inside whilst occupying the little one and English Hubby hooks up the RV outside. A little more play, perhaps a book. Then bath, another feed, and put to bed. Then dinner, dishes and we try to catch up on all the things we feel we should have done during the day in transit. Even without a ‘real job’ our time is cram filled with living.


Dad and baby playing with blocks in bed

Morning playtime


Baby napping

Nap time



Looking out the window of the RV

Drive time through fog in Galveston


Baby eating cantaloupe

Lunch time snack


Baby in car seat

Afternoon giggles


Computer screen

Grown up stuff

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Daily Pics: Flying High

We have been completely spoilt with kindness. That bridge of friendship spanning Singapore, New York, Houston and now Galveston began with a conversation at a bus stop. Invited into their family’s home, flying kites on the beach, drinking margaritas over a Tex Mex two plate dinner feast. Sharing experiences and excitement of times to come. It makes me smile and remember how fortunate we are, every moment, every day. 


Smiling lady holding baby boy

What a great way to wake up, smiling.


View of beach from condo

And with a view 


Painting of monkey painting a monkey

Monkey business


Two men and baby assembling kite

Baby Boy O’s first lesson in aeronautics


Man and baby flying a kite on the beach

Up in the air


Dad and baby in carrier flying a kite

Higher higher daddy!


Three adults flying kites on the beach

Big kids


Bird plane and traditional kite flying

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s a rainbow kite!


Man concentrating on flying a kite

The concentration


Man flying kite on beach

Handyman Dan commanding the skies


Galveston beach

Not quite beach weather but nice to on the beach


Tex mex restaurant in Galveston

We’re in Texas. There’s got to be good Tex Mex here


Woman man and baby posing for photo

Waiting for dinner 


Chip and salsa

Only regret is not taking a photo of English Hubby’s two plate original dinner


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Friday, 6 March 2015

Daily Pics: Yellow Balloon Day

Getting settled back into the RV bit by bit. It’s nice to rediscover our tiny house on wheels and not having to live out of a suitcase. Baby Boy O’s shoe rack of clothes is unpacked, toys put away, English Hubby spent the morning rearranging the storage to make room for a stroller too. We now move from two vehicles to one. Rental returned after a circuitous drive around Houston airport courtesy of Google Maps. We are now traveling as a family in Rover, heading down to Galveston to meet Finland Gal and Handyman Dan. Running late of course. 


Baby stuff in RV

The great unpack


White car parked next to RV with lake in background

Farewell rental


Baby in shopping cart with yellow helium balloon

A very happy baby thanks to the lovely lady at Krogers


Baby and mum with yellow balloon in supermarket

Balloon games in the frozen aisle


Sunset over the port

From Houston to Galveston, a sunset with love 


Baby and lady playing with yellow balloon

All you need is a balloon and a Finnish Gal


Man with birthday cake and six candles

Only six years old!


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Thursday, 5 March 2015

Daily Pics: Home On Wheels

Winter caught up with us with a good sprinkling of snow in Dallas. We planned to take off at 9 but ended up leaving by about 10am. So is life with a little one who now refuses to be put down to play alone. Packing takes twice as long! We sludged our way to Conroe to pick up Rover. Luckily he was tucked away safe and sound with everything in good working order. A few quick pit stops to dewinterize, settle storage and restock on supplies, then onto our spot for the night. It’s good to be home.


View of snow from hotel room

Dallas in white


Baby sitting on be playing with buckets

Still practicing with the buckets


Dad and son eating breakfast

Like father like son


Snow on windscreen

Heading 196 miles south!


Highway driving

A balmy 37 degree Fahrenheit 


RV storage unit

Hello Rover


Baby sitting in drivers seat crying

But I don’t want to drive it mummy!


Inside of class c motor home

Flat battery but everything else in good nick


RV on the road

On the road again!


Man and baby in supermarket

Restocking with goodies


RV at lake Conroe

Parking up for the night


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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Daily Pics: Dream Sheet

We put it out there today. Dream sheet shared. Our wish list is out there in the universe and the wheels are a-turning. Where it lands is something that will be revealed to us in good time. It has been a bumpy road to get to this point. Lots of late nights, excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, what ifs and what not. Today good team work shone through, a important and different type of partnership. Tonight we celebrate with In-and-out burgers and a bag of popcorn.


Baby and babysitter playing with toy buckets

Teaching the little one how to stack buckets


Man with umbrella

Walking through the rain



The pitch


Baby on bed with buckets stacked up

Playing bucket games with mummy



A grease spoon milestone celebration


Yesterday’s post: SitterCity

Tomorrow’s post:




Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Daily Pics: SitterCity

Thank goodness for SitterCity. We managed to find a great babysitter to meet us at our hotel in Irving. Baby Boy O loved the attention from someone new. Martha was great, nevertheless leaving my baby with a near complete stranger is a harrowing experience. We had a number of trial runs today – baby sitter and late night pitch perfect rehearsals – and now we have more peace of mind for tomorrow. Que sera sera. 


Babysitter holding baby

Striking gold with Martha


Babysitter changing baby in hotel room

Nice to have another pair of hands


Baby in stroller

Loving all the attention


Baby wearing a supercool tshirt

The t-shirt says it all


Baby playing in hotel room

Calm before the bedtime storm. Sometimes you have to shut the hotel door and rehearse in the hallway


Yesterday’s post: The Final Flying Leg

Tomorrow’s post:




Monday, 2 March 2015

Daily Pics: The Final Flying Leg

It’s been a very long day, starting in LA and ending in Dallas. Another snafu with American Airlines neglecting to inform us that they had changed our 11.10 flight to 09.30. Our patience tested in one long line after another – baggage check, rebooking and then security. Having spent over five hours in LAX Terminal 4 I can now safely say that it ranks as one of the worst airports in the world. Nevertheless we made the best of our closing leg of travel, grabbing lunch, finding a little nook to rest and even sneaking in a floor nap. Baby Boy O held up as well as a teething baby in transit can. It’s near midnight in our hotel room and he has finally melted down. This marks the official close of our round the world in 91 days chapter. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it and looking forward to being reunited with Rover, soon.


Baby sitting on carpet with sign that says week 46

A great way to start the day in LA


Boy holding home made book

Pirate Coopy with his swashbuckling tales


Baby and little girl reading yellow book

Princess Lila recounting stories of dragons


Man and baby with heart shaped balloon

A lot of love in the air


Waiting in line at lax

Line after line


Baby boy o sitting on top of luggage

Bag surfer


Floor napping at lax

Making the most of the situation


Mum carrying napping baby on plane

It’s been a long long day


Yesterday’s post:

Tomorrow’s post:




Monday, 29 December 2014

Daily Pics: Made It To Singapore…Finally

It was a long long flight from Doha to Singapore. The cunning plan was to keep Baby Boy O awake on this leg so he will fall asleep when we reach our destination – a pre-emptive jetlag manoever. Naturally he had other plans of his own and we know who’s boss on that front! Nevertheless we made it to Singapore. The missing Air Asia flight puts things in perspective. Even though we were five hours late, we arrived safe and sound. So very ready for some shut eye if only we could find the right apartment! 

Changi airport 2am

Not the 9.30pm arrival we had expected!


Man carrying lots of luggage

Now, was it 235 or 237? Block A or B?


Baby playing with toys in Singapore

After a half decent nap, Baby Boy O was ready to hit the toy box


Man walking by big green plants

I’ve missed Asia with its giant tropical plants and monsoon rains


Baby in car seat in Singapore taxi

Taxi over to east coast


Blonde woman and baby

Sydney Becs with jetlagged and grumpy Baby Boy O


Baby on cream couch

Still waking up…slowly


Two naked babies

Much happier when we went native with Cousin Curly Kiwi Frog


Chili crab dinner in plastic containers

Post massage take out dinner with the French famiile


Yesterday’s post: 

Tomorrow’s post:




Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Dear American Airlines

Dear American Airlines,

I can only imagine that you get a lot of misplaced complaints, especially over the holiday season. I am sure you are trying your very best to be a great airline, but your reputation (or lack therof) precedes you. Rather than adding to the steaming hot pile of dissatisfaction, here are nine easy ways to make flying with you much more enjoyable:

One…Given your flight schedule is planned well in advance and most people like me would have booked and paid in full for our tickets, you are pretty much guaranteed we will show up with bags in hand. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to you when people turn up and expect a little assistance to check in. Perhaps during these times it may be a good idea to schedule more than two agents to deal with the plebs. These poor check in folks are the face of your company and bear the brunt of your poor resource scheduling. It is not their fault when they are unable to magically process a snaking long line of impatient customers who are worried that they are going to miss their flights, even though they have turned up three hours in advance. Your agents look a little burnt out. It really is a sad state of affairs when your own check in agents recommend we submit a complaint online to help them get more staff “because the company doesn’t bother listening to us”. [note, this letter fulfills my promise to do so]

Two…For a family of flyers (like us) who have to cart an infant car seat from one continent to the next, large plastic bags at baggage check can generate a surprisingly high level of goodwill. This is a common item provided by real airlines, sort of like water and pretzels. Yours is the first to suggest we just throw our infant car seat into the luggage hold without any protective covering. Obviously your damaged baggage insurance policy is rather generous and it is cheaper to compensate travelers for an important piece of kit like this, than to provide a cheap plastic trash bag as courtesy.

Three…As a business traveler I use to hate traveling on flights with babies on board. I admit I would roll my eyes heavenward when I saw some frustrated parent overloaded with diaper bags in one hand and an unhappy infant in the other. Then I became one of “those people” and an epiphany struck – passengers very naturally get annoyed with crying babies (no one likes to be stuck on an international flight with a wailing child), however babies cry more when their parents are stressed out, parents are stressed out because airlines like yours do very little to accommodate. So how about allowing parents with children to board first. Yes, first. Even before your First, Business, Premium and Priority status passengers. This may appear counterintuitive but there is sound, self serving logic to this. It avoids having your expensive fare paying customers getting bopped and bumped by parents like us as we shuffle apologetically past business men and women drinking pre take off champagne. Parents (and therefore kids) are less stressed, kids/babies pick up on the happy vibe and are less likely to fuss, elite customers can enjoy their beverage of choice without spillage and the balance of the force is returned to the universe.

Four…Once the plane has taken off, reaching a safe cruising altitude and the seatbelt sign has been switched off, it would be super helpful to have someone from your customer service team attach the baby bassinet immediately, before you start serving drinks. I promise it will only delay drink service for no more than 30 seconds, and allows the trolley to better roll down an unblocked aisle to deliver refreshments to thirsty passengers without having to navigate an infant, seat table, glass of water and unlatched bassinet frame in a weird cirque du soleil maneuver.

Five…Speaking of baby bassinet, you may want to add that to the list of things that your cleaners attend to, or even better provide a freshly laundered one like your peers at Cathay Pacific. As much as I appreciate your contribution to my son’s growing immune system, I didn’t think it was prudent to let him inhale leftover crumbs and what not from the last baby that used it or perhaps the last person that mistook it for a place to discard trash.

Six…At the risk of sounding like a precious mum, it would also be useful to have an infant seatbelt for my baby. I know my baby son is a bit of a freeloader and we only paid a 10% fare plus taxes for his privilege to sit on my lap. I would still like to think that you value my son’s well being as equally important as the other full fare paying passengers who must wear their seatbelt for safety reasons. Other grown up airlines provide infant seat belts for use during the flight. Although I periodically do strength training at the gym, your sagely advice to “have him on your lap and hold onto him tightly for takeoff” will only go so far. If we were to encounter difficulties during our ascent I doubt my heroic efforts to prevent him from smacking into the bulkhead wall would hold up to much at 130 – 150mph, let alone rough turbulence whilst we are airborn. Just in case you need to convince the bean counters in your organization to approve a requisition order, you may want to think of it this way – if my son remains safe on your flights, he will grow up to be nice and healthy, and one day he will be a grateful paying customer. There’s your return on investment.

Seven…My last baby related suggestion (I promise) is to adjust the design of your 1980’s style bassinets. The carpet blue and steel look can be enhanced by adding some sort of hood or covering. Before you dismiss this as a mother’s crazy rant, hear me out. Your bassinets sit right under that riveting display monitor that shows the flight path, time to destination, outside air temperature and all manner of very useful information. This is illuminated throughout the entire flight. It means the poor little soul who is placed in the bassinet has to fight really hard to get to sleep. I’m sure you would also struggle to snooze if your bed was placed under all the shining lights on the Vegas strip. Remember point number three? That virtuous circle of happy baby, happy parents, happy passengers applies equally here too.


American Airlines baby bassinet

Sleep stealer


Eight…As stewards of industry and proud representatives of the all-things-American brand, you may want to relook at your dining choices. Two types of sloppy cheese or cream covered pasta for dinner? A breakfast snack box totalling almost 600 empty calories which includes an orange muffin thing that has sugar listed first and an ingredients list that reads like it was concocted in a science lab? Really? Perhaps you’ve heard of the obesity epidemic? How about helping to turn the tide by offering real food and fresh fruit. We would really appreciate it and you could eventually make more money as we would remain trim and you could squeeze more passengers into economy by further reducing the seat width and shortening leg space.


American Airlines breakfast

Sugar high 


Nine…Treat your employees nicer. As much as we love overhearing closed curtain galley gossip about the most recent thing “the company” has done and how “corporate” is evil, it really doesn’t reflect well. You employ many kind, smart people who not only get us safely from one destination to the next, but they are also your ambassadors. How they feel about your company ultimately determines how we feel about buying services from you. Please don’t go down the crazy ‘we need more customer service training’ route – that is just a reeducation camp in diguise – you may want to look at simple yet important things like respect and values and perhaps your own staff would not be lobbying customers like me to write letters like this (and we come full circle back to point number one).

Thank you for listening.



Monday, 1 December 2014

Daily Pics: Go!

Today’s our last day in the USA for the rest of the year. Off to London tonight, the first leg of our round the world expedition. Closing one chapter and opening another. Escaping the freezing weather. Thankfully we had our London clothes with us which helped shield us from the 40 degree drop in temperature.  Ready, set, go!

Baby in bothers

Started the day with a little swim in the hotel pool…still waking up after too many episodes of Master Chef Junior. Addicted and adoring Oona!


Mum and baby in a pool

Little dip in the pool


Baby and dad in the pool

Always time for thumb sucking


Family pool selfie

Family pool selfie


Baby floating in a pool

Just chillin’ out


Stroller bag

Pack and go! Love this stroller bag


Lunch at the cosmic cafe

Cosmic Cafe two days in a row. Yum!


Mail in car

Grand Prairie mail run, mobile banking from the car, picking up sunglasses from LensCrafters and buying a big pillow from Walmart. Done.


Baby in stroller with luggage

Someone’s excited!


Mum and baby in airplane

Somewhere above the Atlantic

American Airlines strikes again…


Yesterday’s post: Go!

Tomorrow post: