Monthly Archives: June 2015

Terribly Exciting News

Finally Camp MAD has got the keys to the new house in Penylan, Cardiff!  Aled picked them up on Monday and has been working like a mad man to get the critical DIY out of the way so we can move in ASAP.

cardiff house1

First up is the wallpaper removal, which is a super fun job!!  I am sure there is a special place in hell for people who paint over wallpaper to the point of puckering so please, please reconsider this option for the sake of future owners!


As most of you know we are not new to DIY.  Let us take a moment to cherish some warm and fuzzy memories from the Houghton Bay wall insulation campaign of 2010…



The only difference with this project is that I’m at home in Pembrokeshire having meals with the rellies while my husband works with countless tradesmen to set renovation world records!


In four days,  not only has he managed to get the wallpaper off in all three bedrooms, but he’s already got plasterers plastering and floors sanders organised for Saturday.  What a superstar, right!?!  I am so proud and impressed.  Not to mention thankful.

So that’s all for now folks. Sorry I haven’t managed to post any further America pics but it’s been a terribly exciting (and busy!) week.  Hope everyone is well.


To America and back

Crikey it’s been over a month since I last posted something!  Where does the time go?

The past month has been a total whirlwind because we decided to fly to New Jersey while waiting (seemingly interminably) to complete on our house in Cardiff.  It’s been about three years since I last set foot in the good old US of A so it was high time for a visit.  Besides, everyone was so excited to meet Morgan… and some were even mildly pleased to see his parents too.

I wish I was in a less jetlagged state of mind to write something really eloquent but I’m still recovering from the journey back to Wales so I’m afraid this post may be a little bit random.  Travelling with a small person, while doable, is exhausting!

The best parts of this trip were watching my family and friends interact with Morgan.  Here he is with my parents at Wyckoff’s “Environmental Center“, a nice reserve with a pond, walking trail, and a few animals.


Morgy finally met his two cousins on the Morgan side, Joey and Jack, and his Aunt Karen and Uncle Anthony.  All the Morgan grandsons were born in March, three years running.


Morgy loved swimming and splashing in the pool.  Here he can be seen with my cousin Chris and his daughter Viviana, Daddy, Uncle Anthony and cousin Joey.


Here’s the boys with Grampa in the Corvette — steering wheel on the wrong side as far as Morgy is concerned!


And with Gramma and Jack at home.


In addition to meeting the fam, it was important to me to expose Morgy to all things New Jersey, so we went shopping at Garden State Plaza, a mall at the junction of Route 17 and Route 4…


…where I sorely needed my friend Niru’s help in the Nordstrom’s shoe department!  Morgy didn’t like those high heels though so we took him to Sports Authority, where he used his well-honed organisational skills to rearrange this sales rack:


His favorite part of the mall however was the escalator, just like the one at Heathrow Airport.


No visit to New Jersey is complete without a trip down the shore, where my Gramma and Uncle Doug live.  It was a little windy that day so we took shelter behind the lifeguard station.  For the Wellingtonians, it was but a breeze.


Afterwards we went for a walk down the boardwalk, which looks a lot different than it did before it was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  They’ve rebuilt a lot of it, but it’s not the same.


New Jersey sometimes gets a bad rap but I can’t really understand why.  Perhaps it’s because most of our highways go through the industrial areas so people driving through only see the ugly parts.  But there’s some really nice places to visit, such as Skylands Manor at the New Jersey Botanical Gardens.


Just around the corner is Shepherd Lake, which is a great spot for cooling off on a hot day and for going kayaking.


Can you believe we actually spotted a bald eagle?  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  (FYI the bald eagle is America’s national bird.)


We also snuck up on several snapping turtles who were sunning themselves on logs and rocks.


Of course there were also bagels to be eaten.  My favorite is a bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel.  Not something you want to be eating every day but two every three years won’t kill you!  Honestly, New Jersey/New York bagels are the best on the planet hands down.


So friends!  I’ve got to stop here for the moment.  The good news is we get the keys to our new house next week so we’ve got a few things to organise.  I will carry on posting another day with further pics of the visit, full of all the lovely people who we got to see this time around.  Hope all is well with everyone!