Mill Pond Park

I spent a morning with Riley, Talia and Milo at Mill Pond Park in Newington, CT. The various cousins were all of on other activities and adventures of their own so we had a little down time.

Tire swing


It took me a while, but I have figured it is actually not possible to get three children to look in the same direction and smile, all at the same time. If you get one, you are doing very well. Two is next to impossible. Three is… out of the question.

Looking for ducks

A cuddle on the rocks

Throwing pebbles. Just seconds after this photo was taken Milo walked into the pond, his feet were muddy and stinky.

I was treated to a private show in the band stand. I wasn’t quick enough to get this on video but I think this photo captures the essence of it.


Malachi (age 3) is Jody’s cousin Kevin’s son – so I’m not exactly sure how you name the relationship, but I’m guessing he is technically a second cousin to Riley, Talia and Milo. Malachi lives in New Mexico, but was in Connecticut briefly for a family visit so we got together at a park close to his family.

Heading to the park. Riley and Michael hold Malachi’s hand, and behind is Chris, Milo and Jeannette.


Milo crosses the bridge

Talia on the slide

Backyard cousin fun

Stone has a fantastic adventure playground in his backyard, which he kindly shared with all the cousins. There’s a sand box, swing set with slide, trampoline, bike trail and a zip line.

Corrina shows how it’s done.


Stone does a flip on the trampoline

Talia on the trampoline

Michael on the bike and Stone on the zip line

Milo tries the zip line, with Alan’s help


Spent a day at Wildwood, just north of Cape May, which is known locally for it’s boardwalks complete with full-fledged amusement parks. It was a great experience because I know that even though this is nothing close to the scale of America’s really big theme parks such as Disneyland etc, I think it is probably beyond anything of it’s type that we would have in Australia, so it was fun to experience. We just spent one afternoon at one of the piers, but there were three piers and you could easily spend a couple of days or more there (not to mention a lot of $$$) with kids. The water park alone was amazing to observe from a distance, but we didn’t go in, just saved it for a future occasion.

Riley has always had approached these types of things (i.e. rides) with trepidation, but with so many of his cousins present he found renewed confidence to push his own boundaries, take some risks and go on rides that normally he would never have wanted to do, and he did this all on his own volition, never coerced or pressured – in fact he wanted to go back the following day.

Boardwalk at Wildwood (just after rain so it is looking a bit gray)

Riley in a go cart



Chris and his Dad Al,followed by his Uncle Alan.

From the top of the ferris wheel, looking down on part of the water park, and the beach in the background.

From the ferris wheel, looking toward another pier, where there are more adventurous rides – such as “reverse” bungy-jumping and a big roller coaster.

View from the ferris wheel

Stone, Riley and Corrina on the Jack-in-the-box, a ride which raised them up, and then bounced them up and down.

Stone, Riley and Corrina on the Jack-in-the-box

Jaymes and Chris – kind of like a merry-go-round but you are lying down

Riley and Corrina

Riley and Corrina

Moby Dick – this was a pretty adventurous ride for Riley to take on, but he wanted to do it and had a great time.

Chris, Jaymes, Julie, Riley, Corrina, Briar

Riley and his Uncle Alan take to the skies.

Riley in a pedal-powered paddle boat

The paddle boat area, which is directly beneath the huge ferris wheel

Riley in a tow truck

Jake and Stone


Cape May, NJ

We have a comfortable spacious house one block from the beach, with 22 of us in it – there are 10 cousins here having a great time together – bike rides, playing on the beach, arcade games, and all the other things that cousins like to get up to. The house is newly renovated with 9 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, plenty of room for us (see here for more info).

Lifeguard station

Beach at Cape May

View of the beach

Cousins Jake, Stone, Corrina

Fun in the surf



Jake and Stone

Talia as a mermaid


One of many thunderstorms that blew through – for this one they closed down the beach due to the risk of lightning strike.


The blog is still in catch-up mode, we departed Connecticut on August 11, bound for Philadelphia, for a quick overnight visit with our friends. We were on our way to the beach at Cape May, New Jersey, where we’ll be renting a large house for a family get-together.

I won’t name everybody here in the interest of offering them some privacy, but some readers will know them as former Redwood City residents, friends, and general trouble-makers. We didn’t see much of Philadelphia itself, instead we just focussed on catching up with our friends and relaxing in their amazing backyard.

Our friend’s house in Philadelphia

They have an amazing pool

The pool – warm and inviting

Our hosts

One of Riley’s good friends who left Redwood City a year and a half ago to move to Philadelphia

Char and Riley

Visiting Grandma Josie

One highlight of our visit to Connecticut was a chance to get together with a few of the extended family at Grandma Josie’s house. This was just a casual get-together with whoever was around, not for a special occasion. However, Grandma is about to turn 95 (more on that in a future post). She’s still living in her own home and doing amazingly well. We stayed overnight and enjoyed breakfast with Grandma the next morning.

Jody and her Grandma Josie

Good food, drink and conversation.

Cousins Talia and Braylen, both three years old, enjoyed playing together.

Jody, her Aunt Toni, and her Grandma Josie.

Uncle David with yet another of Grandma Josie’s great grandchildren. This is Cohen, 8 weeks old.

Braylen (3) asked me to take a glamor shot of him. It was completely impromptu.

Talia and her Great Grandma Josie.

Group photo, four generations, but not all the family was here, by a long shot.

An epic journey by land and sea with three small children