Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Toni's Year of Travel : 2003 encapsulated

Dear Friends and Family,
Yesterday, I was playing Travel with Ari.
I said, “let’s go visit gramma.” I put Ari’s backpack on him, filled it with Tarzan figurines, and headed for the door.

“How do you plan on getting there, young lady?” mommy asked.
“With a plane and a boat, I said, then added, “ and a car.”
“Choochoo train!” Ari screamed.
So I thought I could give you a summary of what our year looked like:

We go to the beach a lot in Kailua, where we live in a highrise apartment

Gramma and Grampa visit us in Kailua. We can walk to their apartment and they
take us around in our double stroller. Ari almost gets circumcised but talks
mommy and daddy out of it.

Everything mommy can’t sell on Ebay, she packs into the Volvo and leaves it in a
garage, then we take a plane to see Gramma and Grampa again. Then we are on
another plane to see Oma and Opa again.

We take the train down to Bad Gastein Austria, where Oma and Opa take us for
walks around the Alps and where we can throw things off their balcony. It’s a
lot of fun to stay in an apartment with no electricity, and I help mom light and
blow out the candles every night.

Mommy gets ripped off on Ebay, I see her tearing her hair out on the computer.
We take a car down to our boat in France, then take another train up to Hamburg.
I like the train better than the car.

Take a plane to Santa Fe New Mexico, Where Mommy read Aristotle and other stuff
without pictures. We got to watch lots of Cinderella, eat lots of ice cream, and
go to the children’s museum with gramma and grampa.

Still in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Some nights, gramma puts us to bed. Mommy doesn’t
know how to do that. We get to see an Indian feast, play in the swimming pool,
and watch gramma and gramma schwitz.

Mommy wears a funny cap and gown. We celebrate my fourth birthday with piñata,
pin the tail on the donkey, and lots of friends. Take a plane to Germany in time
for a second birthday party.

Take a train to the Lüneburger Heide, where I get to play with kittycats and Ari
gets to play with a cool train set. Then we take a train down to South of France
and help daddy to Make the boat.

We drive to St. Tropez to look at Sarah Darling’s pretty Galapagos animal
pictures. Ari can’t talk them out of it this time, and we take him to the
clinic. His peepee hurts for awhile, so we don’t take any trains or planes for a
few weeks.

I go to a French school called “La Maternelle.” I learn to say “Stop that!” and

“Sit down!” in French.  Ari goes to his own school called “the Little Chickies.”
Sometimes I go there with him, and I like it there better.

We take a train back up to Oma and Opa’s to celebrate Channukah and Christmas.
Daddy escapes from a bad guy in Port Napoleon with our boat, which he sails to
Port Barcares,
the Spanish border. We
can see snow on the Pyrenees from our
deck. Next
year, we’ll be sailing a whole lot more, we

Monday, March 22, 2004

August 1999 to March 2004

It feels hopeless to enumerate everything that we’ve

done for the past 5 years. It’s also amazing to think that’s how long it’s been

since our “live” update days, but I am committed to make it happen again.

Let’s give the basics: August 1999
toni was born... six month later I tried to write an update and this is what came

If nature hadn't developed babies with such soft skin
and sweet smell, I would have had this update written ages ago. But my fingers
would rather be marveling at the softness of her cheek than tapping out these
letters on a mini keyboard schlepped from Hawaii to Hamburg to South of France
and back…

I mourn the loss of the non-mother Erika who could find
the time to sit and write. It's not that I don't find it now, but I suppose I
don't choose it. Writing with the baby on my lap has to be the number one
distraction I've had to face in my life. I knew it would be hard, but what makes
it hard is just how damn easy it is for them to be my number one focus. Perhaps
because I've never had a "distraction" which caused this little amount of guilt.

But hey, two paragraphs have already been executed and baby still sits
relatively quietly on my lap, fist in her mouth, big grey eyes staring at my
sleeves, putt-putting her mini farts, reminding me of the chili con carne I had
for dinner at our country western gig last night. She much prefers her hand to a
pacifier, my comfy cozy companion.

I could report about everything that has happened in
the last six months. About our visits to California, and now here in Hamburg.
About the birthing experience in the Windward shore of Oahu, about my excursion
with my sister and newborn daughter along the volcano coast of the Big Island.
But the problem once again is the incredible delicate sweetness of Antonia's
hands, which need to be held to believe. Another problem is the peach fuzz on
the top of her head that must be regularly stroked. Let's face it, the main
problem lately is that huge wide eyed smile, toungue sticking out, with new
cooing sounds and jerky, uncoordinated fibrulation that only babies can do. So
I'm stuck in the present.

Such is the curse and blessing of motherhood!

About a year later, we sold our Steel Pangaea to a
Swiss family who is now with her in New Zealand. Of course they may have
continued on further than that, and they have their own website in German,

In January of 2001, we bought
our new Pangaea in the
exact same marina we found the first one, Port Camargue in the South of France.
We celebrated the new sailboat by getting pregnant with Ari, who was
born 10 months later.
It has taken us that long, with plenty of living and working in between, to
prepare the new Pangaea for the next cruise, this time with the kids.