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the first leg

Kamas, United States

had a super quick but laugh-a-minute visit with cousins cassie & ken in Kamas, utah. we left their home only to break down on the side of a mountain on highway 20 in rural southern utah. after smoke billowed from our dash (strike two), we were towed to ruby's inn, at the entrance of bryce canyon natl park. we would have taken photos, but we were too preoccupied with getting back on the road. i highly recommend visiting...only under better circumstances. by the way, you should always, always, always buy tow insurance. it's cheap, and you never know when you might break down hours from the nearest tow shop.

permalink written by  ouramericanlife on October 11, 2007 from Kamas, United States
from the travel blog: hittin' the road
tagged Family and Friends

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“The love of a family is life's greatest blessing”

Boulder, United States

So after only a few short hours of sleep, we got up and began the 13-hour trek to Colorado. We were tired, but ok. We stopped for gas, stopped for a lunch on the road at Arby's, and didn't stop again until we got to Colorado. The drive was interesting, because poor Chloe kept trying to tell us to go on roads that had stopped existing. There were tons of roadblocks and detours and re-routed parts of the highway, so we ended up just turning her off for most of it. At one point, she thought we were driving the wrong direction on the highway! But we made it just fine anyways.

The plan was to meet at Anthony's and go from there. We got to his place a little bit before 6 (thanks to the time change!). He was on his way home from work and Andrea was on her way too. Unfortunately, the traffic was really bad and Andrea couldn't make it, so we spent some time with Anthony before heading to Andrea's.

We found Danielle and went inside. First of all, Isabella is adorable!! She was too cute and so friendly despite the fact that we are complete strangers to her. Their apartment is really nice. It is very spacious and well-decorated. She gave us a tour of the place and then we spent some time talking to her and playing with the baby- and the cat! Who is also very friendly =)

Once Anthony got home we spent some time with him and then went out to Friday's for dinner. It was really nice to catch up with them, even if it was only for a few hours. I'm really glad we were able to do that. And I'm so happy that I got to meet their baby!

After that, we departed and headed for Andrea's. Her place is also really great. They have a townhouse, and it has multiple floors, which is cool, and plenty of room. It was awesome to spend some time with her. We also met her roommate Jess, who was very nice, and she even let us use her computer. Andrea showed us a place to go on our way tomorrow, and she also showed us a different way to search for hotels that we hadn't known about- and wish we had! Turns out the Grand Canyon is about 14.5 hours from her, so that wasn't going to happen. We decided to book a hotel in Santa Fe, NM as a mid-way point. We booked ourselves a room at the Hilton for only slightly more than it would have cost us to stay at the Econo Lodge! Very cool.

We decided that since it was dark and raining, we'd wake up early and go walk around for a bit before she had to work since we wouldn't be able to really see anything anyways. And we were pretty tired too, after driving all day, so we all went to bed. She let us sleep in her bed, although I felt bad about it, but her bed was wicked comfy!! So with everything taken care of, we got the good night's sleep that we sorely needed.

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, once we passed into Colorado, our memory card was full, and since we hadn't been able to put everything on the computer yet, we couldn't delete the pictures on it! Soooo that is why there are no pictures of this day =(

permalink written by  prettyblueroses on August 6, 2008 from Boulder, United States
from the travel blog: Mike & Heather's Cross-Country Adventure
tagged Family, Driving and Colorado

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Sunny Santa Fe Would Be Nice

Santa Fe, United States

We woke up this morning at 7:30 and were on our way before 8. We went to Pearl Street, which is like a promenade with shops and restaurants lining the street. It is blocked off for pedestrians only, and there are flowers and plants everywhere. We were there so early that not many people were around. Andrea said that usually there are tons of street performers and assorted types of people hanging out everywhere.

We stopped in a little coffee shop for coffee and bagels which we took with us, and then we went for a walk down the street just to look around. Most things were closed, but ti was still nice to see everything before we left. We saw a beautiful view of the mountains, and then sat down on a bench to eat and relax.

After that we went back to the cars and followed Andrea to Chautauqua. The mountains are right there- it was gorgeous. Mike took tons of pictures (of course!), and Andrea showed us where she's hiked and pointed out other cool things. Maybe next time we can go on a hike (lol!).

We said goodbye because she had to go to work, but as she went to leave, her car wouldn't start. So we asked these guys that were there for some jumper cables (since neither of us have them) and we jumped her car. Luckily, it worked, and it was good. We said goodbye again and she left. We spent a few more minutes there just to take it all in.

I wish we had been able to spend more time with her, but I'm glad that we had the time that we did anyways. Although it is unfortunate that we didn't get to see Mt. Rushmore, spending the day in Chicago and then being able to see Anthony and Andrea was definitely worth it.

We then went to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO. Basically, it is a huge area in the mountains with all these crazy natural rock formations. We went in the visitor's center to get a map, and then drove around it for a bit.

We found some really great views of the mountains and were able to pull over and get out to look around. It was a really nice stop on our way and I'm glad Andrea suggested it!

Then we continued onto Santa Fe. It was a shorter drive today, about 7.5 hours total and about 5 from the place we stopped. We didn't stop for lunch (just for gas!) and drove straight through. And it rained. Again. We are pretty positive at this point that the storms are following us around. Anthony and Andrea said that yesterday was the first time it had rained in their area in forever. So we had to deal with a dripping turtle and winds blowing us all over the road once more.

We got to the Hilton a little past 5. It is very nice. Strangely enough though, you have to pay for parking and the internet, which we didn't have to in the sketchy hotels. =\ But our room is nice and comfy anyways. We managed to figure out that we can use the internet free in the lobby, so we camped out there to find a place for dinner. We went to the Atomic Grill. Mike got a spinach and garlic pizza and I got ribs. It was ok. Not the best food in the world but not bad either. And I was starving by the time we got there, so it was good to eat!

And so here we are. We just booked our hotel outside of the Grand Canyon for tomorrow (we were not thrilled to discover that the closest hotels are 60 miles away and no more than 2 stars!) but it worked out alright anyways. We are looking forward to going there!

permalink written by  prettyblueroses on August 7, 2008 from Santa Fe, United States
from the travel blog: Mike & Heather's Cross-Country Adventure
tagged Family, Driving, Colorado and NewMexico

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Fast Forward - The Past & The Present

Timaru, New Zealand

Well, you're probably wondering what's going on with our travel blog. Understandable given that entries have been very few since we arrived in NZ. Our apologies...we've been on the go, go, go and without internet connections for most of the time. Okay, enough excuses...let's share our most recent experiences with all of you!

We're currently in Timaru, which is about three hours south of Christchurch. We spent the past two weeks meeting the NZ Muldrew clan. What an experience! I have met so many second cousins and their families - almost 50 so far. In fact, there are hundreds of Muldrews and descendents in NZ that all have a common connection to my great-great grandfather and grandmother, James and Ruth Muldrew, who came here from Ireland via the sailing ship Auckland in 1874.

We arrived in Dunedin May 10 and met the first of the cousins, Ann Padman, and her family: husband, Wayne, and daughters, Alison, Jackie & Bronwyn. We all have so much in common and we hit it off right away...rugby, hunting, fishing, camping, cold beers and rums & coke just to name a few things!

We stayed with Jackie and her partner, Tups, for three nights; their home is strategically placed one block over from the 'House of Pain', Carisbrook Stadium! Sadly no games were on but the stadium staff allowed me inside to see the grounds. All Blacks will play the French there June 13, and Dunedin is awash with banner advertising the match.

We then stayed with another cousin, Helen Brathwaite, and her partner, David, for several nights. Helen received the Member of NZ Order of Merit in recognition of her 40 years as a special needs teacher and the amazing things she accomplished with her students. David and Helen toured us all over the local area, including a trip to Taiaroa Head to see the royal albatross flying.

Ann organized a family gathering for the May 16/17 weekend at the Girl Guides Lodge in Waikouaiti, a short drive north of Dunedin. Family came from near and far, including Lindsay Brinsdon from Tasmania and Neville Mattingly from Perth. Thirty-six descendents sat to a home-cooked dinner Saturday night and shared stories from the past and present. We continued over breakfast Sunday and then slowly trickled away home. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the weekend that Ann and Wayne put together for the family.

Norma and I moved on to Oamaru Tuesday May 19 to spend time with two of my dad's first cousins: Hugh Muldrew and his wife, Trixie, and Mary Rapson.

All are in their eighties and full of life! Hugh put me behind the wheel Wednesday and Thursday to travel about meeting more cousins and seeing sights important to the family. We met the oldest family member, Ruby Orlowsky, who is 94 years old and living in her home across from Waitaki Girls' School.

We were fortunate to see the Maheno cemetary, north of Oamaru, under clear skies Thursday. We saw the resting places of my great-great and great grandparents, as well as great aunts and uncles. It was a very powerful experience.

We also saw several sights such as the Moreaki Boulders and rescued penguins at a nearby lighthouse. The highlight for me was seeing the original land that my great-great grandparents homesteaded and Muldrews Road that marks the area. Hugh regaled us wih family history and stories everywhere we went.

We ended our time in Oamaru with an overnight stay with Mary who showed us her scrapbooks and shared her recollections of the family long ago. It was a wonderful evening.

It was hard leaving Oamaru yesterday afternoon and moving on with our journey through NZ. After all, my visit had only reunited us for a short time. It had been 117 years since Ruth Muldrew sailed from Ireland with her brothers and sisters,save my grandfather who was too young to make the journey and remained behind with his maternal grandparents. He never saw his family again...I guess that explains my tears at the bus depot.

I met my third cousin, Max Muldrew, today and we spent a large part of the afternoon discussing the family tree. Max has done considerable research and he provided me a copy of the family tree from my great-great grandparents to present that he compiled. It fills 74 pages! A true labour of love!

We leave Timaru for Christchurch tomorrow morning...I have some reading to do on the way and it will be fascinating to say the least! The past forms the present...

permalink written by  Shane & Norma on May 24, 2009 from Timaru, New Zealand
from the travel blog: "Not Just Another Rugby Tour" - New Zealand, Samoa and Australia
tagged Family and Muldrews

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Finally in Simi

Simi Valley, United States

Leaving San Luis Abisbo (and the drunk "surfer dude" whose presence graced our morning), we stopped at the beach to let Ben play for a while before the long drive towards Simi.

Ben decided to take an extra long nap, so we were able to complete the drive. First stop at Grandma's, then we went to see Kirsten, Ryan, Kari, Rebecca and Jolene's new house. It was a wonderful visit and ended up being a bit longer than expected (a little over 2 weeks).

Ben and Jolene spent hours together each day learning about sharing, and hugging, and enjoying lots of time in the pool. Ben enjoyed Jolene's toys (especially the mop), a second birthday celebration, his first 4th of July fireworks, lots of good food and meals, and all the time spent with family and new people. We saw Vince Turner, Jannel Pearson, Cheryl and Meagan Low, let's not forget Kevin's old friend Jason, his wife Hannah, and their new baby Jordan. And eventually the time came to say goodbye. We may see them again before heading south - we'll see. We greatly appreciate our long comfortable stay at the house (and really miss that pool!). Thank you all so much, we love you and miss you!

We worked out the cost of repairing the Tahoe and compared it to buying a replacement vehicle and found that to be the better option. Of course, once we had decided upon a vehicle it needed to be repaired to meet our standards for the trip. Each stage of the process took some time.

Rather than repair the Tahoe, we decided to replace it with a Suburban. Ended up costing more than we planned, but it has worked out well nonetheless. We have 3+ weeks to wait for the title, however, so we have some time to kill!

permalink written by  heddwyn on July 3, 2009 from Simi Valley, United States
from the travel blog: To Costa Rica
tagged Family, Tahoe, Simi and Suburban

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Khuiratta in Oct,2009

Kotli, Pakistan

Again I was in Pakistan from 18 Sep, 2009 to 31st of october 2009.
I celebrated my Eid with my family for the very 1st time after 2001.
I feel always home sick after coming back from the vacations but this time I have started hating the life in some overseas country for a little money.
Its really a curse to spend your life in such a condition.

permalink written by  Wasim Ahmed Chaudhry. on November 11, 2009 from Kotli, Pakistan
from the travel blog: Visit to Karjai and Khuiratta
tagged Family, Khuiratta, Vacations, From, Pakistan, Kotli, Annual, Far and My

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Endangered words

Beijing, China

In Mandarin there is greater variety of titles for family members. In stead of 'brother,' 'sister' or 'sibling' there's big sister [jie Jje], little sister [mei mei], big brother [ge ge] and little brother [di di]. They are cute designations of relativity to relatives. When my dorm mate said her mei mei was coming I thought nothing of it except, 'how sweet.' But later I realized that those words are rarely used here as a nation of singletons does not have a ge ge or jie jie; there's been a one child policy in place since the '70's. My roomie doesn't look old enough to predate that rule. Is she a twin? Does she belong to a minority ethnic group that allows acceptations to the rule? Were the parents natal outlaws? None of the above. In reality she was a cousin. Mei mei still sounds better to me.

permalink written by  prrrrl on February 26, 2012 from Beijing, China
from the travel blog: Beijing I, 2012
tagged China, Family, Brother, Titles, Sister, Siblings and OneChildPolicy

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Moroccan's Spirit

Marrakech, Morocco

We decided to escape winter month in England to somewhere not too far; reasons are
1 you know kid on the plane only last 2 hours before they fed up and started to annoyed you.
2 coming close to Christmas now, end of the year, not much left to spend.
3 France, Spain, cold cold, where else, I have to use my travel knowledge to the limit.

Now i can't afford Dubai or any middle east countries as they are now footballer playgrounds, North Africa sounds hot to me as part of Sahara Desserts Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco are the big 3.

We pined down to Morocco now and have to choose between Agadir and Marrakech. To be fair, we love beach holiday and never spend a holiday without beach unless i went back to Chiang Mai, Thailand, my home town to visit my family. For some reason, we gave it a go, Marrakesh for 1 week in December 2011 anywhere else would have been better than England. Why not?

Got there it was lovely

permalink written by  neverending on December 12, 2011 from Marrakech, Morocco
from the travel blog: North Africa
tagged Mountain, People, Holiday, Morocco, Family, Snow, Winter, Summer, Dessert, Hot, Marrakech, French, Friendly, December, PanoramicView, SnakeCharmer and MintTea

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