Yes. You can bake a birthday cake while living in a VW bus.
Posts Tagged birthday
There isn’t too much to do in Gaiman. So after giggling at the name for while, we decided to act a little more civilized. It was high time for high tea.
The town was founded by the Welsh, and although the town is about 5 blocks by 5 blocks big, it has no less than 10 tea houses. They are everywhere. We couldn’t not go. Still, MC and I had to do a bit of convincing to get the guys on board.
With high recommendations from the crazy cabana owner, we set off to one of the nicest places in town. Soon after we sat down in the very English parlor, trays and trays of pastries started to arrive. We didn’t even have to order. We had all forgone lunch in order to eat as much as we could, but we weren’t prepared for the amount of sugar that would be served to us.
Bode declared this his new favorite meal ever. And this is from a kid whose allergies prevented him from eating about 90% of the goodies offered. Still, he got scones with 3 different types of jelly, lemon pie, some sort of traditional fruitcake (which is actually a lot better than fruitcake) and tea with a whole lot of sugar.
When the check came, we were all a bit surprised… nearly $20 USD per person. There was no possible way we could have eaten it all, so we decided we’d get all the leftovers to go. And then, we all needed some exercise. Luckily, the playground is right across the street, and it has the steepest tunnel slide in the world – it just shoots kids out like a cannon. Full speed. Despite the only warning sign for kids I’ve seen in South America (6-14 years only), we all gave it a try. And all of us tried it only once.
We also peered into a closed-down park that was built with recycled materials. This was the reason I’d wanted to come to this town (thinking it would be a bit like Coco’s Corner). The artist died a few years ago, and the family kept it open for a while but couldn’t maintain it. It’s for sale now, and looks pretty amazing. Alas, this isn’t our opportunity. I would get too fat here with all these tea houses.
MC and Simon ended up staying in town an extra night (they are due in Osorno, Chile to meet up with their VW’s new owner) to celebrate Bode’s actual birthday.
Bode has had no less than 3 other birthday celebrations already this year, so this was going to be the final bash. The over-abundance is largely my fault. I don’t want him to miss friends and family on his birthday, so whenever we have been around either (Houston, Ushuaia) he got a party. Just in case his actual birthday is a dud.
Rest-assured he got exactly what he wanted on his birthday. Since he loved the tea so much, we surprised him with another (in-home) tea party. I’m not sure how many other 7 year old boys would be thrilled with a tea party, but mine sure was. BIRTHDAY CAKE for breakfast! Heck yeah, that’s how we roll.
Gifts of Legos, video games… and an entire day spend finishing Wii Super Mario Brothers with Simon. Later that evening we had a Wii Sports night. We will always and forever have strike and spare bowling dances inspired by MC.
Happy Birthday, Jason!
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”
– John Barrymore
Happy Birthday, Angela!
We had been sending occasional emails back and forth to Ane, Andres and Luca since October. We unknowingly met some of their friends while camping with Jim in Oregon and they contacted us through them. We figured we’d connect somewhere down the road.
A few days ago we heard they were close, so we decided to finally meet up at our place over the weekend. It’s a good thing we did.
I sent them some directions and we planned on meeting at the bus. I told them “You can’t miss it – it’s the only bright red bus in GTO.” Amazingly, they found it with no problem. Even more amazing was that they made Bode a vegan cake for his birthday – it was awesome!
We are always saying that the highlights of the trip aren’t the places we visit but the great people we meet. Once again, this is the case. Ane and Andres are great folks and it took less than 2 minutes for Bode and Luca to become best friends. They were inseparable all weekend.
The kids explored the city and we followed.
We heard about a star-gazing event outside of town, so later we went looking for the special Noche de las Estrellas bus to take us out to the mountains.
It was all set up for kids. First, there was excellent story-telling (Spanish, of course) from a costumed neanderthal with groovy musical accompaniment. Later, I tried to ignore the presentation on Einstein’s theory of relativity. We need to learn way more Spanish.
We were given star charts and were waiting for it to get completely dark so we could look through the 20 or so telescopes when a cold wind picked up and storm clouds started closing in. This is the danger of astronomy events, I suppose. Within 10 minutes, the sky was covered and it looked like a torrential downpour would begin any minute. The rest of the event was canceled, and the free bus that brought us out there wasn’t coming back any time soon.
Ane made the right call to hike up to the main road and flag down a bus. We finally caught one and made it back to town just in time for the weather to clear up. We sipped cheap wine on the veranda and looked up at a clear starry sky. At least we had some star charts.
Ane and Andres are interesting folks. She’s a master stone carver and he’s a furniture maker who both decided to take some time off and travel long-term. Luca is learning his third language at age 3. They left from Wisconsin in a ’75 VW Riviera pop-top and headed for the West Coast while we were going the other way. Not surprisingly, they have had a few mechanical problems along the way
Unfortunately, they have some looming issues bigger than the VW. She’s a dual-US/German citizen but he is not, which is turning out to be a major issue for their trip. We continue to hear stories about complications non-US citizens have with the US immigration system and it truly seems ridiculous. Hopefully, it will all get sorted out soon and we can keep crossing paths as we head south.
We swapped stories and it seems like we’ve had some pretty similar experiences and have actually met some of the same people.
They met Jim and the Portland VW bus crowd, coincidentally sold a bike rack to our buddy Peter (maybe?) in San Francisco, met some folks in San Diego (?), ran into Fred in Baja – who all told them about the BodesWell family… again and again. It was a little strange to hear them recount all the people they had met and the times they had been told about us. Apparently, they were even mistaken for us a few times. We kinda feel bad… and weird. Sorry – small world.
Happy 5th Birthday, Bode!
Bode is laying in the bed next to me as I write this. Sprawled legs and arm wide, taking full advantage of the king size bed we have til next week. He seems so much bigger than when we left 8 months ago (has it really been that long?). Yet he still seems too young to send off to kindergarten, or to trust with any sort of sharp object.
He’s grown since the onset of the trip, not just physically (we’ll have to compare that on the old growth chart when we get back), but emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. He continually questions us, always surprises and never…never wants to sleep.
He’s often asked his favorite part of the trip, and I’m always amazed by his answers. There are many.
Visiting the place where they make the laws, Victoria BC
Anytime there was snow
Yo-yo and Wolfie’s house (he wants to move next door) because they have Lego Star Wars for Wii
Seeing shooting stars
Video games with his cousins
Holidays with the family
Carnaval in La Paz, Baja California
Boogie Boarding in Sayulita
I was often asked if I thought he’d remember this trip, and yes, I don’t think he’ll ever forget it.
Happy Birthday kid, to know you is to love you.
With all my love,