Tag Archives: USA

Our visit to Vail

Yesterday we took a road trip to Vail. It’s just two hours away. I found a great sledding area in Vail courtesy of a website which lets you locate good sledding runs (free) in your neighbourhood. We entered the address in the GPS, and off we went!

The day cost us nothing apart from the car’s petrol and wonderful pizza we ate for dinner. We’ve discovered the following:

a. I need snow pants. Now. Because when I have a frozen wet bum I get grumpy.

b. Charlie is a daredevil on the flexi-sled. He’s worked out that he needs to keep his whole body off the ground and entirely on the sled for the best run and for speed. He flies and cares little about danger… or direction.

c. Harry seems to be a natural snowboarder. He doesn’t even own a skateboard, but managed to stay upright for a long way on his new snowboard. His balance is amazing and he just loves it.

d. Vail is spectacular. We are definitely going back, and will probably make it at least an overnight trip. The whole place is like a gingerbread storybook land. You can see a little in my video!

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Flapdoodle’s pumpkin diet

Halloween is officially over. The only candy left is the real crud that nobody will eat so I’m about to chuck it out. That’s not bad for an entire month!

The other great thing was the jack-o-lanterns. We had heaps of fun carving them with our US friends and they decorated the outside of the house with their scariness for a while. And the kids even had a jack-o-lantern competition at school which was amusing. (Though why so many parents feel they have to do the jack-o-lantern for their kid like some work of art, and then put the kid’s name on it when it was obviously done by the parent is beyond me. Some people need to get a life.) 

Anyway, back to the real story here. The jack-o-lanterns, if carved, go ‘off’ in about a week, so the kids painted and googly eyed etc two pumpkins for school. When they brought them back home we put them on the front verandah… and Flapdoodle decided it was his buffet time. 

We have been highly amused by Flapdoodle’s obsession with our pumpkins. (Yes, we are that desperate for entertainment.) Finally he has eaten both of them. And they were quite large! Luckily for him, he left the googly eyes and pipe cleaners, and he’s still running about so they didn’t kill him.

Flapdoodle, king of pumpkin one

Flapdoodle, king of pumpkin one

Attacking pumpkin two

Attacking pumpkin two

It’s the little things

Living in the USA is really similar to living in Australia. You know, there are schools, public transport, etc. But some things, little things, can make it seem really freaky. And that’s really fun.

For example, the mail. In Australia you have a home letterbox where mail is delivered to monday to friday. If you want to send snail mail, you go to the post office. Rarely do you get stamps anywhere else. There are postboxes in the streets, etc, and when you’ve stamped your letter (it’s 50 cents to anywhere in Australia for standard mail) then it’s good to go. It takes about a day or two to get wherever you send it to. Unless you’ve put money in it, then it might never arrive.

In Boulder you can buy stamps at the supermarket, and heaps of other places. There are nowhere near the plethora of post offices, but there are quite a number of shipping places that specialise in packages.

The really great part is that when you have a standard letter to post, you simply put it in your own letterbox and the mail carrier (the US version of the mail man) picks it up when they drop off your mail. All you need to do is raise the little red flag next to your letterbox.

Super cool. I’m pretty convinced this is why NetFlix, the movie rental service that works by sending the movies out to you via mail, has taken off in a big way here. It’s all so simple.