Tag Archives: travel

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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Another Trip to Chicago

We punctuated our trip to Iowa with a quick roadtrip in to Chicago to see some dear friends. Most notably, Pearl – Nyan’s first canine love.

Of course, whatever continent he’s on, you can always find Nyan with his nose in a book.

Though he did manage to squeeze in some ping-pong.

And he hung out with Pearl in front of a Christmas tree:

And helped Todd and Linda decorate their tree:

Todd and Linda happen to be renovating their house, so we got to take a tour of the very unfinished new master bedroom, and poke around the construction site. Nyan made himself useful by moving handfuls of gravel from one pile to another.

A fun trip, a short trip. But a long drive – which found Nyan doing what he does best on a long drive: dozing.


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Posted by on January 27, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Nyan Returns to Hong Kong

Long-time readers will know that Nyan visited Hong Kong way back in the spring of 2015 (you can reminisce here). Mommy and Daddy have each been back a couple times each for work, but Nyan hadn’t. So when Mommy had to visit HK in late November, she took Nyan and Phwa Phwa along for a long weekend (while Daddy stayed behind in Singapore and worked). It was a successful trip by all accounts. Let’s take a look!

They did a fair amount of walking around and sightseeing, visiting museums, and the like. Check it out:

They also found a shopping mall, near to their hotel, that had a huge Lego Christmas display set up. Plus a bakery with a Stormtrooper cake. Think our boy was happy?

They rode the subway, they rode the ferry across the harbor:

Hong Kong is also known for a tram that goes up and down the steep Victoria Peak, the mountain behind the city. They rode that, too.

They rode it up:

They rode it down:

And in between, they checked out the spectacular views on a beautiful day:

Here’s a quick look at our hero, relaxing in the hotel room:

They also spent an afternoon at the botanic gardens, checking out the birds and the bamboo (among other things)

And finally, we leave you with a few random shots from around Hong Kong. It’s a really vibrant – not as clean as Singapore, but just as safe, and arguably more exciting – and I’m quite sure we’ll be back.

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Posted by on December 29, 2017 in Uncategorized


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A Visit to Telunas Beach Resort

Telunas is a laid-back beach resort on a small Indonesian island. There’s not a lot to do there except swim, eat, hike a bit, and relax. That was just what we were looking for as a way to unwind before Nyan started his new school, and to celebrate Mommy’s birthday. We are quite pleased to report the place exceeded our expectations in every way.  Here is a long report on our trip.

It’s pretty close to Singapore, which meant no air travel – just boats. We started with a half-hour ferry ride to the island of Batam, just across the channel from Singapore. Nice views of the Singapore skyline even from Indonesia:

Then we transferred to a small, low-slung traditional Indonesian fishing boat that the resort sent to pick us up. The ride was about 45 minutes through pretty calm waters, passing by untouched islands and the occasional fishing village, with most buildings on stilts above the water.

The resort is also built on stilts, jutting out over the water. The main building was the eating hall, and each individual cabin was connected by wooden pathways high above the water, eventually leading to a long stretch of beach. It was deliberately rustic and low-key, and it was great.


Here’s the resort:

And our room, a nice-sized place with a queen bed, bunk beds and a little balcony overlooking the sea and the island.

Fun on the Beach

The beach was long and clean, very wide at low tide and pretty narrow at high tide. The whole place was thick with little crabs who would dig holes in the sand and leave little balls of sand everywhere. Great for drawing your name in, actually. We obviously spent the bulk of our time on the beach – swimming, lazing, walking, playing with the other kids at the resort.

Rope Course

The blonde, curly-haired girl you see in some of those beach pictures was Anastasia, a.k.a. Squish. She and Nyan became fast friends, starting with some bonding at the resort’s rope course.

As you can see, it was a clearing on a hill, deep in the jungle, where they had installed a few rope bridges for kids (and adults!) to test their mettle. Nyan was a little nervous but he did a great job!

More Fun in the Water

The resort had some non-motorized water sports equipment to borrow, so one afternoon, Daddy and another parent staying at the resort brought one out into the (pretty shallow) water and threw a bunch of kids on it. A blast was had by all.

The resort also had a couple of platforms for the brave-hearted to jump from and into the water. One was maybe 10 feet, the other more like 30. Both were too high for Nyan, but not for Daddy!


The resort also offered rudimentary fishing — they’d loan you a plastic spindle with a lot of fishing line on it; you’d put some raw chicken on a hook at the end of the line and lower it down from the platforms. We didn’t catch anything but it was a nice relaxing time.


Speaking of relaxing, that’s ultimately what we did a lot of at Telunas. Reading, lounging, drawing, exploring, being silly. Good times.

The Night

Every night they had a big bonfire down on the beach. Kids loved it – especially when the marshmallows came out!

One evening we did a special pizza dinner down on the beach, where we all assembled our own pizzas and then had them bake them in a wood-fired oven. And, since it was Mommy’s birthday week, we asked if they could do something special. They sure could!

We were also there during a full moon. Amazing.


And you know ho the full moon brings out the crazy and/or goofy? Yeah. This:

Time to Go

Sadly, of course, all good things must end. So after a few nights, we had to board the fishing boat that took us back to the ferry that took us home. But we’re already making plans to return to Telunas.

It’s fair to say the trip was an unalloyed success. In case there was any doubt, Nyan started his new school a couple days later. One of the first things the children did was to draw “what I did on my summer vacation” pictures. Here’s what Nyan came up with:


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Posted by on September 15, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Still a Great Traveler

As we’ve seen, Nyan racked up a lot of frequent flier miles this summer. He’s been traveling across continents and oceans since he was literally four-and-a-half months old, so he’s very much old hat at it. Let’s check him out as he showed off his expertise on this most recent trans-oceanic voyage.

He knows his way around an airplane, whether he’s watching a video, having a meal or a snack, or passed out:

He’s also adept at navigating airports themselves. He still loves watching planes on the tarmac,  goofing around at airport cafes, pulling luggage, and – when he can – hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa

And sometimes, there’s nothing to do but wait. And be silly.

We also did a fair amount of driving. He’s good at that too, whether he’s drawing, napping, or – once again – being silly.

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Posted by on July 31, 2017 in Uncategorized



Galesburg, Illinois

We saw a notice of some sort of railroad festival going on in a small railroad town called Galesburg, Illinois. It’s about a two hour drive from Iowa City and when we asked Nyan if he was interested, the answer was – of course – a resounding “Yes!” So off we went.

It’s not the most vibrant town ever, though it has a very active railway, a couple of adjacent museums and some old train cars on display. Some scenery from the town:

As it turned out, most of the festival activities were on another day. But the museums had special tours and activities going on. So we checked out the kid’s museum, which wasn’t very train-centric, but was still fun. It was full of dress-up-and-play areas (grocery store, fire house, vet’s office, etc) and various activities, like building ramps to slide balls along. And there was a tractor simulator!

And a little table with jets of air coming out, and you put the ping-pong ball into the jets of air so they seem to be floating. Nyan enjoyed that too.

As mentioned, Galesburg has a very busy railroad running through it, and we happened to catch a really long grain train rolling through.

The train museum was maybe the highlight though – inside was full of memorabiliia from a hundred years of trains. And outside were a Pullman car, a mail car and a steam engine, all of them real, all of them open for walk-throughs, and all of them having special guided tours this day. The steam engine was huge, impressive, and a big hit with our young engineer.

All in all, a very pleasant day. Let’s wrap up with some random pics: Nyan and Daddy being silly, Nyan signing the museum guest book, and all tuckered out on the drive home.

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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Up Among the Tall Trees in Northern California 

Nyan had never seen a redwood tree before. We had thought about going to Muir Woods National Monument on previous visits to the Bay Area, but the fear of crowds kept us at bay. (That, and jetlag that always seemed to mean we slept more than sight-saw.)

This time around, we zeroed in on Big Basin Redwoods State Park, about an hour and a bit south of San Mateo, just to the west – along some climbing and winding two-lane roads – of Cupertino. We headed out early one morning (thanks, again, to the jetlag) and got there not long after they opened, around 8ish. It was quite chilly, especially for us equatorial residents who lack much warm clothing, but it was not crowded, the morning sun was glorious, and the trees were superlative.

Let’s just check out some pictures and videos. Words don’t do it justice.

And some videos too.

We were all suitably impressed. Then, while driving on from the park, in the middle of the redwood forest, we suddenly chanced upon…a Burmese monastery! What? How random. We stopped, of course, and checked out the stupa. Didn’t see any people at all; it was peaceful and seemingly deserted. Then we found the monk – yes, there was just one monk – and then we found some other Burmese folks who come up every weekend to cook up a week’s worth of food for the monk to eat. They promptly offered us a huge Burmese spread for lunch, which we gratefully accepted.

Totally random, but totally special.

Our final stop on this busy morning was at a NASA museum, not far from Google headquarters. It was a small affair, but kinda neat. It had some replicas of modules from the International Space Station, displays about various satellites and space missions, and an actual moon rock brought back by one of the moon missions. It actually wasn’t as awe-inspiring as we had hoped – it was just a little rock, encased in a glass display. It was so uninspiring, in fact, that we forgot to take a picture of it. Oops.

Then it was off for a drive through the nearby Google corporate campus before heading back to our rental apartment. Nice day overall.

Let’s end with some more photos of those majestic redwoods.

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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Uncategorized


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