Monthly Archives: January 2014

Mobbed by Meerkats

We all had requirements for our ’round-the-world trip. For Dad: a road trip around New Zealand.  In progress. For Mom: New Year’s Eve in Sydney.  Check. For Delaney: a week in London.  Done. And for me… A meerkat encounter in Wellington, New Zealand. “It tickles, it tickles!” I quietly shrieked.  Meerkats scurried underneath the sack that […]

The World’s Steepest Street

Every city has that one street either nobody wants to live on, or everybody wants to live on.  In San Francisco, Lombard Street, or the World’s Crookedest Street, is that desirable street.  Halfway across the world in Dunedin, New Zealand, Baldwin Street is the dreaded opposite.  The complete reverse of Lombard Street, Baldwin Street is perfectly […]

Wanaka’s Bike Ride of Torture

There have been many hard, frustrating times on our trip. One was when I was literately stuck while trying to stand up with a heavy scuba tank on my back. Another was in Malaysia, when I was throwing up in the middle of the night with extreme stomach pain. Today we had another. Wanaka is […]

No Regrets! Bungee Jumping in New Zealand

Absolutely not. No way.  Not going to happen.   Not on my watch. For six months, those were my standard responses each time Delaney and Riley asked if we could bungee jump in New Zealand.  Even Dale was on their side.  It was always three against one.  However, as mothers everywhere know, momma always has […]

Street Fight in The Rocks

My mom and I are walking back from a delicious dinner at Sydney’s popular restaurant, Pancakes on the Rocks, while Dad and Riley visit a nearby playground. We are almost back to our hostel in The Rocks, an area of the city filled with historic buildings that would cost a fortune if they weren’t government […]

Fortune Teller in Sydney: Real or Fake?

After waiting in line for about 30 minutes, it was finally my turn.  I gingerly sat down in the provided chair and looked at the mysterious fortune teller. My mom had scored tickets to our hostel’s rooftop New Year’s Eve party.  One of the entertainment sources was the 2014 fortune teller. I was with my […]

Tips to Score a Budget Room in Sydney for New Year’s Eve

It is almost 9 a.m. on April 11, 2013 in Sydney, Australia; however, I’m not in Sydney.  I’m in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee where it’s almost 5 p.m. on April 10.  On the desk in front of me sits my mother’s desktop computer flanked by my iPhone and iPad.  All are online and ready to go. […]

First Dive Ever…on the Great Barrier Reef!

First a weight was attached around my waist. Then Ben, our instructor, put a 30 pound backpack (known as a BCD) and scuba tank on my back, making sure I didn’t topple over as I sat down. I put my feet in the ocean water and squeezed my feet into the super tight flippers. Mom, […]

Kim Phúc: Vietnam War’s Napalm Girl

Everybody has seen the picture of Kim Phúc, the girl in the most famous photograph from the Vietnam War. But what everybody doesn’t know is her story, and how she made it out of Vietnam. We had hired a guide and a driver for the day to take us to some of Saigon’s most famous […]

Meditation with the Monk

I found myself in a half lotus position on a yellow circular pillow that was on a yellow, square mat. My thumbs were touching my middle finger. I was meditating trying to meditate like a Buddhist.  This wasn’t as easy as I’d expected. Maybe I should start at the beginning. We were visiting the Trúc […]