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New Zealand, 2012
Post-war era transformers and concrete utility poles line the rural roads of the New Zealand Northland.

Tahiti, 2012
No enclosed jetways at the Tahiti airport. You get on the plane the old-fashioned way--walk across the tarmac.

Nik & Whitney, 2008
Nik and Whit heading toward another rock-climbing adventure outside Krabi, Thailand.

Whitney, 2011
Unusual fungi in the Amazon rain forest.
(Our kids have grown and are no longer posting blog stories here. Here now, are some highlights from past posts.)

Brisbane, Australia

Lucy and I arrive in Brisbane via an overnight flight. SFO to LAX, change planes, then LAX to BNE (Brisbane). Got some sleep, so the 13 hour flight seemed uneventful and not as grueling as I expected. Because of the date line/time zone changes, we left California Wednesday night and arrive in Australia Friday morning.

Judging by the flight crews making their way through Security, our Qantas Boeing 747 seems to have arrived about the same time as a couple other jumbo-jets from Singapore and Emirates Airlines. Must be 1500 passengers descending on the Customs checkpoint at the same time. It takes two hours getting through Customs--it was a humungous line (er.. "queue"), but at least it kept moving.

Posted by Dan 09/04/2009, revised 09/23/2009

Yay for a shower!

Well, I didn't make it to the very tip of the continent - transport was not really existent when I wanted to go, and seemed quite expensive when it did exist. But I went to Cabo de la Vela, which is still waaaay remote - where shrubby desert meats the sea. No running water. Just a few shacks, and accommodation is a hammock. Was good stuff, only a handful of tourists that make it out to this tiny pueblo. Yesterday, I bused it Cartagena, about 8 hours of travel after making it from car to car across the desert (a few hours).

Trekking around the scrubby desert land to arrive at a gorgeous blue ocean bay

Cartagena is a metropolitan area, and supposedly the most beautiful, enchanting colonial town in Colombia (I have yet to explore). Feels good to take a shower, sleep in a bed, and get internet (I guess it's only been a few days, but somehow the 'remoteness' factor made it feel longer). So I think I'll kick it here for a few days, wander the city, feel the pulse, and then see what's next. I find that I am not at all very good at staying in one place for more than a few days (which is much more expensive, as the buses are the most expensive part of this trip). I'd like to think I could just chill and get to know a place for more than 2 days, but so far no success (well, Bogota was 3 days).

Charming colonial city of Cartagena

Posted by Whitney 07/19/2011, revised 08/15/2011

In Indonesia In December

After only two days in Indonesia I am in love.

Shanks ponies into the jungle

Indonesia was apparently a very popular destination for tourists before Thailand took over and began drawing people to Southeast Asia. Because of this the tourist infrastructure is there but the islands are blissfully devoid of other tourists. From Malaysia we took a local ferry and made our way overnight by bus to Bukittinggi. For whatever reason it was decided that everyone on the bus should feel like it would be a white Christmas after all and the AC was on full blast all night. Quite ironically we crossed the equator on this stretch making the equator officially the coldest part of my trip. At one point Bukittinggi may have been overrun with tourists using it as a jump off for various treks and tours or just visiting the scenic town, but these days it has settled back into its own quiet existence.

Posted by nik 12/27/2008, revised 02/08/2009

Tales of a Swim Meet Rookie

This year San Jose was the host city for the Pacific Masters Long Course Championships swim meet.

I've never competed at long course before, but with such a big event coming right to my backyard, how could I resist? It's been a good 7 years since I last showed up at any kind of Masters swim meet (representing the Chicago Smelts in Illinois in 2008, and throwing down my best 31 seconds of freestyle for a team relay, Go Smelts!)

Posted by Kimberly 08/01/2015