Three Days to go. Feeling kinda Low.

According to the side effects information we received at the travel clinic, we are utterly boring and predictable as today my beloved Grumpy and I were both feeling a bit flat, presumably from the yellow fever shots.

Not a bad thing!  We spent the day on bed rest and he did his usual brainiac Internet surfing stuff and probably got some work done as well.  Not sure though, as I was asleep for a good chunk of the afternoon.

Popped in to see my cousins who are up at the Matakana house chilling out and communing with nature.  Very sad about the thought of them leaving, and think it is a shame that we are heading out in the middle of their Antipodean adventure, as I’ve been scheming for nearly two decades to get them to come down to our little island paradise, and it really is a huge joy to have them here.  I hope they will be back.

Back on the subject of the trip:

I now know where Bestie and his family are staying and it just happens to be the same hotel as mother in law so that will be easy.  We’ll try and book ourselves into the same hotel for the night before embarkation.  See how organised I am?  Awe inspiring really isn’t it?

One of the superheroes from yesterday’s meeting has also been working in the NGO and Not For Profit sectors forever, so he’s magicked up some amazing contacts dotted around South America for us.  Having like minded locals to show us around in their own back yards and learn about all the amazing things they are doing, well the idea is just plain heaven!

The children are taking everything in their stride.  Miss Diva Daughter is utterly devastated she is missing out on the last week of school as they are doing a bunch of fun stuff and “BUT MuuUUuuuuUUM! The kids are all getting to wear mufty and they’ll be building forts and stuff! Why do I have to go to Disneyland and then on a big boat while they get to have all the fun!” 


I wish I was kidding, but due to the not-so-conventional upbringing these children have been privy to, they do not see travel as a treat but as something to be endured.  Luckily, I also know that they always have an amazing time once they are on the road (as long as they are not lugged around on the music industry trade show circuit, they’re totally over that circus).

So once I post this I will get up and dust off the suitcases that have not been packed for… Oh, it must be several weeks now at least since our last overseas sojourn… and into those suitcases I will pack good red wine, lovely NZ chocolate and some manuka honey as gifts for the people we’ll see in California before we embark on the ship.

I’ll also strongly consider packing for Steve and myself and probably find something far more useful and interesting to do with whatever waking time I have.

There is a beautiful full moon out in the sky tonight, and there was a lovely sunset.  The weather is going to turn bad for the weekend, which is fine as we have plenty of room inside for children to entertain themselves and grown ups to mingle on Friday evening.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the sunset over Hobsonville airfield from our front porch this evening.



Four Days Until Take off = FREAKING OUT!

Have I packed anything yet?

Not as such no.

Is my house in order and the arrangements made and finalized for while we are away?

Erm… no.

There’s a long and overwhelming list of other things I have yet to get organised, but I won’t bore you or bring you down with all that nonsense.  We have everything we need (our shots, our health, tickets, passports, a sense of adventure…) sorted out and we’ll be on our way shortly.

For anyone who already has the dubious distinction of knowing me in the real world – you will know that amazing stuff frequently happens and mind blowingly cool opportunities are often offered to me through some of the busy-body-do-gooder work I have dedicated myself to over the past few years.



I finally got to meet some switched on superheroes that are involved with an amazing initiative called the Global Poverty Project:

I first bumped into them at the Pop Dining event for the Live Below The Line Challenge.  It was a girls night date with my friends A and D.  Fab night, great food!

You’ll have heard about some of the amazeballs stuff that these guys have done, including that concert in Central Park that you couldn’t buy tickets to, you had to get your “pay it forward” undies on and go and get some good things done to earn a ticket.


I Love them too.

Anyway, that’s what kept me from my chores and preparations. BUT FEAR NOT!  I am going to publish this latest installment of literary genius and then head up to Matakana and get the place nice and tidy for the people who will be taking care of it and enjoying it for some much needed RandR while we are away.

I also totally got Steve to take a picture of me “packing” dressed a bit like a pirate and holding Whittaker’s chocolate bars which we will showering our California friends with as we flit through the state for five days before we embark on the cruise.


Please note:  Horizontal stripes are never flattering… but I probably am actually that chubby right now so will not be partaking in any of the chocolate because I need to drop a fairly hefty hunk of weight to be healthy and happy with my bodacious bod again.

Today the kids also finally had an awesome playdate with the neighbours, pasta and meat sauce was imbibed by most (Mr. 2 years old, or Bam Bam boy as we sometimes call him was not terribly keen on dinner).  So four out of five kiddies hoovered up the grub I set out before them, and then played outside like good little Kiwi kids.  WIN for Dee!  Mom of the year moment for sure.

Other than that, just trying to keep it together and prepare for the festivities on friday.

Hope wherever you are and whatever you are up to while you read this you are well.



5 Days – Shots/Shopping and what about Santa?

One of the distinct advantages, and I am not gonna lie, one of the main reasons we chose to take this vacation over December and January is to avoid the stress and consumerism of Christmas.  

Every year I say I am going to tone it down, and only buy gifts for a few people, and reign in my fanciful fits of entertaining… and every year I totally fail to do this.

SOOooooo.  This year we’re leaving to completely eliminate the temptation to be horrendously Hobbity and buy gifts for dozens (if not hundreds) of people who weren’t expecting them, and probably only feel awkward and obligated by my gregarious generosity… 

I couldn’t leave without sating my undeniable addiction to the Silly Season at least once however, so we are having a small gathering, with forty or fifty of our closest friends and family and I am putting on the mean as Holiday feast (Thanksgiving Themed, as we’re ever so thankful for the Motley Crew that we know and Love.)

Here’s a picture of the last few bits and bobs I picked up for Friday’s feast:



So with the shopping out of the way, I get to prepare for our shots.  Five Healthy Happy Hobbits are heading to the travel clinic to be scared into spending hundreds of dollars of kits, and accessories.  We will be getting our yellow fever shots, and we’ll consider malaria meds and emergency kits for gastro etc.  But in 10 years of extensive travel, we’ve yet to fall prey to any tropical diseases… that we know of.  Still best to be risk averse and make sure we take reasonable precautions not to get sick.  

Here’s a link to the doctors office we are heading to this afternoon if you want to have your brain fried by the endless options as I have:

The other pressing matter we have been discussing when we have a chance, is Santa’s visit.  We don’t want to lug clunky gifts across the planet, but we don’t want to completely forgo the magic of Christmas either… suggestions on this matter would be GRATEFULLY appreciated.

So there’s where we are up to.

I have done exactly zero packing.  Have not so much as set aside my smalls to be packed as yet, but I’ll get there, always do.

Yesterday’s quiche was amazeballs, seriously, and the kids had several helpings.

The cousins (particularly my full blooded boy cousin on the planet) have invaded my heart and my home, and I can’t begin to tell you how much I Love and appreciate them and the time we have spent together, and goodbye is gonna SUCK!

I’ll let you know how we go at the travel clinic… and I’ll keep a photo log of the packing fiasco.

TTFN! (Ta Ta For Now)



6 days to go –

We’re booked and the plane leaves with the five of us on it in 6 days.


What does one pack for two months in South America?  Maybe I should google it.

We’ve had my two cousins from Canada staying with us for the past few weeks.  Which means I’ve had childcare, house help, and family fun on tap.  We’ve also had the extra mess that is made from children being encouraged to be creative and make forts and flower bracelets, bake and generally be messy and have fun.  I’m overwhelmed by the results and not sure where to start in order to get the house back together.

So, I’m here on WordPress, avoiding the tasks that lie ahead.

ImageThis is a picture of our living room at the moment.  Not exactly conducive to well planned, tidy or organised packing.  

The kitchen has also been taken over by two gorgeous blonde girls (my cousin Crystal and my daughter Stephanie) and they’ve spent the past four hours making quiche. 


So here is photographic evidence of the chaos in which we exist.  

I’ll let you know how the quiche turns out later.

I’ve called my Best Friend Shaun (as him and his family will be joining us on our cruise) and we’re all in a similar state of flux and confusion.  Safety in numbers.

Stay tuned, and cross fingers that we manage to get done the things that need doing before we head out.