The Rubber Tramps of New Zealand

When I was nine my oldest brother Darren graduated from high school and hopped on a plane to New Zealand.  This was before email or cell phones.  We would get these postcards and handwritten letters filled with stories and drawings of adventures he'd been on.  Hitchhiking around this magical country, met with kindness and hospitality everywhere he went.  His stories have stuck with me my whole life and it became a dream of mine to see and experience some of what he had described to us.  

On a last minute whim we booked a home on wheels for a month and hit the road.  This is a bit of the magic we experienced on the North Island of New Zealand.

New Zealand or Bust

Wide eyed and bushy tailed three eager Canadians  booked a motorhome for a month to travel the land of the kiwis and good coffee... In the pursuit of family togetherness and adventure we  set out on the road.  

We arrived in Aukland just in time to have our socks blown off by the decision to make Donald Chump the leader of the free world... Holy shit, for real.  Big Mistake.  The impact of that decision is going to change the world... For the worse or better i'm not sure.  The only good thing I see coming from it is if it brings change and uprising from the people.  But it will be a long road I fear.  Even as a Canadian it leaves me frustrated and upset so I can't imagine how any intelligent American is feeling right about now.  These were the headlines from the New Zealand Herald...


Politics aside....  we had the most incredible time.  No plans, no schedules, just good old fashion family fun.

Surfs Up

Well my life glass has run over and has now filled ten more cups this week.  Cholo and I had quite the mind blowing west coast experience last weekend....  Boat surfing with our friend Blair, who owns Swelltime fishing charters, and new friend pat off the coast of Vancouver Island.   it  was totally bananas.    It's sometimes easy to take our stunning landscapes for granted but impossible this day.  As we headed out whales were breaching, eagles were flying, and the water was pure glass.  As we jumped in too hit the waves we were greeted by curious sea lions.  They circled us, swimming under our feet, nudging our boards and giving us many playful barks.  Honestly, a bit unnerving at first but thanks to the encouragement of our captain I soon began to realize they were like playful pups.  It was incredible. One of those days you just pinch yourself and wonder why your life is so blessed, and how you could ever top this day. 

A Burns-Low winter

It's incredible what a little fresh air will do for the soul...  Don't get me wrong I can find my way around the city for a good part of the year, but by winter it's time for me and my family to head to the mountains.   I'm so grateful for the contrast of our lives.  The peacefulness of living in the Kootenays for part of the year.  The freedom in your heart you feel connecting to nature.  I feel so grateful for these experiences.  

This year was especially awesome cause the backcountry in our area was the safest it's been in years.  I got some incredible days out there and got to noboard runs that we haven't been able to touch in the last few years due to crazy avalanche conditions and crazy snow pack.    

Although it's interesting living in a town where all kids are imported (because none live full time there),  Escher had a fantastic time too this year.  He was still able to go in my backpack, so we had lots of great days cross country skiing along the lake.  Learning about birds, animal tracks, and any of the million questions a day Escher wants answered about the world.  He became a pro GT Snowracer, and was happy to get rides around on the snowmobile, also he loved the trips to the hot springs down the road a few times a week.  What a lucky kid...

Here is a peek into our winter and the beauty we get to live.




Family first… A journey to Motherland Iceland

My grandma, Eymundin Eymmundson was an incredible women.  Full of life and happiness.  She lived for her family and taught me many lessons in the  time I knew her.  It became a lifelong dream of mine to go see where Umma, as we called her, came from.  So without any contacts except for a name, I rustled up my parents, husband and one year old and planned a month long pilgrimage to the homeland….Iceland.  With absolutely no idea what we were in store for I made contact with one of  our cousins.  A beautiful soul named Vala.  She instantly connected us to family around the whole island.  It was incredible.  The generosity of these people was unbelievable.  Vala helped organize visits and parties all along the way.  It was a life changing experience for all of us I think.  To experience such a magical place and culture and sense of true family togetherness fulfilled every hope and dream I had growing up wondering about this amazing place.  These are a few shots from our adventure to Iceland...