its birthday season here in sayulita. there are an awful lot of people born in late august, including yours truly who will be turning the ripe old age of 35 in a week. yesterday nayou’s friends maximo and costa both celebrated their 5th birthday with a party at los arroyos verdes. los arroyos verdes is a super chill area with a pool and cabins where you can set yourself up for the day, or even spend the night. its been on our radar for a while now but we never made it down there until now.
the party was pirate themed, which made it the perfect chance to use up our leftover tattoos from christmas and get crafty with some eye patches and bandannas. arrrr!
for presents, we made the birthday boys some “sea anemones” filled with treasure (marbles, coins, shells and coral), along with a story about how we came into their possession. we thought it was a cool gift although i think maxxi and costa were more excited about the lego sets that kept on streaming in.
the party itself was really fun. of course it wouldn’t have been complete without a pinata, which nayou took down with a couple of blows!
we spent lots of time in the water, ate too much cake, and came home tired and content… except for nayou, whose stomach felt a bit queasy after all that sugar!
all kinds of things have been happening in hot hot sayulita. here is a quick recap, as told through the lens of brenda’s ipod touch. if you follow her on instagram then these may all be old news. sorry!
the biggest event was brenda’s birthday on the 6th. she (voluntarily and with pleasure) made herself a super yummy carrot cake out of coconut flour which we devoured in record time (thus no photos). we spent most of the day out at punta de mita catching some waves and relaxing on the beach. i was a bad boyfriend and neglected to take any photos of the birthday girl. shame on me one thousand times!
not to make this all about me, but my hair is crazy.
we hit up this cute surf bar on the way home – we’ve only been there twice but the food and views are amazing. definitely one of our favourite spots in the sayulita area!
nayou got a greek salad all to himself. the waiter looked at us strangely when we just ordered a salad for him, but nayou devoured it!
i love this kid.
once we were fed, lots of funny birthday shenanigans ensued.
these ones are my favourite.
there has been another surge in the number of private yoga classes i’ve been teaching. its supposed to be the low season but people are definitely still passing through. last week i had a wonderful lady from texas for a few classes and she invited the three of us to lunch at the four seasons in punta de mita. the place was as swanky and as awesome and you would expect it to be. basically there are beverages and snacks coming around all the time, and you don’t have to look very far to find someone who is willing to do whatever it is you need them to do. want a towel? no problem. need water? no problem. want to hang out by the beach? they’ll get chairs, umbrellas and beach toys ready for you.
jena and her two daughters were wonderful hosts, and i am so thankful for them for giving us a chance to live it up like rockstars for a day. so generous! i guess its one of the perks of being a private yoga instructor… karma perhaps?
brenda has been taking some rockin’ photos with her ipod lately. this is nayou with his friend perla. they used to hang out as two year olds when we did our first stay in sayulita. look at them now!
nayou has been doing lots of experiments with flour, food colouring, water and other random things he has been scrounging from the kitchen. here is the mad scientist at work:
in addition to his science experiments, nayou has also proven to be a bit of an entrepreneur. this morning he made some agua fresca by infusing some limes and oranges into some water. he and brenda then set up a stand outside our house. one cup cost 5 pesos (~50 cents), but people loved the drink so much they ended up paying an average of 20 pesos per cup! those are some nice tips.
also nayou asked me if i wanted to do some yoga with him today! that was pretty cool. he led me through some of his poses, including his very own “love pose”. its not the one we’re doing in the photo, so we’ll have to get a shot of that some other time.
nayou decided that today was my fake birthday. brenda made me a fake birthday bracelet. both nayou and brenda separately made me a cake. it was a good day, the first and best fake birthday i have ever had. thanks familia!
its been a busy week for the three of us. while i’m holed up in the film studios, my better halves have gone to no less than two birthday parties this week. the first one was for this kid nash, who turned four. he is a big kid – big enough that people regularly mistake him for a seven year old! his party was at the aquarium.
in between the next party, brenda and nayou snuck off to the beach for a play in the sand. they went with marley and tyler, twins who nayou has been spending a lot of time with in cape town.
i only know secondhand, but the beaches here are gorgeous. white sand, blue waters (albeit feezing), and nice warm sun. i’m looking forward to getting acquainted with the beach once we wrap!
yesterday was the twins’ birthday. they chose to have their party on a pirate ship (awesome!).
the birthday trifecta will be completed this sunday with nayou turning five. we’re going to keep it mellow and have a small gathering at imhoff farm, which has a nice cafe, a play area and a snake park.
in a couple of days its going be five months since we’ve moved to namibia. which is crazy because it feels like much less than that. the shooting schedule has us here for another five weeks, after which we will either be extended in swakopmund for another three weeks or move to cape town for three weeks and finish up there. i would love to get a chance to visit cape town – many of the crew are from there and say its absolutely wonderful. plus there are lots of yoga studios, asian restaurants and health food stores that stock staples like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. fingers crossed!
we haven’t been on any adventures lately due to random parties and other commitments, which is why there has been a bit of a drought in terms of updates. we don’t really bust out the camera when we’re just hanging out at home. but we have been enjoying ourselves! but we do take video here and there! here are some highlights:
one of our newer discoveries is this small farmstead about 10km out of swakopmund called desert hills. they are only open on saturdays, when you can go and have lunch, hang out and check out and assortment of food and cosmetics they make on-site. its a really chill place and we’ve been back two weekends in a row. lots of the products they sell are made from the !nara plant, which is native to the area and used by the bushmen around swakopmund for thousands of years.
in other news, one of nayou’s best friends atticus turned 7 last week. and there was a bouncy castle at the party. oh yes.
last weekend the production threw a huge party to celebrate making it halfway through the shoot. everyone was invited and there were easily over 1,000 people there… seeing everyone made me realise exactly how big this movie really is. crazy! many of the people i spoke to where super tired from working long days in the desert for months on end, but it was still a big night. especially for me – i stumbled home early in the morning and passed out cold. i had to burn my hangover off in the sunday sun.
last week i turned 34. its been an unusually introspective sort of birthday for me this year, in a good way. a couple of days before my birthday i had this conversation with nayou:
nayou: papa, i’m luckier than you
nayou: because i haven’t decided what i want to be yet
it got me thinking about the general perception that as you get older life presents less opportunities to you. there is definitely some truth to it, in the sense that you can’t go back in time and change all the things you wish you could. but at 34 i find myself really happy with where i am, for which i count myself among the lucky. i’ve got a partner i love so much, we have a beautiful son together, i have an interesting job that takes us all around the world and gives us the opportunity to take long stretches of time off. i’ve got a yoga practice that has give me profound insights into myself and shows no sign of letting up. sure life isn’t perfect, but then again no one’s is. and i have to say that i like mine. a lot. what more could i ask for?
yes, the one thing that was missing was a 30 second freefall at 220km/h (137mph) from an altitude 3000 meters (10,000ft). so this year i set out to fix that at the swakopmund skydiving club. last sunday we rustled up a big group of friends and took turns jumping out of planes. it was scary, exhilarating and really really fun!
check out my “namibia” gang sign! looks like just an outline of the country!
i’ve also received some really thoughtful gifts. the kind that you end up using every day and thinking about the person that gave it to you.
one of those gifts is a super warm blanket from my mum:
i also got a big delivery of japanese food from my parents, plus another one is on its way from aya. we’ve already made a significant dent in the food stash. i’ve been missing those japanese flavours since we got here. hana has made something for me too so it looks like this is going to be the birthday that keeps on giving!
brenda and nayou got me a brand new backpack which was very much needed, and a massage. oh, and these beautiful works of art which now adorn my office:
thanks to everyone for all of their presents, well wishes and good vibes! its been a really nice birthweek 🙂
its always a whirlwind in the final days before a big move, and this one is no exception. so busy, in fact, that i have neglected to post about a very exciting event that almost got lost in the mix – nayou turned 4 on friday! i can’t believe that its already been four years, but looking at him now he is most definitely a boy, not a toddler or a baby. he says so many funny things and has so many crazy ideas, its a joy to converse with this kid.
we had a low key day on the 2nd, opening presents, going to gymbaroo and then spending the rest of the day hanging out. as requested, we got him a remote control car for his birthday. a blue police car at that! its been quite a hit and it will be one of the few toys we’ll be schlepping to bali. we had a combined farewell/birthday celebration on the 3rd. we chose the only sunny day in the last week which was lucky! it was good to hang out with everyone one last time.
grandma sent him a very fetching hat, which we pretend is a constable hat. it makes it much easier to give out speeding tickets!
oh, and we got some cool new shark flip flops for bali as well! this one’s for hana 🙂 rrraaaa!
we’re almost done with all of our packing – just the bedroom and bathroom left to go! the house is looking pretty empty right about now. which is a bit sad, but not really when i think about where we’re going to be in just a couple of days!
happy birthday to me! yesterday i closed out my 33rd year of existence which for some reason feels like a bit of a turning point. in my mind 32 is still kind of an acceptable age to be irresponsible, but 33 sounds like its firmly in the adult world. of course this is all total nonsense, but that’s just how it feels to me. having said that, i have to say that i love getting older. i have an amazing partner in brenda, who is always expanding my mind in weird and wonderful ways, a gorgeous, healthy, clever son who i am completely ga-ga for, my yoga practice has deepened into something very profound, and i am happy. obviously life has its own set of challenges, but overall i like where i’m at and the direction i see our little family heading in. and who can ask for more really?
i wanted to keep it low-key this year, and my wish was granted. on sunday we had a great dinner over at aunty yanny and uncle colin’s house with a bunch of the other rellies. thanks so much to the hosts! it was almost nayou’s bedtime by the time we arrived, but he soldiered on with a smile on his face until around 9 at which point he passed out cold. here he is getting the royal treatment from josh – he was watching a video but the sound was a little intrusive so they hooked up him with a special handset!
aunty r’adele made a delicious flourless cake which was pretty decadent. when they brought it out i couldn’t believe how big it was, but then i found out that it was set on top of an upside down bowl. sneaky!
at one point nayou got a hold of the camera and decided to take portraits. they turned out really well.
my actual birthday fell on a tuesday. which meant i had to go to work. but we did to presents in the morning. i got some new yoga gear which was definitely a good thing. at home i practice in my boxers (the poor neighbours), but when i teach i end up wearing these super ratty tank tops and shorts. the clothes are at least three years old and have holes in them, so this is a welcome upgrade! plus brenda got a session for me at this hawaiian massage that our friends chris and stacie told us about. definitely excited for that this weekend!
brenda has been diligently taking photos of her doings with nayou so i can at least live vicariously through the images while i spend long hours at work. we have 58 more days to go until we deliver. at the pace we’re going, there are going to be plenty more long days ahead. i’m consoling myself in the fact that i’m getting paid for being there, and that all the extra money i earn now will fund our adventures to come. its only two more months! anyway, here are some cool snaps from our recent stash.
construction right outside our house. its been going on for months, which has provided nayou with many many opportunities to see diggers and other machines up close.
nayou’s latest obession has been the octonauts. his knowledge of sea creatures has broadened considerably from watching the show, and usually our play acting always involves one or more characters from the show. here he is making a reef in his tub.
he loooooves to sit in noelene’s lap at his gymbaroo class. noelene is the organiser.
i thought we were rather scant on photos lately and it turns out i had just forgotten to copy stuff from out point and shoot onto our computer. oops. looking back at what’s on there, its clear that we have been rather busy beavers!
earlier this month we finally made it into the inside of the opera house for none other than the extravaganza known as yo gabba gabba! the whole cast was there, including the legendary biz markie. i can’t believe they brought him on tour just to be on stage for less than five minutes. it was a great show, although nayou was a bit over stimulated by the end. it was funny to see a bunch of adults with no kids in attendance. and singing along to all the songs. i like yo gabba gabba as much as the next parent, but i don’t think i would watch it if it wasn’t for nayou. to each their own i guess!
we went with my supervisor paul, his wife josa and their cute kid wyatt.
its still winter here, so there has been a fair amount of rain. which means that there has still been lots of this:
we’ve been making sure nayou stays bundled up when its cold. sometimes he looks very dapper:
… and sometimes he looks like a homeless pirate:
one rainy day we went to see the steam trains at central station. that was pretty cool.
of course june in this household is synonymous with brenda’s birthday. we made a full long weekend out of it (i was “sick” on the 6th) and had a blast. we kicked off the celebrations with presents in bed.
we even left nayou with a non-relative babysitter for the first time ever to go out and party like adults. brenda and nayou met this girl kate who works at the aquatic center near our house, whom nayou adores. she was happy to come and spend an evening with him so it worked out perfectly. i have to admit i was skeptical whether the arrangement would go smoothly – nayou is not exactly the kind of kid who will open up to anyone – but he really really likes kate. when we told him that she was coming over to play while we went out, he was ushering us out the door the moment she arrived!
we didn’t take any photos that evening, but i managed to take a couple the next day when we headed out to bondi for a birthday surf.
followed by a rather indulgent afternoon tea! (indulgent for us, anyway ;))
this weekend we rented a bike trailer from the amazing watershed bike library. we hauled nayou all over the place in this thing! on saturday we rode from potts point all the way to sydney park. nayou really likes it which is cool. it does make my legs tired quickly though. i am a bit of a wimp when it comes to biking 🙂
nayou had a big play at the park, which resulted in this on the way home:
today we rode to circulay quay and took the bikes on the ferry to manly. it was a gorgeous day, and warm enough that nayou could play naked on the beach without getting cold. which is crazy considering the winter solstice is in two days! gotta love sydney for its weather, thats for sure!
the memory card also had a fair amount of video which i will edit and post soon!