Nov 19

Simon Lee’s big Adventure

A family’s adventure on the PanAmerican Highway





Ten more days until we hit the road.

This trip has been in the making for a few years. There have been some important moments along the way – milestones, if you will. Like one random day in 2012, when I was casually brainstorming our next vacation and thought of doing a road trip to Baja, I discovered that there was actually a car ferry linking La Paz on the Baja Peninsula to Mazatlan in mainland Mexico. A few more Google clicks later, I found that people can actually keep on driving until they reach Ushuaia in Argentina. I called Simon up from work and tested the waters, “Hey, did you know we can drive from here all the way to South America?” Knowing what makes him tick I added “What do you say if we quit work and take a fly fishing road trip…bonefish, permit and tarpon in Central America? Trout fishing in Patagonia?” Without missing a beat, he answered this out of the blue question in the most perfect way and this reminds me time and time again why I love him – “When do we leave?”

Then there was another random day two years later when I was casually paying our monthly bills online. At this point, we have read every overlanding blog, had another kid, and have even purchased our overlanding vehicle of choice, a Sportsmobile with a 7.3L powerstroke engine. We have changed our minds about the departure date several times, from 10 years out to 5 years, then 3 years, then 1 year. But still, on this random day I called Simon again, “Hey, did you know we are paying an arm and a leg every month for the mortgage, preschool and the meat CSA? Things would be much cheaper in Mexico. November is the best time to be in Baja. What do you say if we leave this November?” And again, in typical Simon’s fashion he answered, “Let’s pack up.” And that was August 2014, three months ago.

There have been other milestones after that. Like the day I gave notice at work. And, yesterday, when we sent Grandma off at the airport to move back to Hong Kong.


For the past four years, from the time Ty was born, my mom had lived with us to help with the boys. Dare I say she took care of Ty and Jamie, better than she ever took care of me or my sisters. And I meant this with gratitude. Grandma doesn’t just take care of her grandkids. She gets down on their level. She plays with them, constantly. She listens to them. She digs worms with them. She lays on the deck and looks at the stars with them. Her arms never tired from holding them, even when the oldest weighs in at 35 pounds.

After we sent her off, Ty said in the car, “I don’t want Po Po to go. There is only three. I don’t want three. I want four.”

“What do you mean, you want four?” I asked.

“You, Daddy, Po Po and Jamie. That’s four. Now it’s just three.”

I don’t think I say it enough or have ever said it in so many words really. Grandma, we love you. Thank you so much for being so good to us. We will miss you and can’t wait to have you visit us on the road.




Twenty days from today we will move into a van.



BUT, before we can do that, we have to figure out how to fit everything we think we will need in here, for the next two years,

through all seasons
for two adults
one child
and one baby.

And not feel like the whole idea is just one self imposed giant torture.

There are two cabinets in the van. There will be one roof top box. And one more box on the rear bumper. All that needs to fit our clothes, cooking equipment, car spare parts, toiletries, book

Nov 10

Lower Sacramento float trip

SteelheadChris smith and Al Tom floated the lower Sacramento River last week with a locally fishing  guide and did well fly fishing for Steelhead. Al got a good deal on the float trip when Chris’s friend could not make it and offered to pay for part of the guide fee. Since Al is our spey casting guru he surely used his spey outfit along with Chris also liking to fly fish this method.