This is the home page for the Rutledge family’s travel adventures.  Right now, we are driving mostly along Highway 1 on a 43 day trip “around the block” from Sydney, Australia roughly following the itinerary of Alison Lester's Are We There Yet? children's book!

We have been living in Sydney (Mosman), New South Wales for four and a half years, fully immersing ourselves in the life here in Oz.  But, during those four plus years, we haven’t been much outside of the North Shore of Sydney.

Family is pulling us back to America where we originated.  So, we are squeezing in one last adventure before returning Stateside in August of this year.

You can follow our progress in our Kea six-berth motor home on this site.  Thanks to Telstra’s NextG technology, we can keep you updated virtually anywhere in the country.  Check back frequently to see what we’re up to!

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or anecdotes, feel free to e-mail

Google Maps is limited to 25 cities, so I've started another map for our east coast descent



Day 42:

8 August 2010

Rob is nearly famous for his big breakfast.  We woke up this morning and Rob got straight to it...eggs, bacon, hash browns, gluten-free pancakes, toast, strawberries and orange juice.  Michael's wife, Lisa, went out for organic espresso coffees.  We were truly pampered this morning!

Then, it was straight to cleaning out the itself a monumental event.  There was stuff in every nook and cranny.  To make it more interesting, we achieved the feat of getting everything out, piling all the linens on the upper bed, vacuuming, wiping down various marks, etc. on a slope as the campervan was parked on Michael and Lisa's steep driveway.  I have renewed fascination and respect for mountain goats after doing that.

Once everything was re-arranged, packed up and stacked into the bathroom of the campervan (which doubles as a storage closet for some), we drove down to Palm Beach.  I'm not going to go into detail here as to how long it took the boys to back the campervan off the steep driveway.  :-)

Lisa, Sydney Rachel and I went in her car and Rob, Michael, Jenna, Devon, Oscar and Madeleine had a blast bouncing down the road to the beach.

We parked along side a grassy area and put out the awning and broke out the table and chairs for one final meal of leftover pizza and pasta.  It was a gorgeous, sunny, spring-like day and we thoroughly enjoyed the unseasonable warmth.

Rob and the Kea campervan with the awning out for the second time this trip                The kids playing "What's the time, Mr. Wolf?"

Then, I washed up and did yesterday's blog while the rest of the group went down to the water and got thoroughly sandy.  The kids were in ultimate bliss...and, so was I.

                                                               Palm Beach, New South Wales                  Devon, Oscar, Jenna and Madeline doing the sand luge on Palm Beach

Around 2:00, we headed back to Michael and Lisa's.  Rob and Michael picked up sausages and a few other food items for dinner.  The kids watched Fantastic Mr. Fox and Lisa and I had tea.  We had an early dinner of bangers and mash with peas, corn and carrots (and a scrumptious pinot noir (Dog Point of New Zealand).

Kids watching Fantastic Mr. Fox

Shortly after dinner, we all left the beach house and drove south yet further guessed it, Mosman.  Rob checked us into our apartment for the next five days at Balmoral Beach.  Then, we drove to our friend, Bera's, to pick up our suit cases and our friend, Alex's, for Rob's Mini Cooper.  Finally, we drove by our old home on Spencer Road, just to complete the loop.  Back at the apartment, we unpacked the campervan (yet, another feat in itself) and settled into our new temporary home.

Tomorrow, we return the campervan to Kea.

What an incredible journey we've had.  Thank you to all the faithful readers for following along the way.  It's enriched the experience to be able to share it along the way.

My plan is to add to this site articles I've written about previous (and, hopefully, future) adventures of the Five Back Packs.  So, please check back periodically and share this site with your friends as I hope it will become a valuable resource for people who love adventure (and, especially, adventures with their small children).




We did it!

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