Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Bangkok, Moscow, Atlanta, Richmond, Atlanta, Moscow, Berlin, Moscow, London, Los Angeles, London, Istanbul, Cappadocia, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Milan, Lake Como, Bellagio, Milan, Atlanta, Richmond, Atlanta, Milan, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Chicago, Richmond, Washington DC, New York City - etc....

Bronte & Frank are back in Richmond for a holiday with their cousins - bliss!

in between bronte's birthday and veteran's day, 2007

PictureGrandpa and newborn Bronte, 2004
So vividly, I remember the phone call from home this chilly night in Milan.  I didn't realize at first, the nature of this communication would unfold with a similar footprint, to the one we'd received a few months previous, with the news of uncle Wayne's untimely passing.

Bronte's Grandpa had most unexpectedly suffered a stroke  and wasn't expected to survive in time for us to say goodbye.  This flood of crashing emotions starts rushing as we put Bronte in the bath (with Frank right there on the toilet seat to keep her company) as we go into shock. 

These are times it really pays to have a trusted travel agent working with you.  When dealing with complex logistics, international flights and connections when muddle-headed, it's better to hand over to a detached professional.  There's so much to do aside from find passports, pack and possibly leave on the next flight out.

PictureItalian pre-school - Il Platina
Back in Milan after a brisk visit to Rome.
Bronte turns three.  She receives gifts from around the world including her first Italian bicycle (although she was wishing it were a real motorbike).

Celebrations take place first thing in the morning, then at her cute little daycare by the ginormous tree, and finally she is presented with the most enormous plate of penne anybody has ever seen.

PicturePiazza del Duomo, Milan
From Istanbul to Milano, where Bronte & Frank will live for another 3 months.  It's autumn, in comparison to the intense and humid heat in Turkey, Bronte & Frank are enjoying cool, crystal clear days.  The city is gorgeous, every shop window dressed to stun (and these eye catching displays change daily), the northern Italian residents are always dressed in super sophisticated fashion (no *'trackie dacks' here), fabulous fabrics, superior style and oodles of elegance.  Bronte & Frank decide the city of Milan is a 'Living Catwalk' - although the stray cat population pales next to 'Isty's', which they had dubbed the 'City of Cats'.

* trackie dacks = Aussie abbreviation for tracksuit pants

Bronte (and Frank) attend their 3rd local/international pre-school this year - 'Platina' named after the monstrous climbing tree in the playground area.  

Nobody speaks English, so it is always fun communicating with broken Italian and sign language.  As the Christmas holiday approaches, Bronte teaches her little friends how to sing 'Jingle Bells' in English and in return, she learns how to dance to the 'Triumphal March' from Verdi's AIDA.  

PictureGalata Tower - Istanbul
To Turkey from Russia by way of USA - this year is turning travel craZAY!

Bronte & Frank will live in Istanbul for three months, while their dad works on a movie called The International.
On the way to their new home at the Grand Hyatt near Taxim Square, they take in a most spectacular skyline. Mosques, with their pointy spires poke up at every twisty turn around this undulating city. The Bosphorous Straight shimmers like liquid crystal between Asia and Europe.  The scent of meat slowly gyrating on a spit, mixed with exotic spices, wafts on steaming air streaming through the taxi's open windows.   It's an exhilarating ride, high speed, sans seat belts.  

It's so vibrant and colorful, with fascinating ancient history, yet there seems such a youthful and tolerant clash of cultures.    Bronte and Frank are in love with this place already!

Bronte & Frank always have an interesting walk to Turkish pre-school in the mornings.


Bronte & Frank took a trip to Central Turkey where they had a most incredible adventure.

After arriving into Goreme late at night, Bronte & Frank set the alarm for 4 o'clock the next morning, when they needed to be up for sunrise hot air ballooning over volcanic 'fairy chimney' rock formations.


32 cave dwellings in this utterly unique property provide a fantastic view point, towering over the village below. An especially relaxed breakfast is provided with locally grown produce, including marinated olives, spiced apricots, fresh apples, sheep and goat cheeses - just scrumptious.  Bronte & Frank had fun pouring homemade red wine from a secret old tap embedded in a rocky archway by the 'inside-outside' pool (although Bronte couldn't convince Frank to swim with her through the mote-like water feature).  Bronte & Frank met families from all over the world during their 3 night stay.

Pictureentire underground cities

Bronte & Frank spent two full days exploring underground cities where thousands of communities lived safely hidden from their enemies of the time.  These interconnected cities provided stables for animals such as sheep and goats, dwellings for families (one room would take around 12 months to hand carve)  with hanging cradles for infants, there were also rudimentary kitchens, churches and even a grape crushing area for making wine.

The  Goreme Outdoor Open Museum, which is one of the most visited historic sites in Cappadocia, features  more than 30 churches carved from the soft pink volcanic rock.  Many of these chapels display stunning frescoes from around the 10th Century on their walls.

Picturewell traveled and well loved, Frank is starting to look well worn...
Bronte & Frank return to LA to see friends and begin to appreciate just how easy life in the USA seems, compared to some places they've been.  The overwhelming supermarket choice, cars screeching to a stop for your illegally J-walk, strangers smiling in your eyes as they walk by.

The sun in always shining, tap water is drinkable and hot water will not be shut off for three weeks for the rusty pipes to be cleaned.

During the past two years, unbeknown to Bronte, Frank was lost and sometimes found, but not always.  Starting out with four identical beige Franks, one would be forever lost in London's Hyde Park, another from the stroller in Kiev, and perhaps the other at one of Berlin's train stations.  The soul surviving Frank (pictured above) was now a collector's item, as sadly, the manufacturer (Omega Toys), was discovered to be out of business.  Panic sets in, what to do, what to do...

Find a dozen Omega Frank's.  OK, so they're not beige - don't panic - you can work with this....because....Frank is magic and he will change color on his birthday to let us know....I mean who's to know how long a Teddy Bear Year is?  Could be like dog years right?

PictureStill freezing in April!
Back in Moscow, 9 months in and it feels like it's been winter the entire time.  Now Bronte and Frank understand why everybody busts out of town during the holiday period (just like they did).

Crazy amount of travel for one so young - still just two years old, Bronte has more than half a dozen countries under her belt.   If this is to continue, it's probably time to start documenting in a more meaningful way.

......check out Bronte & Frank go to Moscow - it's just the beginning of their daring adventure!

PictureTiergarten - Berlin

Only a week this time, but still manage to cram it in.  It's so leafy, and clean, the people all exercising with smiles, on bikes or jogging and the birdsong... oh birds twittering is so heartwarming.  How do they keep this place so clean?   Ahhhhh YES, recycling, lots of recycling - all color coded and orderly.  It's decided quite quickly that Bronte & Frank could easily live in this city, with its tremendous Tiergarten (German for animal park).  Bronte & Frank explored the urban park all day, with lunch at the Biergarten - followed by rowing on the river (well except Frank refused to get in the boat - he detests getting wet).  Bronte & Frank will return to this city, with certainty.

St. patrick's day, 2007

Bronte & Frank flew back to the USA very suddenly, and so sadly, to say goodbye to their cool uncle Wayne (he was only 42 when we lost him to a massive heart attack).

This would be Bronte's first funeral.  Although she may not remember it in years to come, we wanted her to be there (the thinking, that as long as she had Frank with her she'd be OK).
                                          We miss you Wayno!

Picturescolded by a monkey in a skirt?

From a searing summer in Australia to the worst winter in Russia.  Sometimes -38 degrees (excluding wind chill) - those days you can feel your eyeballs freezing after mere moments outside.

Bronte & Frank return to pre-school at P'tif Cref and continue exploring the city of Moscow.