Posted in City activities, Melbourne

Australian Open 2017

If you are at least a little bit interested in tennis (or if you live in Australia and are trying to watch TV on channel 7), you will know that the Australian Open are on at the moment. And since this Grand Slam is happening in our own back yard, we decided that it was definitely worth a visit. Which we did last week Wednesday, during the second round matches.

Despite the fact that the media hype only starts with the first round of the men’s and women’s singles tournament on Monday, the grounds are actually home to a qualification tournament to fill the last few spaces in the tournament roster. This happens in the four days leading up to the big event, and is open to the public.

Being half Dutch, it goes against the grain to not take advantage of something for free, so Kai and me went there as well. Some of the pictures in this blog reflect that initial visit.

Continue reading “Australian Open 2017”

Posted in Daily life, Pacific Ocean


Eat-Sleep-Cruise-Repeat. That’s the motto on one of the T-shirts they sell in the gift shop on board and which a couple of people on board are wearing. And that’s pretty much what we are doing on any of the five days at sea we have on this cruise.

Our usual wake-up time for us is around 8am, which is pretty early by ship standards. – I actually managed a 7am once to go running around the promenade on deck 3, but that, I have to admit, was the exception rather than the rule. Another one for the “do better in 2017”-list.

Continue reading “Eat-Sleep-Cruise-Repeat”

Posted in Daily life, Pacific Ocean

Noumea – first Landfall

After two days at sea with lots of food, a bit of rest and pretty good weather, we made our first landfall in Noumea, the main city of biggest island of New Caledonia. This was the first landfall of the cruise and also the only one without tendering (i.e. anchoring the ship out at sea and shuttling the guests in on some of the lifeboats).

But if we expected a big cruise terminal, we were mistaken. Instead, we got a piece of the quay wall in the container terminal. Continue reading “Noumea – first Landfall”

Posted in Daily life, Pacific Ocean

Christmas vacation 2016

When I grew up, Christmas always followed the same rituals and traditions. The Adventskalender, the food on the 23rd, setting up the tree, the Christmas room being locked on the 24th, fondue and presents, everything was following the same script every year. And, since I really liked it that way, I was determined to follow the same path when I had kids.

Well, apart from the Adventskalendar, that didn’t really work out. Out of the last 5 years, I think we’ve had “the same” Christmas maybe twice. Instead we’ve been at my mothers place, been skiing and spent the day at the beach. And this year we’re doing something else again: we’re out on a cruise. Continue reading “Christmas vacation 2016”

Posted in Daily life

Christmas 2016

A (just slightly late) Merry Christmas to everyone!

Christmas time is usually the time for family traditions, visiting relatives and eating lots and lots of food. Oh yes, and presents.

Not so much for us this year, as we only made it to 1 out of 4. And, no, it wasn’t the presents.

This year, Christmas for us happened on a boat, somewhere between New Caledonia and Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We were on a cruise. (More about that later.) Continue reading “Christmas 2016”

Posted in Daily life

School trip

There comes a time in a parents life when you have to start letting go. This usually starts with the little things: first time to day care, first time sleepover, first time to grandma. All great fun for the kids and probably more difficult for the parent…

Today is the start of the next “first”. Kai is off with his class- and schoolmates on a four-day school trip to Ballerat, a city about 2 hours drive from here. There they will stay at a hotel and take part in a tennis tournament. Continue reading “School trip”

Posted in Daily life

’tis the season – this time in Dutch

As I pointed out in my last post, ’tis the season. But since we’re a household with roots in two countries, we have to observe traditions from both. (The kids are not complaining, as it means they’re getting even more presents…)

For the Dutch, Christmas is more a celebration of family and friends, with good food and company. However, the date that the children look forward to is Sinterklaas. Continue reading “’tis the season – this time in Dutch”

Posted in New Zealand, Travel

Wellington – the 3D city

Last week, my work took me to the capital of Australia’s next door neighbour: Wellington in New Zealand!

For a European, travelling to a new country is not something very spectacular – especially if your wife has a different nationality than yourself. Oftentimes, it’s a matter of a few kilometers by car until you reach a border. But for Australians, going to a different country involves a flight of several hours. Which is what it took me. Continue reading “Wellington – the 3D city”