Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Week Ending 6/24/11: FS Rodeo/Round-Up/Relaying the Blogs! In One Concise(ish) Entry

Summer.  Brings vacations.  Brings home leaves.  Brings a much needed break from the day-to-day.  Brings...exhaustion?  Brings...awesome yet scary family reunions?  Brings...stress?   Brings...mega monstrous money-sucking excursions?

This week's State Department Round-Up is dedicated to those vacations and home leaves we love (hate/love/hate/love) to take with our families.  To visit our families.  Back in the States or elsewhere.  Our family hasn't yet been out-of-country, but we do know vacations.  We know how to create a budget and blow it the first day we travel.  We know how to plan the entire trip but not double check that the  Amusement Park we're planning the entire vacation around is indeed open on our days of travel.  But, honestly, mostly, we know how to have fun.

I know I'm worried about a few things coming up just for our initial trip to Cairo.  Can you say 12-hour flight with three kids (age 8 years, 6 years , and 10 months) and a dog?  Nomads by Nature wrote a great piece this week outlining a crappy heinous flight with kids and cats in tow.  I can't say it made me feel any less nervous about our upcoming travel, but it does make me realize that we're not the only ones attempting travel insanity.

Speaking of travel insanity, Shannon over at Cyberbones writes about traveling alone with her three boys and her worries surrounding her travel.  I hear ya, sister!  On the flip side, Dave ALSO at posted at Cyberbones this week, detailing a lovely excursion to Kumbali while the family was away.  I wonder what he bought for Shannon...

How about Disney?  I don't think I've ever met a family who didn't attempt at least ONE trek to the World's Happiest Place!  Spectrummy Mummy pulled out an archived blog on a past vacation for us!  And Whale Ears and Other Wanderings is currently enjoying some time in Disney.  Disney Magic indeed.

But if you're looking for some more 'homey' home time, check out Bryant Blogger this week - they've opted to enjoy life at home for a vacation this summer.  Sara at Wife Mommy Woman mentions she's already thinking and planning their first home leave from Costa Rica for later in the year.  Makes me realize I should start stashing cash away in a special savings account for home leave.  Sara also pulled an archived blog entry, hashing out the harrowing tale of their most infamous trip! I. HATE. MOUNTAIN. DRIVING.

Kate at Pulling Stakes was able to take a moment from shoe shopping and Facebooking to let us know they're headed back home for the rest of the summer.  They'll be enjoying Spokane, WA before heading off to assignment in Brasilia.  Stephanie of Where in the World Am I? is staying put in India this summer.  But she's got a great tale about purchasing rugs.  Part One and Part Two.  I would need a vacation after the headache.

Nomadic Dan at 110to220 has a tale about his HHE's solo vacation off-roading in Russia.  Once it gets a bath, he'll have it back in one piece.  Too bad a camera wasn't mounted on it.  Heather at Way Off Base has no plans for vacation as of yet, but she does have a rockin' set of shoes for vacationing/traveling in.  Perhaps she and Kate at Pulling Stakes should get together!  Heather also has a GIVEAWAY! celebrating BFFs.  Go there now and enter!  No, wait.  Don't.  I plan on winning it!

As far as I'm concerned, Jill at The Perlman Update has topped my awesome car-packing skillz.  She's embarking on a long trek east to the new family home in NoVA.  For the past two week's she had one very long vacation (haha) with her three kids in a single hotel room.  More. Wine. Please.

Jen at the Dinoia Family just celebrated the last day of school.  She's taking the kiddos to museums, parks, and the library. Yes!  A perfect, relaxing summer.  Becky and her family at Small Bits just completed pack-out.  They've done so much traveling lately and are now about to embark on a journey back to the US to prep for their next overseas assignment.  I'm sure they could use some down-time right about now.

Ashley at Sherwood Family Nonsense pulled some archives for us on their fab vacations/home leaves.  They are currently in Cairo, and I wish our paths would cross.  But they'll be leaving just before we arrive.  Luckily, they managed to make time to see the pyramids!

In other news, Lisa at What Were We Thinking? will be spending her summer with her three boys learning Spanish.  So fun!  Jacqueline at Pryor Adventures enjoyed a day-trip with the family.  They're in Laos on their first assignment.  Sadie at Sadie Abroard just finished up her first much-deserved R&R.  Her musing are beautiful to read.  And don't forget about Kolbi at A Daring Adventure!  She and her husband spent his birthday studying Chinese.  Jealous?  She's got a mind-boggling test this Monday.  More. Coffee. Please.

If you're a Kindle user, you can now get your Diplopundit fix via your Kindle!

And celebrations are in order!  Denise and her husband at Beyond the Cornfield welcomed the newest FS baby.  We've all been waiting for the news!  Welcome, Avocet!

Finally, since this is still a part of my blog, I'm entitled to flagrantly show off the cuteness of my kids.  I've pulled some photos from some of our favorite past vacations, including Great Falls (VA), Sequoia National Forest (CA), and Long Beach (CA).

Thanks to everyone who submitted a posting.  If you have one and would like me to add on, please email me.  It's really that easy.  Enjoy your week, FS bloggers!

*UPDATE* I can't believe I forgot two of my favorite postings this week!  3rdculturechildren has a lovely photo blog of a beach in Brazil that must must MUST be added to my bucket list.  And earlier this week, I adored their posting on all the excuses to dress up in Brazil.  It's like a never-ending vacation!

First day of summer 2011.  Off to the pool!

Big brother is off to the pool as well!

Kellen's first vacation!


  1. Great job! Thanks for including me. :)

  2. Great work! Thanks for the mention.

  3. Thanks, and your kids are so beautiful! Also, may I please have your baby?

  4. Seemlessly written! I love the photos you added, my favorite has to be the first with the kids passed out in the back seat! That to me is the definition of a great outing!

  5. I love the cute kid vacation photos! The beach ones are nice, but I think my fave are the swimmers on bikes heading to the pool! We are having a BLAST at Disney World this summer(!), it's exhausting, hot, crowded, and there are crazy lines, but somehow, magically, it just doesn't matter and we're having tons of fun! Thanks for hosting the round-up!

  6. Thanks for adding, Heather! And I was pretty happy to see the second post ( "all the excuses to dress up") featured on the front page of WordPress.... all in all, a great week! Thanks again for hosting!

  7. I thought the initial photo was the epitome of vacationing. I mean, we all come home with stuffed jackalopes, right? The exhaustion that day was perfect. We had spent the day in Malibu and ran a 5K (me) and a 1-mile family run (the kids and I). The kids dug up sand crabs and we watched the dolphins play in the water with surfers.

    @Kate@PullingStakes, you can have the baby anytime, but just know the two older ones come along as well. Haha.

    Thanks again, everyone, for submitting and reading!