Monthly Archives: September 2016

To America and back!

Where does the time go?! Perhaps that’s what I should have called this blog… seems to be the theme of parenthood. Too many things to do and never enough time and/or energy.

So the question we should be attempting to answer in this blog post isn’t “what’s happened since I last wrote?” but rather “what hasn’t happened since I last wrote?”. First things first! Aled started a new job on August 9th, I dropped down to three days a week (two in the office and one at home), and Morgan started going to nursery for the two days. So that’s the biggest change. The first few weeks of it were pretty exhausting as everyone got used to their new roles and responsibilities. I think it’s also coincided with the onset of the (super) terrible twos as all we hear out of Morgan’s mouth lately is “NO!”. Or perhaps more accurately, “No, no, NO!”. All good things come in threes right?

While this has gone on, we’ve continued to receive visitors from near and far and to visit others. My manager from the Department of Conservation, Sharon, managed a stop in Cardiff on her epic tour of Europe. ¬†Here we are on the top of Cardiff Castle.


We had just seen a fantastic sword-fighting demonstration on the grass below.


As always, it’s great to see old friends from New Zealand — especially those bearing gifts in the form of feijoa chocolate ūüôā ¬†Thank you Sharon!!

The following weekend we had to take advantage of the sunny weather so we went down to explore the beautiful Gower Peninsula.  Here we are overlooking Rhossili Bay, a very beautiful beach (with free parking for National Trust members yay!).


I rarely find the Welsh weather warm enough to entice me into the sea but I know someone who does…


The sunny weather called for a BBQ which was organised at the last minute on Sunday morning.  Here we are with some old friends from Cardiff: Kath, Rich, Gaz, Marce and little ones.


The following weekend we headed up to see our good friends from New Zealand, Eva and Ross, in Edinburgh. (It’s a little confusing — Ross is Scottish, Eva is half British/Australian!) ¬†There aren’t many people I’d drive eight hours to see, so you can imagine how much I like these guys!!

The drive didn’t turn out to be that bad, especially because it gave me an opportunity to see some parts of the UK which I’d never traveled to previously. ¬†The Lake District was particularly gorgeous and I’d be willing to go up there again (in non-touristy times of year mind!). ¬†This is Windermere:


I’d never been to Scotland before and found Edinburgh awesome!! ¬†We were there for the fantastic Fringe Festival though so maybe the buzz was particularly great. ¬†That said, I found the buildings really impressive and the Scottish, well very hilarious! ¬†Here’s Eva and Ross with Aled and Morgy. ¬†As always, the dynamic duo showed us an amazing time – highlights included a Fringe comedy show with Eva and Ross’s generally fantastic cooking!


On Sunday we hiked up Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano on the edge of the city. ¬†I’d never imagined Edinburgh’s city-scape so was pleasantly surprised by this interesting feature. ¬†It was blowing a Wellington-like gale but that hardly deterred us.


Two tiring weeks of nursery acclimatization ensued before Morgan and I flew to America to visit the Morgans! ¬†We left Aled behind because he had just started the new job and it was just too soon to ask for two weeks off. ¬†Here’s Morgan at Heathrow, watching all the action.


By now you’ve seen many of the pictures on Facebook so I won’t re-post them all here, but I’ll add in a few to show how we tried to expose Morgan to many American things…

Baseball with Grampa:


Foosball in the basement — a Morgan family pastime…


The boardwalk down the shore…


And this little thing called SUNSHINE… ¬†(notice the adult to child ratio — even at 5 adults to 3 toddlers we felt outmaneuvered at times!)


Yes, we had to get the little bugger accustomed to American summer temperatures… ¬†(thank god for air conditioning!) ¬†I love the warm and the sun!!


All in all, it was a great time, full of catching up with family and friends, and having Morgan bond with my side of the family. ¬†The seven hour flight is so much easier to cope with than the 38-hour disaster from New Zealand. ¬†That said, international travel is such a hassle regardless of the distance so there are moments when I thought, hmmm maybe we will have to live in America at some point… but hey, not if that loonie Trump gets elected!!

To close with — I finally remembered to look at my own baby albums when I was home this time and found some small bits of evidence that Morgan may actually have some of my genes… I swear we have the same smile! ¬†What do you reckon…?