Days 43-45: Halloween, Miami and the Final Note

What better place to spend Halloween than in a Disney resort?

I would say there were two main build ups throughout the month of October when we were travelling in America – the US elections and Halloween. 

On US politics, it was highly entertaining to follow the drama at the beginning, but by now, we could totally understand why some Americans simply chose to tune out. It is extraordinary times though, and we will certainly check in on 9 November for the election results from London. 

We saw this in Miami… again, this is NOT A political endorsement of any kind ok!

For Halloween, there were literally pumpkins everywhere!

America and Disney took Halloween very, very seriously. 

Sometimes some very cute Mickey pumpkins. 

Sometimes some scary stuff. 

On 31st October, we went trick or treating with the children at our Disney resort. 

Now, the plan was to have Emily in her Ariel costume and Daniel in his Tigger costume. Something like this. 

But Daniel point blank refused to wear his Tigger costume having worn it only this very one time. And what’s with kids and pulling off their head gear all the time?

So it ended up like this on Halloween day itself. Oh well. Off we went. 

He then inspected his haul of victory. 

Both buckets were full! Well done kids for getting the chocolates and sweets for daddy and mummy. 

Daniel was also the totally awesome dude in town. 

We got to play dress up too with Emily given how Daniel was not interested. A Snow White outfit. 

And a mesh of a cone and Belle. 

On day 44, we left Orlando and headed to Miami for a night before we fly back to London. 

Another cracking day. 

We walked along Ocean Drive. 

We found a seafood platter. But eating on Ocean Drive was really pricey. 

We spent the final day on Miami Beach which looked something like this. 

But it was way too hot to stay under the sun, so we made the kids play in the shade. 

We made our way to Miami International Airport. 

We were lucky to be able to use the airline’s business lounge. Wait, hang on, the airline’s business kids lounge rather. =.=

Daniel with his bear on his bum. 

We boarded the plane. 

We arrived in London safely. Here was another jet lagged boy. This poor thing was completely out of himself. 

As this is also our last post for our US road trip, it is going to be quite a feat to sum it all up. Here is the route map we attempted.

There has been an abundance of sunshine and we got our year’s worth of Vitamin D dosage we would have gotten in London. 

We racked up over 5,000 miles over 6.5 weeks in the end. Just to put things into perspective, we drove only 6,000 miles with our car in London over 5.5 years.

Has travelling with kids been easy?

Well, it sure wasn’t with ease. 

We had ups and downs and near misses during our trip. 

Near misses – once I (yeah, me) nearly drove off in the car with the boot still opened. Oops. Then we nearly drove off leaving our pram behind on the floor until some kind soul chased after our car to tell us about it. Oops again. 

Downs. Daniel seriously unhappy in the car. Life is so difficult. 

Emily threw the occasional tantrums. Ok rare but it happens. 

Ups. We got a happy Daniel chappy. 

Even better when there were two happy chappies. 

The number of times Michael and I marveled together at our children showed that we parents are big time suckers. One minute we can’t stand them, the next minute we go all mooshy on them. 

‘Aww, Daniel was so cute when he did this’;

‘Emily said this and it was sooo funny’. =.=

We have been fortunate that we were able to spend all the time with them. Given how we lugged the children around, they did reasonably well under those circumstances. 

We are also quite proud of the following achievements in particular:

  1. We didn’t screw up any of our hotel and car/flight booking dates
  2. We didn’t lose any of our children, passports or Emily’s pink bunny

Of sleep. Now, Michael and I both need sleep, like a lot of it. We are terrible at sleep deprivation. We do struggle sleeping in the same room as the kids. So I swear by these:

At night, the kids can wake up. If either one wakes up, then it’s like arghhh! When both wake up at freagin different times, then it’s a double or triple Fark!!

We also need to deal with naps for the kids when we were out and about during the day. 

Emily is typically quite good at telling us she needs a nap but can take forever to drift off. When she finally drifts off, she’s cool like a cowboy. 

Daniel is a bit better at crashing out. 

Travelling has always been in the blood of mine and Michael’s. 

We had a travelling hiatus when the kids were born, because it was too darn difficult to even leave our house, let alone travel around a freagin country. 

After this trip, we know how to better tackle those two kids, well, we think anyway until they become teenagers. 

Here’s us at our last stop Miami airport. 

They say travelling broadens your horizons. Well, we are ready to travel more now. Let’s go!

So this is it, peeps. What we imagined to be an epic trip is done now. Wheee! We are sad that it has ended, but we are also keen to stop this nomad lifestyle. 

To all you readers out there, especially our friends and family, thank you for adventuring with us. 

This is us signing off. X


Days 36-43: Orlando’s Disney

By the time we arrived at Orlando, we have been on the road for 5 weeks with our two bambinos. 

We had the *foresight* to deliberately plan to stay put for over a week in Orlando before we fly back to London. We needed a holiday to recover from our holiday.  

We stayed at the Floridays Resort in Orlando. Daniel checked out the pool scene. 

Which looked something like this. 

The whole point of staying here for 5 days was so that we didn’ This was meant to be downtime for both the children and adults. 

I read my book. Well, my one and only book though in 6 weeks, and I’m not even done yet. So.slooow. 

Daddy went to the gym to burn off some calories so he could justify the beers and popcorn later at night when the kids go to bed. 

There was plenty of play time for the children in the room. We had dress up time. 

Emily’s colouring skills were exercised, thanks to her aunty Xiao Yi for discovering her talents. Let’s face it, no one is getting any creative teaching skills out of me. 

Emily seemed to be confused about how many horizontal strokes there were meant to be in an’E’. 

We built some legos. 

You can just about see the bomb scene in the living room behind the door. I always feel like it’s tidying up time all the time. 

Now onto Disney. 

First things first. Ticket prices. Fark me. Are we the only people who think these ticket prices are completely extortionate? 

We paid $345 for a 1 day single park pass for us. Daniel got a free pass so it would have been close to 500 bucks for ONE DAY for the whole family if he were older. 0.0

After we got over the shocking prices, we headed to Magic Kingdom because, this was really all about the children. 

After we parked our car, we had to take a ferry to the Magic Kingdom Park. It was an enormous park! We only really did Fantasyland and Adventureland given the ages of Emily and Daniel. 

At 9am in the morning, Disney was already heaving. I thought we did so well by arriving before 9am. Meh. 

The FastPass+ system was to get a special mention. Instead of finding the FastPass booths like it was in the past, we had to use the Disney App which looked something like this. 

We could also see the waiting times for the sights or rides, which I thought was pretty darn cool. Anything above 20mins was a no go. 

In this day and age, it is really true that we needed to be technologically savvy to beat the lines. 

Evidence that we were at the Magic Kingdom. 

Hugs from the princess for Emily. 

And a lollipop too?! My goodness. 

We watched the Mickey show on the centre stage. 

And then it was nearly time to go home in the evening. 

I wouldn’t go into detail what rides we did exactly. We pretty much did everything bar the 60 min wait ride which we couldn’t even get a FastPass for. It was that Snow White ride thingie if anyone is in the know…

All I would say is that if you intend to go, first, save up buttercup because ticket prices alone will cost an arm and a leg. Second, it’s worth reading up a bit before hand for some tips to navigate the whole thing. 

After we checked out of Floridays Resort, we booked ourselves into a Disney resort – we chose the Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. 

The parking area was already an instant hit. 

The check in area. 

Kids at the lobby area. 

We got these personalised MagicBands on check in. These were our everything – room key, credit card so we can charge purchases to our room, security tag to enter the parking lot etc. 

The resort had themes from 4 famous Disney films. 

The Little Mermaid. 


Finding Nemo, of which the theme of the main swimming pool was based on. There was even music underwater!

Daniel being splashed about. 

And the kids playground was also based on Nemo. 

Lastly, it was the Lion King. Roarrrr. 

Mr Rafiki and us. 

We had Timon, Pumba and young Simba walked past our room. 

We were in a family suite of the Lion King. I felt like I was staying in a jungle. The kids loooved it!

Shower time with Pumba. 

Our breakfast table in our room looked something like this with all the birds and bugs and butterflies. 

Disney resort did have that extra cool factor. The themes suited the ages of our children in particular and we embraced the whole Disney experience. 

We also spent Halloween here and we will write a little more on this next. 

We are nearing the end of our trip and we will soon head off to Miami airport to board our London flight. We will be posting one last post after this so stay in touch with us!

Days 32-36: New Orleans to Florida Panhandle

Ok let me just put it out there. Bourbon Street in New Orleans is totally bongkers. I will explain later. 

Driving into New Orleans was a totally different experience in itself. The roads became very narrow, and the building architecture very French. 

We even caught on camera right there a street performer. 

We started exploring the streets within French Quarters on arrival. Children got ready to be proper tourists. 

It really did feel like we were in a different country. 

With such strong influences from the French, Spanish, German, English, Mexican etc, New Orleans didn’t feel very American at all. 

Children’s museums were a bit of a novel thing in America. Off we went to Louisiana children’s museum. 

The kids really enjoyed themselves. This was Emily’s favourite job. 

We then went to the French Market which looked something like this. 

Now in New Orleans, the thing that excited me the most was the FOOD. This place was an absolute culinary delight and I was pretty much in heaven. 

The main type of food was Creole which had strong French, Spanish and African influences. 

For example, this platter we had at the Gumbo Shop included jambalaya, shrimp creole and crawfish something. The small bowl on the right was seafood okra gumbo. 

These were typical Creole food which were delicious. 

Even the kids polished off the food given their appetites were random and we never quite knew when and what they would or would not eat. 

Seafood was good too. We visited Acme Oyster House which seemed to always have a constant queue outside no matter what time. 

Here, we had their fresh raw oysters. Slurp. 

We also tasted po-boy sandwiches. We had the fried fish and roast beef po-boys but we forgot to take a photo so here’s a google image. 

My top favourite was this dish – chargrilled oysters. Ho ma gawd. These were top notch stuff, absolutely divine. 

I had them twice again at Peg Leg Pete’s and Flounders Chowder House in Pensacola Beach later. 

We saw these in the French Market – Cajun Gator sticks. Hmm. Not sure about this one. 

On to sweeter stuff, we tried the beignets (ben-nyeh?!) together with cafe au lait. These were fried dough with powdered sugar on top. 

We noticed that the coffee in New Orleans was much nicer and stronger compared to those weak lings coffees we have had so far. 

Apparently they historically added roasted chicory (the vegetable?!) to strengthen the taste during the civil war when coffee beans were scarce. This practice continued because locals liked the taste. 

I suppose if I drink enough New Orleans coffee I should count these towards my 1 of 5 per day. 

This was us in Cafe du Monde for breakkie. 

A closed up pic of those wonderful beignets. So sinful but yummy.

Pralines were widely available. We bought a couple of praline candies and I hid them in my bag from the kids, and Michael, hoping they would forget I ever had these. 

Now what else famous is made in Louisiana and is one of Michael’s favourite things on earth? People who know him well – yes indeed, it is Tabasco!

We found out that there were many more variety of hot sauce to Tabasco. Emily was inspecting hot sauces of all kinds. 

There was a whole shop dedicated to hot sauces. 

If we wished to sample taste their hottest sauce, the shop was not liable for our stupidity. 

Because that piece of paper there in the box was a waiver of liability notice. O.O

If we survived the hottest sauce sample taste, we could get some ‘hottest f’ing sauce or nuts’. 

Let’s now explain why Bourbon Crazy Street was freagin bongkers.

Firstly it properly came to life only after 10pm – way past my bedtime. Michael and I took turns to walk down Bourbon Street after the kids were in bed. 

I won’t be able to fully explain the craziness I saw. Partly because I couldn’t take the photos I wanted for fear of someone punching me in my face if they caught me snapping their unauthorised photos. 

What you can’t see from these photos were the very drunk tourists (can be funny to watch), very drunk homeless people (not funny), people selling weed/other stuff I didn’t even understand (seriously very rough). 

It was a little bit daunting walking down the street on my own. There was cops presence so I didn’t feel unsafe as such. But some people on this street were really nuts. 

Generally in New Orleans, we couldn’t quite see any serious aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina a decade ago because it had great rebuilding efforts. But we saw poverty in some areas and people living in serious roughness in some pockets. 

These were just some scenes from Bourbon Street. 

It was also a thing here in New Orleans that beads were thrown down by people from the balcony to the people walking on the street. And we can end up looking like this. 

Until the beads became a beauty tool. Ohm. 

After New Orleans we had to make our way to Orlando in Florida. But it was way too far and we had to build in 2 additional stops on the Florida Panhandle. 

On our way to the first stop on Pensacola Beach, we had to go through 4 different US states. We started off in Louisiana and went into Mississippi. 

And then we went into Alabama briefly where the sign said Sweet Home Alabama. 

Finally we arrived at Florida. 

Specifically to Pensacola Beach. 

Pensacola Beach was this really thin strip of land on the Gulf of Mexico. We needed just 7mins to walk between the opposite sides of the strip. 

Whilst the main aim of this stop was really to break up the journey, boy we had such a blast here. The beach was one of the finest beaches both Michael and I had been to. 

We half buried the kids in the fine white sand which they loved. 

We ate at the Flounders Chowder House. Now this place was da bomb. 

Firstly, the food was ultra excellent. I even had sushi which was so so good (normally Asian food in western countries are, you know, questionable…).

We couldn’t even finish the Cobb Salad. 

They had this play area right in front of our table. 

They also had live music – with good songs!

Plus, this was the beach at the restaurant. This place was hot hot hot!

Come on, try beat this. 

It was a quick stop but we fell in love with Pensacola Beach. We raved so much about it to the point we would consider coming back. 

Goodbye Pensacola Beach – it was short but sweet. 

The next stop was Tallahassee which was actually the capital of Florida. There was zero thing to report here. 

Five weeks on, we are well and truly into the last stretch of our road trip. *sniff sniff*

We did our ‘4th millennium miles milestone’. Ee haaa!

Heading to Orlando, we have now done 35 of our 45 nights. 

After dragging our kids literally across the country, we will be in Orlando for the rest of our time, before we board our London flights in Miami. 

We will let you know what we are up to in Orlando soon. 

Days 29-32: Chattanooga to Tuscaloosa

Before the arrivals of Emily and Daniel, I had no idea what a lovie was. 

A lovie is an object someone is affectionately, passionately, crazily and unreasonably attached to. In my opinion anyway.

This is Daniel’s lovie, a muslin cloth. I know, his left thumb may as well be his lovie too. 

He uses the muslin to soothe himself and put himself to sleep etc. Awesome. 

The greatest reason of all, though, is that we have about 15 of these muslins. This means if I lose 14 of them, we are still good. 

Here we introduce Emily’s lovie, a pink bunny. 

Now, I have a major problem with this little pink fella here. 

Why? Because I have only 1 of it. So if we lose this 1 item, we are screwed. 

When pink bunny goes awol in the middle of the night from her hand, we search high and low for it in the sea of her blanket and pillows. By the time we locate it in between the sheets (like how the F did it get there?!), I am wide awake at 4am and I curse silently under my breath. 

Nothing happened to their lovies. Just thought I would document this to embarrass them later. 

We have been on the road and hotel hopping for 4 weeks now. Each time we check out of a hotel, we go: passports, tick; pink bunny, tick. Ok let’s go. 

On day 29, with passports and bunny definitely in tow, we left Nashville on yet another superb day. 

It is true that Fall is really one of the best times to be travelling. We’ve been blessed with great weather so far with only 1 cloudy day. 

En-route to Chattanooga, daddy said we must stop at Lynchburg to visit Jack Daniel’s whiskey distillery. So this was in Lynchburg, Tennessee, where every drop of Jack Daniel’s whiskey was made right here. 

Remember we talked about a dry county? I.e. No alcohol sales within the county. Now, now. Lynchburg is within the Moore county, and guess what, it is a dry country. 

It’s even been like this for 150 years. 

I read up on how a distillery could be here in a dry county. Isn’t it quite hypocritical that they don’t allow anyone to buy alcohol but you can make alcohol, huh?

Tennessee as a US state used to be entirely dry in the 1900s and remained so for almost 30 years. This stemmed from the Prohibition period, and for religious reasons. 

I don’t know how true this is. Apparently the proprietor of Jack Daniel’s distillery worked in the government in those days, and he helped pass laws that it was OK to produce spirits. That’s politics at its finest for you. 

So here we were. 

We would have joined a whiskey tour. However the tours were infrequent and the kids were giving us a hard time. 

They were monkeying around in public places and driving us up the wall. I mean, ok, what were we expecting when we brought them to a whiskey distillery right? 

We decided to skip the whiskey tour and headed to Chattanooga. 

We had the biggest pizza in a really nice restaurant, Community Pie, near our hotel in Chattanooga. 

Chattanooga was meant to be a kids centric town. Look at this heaven on earth for Emily and Daniel. 

We were at the Creative Discovery Museum. Again, ‘museum’ was a grand word for a huge play area. I supposed the educational aspects of some areas justified the tag line. 

First let’s find a parking. 

Oh I meant parking of the pram. 

We had a very welcoming little home here. 

Train tracks for the boy again. 

Busy in the kitchen with chicken. 

Jamming with the crew. This was rock and roll yeah!

After a couple of weeks of sightseeing with us boring adults, it was finally their time and place. I even agreed to let Michael out for a walk and to have a coffee on his own. 

In the afternoon, this was us walking down the streets of Chattanooga. 

We walked across the Walnut Street Bridge – the world’s longest pedestrianised bridge. 

The bridge overlooked the Tennessee River. 

The idea was to go to Coolidge Park for the fountains with interactive water play. 

Well, what good was a fountain going to be if there was no freagin WATER due to a plumbing problem? Argh. This was how it meant to look like in its full glory:

We then went all the way to the other end of town to see the Chattanooga Choo Choo. 

Historically this was the crucial train terminal which served the Southern part of States. 

After it was decommissioned, it was then renovated by Holiday Inn and turned into a hotel. Some of the carriages in the train were actual hotel rooms. 

A coordinated say ‘cheese’ moment by the family. 

The next day, we joined a tour to see the Ruby Falls, which was a waterfall underground in a cave. This was by the Lookout Mountain just outside of Chattanooga. 

The waterfalls looked like this. 

The children actually fared quite well considering the cave was all dark and claustrophobic. We were in there for almost 1.5 hrs!

Customary family picture in front of the waterfall. 

The journey from Chattanooga to New Orleans would have taken us over 7.5 hours so we needed a break in between. 

We booked ourselves into a Bed and Breakfast in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

Now with a b&b, it has to be said that you can never be quite sure about what you are going to get although online review comments can help sometime. 

This b&b though, turned out to be one of the best ones.  

It was part of someone’s home we invaded. 

We had the whole of downstairs to ourselves. See all the ‘A’ signs? There were on everywhere and on everything in the house – the hosts were mad Alabama football fans. 

The kids promptly ransacked the closets of games. 

This place was like heaven for frankly both the children and us adults. 

This was how our bedroom looked like. 

After we packed the kids to bed, we put up our feet to watch the TV drama of the century. 

Sorry my American friends, I was referring to the 3rd presidential debate. 

The next morning, we were served a spread of home made Southern breakfast by our hosts. 

We had breakfast on the terrace overlooking the private lake. 

The children were sad to leave all the wonderful toys and play kit. But we had some serious work coming up as we were driving 4.5 hrs to New Orleans, in Louisiana. 

We saw this on the highway. Only in America. 

We will bring you updates on New Orleans next. Before we get to Orlando, we will also make a couple of stops in the Florida Panhandle (which is the strip in Florida with beaches along the Gulf of Mexico), Pensacola Beach and Tallahassee. 

It’s bye for now. 

Days 25-29: Memphis to Nashville

When we were planning our road trip, this next part of the route was somehwhat the most challenging. We knew we wanted to see Las Vegas / Grand Canyon, and also New Orleans. But we had zero clue on how to fit the jigsaw puzzle in the middle. 

Tennessee was one of our answers. 

Before we left our cottage in Mena, we had some lovely moments. 

We also had some crazy ass messy moments.  

After a 4 night stay in our cottage in Mena, Arkansas, we left for Elvis land in Memphis, Tennessee. 

It has to be said that I fear the almighty iPad might be losing a bit of its Midas touch. Daniel was unhappy when he was in the car of late which meant a hell journey for the rest of us. 

He was 

(Puppies, if you read this when you are able to read letters in the future, this is photo evidence of you being a monkey, but we still love you, just about.)

Memphis was pretty much all about Elvis Presley . 

So we zoomed straight to Graceland. Vroom.  

A little quick one on Graceland. I found this which described it quite nicely:

When Elvis Presley was a young boy, he promised his parents he would make a lot of money and buy them the finest house in town, putting an end to years of struggle. For Elvis Presley, Graceland – a charming and stately colonial revival-style mansion for himself and his parents – was the fulfillment of that childhood promise. 

So he bought this thing here, aka the Graceland mansion, for 100,000 bucks back in 1957 when he was 22 years old. 

I thought about those numbers and I was like, dang, that was impressive. 

Even by today’s standards, that is a lot of money to have at the tender age of 22. When I was 22 years old, I was in debt for 100 thousand bucks bloody hell. 

This was his living room. Very pristine indeed. 

He sold a billion records in total. This gallery collected all the accolades and awards he achieved. The picture here was only a small section of it. 

At last, this was the Meditation Garden, the final resting place for Elvis Presley, his parents, and his grandmother. 

Some said his cause of death was prescription drugs abuse, some said heart attack. Well, whatever it was he died young at 42 years old.

I also didn’t know Elvis had a stillborn twin brother. Was it just me who didn’t know?!

The little sign on the right hand side of the grave was for his brother. 

Now touring the Graceland mansion with 2 young kids was easier said than done. 

Michael and I were each given a special iPad as a touring kit – it was preloaded with information and videos about the tour and the mansion. 

So high tech right? Ideally our tour looked like this where we can peacefully listen to all the narratives about Elvis’ life in this mansion. 

However, it quickly turned into this:

Mine was hijacked by this one here: 

Children, come on! FFS. 

So Michael and I went back to the hotel, googled and read up on wiki Elvis and Graceland on our phones. =.=

We rushed to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis because at 5pm on the dot, there was this world famous ‘duck marching’ ceremony. 

Well, well. First it was crowded with people to the brim. 

Next my spot was *brilliantly* chosen. See that pillar with those stupid flowers in the middle? All the damn ducks were behind that thing, so I saw F all. 

What a stupid waste of time. Gahhhh. 

In Memphis, BBQ is the thing in town to have. We went to Rendezvous restaurant in some back alley. 

We had these ribs. 

It was finger licking good. 

After our dinner, we had a quick wander on Beale Street for live music – we were way too early for the party. 

The next morning, we visited downtown Memphis. Kids were playing against the backdrop of Mississippi River – the 4th longest river on earth (behind Amazon, Nile and Yangtze). 

We headed back to hotel Sheraton via the Main Street. 

The point of me taking this photo was that I found Memphis to be, err, a little disappointing. Michael found the city to be quite alright, but I was unimpressed. Meh. 

Memphis appeared to be the 3rd highest crime rate city in the US. And well, I can tell you I was keen to get back to our hotel before it was properly dark as there were some interesting characters roaming on the streets. 

We waved bye to Memphis. It was then another drive to Nashville – the Music City. 

Our drive to Nashville was on a beautiful and sunny day. 

We went straight to downtown Nashville to see some action. 

Where you could buy 3 pairs of cowboy boots for the price of 1. Each was about 400 bucks!

We wanted to go to the Bluebird cafe, where Taylor Swift was discovered initially. 

Unfortunately, the cafe had a ‘shhh policy’ during live performances….. How long do you think the children can last like this? The answer is ‘not long’. 

So our first challenge was to find a place with live music AND they don’t kick out the children. We found Wildhorse Saloon just off the Broadway. 

Perfect. It was spacious and loud enough to drown out our kids’ noise. 

The children were certainly entertained by the country music performed live and we had a great dinner. 

By the time we left the restaurant with live music, it was dark and we were part of the early night life. Woo hoo!

The Main Street for ‘honky-tonking’ (ie ‘bar hopping’) was on the Broadway. These were the night scenes in town. 

We were, however, the crazy team pushing a buggy in this hippy crowd. 

There were a number of reasons why Nashville was particularly busy when we were there. 

Apart from it being a Saturday night, also unbeknownst to us when we book our trip, Adele was in Nashville on both nights we were here. She was performing at the Bridgestone Arena. 

There was also a big American football match going on at the stadium. 

Plus there was an induction of 3 country music stars to the Country Music Hall of Fame over the weekend. 

That explained why our Nashville accommodation cost a fortune!

The next morning, we had a quick tour around the Ryman Auditorium. 

Well. The main thing to see in Nashville was actually the Grand Ole Opry. It was a huge and grand auditorium for live performances, typically country music. 

But it was too far away out of downtown so we toured this instead – which the Grand Ole Opry used to be anyway. 

We had lunch at Puckett’s. 

For dinner, we were at the BB King’s blues club. 

See the live band behind? So cool man. 

It was a huge effort though to find a child friendly restaurant with a live band, in that out of 10 places, probably only 1 was ok. The rest were just too loud or too crowded or too hippy or too cool for us. 

We arrived at our hotel and we found a free popcorn machine down by the lobby. Much to the delight of the children. Popcorn instead of apples before bedtime. Ha!

On our last day, we drove to see the Parthenon. We are still in Nashville, not in Athens, don’t worry!

Now this was the exact same size as the original Parthenon in Greece. It was first a temporary thing made of woods and plastic etc to commemorate a world war fair. Well, I say ‘thing’, it’s bigger than just a ‘thing’. 

And the local Nashvillians protested when they tried to demolish it – so they made it permanent….

We then visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. 

To complete the circle coming from Memphis, here’s the plaque for Elvis’ induction. He was posthumously elected. 

My verdict on Nashville – my goodness, I loveeeed it! 

It really lived up to its Music City name. 

Next – we head towards Chattanooga, Tennessee, for a couple of nights, and we spend a quick stop night in Tuscaloosa before we get to New Orleans. 

Before we go off, here’s the ‘third millennium miles milestone’ achieved. Yay yay. 

See you all soon. 

Days 20-24: Amarillo to Oklahoma City to Mena

Route 66?

I have been searching for an apt way to describe Route 66, and to explain why it is relevant to our little US road trip. I finally came across this:

‘Spanning 2,451 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, the significance of Route 66 is that it served as the great American road trip in the minds of many.’

Ahh. So you see, Route 66 was one enormously long, long road. For many Americans and visitors from abroad, historically, when they did US road trips, they drove down THE Route 66. 

Sadly over time, it was taken over by new highways and interstates roads. Route 66 was decommissioned and it no longer appeared on modern maps. Boo hoo hoo. 

Route 66 then became a nostalgic thing. Roadtrippers attempt to recreate the scene, and visit the key sights along the old route. 

Some sights were well maintained. 

Some places were sort of half used. 

Some were ghost towns. We came across these derelict areas in Tucumcari. I was so fascinated by it and I didn’t snap any photos! Oops. So here’s a plagiarised photo from google to explain what we saw. This was not even like the worst we saw. 

We left Santa Fe, New Mexico on day 20. We crossed the state line into Texas towards Amarillo. And darn, we lost another hour moving from Mountain time to Central time. 

Texas was more of nothingness I’m afraid. At least on the roads anyway. It was also our first cloudy day. *wonderful*

Before arriving at Amarillo, one of the Route 66 sights was the Cadillac Ranch. These were 10 old Cadillacs nose dived into the ground. 

Visitors including minis were encouraged to spray paint onto the cars. 

Emily climbed onto the car to exercise her lungs. 

And then she was so concerned with the paint marks on her cheek and hand. Well. Stop climbing next time then…

In Amarillo, we took a complimentary limo service with a bull’s horn to the Big Texan Steak Ranch – one of the Route 66 sights. 

Our grand arrival at the restaurant. 

This was how it looked like from the outside. 

This restaurant was famous for the challenge to wolf down a 72oz (2 freagin kilograms!) of steak within an hour and it was on the house. 

The record was 4 minutes, by a woman no less. Seriously? Did she drink the steak?!

We ordered our food sensibly, well, except for daddy who ordered the 10 beers sampler for himself. 

We were on the road again the next day, onwards to Oklahoma City which was in another state, OK, short for Oklahoma. 

We were singing and eating and dancing in the car. 

The road into Oklahoma City was very promising. Beautiful. 

We went to the ‘not bad zoo’, i.e. OK Zoo (you get it?). It was 20 bucks for all of us to get in. Not that I’m an expert in zoos, but it was one of the best zoos I have visited. 

They had a wonderful children’s section to begin with. So that kinda sealed the deal for the best zoo prize in my book. 

With goat grooming activity. We were brushing the goat’s hair. Daniel kept pulling their ears though. 

We were looking at some American Black Bears. Grooowl. Emily was finally happy we found a bear, given we didn’t see any in Yosemite. 

For dinner, we chose Redrock Canyon Grill by Lake Hefner, on the advice of Mr TripAdvisor. 

Well, Daniel was causing mini scenes. This photo was blur because guess what, he wouldn’t sit still. 

But it was one of the best meals we had in America. Very yummilicious. 

This was the view from the restaurant of Lake Hefner. Simply stunning, try beat that. 

The Redrock Canyon Grill on the lake was truly a beautiful find. 

The night we were in Oklahoma City was the 9th October Sunday. That was the night of the second presidential debate in the run up to the US elections. 

Daddy said ‘I HAVE to watch this debate’. Ok then. We sent daddy out to watch from a TV in the hotel’s communal area after the kids were asleep. 

He came back at 10pm ish and the first thing he said to me was: ‘darling, it was sooo bizarre and I had the most surreal experience’. I was like: ‘Huh? Er, WTH happened?’

Basically, there was a little Democrat gathering, in this red Republican state. It was ran by a nutter woman for a grand total of 8 overly enthusiastic peeps, plus Michael the South African. 

They were all stuck in this room of our hotel. There were balloons, little flags, ribbons, Hilary buttons, trumpets, and drinks and snacks. Quite a party eh?

The lady next to Michael kept asking him every 5 minutes during the debate ‘what do you think of tax issue’, ‘what do you think of the Syrian issue’, ‘what are your views about issues x y z’. 

‘How about you sit quietly and let me watch the debate?’ He said to the lady in his head. 

Michael wanted to leave promptly after the debate. The nutter woman told everyone to stay, to which Michael thought: ‘Oh dear, now they want to debate the debate. Great.’ 

They even held a raffle (seriously for 8 people!!) and Michael had to pull the ‘lucky’ number. First prize was some doggy snacks and a leash. 

He came back to the room with a flag, a ribbon and two Hillary buttons. No dog food thank goodness. 

What the F?…

Anyway. If we were gonna be in the States during the run up to one of the craziest elections, we might as well be part of some crazy campaign too. 

On day 22, we hit the road towards our long stay in Mena which we were really looking forward to. 

Oklahoma City was a total delight, we were sorry we couldn’t spend longer. This was bye bye to OK City. 

On our way to the next stop in Mena, Arkansas, we drove through Talimena Scenic Drive in Ouachita National Forest. 

Another super stunning drive. Shyio. We were greeted by vast amount of lush, thick greenery. This was quite different to Yosemite where the greens were comparatively less dense. 

The scenic drive was marred slightly by Daniel the terror. He continued his stunt from yesterday’s dinner performance. 

I say no more. 

We sorted ourselves into Stonehill Cottage. After 9 days of driving through 7 US states and 3 time zones, we were ready to NOT MOVE for a while. 

A beautiful cottage – check. 

A run around the forest – check. 

A fire pit – check. 

Marshmallows – check. 

Braai master – check. 

Al fresco dining – check. 

Beer in a dry county – check. (Dry county means you can’t buy alcohol in any shops within the county)

Rocking chairs – check. 

Hide and seek – check. 

What a bliss this was. 

We leave Mena on day 25 Friday. And we start our next stretch of 10 days on the move before we arrive at Orlando in Florida. 

Up next first, we will spend quite a bit of time in Tennessee covering Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga. 

More of this to come guys. 

Days 16-19: Grand Canyon to Santa Fe

One of the many challenges when travelling with young children, is one of mobility. 

When they are travelling in the car, they have generally been good, except for the last stretches. I am also using the word ‘generally’ very loosely. Ok I need to give thanks to the movies on the iPad. 

When we are not in the car, we need a few creative ways to cart the children around. 

Both walking at the same time is almost unseen of. 

We have the most standard way we try to achieve every single time. 

This is the back view of the said strived standard method. 

But the kids play up and they want to swap seats, because, you know, whatever is NOT theirs is obviously better. 

Then we have the small one in the bjorn. I think he’s already exceeded the max weight on that thing. Ah well, tough. 

Or we have the traditional hand carry way. 

Or we have both vying for the same damn spot. Again, because whatever the other one wants is clearly THE BEST option. 

Or we have them on our shoulders. Like this. 

Or we have this in the supermarket instead of a traditional trolley, and we hoot the whole place down. 

Moving on literally. In a more conventional transportation mode, i.e., our minivan, we made our way from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon on day 16. 

One of the attractions to see en-route was the Hoover Dam. It was right smack on the state line between Nevada and Arizona. 

1931 was the year they started the dam construction and 1935 the year they were done. 

This was the reservoir side, called the Lake Mead. 

Water levels were pretty much at historical lows. There have been severe droughts in the last few years. 

And then we have this at the other side of the dam. 

Everything was pretty impressive. However I have to say it was really too touristy for my liking (ok I know I was a darn tourist myself and I was adding to the crowd). 

When I read up on the Grand Canyon, one of the common themes was that ‘you have to see it for yourself’ or ‘words fail to describe the awe’ etc etc. 

So I thought, ‘meh, how great can it be right?’

Ok fine. You really do have to see it for yourself. 

Ah ma gawd. The Grand Canyon was quite something and was bloody impressive. 

We took this photo using just a normal camera. See what I meant?

How was it that the top rim was so straight? And those layers of rocks were so symmetrical like some piles of neat layered cakes. 

Seriously. Trying to get a decent family photo was like waiting for all stars and the entire solar system to align. Impossible!

It was a pity that we didn’t have that much time in the Grand Canyon. Plus with 2 young children, we couldn’t do much hiking trails, and it was seriously nerve wrecking for us adults as the rims had no barrier. It was straight down to the canyon just a few metres from where the foot paths were. Way.too.scary. 

We then drove across to New Mexico which looked something like this. 

The clocks changed – we lost an hour in a second we crossed the Arizona/New Mexico state line. Another jet lag to deal with. Crap. 

So the random stop we had to do to breakup the journey before we hit Santa Fe was called Gallup. There was absolutely nothing here to do. 

Hilton did have a nice pool though for the kids to burn off some pent up energy having been cooped up in the car. 

Both looking hot, young and sexy post swimming. 

It was dinner at the Applebee’s. 

We visited Walmart to get some milkies for Daniel. Look at all the Halloween goodies coming out! 

It was so tempting to get them but I exercised all my almighty strength to not put any sweetie bags in my shopping trolley. 

There is this one good thing about travelling with kids. We adults want to ‘set a good example’ in front of them right? 

So we pretend we are all healthy and we don’t eat any junk food. When all of us are always in close proximity, there is no hiding room. 

Instead, before we went to bed, we had some apples in the room. =.=

Bugs bunny said ‘I knew I should’ve taken that left turn at Albuquerque’. 

Well, we made sure we were no bugs bunnies as we did take that left turn. 

We did some usual touristy stuff at Albuquerque. 

The Albuquerque aquarium turned out to be a big hit for Daniel. 

Emily seemed to like the ant more at the Botanical Garden. Yucks. 

Here in Albuquerque, we broke the record of latest bedtime for the kids. 

How? Unbeknownst to us when we planned the trip, our time here coincided with the… wait for it… the annual International Balloon Fiesta. 

Hey, it was international ok, this better be bloody good. 

We had a live band going and the children were rocking it. 

Here was the deal with this fiesta. There were 2 balloon activities for us to see. 

One was the hot air balloon mass ascension. Imagine hundreds of balloons all going up in the air at the same time. Sounds damn cool right? The only problem was this was at 6/7am, which meant a 4am wake up. I’m sorry, there was no.farking.way. 

The other option was to wait for night time to see the ‘Special shape glowdeo’. This was going to be many many cartoony shaped hot air balloons glowing in the dark but they didn’t fly up in the sky. So we went for this. 

Emily was waiting in real anticipation. 

And we witnessed one of the most bizarre yet really cool things. There were many, like MANY, funny shaped hot air balloons being blown up. 

Starting here you can see the balloons were gradually being blown up. 

Then we had this full on thing. 

Sorry these photos really don’t do it justice. It was truly one of the most funky things I had ever seen. 

We finally left Albuquerque in the dark. We arrived at our accommodation in Santa Fe pretty late and we encountered our first hotel problem. I wouldn’t bore you with our hotel saga, we basically got double relegated to a different hotel and to a small room. Not happy bloody hell. 

Anyway. We got compensated with brekkie. So that took away some of our grumpiness. 

One of the highlights in Santa Fe was the Loretto Chapel with its Miraculous Stairway. 

This was how the staircase looked like. But they built banisters around it, I guess for safety reasons. That took away the originality in my opinion. 

Because take a look at how the staircase originally looked like in this photo.  

This showed more of the real deal. 

The set of 2 full spirals staircase does not have a centre or side support, and this defies engineering logic. And legend has it that the carpenter who built it simply disappeared and did not wait to be recognised nor paid. Well, I thought this was pretty cool. 

In the afternoon, we did something we have never done ever before. We went to a children’s ‘museum’. I used inverted commas there, because museum was quite a grand word for the wonderful play area we had. 

Daniel spent ages with the train tracks. 

Emily was busy with her fancy dressing. 

And both had a whale of a time with water play. 

Overall, we did struggle to find child friendly stuff to do in downtown Santa Fe. May be it was because we were tired. May be it was because the average tourist age was around 102 years old so that didn’t help the city to cater for little youngsters. 

Nonetheless, Santa Fe was a beautiful and quaint little town. 

We hit our ‘second millennium miles milestone’. 

In the mean time, we have been following news on Hurricane Matthew. It’s battered Haiti hard, and caused major havoc in Florida. We are meant to be in Florida in 3 weeks’ time so we are watching the developments closely. 

Next, we have 2 short nights in Amarillo (in Texas) and Oklahoma City (in Oklahoma duh) before we park ourselves in a cottage in Mena near Ouachita National Forest (in Arkansas) for our long stay. 

Stay tune folks for the deep and mid southern US part coming up. 

Days 13-15: Death Valley to Las Vegas

‘Daddy, I’m so exciting to go to the next place, because I get to WATCH A MOVIE!’ (I know, we have to fix Emily’s grammar.)

This basically meant we were on the road again. 

From Yosemite to Death Valley was our longest leg – at 6 hrs according to Google, which probably meant 12 hrs after we met all requests for food, nature call, gas call (I meant petrol there).

We said goodbye to Yosemite, where we had mountains, trees and ok, a bit of water. 

And now… Look at the big contrast as we were driving into Death Valley. 

There were only mountains. No water, no trees. There was NO.THING…

Death Valley is the hottest and driest place on earth. It set the world record for the highest temperature at 56.6C. 

And great, now we were in this giant oven. 

Before we headed deep into Death Valley national park, we were advised by the great Wikitravel that petrol costs were significantly more in the park. We did try to get some petrol  just outside at Lone Pine but the entire town went down in power as we were about to fill up. Argh. I thought we were outside of South Africa!

So we had to pump here:

Remember I had this smart arse quote about converting from F to C, where you minus 30 and divide by 2? Well, for you actuaries out there, this ain’t working in the tail distribution.  

In English, this means the rule of thumb doesn’t work for extreme temperatures; 

And in other words, this rule doesn’t work in Death Valley. 

So 105F here was actually 41C. 

I.was.melting… holy cow. 

The kids and us braved the heat and we visited something called the Badwater Basin salt flats. 

See those things on the floor behind us? Those were salt flats. 

But WTH are salt flats?!! Very simply, flood waters formed a lake in the valley. The water evaporated (uh duh in this heat), and we get the salt remaining. 

At 86m below sea level, we were standing at the lowest point in this part of the world. Plus it was cooking HOT. 

We got to our accommodation at Furnace Creek Ranch, which might as well be a furnace. It was quite amazing that there was this oasis-looking thing in the middle of no freagin where. 

Thank goodness there was food in this deserted place. 

With Daniel working his way through his nachos. We probably shouldn’t feed him too much of this stuff eh? But he was so happy it made our lives easier. 

The next day, we drove to Zabriskie Point. The point where U2 supposedly shot their album cover for ‘Joshua Tree’. Michael was therefore convinced this was the closest we were ever going to be with some rock stars. 

Our next stop was Dante’s View. Daddy was checking out Badwater Basin down below from here, and the kids were, well, just running away from him. 

From Dante’s View, we got to see, hmm, this. 

To be honest, apart from me moaning about the heat here, I am probably not giving Death Valley enough credit. It was a place of extreme desolation, quietness and nothingness. But it had some peculiar beauty to it strangely, and I was glad we made a quick pit stop here, en-route to the City of Sin. 

The bling in Las Vegas made us feel like we were on another planet. 

Here in Vegas, children were allowed into the casinos. See how the children were fascinated by the slot machines? Ka-chink!

One of the highlights here was to watch the Ballagio Fountains. We could only watch during the day without the lights and all that jazz *blames the kids*. 

We tried to take a family portrait on Las Vegas Boulevard. But someone was pulling my hair, another one was saying the sun was too bright, and daddy was fiddling with the camera. Ta-dah! 

We stayed at the Trump International Hotel. 

Just to be absolutely clear, this was not a political endorsement of any kind (for goodness’ sake). It was pure business and pleasure. 

We then wound down for the day by having this massiveeee bubble bath. 

This was the night scene in Vegas. 

On day 15, we went to the Circus Circus for some free circus shows and some arcade activities. 

Both children were mesmerised by the performance. They were honestly not bad at all. 

The kids also tried destroying some arcade equipment. Here was some dance moves and grooves. 

We had some junior F1 skills going. 

This was daddy and Daniel posing, with Emily sleeping, on Las Vegas Strip. 

Now guys. Listen up please as this is very important. 

It is about food. 🙂

One thing you HAVE to do in Vegas is to have a buffet meal. Thanks to Nick A’s brilliant recommendation, we went to Cosmopolitan Hotel’s Wicked Spoon buffet for our dinner. This was how the place looked like. 

Emily ate to her heart’s content. 

Daniel stuffed his face. 

And dessert was for everyone. 

I’m not usually a fan of buffet meals as the food quality and quantity are often inversely related. But here, we got both quality and quantity. Wah, win-win. Very full and happy tummies in the end. 

To work off the extra weight, we did some push ups in the hotel room. 

Ok. I’m not going to lie. Here’s one of the low downs in between all the fun and food. 

We had this young man throwing his toys a few times so he was asked to check if the workmanship in the corner of the Trump Hotel room was good. He was given only a minute or so to check so he better work quickly. 

It’s really a blessing that you can’t hear the sound he was making. It was so loud, it was doing my head in. 

Despite the noise levels and us adults couldn’t quite achieve much grown up stuff (like I was in bed by 8/9pm…), Las Vegas was great fun and we really enjoyed ourselves. 

Michael managed to sneak a few ‘late’ nights out (until 10/11pm) and he told me he donated some cash to the casino charity. 

So far, we achieved one major milestone – this is called the ‘first milenium miles milestone’. What a mouthful but that’s the correct term. We drove 1000+ miles! See:

We have now done 14 of the 45 nights, and 1000+ of the 4600 ‘ish miles. 

Moving on from Yosemite in California to Las Vegas in Nevada, on day 16 onwards, we will be driving to:

  1. Grand Canyon in Arizona;
  2. Gallup (where?! It is really.just.a.random.stop.) in New Mexico; and 
  3. Santa Fe also in New Mexico. 

This is us signing off for now. 

We will be back peeps. 

Days 9-12: Yosemite 

So why is it sometimes so difficult travelling with kids? Because THEY HAVE ANTS IN THEIR PANTS, that’s why. And they have attention span of a fly. Instead of reading my book quietly with a hot cup of coffee in my hand (ha!), I need to think of activities for them like this:

Or this. So daddy can catch a quick snooze. 

Or this, some sticker book activity thingie. 

Isn’t it exhausting?!… 

And when this happens, it’s like Hallelujah. Both asleep at the same time, woah, that’s as good as gold.  

So where was I? 

We were travelling from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite. A 4.5hr journey turned into a 5.5hr one because of a highway closure. 

The drive however, was absolutely scenic and beautiful. Some parts looked something like this:

The roads were also incredibly winding when we got into the forest itself, which daddy thought was a nice kind of challenge for a long journey. Like from here to here. (Yup, my phone showed no mobile network serviso here.)

Mama drove the beasty minivan even. ‘Too close to the right!’ screamed daddy. 

With 2 movies and *the wheels on the bus going freakin round and round a million times*, we arrived at Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite. 

I promise you I didn’t coordinate the children’s clothing in blue. I can just about manage matching socks on each of them.  

With some directions from the little tour guide, we found our way around the lodge. 

Emily brought us to a zip line area. She went wheeeee!


In the evening, we warmed our little handies and footies up in front of the outdoor fire. Very cosy indeed. 

Just to add more sugar rush to the kids before bedtime, we thought it was a good idea to feed them toasted marshmallows too. 

In the mornings we had some teeth brushing exercise. These were the ‘let’s pretend we like brushing our teeth’ poses. 

Brekkie was in the room with his Royal Highness Daniel being the most comfortable sitting on his throne. 

And it was hiking time in the forest, or as per Emily, ‘looking for bears’ time. 

We then got ourselves to one of the many play areas here. 

Flying hair from the rope static. Did he actually feel something on his head?

And when we got too tired of the kids’ moaning and whining, we chucked them here. 

Yosemite is home to the largest living thing on earth – the Giant Sequioas. The closest to us are at Merced Grove but it is quite a hike with steep slopes to see those trees. Throw in a pram and a baby bjorn we had passer bys politely admiring our determination or they thought we were complete bonkers. 

We got the kids to stretch out their arms wide against the Sequioas for comparison purposes. 

At Yosemite Valley, we saw the Half Dome. That was the thing in the middle behind us. 

It was a bit sad that the famous Yosemite Falls were all dried up! Haihhhh. Two main reasons for this – it was Autumn (or Fall as per the American system), and there was a drought at the moment in California. 

So peeps, you get water at the falls only in spring or early summer if you ever plan to go ok? 

I was so gutted about this and I oversold the waterfalls to Emily big time. It was no wonder the children looked this grumpy. 

But hey ho. Let’s go for some swings against the backdrop of Yosemite Valley, and all life issues are solved. 

There were only a few places with water in this drought season. So here was one. 

We had daddy and Daniel practising stones throwing into the stream. 

And mama paparazzi. Or was it daddy paparazzi?

An attempt at family selfie at the Tunnel View with no.damn.view behind. And I don’t even know what the kids were looking at, at least they were looking at the same thing. 

We also visited the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. 

Here’s a little story about this Hetch Hetchy thing. The dam by this reservoir is owned and built by the City of San Francisco. This reservoir supplies fresh water to the Bay Area in SF – that’s like 167 miles away. So far, right?! There’s no pumping station, just only gravitational pull over those distances. Pure genius piece of engineering especially in the early 1900s if you ask me. 

A typical meal time for us at Yosemite looked something like this. 

What do we think of Yosemite? It didn’t disappoint for sure. The ‘only disappointment’ was Emily didn’t see any bears. Let’s leave it that way, shall we, Emily?

In the national park, the kids were free to roam around unrestrained and it reminded us of the big difference to the London and HK city lives. 

Today is Day 12 on Friday 30 September. 

Up next, we have some serious, hard travelling work. By serious and hard, I mean we have a total of 35 hours of driving between now and our next long stop in 9 nights’ time. That’s across 7 US states from California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas; or across 3 US time zones; all in 9 days. 

Holy Moly Guacamole!

We better get going and move on to Death Valley and Las Vegas. Toodles for now. 

Days 6-9: Lake Tahoe to Yosemite

Here’s a little trick I learned to convert temperature degrees in F to C very approximately. 

You minus 30 and divide by 2. So 80F is roughly 25C. 

How cool is that? I wish someone had taught me this as it would have made my life so much easier. 

In Lake Tahoe, we are in a cabin with 2 bedrooms. Thank heavens for that because I can lock, I mean, put the kids in a separate bedroom to sleep. This is outside of the cabin. We are on the ground floor. 

Look at this awesome kitchen. Not going to happen in Hong Kong, is it? Haih. Moving in the wrong direction, Michael! *smacks head*

We took a morning stroll to a lovely beach close by called Speedboat beach. 

Kids dipping their little tosies into the cold lake water. 

And it’s time for lunch. Because I need my Asian food fix, if I can’t get my rice or my soy sauce, I feed my family… Asian instant noodles. 

You Malaysians out there, don’t laugh at me because I know you bring your curry flavoured Maggi Mee when you travel overseas. I add an egg and broccoli just to make myself think we are having a healthy meal, ok!

In the afternoon, we went for a mini hike. How is this for a Lake Tahoe view from up there? Not bad at all. 

This is us from North Lake Tahoe. 

Our little super model. Such a poser. 

People with young children – hands high up if you can totally and absolutely relate to this please. 

We went to the King’s beach the next morning. 

And we had little Daniel throwing a tantrum. You might need to zoom in the photo a bit to see him lying flat on the floor but I thought it’s more important to show you how beautiful the sky is. And may be, just may be, he was admiring the blue sky from down there. 

Unfortunately we had another case of stomach flu in the household. This time is daddy. So we bought more of this stuff and hoped for the best. 

Even when Michael is unwell, this is still the braai master’s priority. 

I guess you can take a South African out of South Africa, but you can’t take the South Africa out of a South African. (Well, that’s how we say it for Malaysians when it comes to our love for food anyway.)

Lake Tahoe is truly stunning. Dang. We even talked about coming back here again to ski when the kids are older, and we drooled at the holiday homes on sale here. 

Well, we hope to be back one day, but tomorrow morning, we’ve got to get our bums to Yosemite and it’s a loooooong 4.5 hrs drive from here. This is going to be the first true test for us with the kids in a confined space. Eeks. Yogi bears, here we come!