Tag Archives: iowa

A Summer Trip to the USA, Part 2

More from Nyan’s summer 2019 sojourn to the American heartland — a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa’s place!


Nyan had never played with sparklers before, so we took care of that on this trip. He loved them, and they quickly became a regular part of our evening routine.


Fun with Uncle Mike

One evening we met Uncle Mike and Aunt Sarah for dinner at this big place that has all these games, including tabletop shuffleboard. (We think that’s the proper name?) Turns out that Nyan was very good at it:

There was also a lot of foosball, on an outdoor patio as a summer thunderstorm rolled in:

And some fun outside rolling an old tire around:


Grandma and Grandpa bought a kite, so we spent one breezy afternoon prepping it and getting it airborne! It was a lot of fun, until it got tangled in a tree (not pictured).

There were some missteps at first:

But we got it up in the air before long. Well, for a moment anyway:

He got it!


Grandma and Grandpa’s friends Dave and Bernie have a pet rabbit, Bun-Bun. Nyan always enjoys a visit.


It’s not easy to get from Singapore to Iowa; it involves three airplanes and anywhere between 25 and 30 (or more!) hours of travel, including more than 20 hours actually in the air. It’s worth it, of course, but it’s not the easiest. 

But it does give one lots of time to take pictures! Here are a handful, taken at various airports and on various airplanes, including a few at the airport as we were saying goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa at the end of the trip. On the inbound trip, we were lucky enough to have Daddy’s friend Phil come out to O’Hare airport on a lengthy layover in Chicago for a meal and a catch-up session; Daddy and Nyan were beyond punch drunk, but it was fun — see video below. And also see a video of Nyan excitedly strapping in for the last flight before our final arrival in Iowa!

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Posted by on July 21, 2019 in Uncategorized


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A Summer Trip to the USA, Part 1

After school let out in mid-June, Nyan and Daddy hopped aboard a plane bound for Tokyo.. then Chicago.. then finally (after some 28 hours) Iowa, where they spent two-plus weeks hanging out with Grandma, Grandpa, and the rest of the clan. Let’s see what they got up to!

 Uncle Scott


One of Nyan’s favorite things to do in Iowa is visit Uncle Scoitt and Aunt Maggie. They have a big grassy yard for him to run around in… and best of all, Scott has a huge wood-working workshop!

So he spent a lot of time in there, building a nice little box.

Great Grandma

We spent a lot of time with Great Grandma, including hanging out at her apartment…

Goofing around with her walker…


And feeding the fish in the pond outside her apartment:

Model Train

Nyan also spent a lot of time down in the basement with Grandpa, working on the model train layout.


Nyan and Daddy drove over to Chicago for a couple days to visit Daddy’s friends. Nyan had a blast hanging out with other kids, the adults, and (especially) Pearl the dog — his first canine love!

Nyan and Pearl:  

Hanging out on Chicago streets with Daddy, Uncle Phil and Uncle Todd:

Being goofy: 

Random photos:

Dogs and being goofy:

Dogs and adults: 


Some random pictures, and a video of a playing Nyan, taken at various points across our US travels:

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Posted by on July 15, 2019 in Uncategorized


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The Friendly Skies

It’s not easy to get from Singapore to Iowa and back again. In fact it took six different airports, six planes (four jumbojets and a pair of smaller jets), and some 65 hours of travel all told. Whew. But Nyan has been traveling around the globe since he was five months old, so no big deal.

Here we are at the very start of the trip, waiting for our taxi to Change Airport and then saying farewell to Mommy (who had to stay behind)

First leg: SIN to NRT on Japan Airlines.

A short layover at Narita, featuring delicious Japanese food:

Then it was a long (almost six hours) layover at Dallas-Fort Worth. We spent about two of those hours in line at immigration. Welcome home!


Then it was food, riding the airtrain from terminal to terminal, and waiting.

Oh, and dancing too:

It was nearly midnight when we arrived in Iowa, but someone was happy to see Grandma and Grandpa. Not to mention happy to be able to move around for a change.

It was a fun two weeks, but all good things must end, and before long we were back at the Cedar Rapids airport, saying goodbye.

We almost didn’t make it: check out the snow falling on the morning of our flight.

Some snowy views from the planes at both Cedar Rapids and O’Hare. We made it out, though.

We had a 13-hour flight to Beijing, China on our way back, but we were lucky enough to be able to use miles to upgrade to business class. Nyan was ecstatic. Daddy wasn’t unhappy either.

Finally, our last layover, Beijing, where we faced many more slow-moving lines, but finally made it to our gate for our last flight home to sunny, humid Singapore.

We’re not yet sure where our young traveler will head next. Stay tuned to these pages to find out!

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Posted by on February 6, 2018 in Uncategorized


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All Sorts of Fun in Iowa

We’re winding down our look at Nyan’s holiday visit to Iowa. Beyond the big events like Christmas Day, a road trip to Chicago and playing in the snow, Nyan’s time at Grandma and Grandpa’s was chock full of smaller but just-as-fun moments. Here are many of them, starting with a random selection of shots:

Here’s a quick video of the boy getting in the holiday spirit:

In the run-up to Christmas day, Nyan spent a fair amount of time “rearranging” and inspecting all the presents. Especially those with his name on them.

He helped Grandma bake cookies. Helped eat them too.

In the spirit of the season, Nyan one day handed Daddy a present he had gotten for him. It was…a tube of lip balm. But the thought was lovely!

Little-known fact: Grandma and Grandpa’s staircase is actually the tallest mountain in the world, and our boy scaled it:

A few more random shots:

Nyan helped Grandpa assemble a model train to run around the base of the Christmas tree, and hang ornaments on the tree too:

He and Grandpa also spent some time working on the train layout in the basement, as they always do.

It wasn’t corn on the cob season, but Nyan requested some, and Grandpa found some for him. It was… not as good as fresh corn in August. But Nyan didn’t seem to mind.

More random photos:

Last but not least: a bouncing Nyan, just bouncing.

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Posted by on February 3, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Ice Hockey in the Heart of Winter

It was a cold, cold time in late December in Iowa; we would routinely wake up to temperatures of -10 degrees F (-25 Celsius). So we decided to celebrate by – what else – going to an ice hockey game!

The city of Cedar Rapids, just up the road from Grandma and Grandpa’s place, has a semi-pro hockey team, and Uncle Scott pulled together a family outing to a game against a team from Chicago one night. It was good turnout: besides Nyan and Daddy, we had Grandma and Grandpa; Scott and Maggie; Mike, Sarah and Mia; and Alycia, Brad and young Kennedy.

The ice arena wasn’t huge, but it was pretty crowded, especially given how painfully cold it was outside.


Nyan spent time sitting on various laps:

(Note: it wasn’t *that* cold inside. Those photos where we’re in winter coats were taken shortly after arrival. The coats came off soon after.)

We had good seats, near the ice and just to the left of the goal. They were also right next to where the Cedar Rapids team came off and on the ice, which gave a chance to steal some high-fives from the players (along with a *very* zealous fan):

For much of the game, Nyan and Kennedy hung out by the glass, watching the action, jumping around, chit-chatting and generally being goofy with each other. These two are about two years apart in age, but have never spent any significant time together, since Nyan lives on the other side of the planet. So it was heartening to see them hanging out and being pals.

Check out that excitement when Cedar Rapids scored a goal!

The game ended with an overtime loss for Cedar Rapids. Bit of a bummer, that, but still a fun evening. Here’s Nyan giving Uncle Scott and thank-you hug in the frigid parking lot after the game:


And finally, here’s Daddy, showing his “ten-below-zero” face. Brr.


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Posted by on January 31, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Nyan, in the Snow 

We made it to Iowa in mid-December. It was cold, the trees were bare… but there was no snow, much to Nyan’s chagrin. But then… a Christmas Eve miracle! We got a couple inches of light, fluffy snow. Too dry to make snowballs or snowmen, but plenty good for wandering around in and even making a snow angel.

We made sure Nyan was properly outfitted for his alpine excursions, with Star Wars stocking hat, snow pants, sweaters, heavy winter coat and snow boots.

This was actually not his first time in the snow — here he was in Iowa a few years back, and here we are visiting a local indoor snow place in 2016. But the latter doesn’t really count, and he has zero memory of that first brush with snow and extreme cold. And, yes, we had a few light dustings of snow in London, but again, no memory. So we can sort of count this as his first time in snow. So with that, here we go, his first steps in snow:

Some photos of Nyan (and Daddy) in the snow:

He found a stick and decided to go around “whacking” and clearing the snow off of trees and other items.

And he made his first-ever snow angel!

A few days later, it got really cold – like sub-zero Fahrenheit. We didn’t play outside in that, but we did when it was a bit “warmer” (i.e. in the teens Fahrenheit, -10 C). We made sure to be extra bundled up:

It was awfully cold, but pretty. We leave you with a few random scenery shots.

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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Fun Times in Iowa, Part Two

As we wrap up our photographic look-back at our time in Iowa, here’s a final sampling of various little moments of fun.

He spent a lot of time down in the basement with Grandpa, working on the model train:

That list you see there? That’s a notebook Grandpa gave him when we left; he immediately started filling it up with ideas for things to add to the train layout.

I can hear you asking: did Nyan have any time to play while in Iowa? Oh yes. Yes he did.

We did a little shopping too, including for his snazzy new backpack:

And he showed off his silly and creative personality:

Here’s just a few miscellaneous pictures, including a robot fish he drew, and a birdhouse he painted:

Whew. So much fun! Between jetlag and all this activity, he must have gotten a lot of sleep too, right? Right.

That’s it for this season of Nyan’s visit to Iowa. But have no fear, we shall return.

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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Uncategorized



Fun Times in Iowa, Part One

As we’ve seen, Nyan had a blast during his summer trip to the US in June. Train museums, pedal boats, household chores, picnics and playgrounds…. the list goes on.

But Nyan’s the kind of kid who can have fun pretty much anywhere and anytime. Let’s take a look at some of these random spots of fun he managed to have.

There was the time Daddy got him a beginner’s science kit, and Nyan made crystals, globules and all sorts of other science-y stuff.

Or the time we visited some friends of Grandma and Grandpa, and they showed Nyan their pet rabbit.

What about drawing dinosaurs on the sidewalk in chalk? Check.

Probably the most fun he had, though, was just hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa. Working on math homework, reading, just chilling.

We think Grandma and Grandpa were happy to have Nyan stay with them for a couple weeks. Check out all the gifts and goodies that were waiting on Nyan’s bed when we arrived:

Oh, and how could we forget? Nyan ate quite well in Iowa too.

Up next: even more random photos of random fun in the heartland.

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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Hot Fun in the Iowa Summertime

Sometimes the simplest pleasures are the best. Like the day when Nyan, Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa went for a casual hike in the woods. Or at least through a meadow. Grandma and Grandpa wanted to check out the site of a future residential development, and Nyan was happy to go along. He even got into the rural life, happily chewing on a grass stalk. (Nyan wore his camouflage shorts especially for the occasion; the black and white striped shirt, he added, was so that he could be a zebra. A camouflaged zebra.)

Another day we headed up to a place a little ways out of town called the Devonian Fossil Gorge. It’s an area of ancient rock that was exposed a decade or so ago when a nearby river burst out of a dam and gushed for weeks, scouring away millions of years of topsoil and rock. It left behind what was the ocean floor some 375 million years ago, and now is home to lots of clearly visible fossils. We had taken Nyan there a few years ago, but this visit is hopefully one he will actually remember. He certainly seemed to enjoy it.

On yet another beautiful and warm summer day, we visited a place called Trueblood Recreation Area, just south of town. It’s an old quarry that’s now filled with water and has been developed as a place to fish, hike, or take pedal boats out on the water. So that’s what we did. Grandpa and Daddy pedaled while Grandma and Nyan chilled and luxuriated. It was a lovely ride at a beautiful site.

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Posted by on July 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Slime and Soccer with Mia

Nyan got to spend some quality time with cousin Mia during his trip to Iowa. What did they get up to? Well, they tried their hand at making slime:

They goofed around with their hair and glasses at a restaurant. Well, to be precise, Mia (and Aunt Maggie) did while Nyan giggled.

They hung out on the couch while Mia played with her new iPhone:

And, maybe best of all, they hung out in the backyard. There were some (attempts at) cartwheels…

And there was soccer. Mia’s been playing for years; Nyan’s been playing for months. We thought some of her skills might rub off on the lad. That remains to be seen, but at least they had fun.

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Posted by on July 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


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