Sarah Ryland


To the Mother, 

I forgot to say in the last post that we went to Disneyland. As you know I’m pretty high on the motion sickness scale. I tried to be brave for Theo though and went on the Star Wars 3D Simulator ride. Basically you get into a spaceship that’s stuck to the ground and you go on a crazy ride through space and time. You’re strapped in but the thing throws you around like a roller coaster. They did a good job, it’s pretty realistic. I was considering throwing up in my handbag. Theo was on his own after that.

We stopped in Phoenix for a night before Tucson and that was cool. Super hot.
We loved Tucson. I definitely haven’t acquired a cactus drawing somewhere on my body. But we got to hang out with Hanah who I went to school with. Her daughter just turned 4 and she’s the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen. CANT WAIT TO MEET ROCKY! We took some pictures in the desert on her friends motorbike. And they have $2 beers there.

Roswell was out of this world. Actually it was pretty small and weird and full of alien stuff but it was cool to see! I’ve wanted to go for so many years now. I have a few treats for Sam. Sad that none of the show was actually filmed there though. It’s all filmed in Corvina in LA. Can’t believe I missed that.
Seriously though, Everything is alien themed. The street lights look like alien heads and there’s green footprints on the pavement and aliens painted everywhere. Mac donalds is in a spaceship. 

Albuquerque looks just like breaking bad but nicer. We dropped the rental car off there and flew to New York. It’s so cool there. Beautifully dirty. I hate the subway. And it’s so expensive. But we did love it.

We flew to Minneapolis this morning and then to LAX. 2 flights down and 4 more to go. So another 30ish hours of flying. See you when I get in. If you recognise me. 

Child one signing out. 



To the Mother, 

My necklaces have been tangled for days. And I’ve been in more elevators than I can count. But the living in jandals situation is joyus. One of my new hobbies is trying to shut the elevator doors before anyone else can get in. Theo likes to shout “BING” when it’s quiet in the lobby and the elevator tells you it’s opening.

Last you heard we were in San Fran, which was a while ago now. Apologies.

Since then we’ve been to Santa Cruz, San Jose, LA, Las Vegas, Yosemite, Oakland, back to LA and now we’re in San Diego. Staying about 4 minutes drive from the Mexican border. The rental car isn’t insured there though.

LA was a treat for the lover of all things film and music in me. Almost every movie ever was filmed somewhere there. We saw the outside of the New Girl apartments and the ones from Chuck. 100% fangirl tourist. The Griffith Observatory was cool. Charlie’s Angels was filmed there, along with probably 70 other films.

We we’re lucky enough to be in LA at the same time as one of Abbeys trips so we got to hang with her for a couple of days. She’s a candy in the hand.

Vegas was ace. Lit up with a neon glow that brightens the sky. That place is streamlined for gamblers and full of walkways from casino to casino. It’s crazy how you can just walk into any hotel you want. The Belagio and Caesers Palace were my fave. The dress code is a grey area. It’s 38 degrees at midnight and really dry. 

We went to a shooting range there too. Theo enjoyed shredding up his paper target. He asked the arms officer dressed in a camo military outfit if he could “put one in his head”. The man on the target I mean, not the officer. The landscapes in Nevada are amazing. Everywhere you look you’re surrounded by dusty sharp peaks of magnificence. And, NO, we did not get married in an Elvis themed Chapel by an Elvis impersonator. 

I think in total so far we’ve driven the length of New Zealand three times now. We’ve passed through a lot of little places that Theo calls “Head on spike towns”. So we just keep driving through those ones.

Yosemite was insane. I have never experienced landscapes and mountains that big. I don’t even have anything else I can say but wow.

I got a free dinner tonight in San Diego because my Scallops tasted like an old boot. But we went to the zoo today and I was all tuckered out by the end because really i’m a 5 year old and an 80 year old at the same time. 

Tomorrow we drive the lengthy 6 hours to Tucson, Arizona. So I’m signing off to sleep. From Child One. xo


To the Mother,

So Portland was beautiful. The scenery is really something. I found a pretty girl at Wahclella falls to photograph so that was awesome because Theo would not be impressed if he had to be my model for a month. We did drive past a few fires on the side of the highway. There’s a few pyros in that town. 

People kept saying “oh you gotta drive down the coast”. Those people have obviously never been to New Zealand. We stayed a night in Eureka and that was probably the equivalent of Russell. The Redwoods were amazing though! We drove through the avenue of the Giants which was beautiful! (all the tree photos). 

Sacramento definitely looks like The Mentalist. We saw a kid break his arm and then another dude drop his pants on a bushy corner who was obviously busting, but realized we just saw him so he hobbled for cover with his pants around his ankles. 

We got to San Fran and had the best day. We had dinner at Bubba Gump and our waiter quizzed us on how well we knew the movie. He said we’d win a prize if we did well. We won water. When we arrived at our accommodation later that night our day took an odd turn. We checked in and walked into our room that smelled like there were at least 10 people smoking in there. There were actual burn holes in the blankets and the carpet stuck to our feet. 

 Sometimes at our accommodation during the check-in process I wonder if it’s impolite to ask if anyone has been murdered on the premises. Not because I’m scared, just because I’m genuinely interested. Definitely not because I’m scared. I’m not scared. Nope.

We swiftly checked out and after a strongly worded discussion were fully refunded. We found a new place and read some of the reviews for the last place. It pays to read those. We were actually, according to the reviews, in ladies of the night central. 

We are leaving tomorrow and heading to LA so being a bigger city I’m sure a few good stories will come out of it. I do love traveling. Plus my navigation skills are an excellent way to see parts of the city you’d never  see otherwise.

Missing you. And my bed. 

First Child. 



To the mother: 

Yesterday morning we woke up in Seattle. To a screaming homeless human outside our window yabbering on about his rabbits which was unusual but ever so delightful. 

The wedding was beautiful and we had the best time in Vancouver. We met some fantastic hearts in our travels. We’re hoping they will all come and visit us in Nelson soon! I got you something cool at one of the Thrift shops. You would love them. They’re the size of a supermarket. 

Seattle is beautiful. The buildings are almost all made of brick. Our hotel is nice. If you like decor from the 1800’s. It doesn’t smell bad, but it definitely doesn’t smell good. We’re on level 3 (top floor) and there’s no elevator cause like who needs one of those when they have giant bags to carry. I’m certain the red stains on the carpet in our room aren’t blood.

We have learned that accommodation over here doesn’t find the morning cup of tea or coffee important as there is never any milk or condiments. I’m sorry but a Starbucks on every corner is not the same thing. They are a tad behind on the real coffee scene. 

We got here on the train from Vancouver and I think the Canadians and Americans got more stick from border security than we did. We went to the Experience Music Project Museum today and saw the real life costumes from the Star Wars films. Sam would have died. 

We also visited a bunch of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain’s guitars and artifacts. I died. We picked up our rental which we LOVE. It’s A Jeep. Always take the free upgrade. Whilst paying for parking today I sat a bag of chips on the bonnet and when I returned they were gone. I was quite slutted off. I was two cars down at the machine. Sarah-issly. 

This afternoon we went to the pike place market and put our gum on the gum wall. We spent about an hour in Costco and couldn’t buy anything at the end because we’re “not members”. So that happened. 

After that we went to the beach and then to Walmart and then went to Applebee’s for dinner - like on the movie grown ups. I’m three margaritas down so apologies in advance. I only ordered one but they leave the rest of the shaker at the table. 

The photos of the house are Meredith Grey’s house from Grey’s Anatomy.

Today we drove to Portland. It’s stunning so keep yourself posted for lots of photos of greenery and curious objects. Love from child one. 



To the Mother,

So the first day here wasn’t a real success. Anna picked me up at 7:30am after the 14 hour flight with the aunt and uncle and then the parentals followed at 12ish. Theo was due to land at 1:40 but we didn’t hear from him until about 2:30. He connected to the airport wifi and said he had to join a line as long as the Great Wall of China to get his temporary visa. We waited a further 3 hours before sending Robert to investigate. They said it’d take as long as it takes. But we actually did get him soon after that. All up I spent over 10 hours at the airport and I’ll be happy to never see the place again. 

The people we are staying with are lovely which ended the day nicely. They just happen to live across the road from a strip club and you’ll be happy to know that we ate our dinner underneath it last night. Today we rode bikes around Stanley park in Vancouver. Theo was his usual devious self, did a jump on his bike, and snapped the de-railer off within the first 4 minutes. I watched as small parts flew off in slow motion while thinking.. It’s always Theo. So we ventured back to swap it and then raced our way back to the others to catch up. We bet them. 

After that we ate a bunch of meat and all split off to tie up a few loose ends for the wedding. 5 ladies in a car driving around in 30 degree heat and no air conditioning was better than the 4 boys driving around elsewhere with aircon. The supermarket is amazing and I think I could fit inside one of the chip bags. I got a margarita out of Budgie (Kirsten) so life is great. 

Also, There’s a huge Opp shop, sorry “Thrift Shop” right next door to us so tomorrow I’m hitting that up in full action. Well done to anyone who’s read this far too. But yeah all in all I see the next 6 weeks going similarly. 

From your first child.

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