Dec
5

Boys On Bikes: A Q&A With Traveling Twins Breaking A World Record

Davy and Daryl ride over the Continental Divide with their dad.

Davy and Daryl ride over the Continental Divide with their dad.

What would it be like to travel about 20,000 miles on bike? These guys are finding out! Daryl and Davy Vogel are 11-year-old twin brothers biking from Alaska to the bottom of South America with their mom and dad. After 30 months of bike riding are over, they will have broken the world record of Youngest Person to Cycle the Pan-America Highway! They started in June 2008 and are now in Ecuador. They just reached the Equator a few days ago!

When I saw their website, familyonbikes.org, I thought what they’re doing is so amazing that I did a Q&A with them by email. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov
22

17 Hours on the Big Blue Bus

Kyle and me on the bus in Argentina.

Kyle and me on the bus in Argentina.

Leather seats wide enough for two people? check
Polyester fleece blankets? check
Half-stuffed pillow? check
Seats that recline 180 degrees? check
TV playing weird movies? check
Seat belt damp with cleaning fluids? check
IPods, Kindles, and laptops out and ready? check
On a bus? check! Read the rest of this entry »

Nov
9

Chocolate: The Good, The Bad, and The Bariloche

“Eeewww!!!!! This is absolutely terrible!!! Eeeewww!!!!!” I scream.

“Colly, just give it to me,” my mom says.

“Are you sure? It’s disgusting!!” I say.

My mom thinks I’m overreacting, so just to prove it she takes a bite. “Oh my god!!!” she says as she chucks it out the window of the car. “It’s like candle wax covered in chocolate! That is terrible!!!”

“I told you, it’s really really gross!” I say.

Meanwhile, my dad and brother are laughing at us like crazy.

Right now you might wonder what we are gagging on: chocolate. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct
28

Pros and Cons of Traveling for a Year

This is us at a closed, cheap, weird, dino park.

This is us at a closed, cheap, weird, dino park.

Some of you might think that traveling for a year is your dream; home schooling, being with family, it all sounds great. Others may think that doing this is your worst nightmare and you would never take the time to do something like this; you’re stuck with your family, and it’s way too much work of moving from place to place and never stopping. Before I left I was thinking both of these ways and I still am. I am really sorry if it sounds like I’m whining — I love traveling with my family, but it isn’t all happy, it’s really hard too. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct
18

Short Stories of the Sights, Sounds, and Tastes of Buenos Aires

I have no clue what anybody anywhere around me is saying.

A cab driver is screaming at me.

I’m digging into a beef empanada.

I’m watching Project Runway during a crazy thunderstorm with people shouting in the streets.

I’m climbing through a giant toilet at a kids’ museum at a ginormous mall.

I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina! Read the rest of this entry »

Sep
26

Flipping for CATS

I wanted to do something active in Boulder — something I liked and did back in Piedmont — so I did CATS gymnastics.

CATS gymnastics is located off 30th Street in Boulder and stands for Colorado Athletic Training School. Here’s a movie my brother and I helped my mom make about CATS:

It is a huge gym with equipment everywhere: a big floor, lots of balance beams side by side, two trampolines, one tumble track, bars, rings, pommel horse, and a lot more. Along with all the equipment, there’s also a climbing wall.

My parents signed Kyle and me up for private lessons because the afterschool group lessons were crowded, and there wasn’t a boy’s class for Kyle. Usually the gym is super loud from people talking and coaching, but we got to go at two o’clock so almost everyone was in school.

Kyle, however, did not want to go at all. “I hate gymnastics, I don’t wanna go! I’m not going to like it — I suck at it! Uuuuugggggg!!!!!!!!” he moaned. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep
21

Cutting My Hair for “LOL”

This was right before I got my hair cut.

This was right before I got my hair cut.

On September 20th, I went from long to short.

I used to have long, straight blond hair. I used to love my long hair, but it was a total pain to wash and brush, and no matter how hard I tried, there were always knots in it. I decided to cut it all off not just so it’s easier to care for, but also because I wanted to help someone else: a child suffering hair loss. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep
10

My First Time Water Tubing

I’m bounding across the water in a tube, water spraying in my face as I yell, “aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!.” I feel the rush of the cool water freezing off my feet and my lifejacket clinging to me. My hair is drenched and going everywhere. “Pull us in!” I yell. Jim turns off the boat and pulls us in.

I am on a speedboat on the Colorado Ridgeway Reservoir with three friends named Thia, Caroline, and Soleil (I call her So-So). They also have a dog, a black lab named Duchess. I have no idea why they brought her. All she does is jump in the water and make us yell “STOP THE BOAT! STOP THE BOAT!” Read the rest of this entry »

Sep
5

Adapting To Home Schooling

Homeschooling and blogging on my mom's laptop. Computers have become a big part of my life.

Home schooling and blogging on my mom's laptop. Computers have become a big part of my life.

This year as I travel I will be home schooling. Home schooling is in some ways similar and in a lot of ways different. My parents are home schooling me, but I am doing most of the same work my class in Piedmont Middle School is doing. Home schooling lasts two to four hours a day;  you might think that is short, but I actually get a ton done. In class, teachers have to teach everyone, but in home schooling, it is one-on-one and it goes much faster. My parents are sort of my teachers but they only help me to review my work and if I’m stuck. My real teacher back at Piedmont Middle School is Ms. Kelleher and she emails me assignments and instructions for projects. So far, 6th grade is mostly review from last year in math, but in history and science it’s all new stuff. Plus, I’m reading a lot and blogging too. Instead of text books, most of my books are on pdf and Kindle, so computers have became a big part of my life. To me the weirdest thing is that I am in a two-person class, my brother and me.

At first it was really hard to adapt to home schooling because it did not feel like school at all. What helped me adapt was emailing my friends. It was hard not seeing my friends and not being in Piedmont. But I am getting used to it a little, and the year will go by faster than I think, and soon I will be in Piedmont missing my trip.

My parents feel that it should not be all home schooling and that I should learn outside of the home too. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug
23

First Stop: Colorado

This is the cabin where I'm staying with my family. In the background are Mount Sunshine and Wilson.

This is the cabin where I'm staying with my family. In the background are Mount Sunshine and Wilson.

We started out with a three-day drive from Piedmont, California, to Telluride, Colorado. But instead of three days, it felt like a lifetime. I managed to go through eight magazines, around a thousand songs, I drew a ton, and talked and talked and talked with my family. But all in all when we got to Telluride it was totally worth it. Telluride is a small town in the mountains where my great-grandfather was a miner and wrote books about it. I am staying in a cabin with my aunt and uncle and their two dogs. The view is amazing. When you go outside you can see Mount Wilson and Mount Sunshine, and we are right next to these people who have three horses that we got to ride.

My favorite thing I got to do so far was a two-day river rafting trip that actually took place in Utah but it was along the Colorado River. Read the rest of this entry »