Dear Soleil – Happy New Year 2014

Dear Soleil,

I have to say that your first full year on planet earth was one action packed adventure after another! Your mother and I had a blast showing you around South America. Here is a recap of your 2013!

The year started off with a bit of a scare in Lima, Peru. I woke up in the intensive care unit of a Peruvian hospital. My hands and feet were tied to the bed fame, I had a breathing tube up my nose and a feeding tube down my throat, and I was wearing a giant diaper. But the first words out of my mouth were, “Where is Soleil?”  Now THAT’S how to ring in a new year! You can remember Mommy’s version of the story here.

After that little event, things got significantly better. We said goodbye to Lima, the city where you were born, and said hello to van life! You were only 3 months old when we moved back into the van and began to travel again. We cruised around Peru visiting all the cool hangs, like Huachachina, Puerto Inca, and Colca Canyon. I had another trip to the hospital in Arequipa, which was fun. We had a killer run in Cusco and the Sacred Valley hanging with our Peruvian family. And then of course there was our epic adventure to the jungle, and our subsequent trip to Machu Picchu, which was by far the best of show!

After that we decided to leave Peru and escape south to Bolivia. We kicked it in Copacabana, celebrated Dada’s birthday on La Isla De Sol on Lake Titacaca, and cruised around the mountains of Northern Bolivia. We set up shop in La Paz for a while, enjoying the highest capitol in the world. While we were there, we contemplated your future as a fighting cholita, and took a nice drive down the World’s Most Dangerous RoadAlthough we were ready to move on, we kinda got trapped there for a while. We tried to escape once, and that was interesting. We finally got out and took you to see the pink flamingos of Sajama! You really loved that adventure. From there we struggled south, stopping along the way to enjoy the Ojo Del Inka. Our final hoorah in Bolivia was the famous salt flats. That was one epic session! After that we put together a great little video of our Bolivian adventure. Watch it here!

We bounced out of Bolivia and into Argentina, your 4th country in 8 months of life. We jumped onto the famous ruta 40 and headed south, camping our way through wine country. We crossed the Andes mountains into Chile, your 5th country, and then hopped on a plane and flew to the island of Rapa Nui, AKA Easter Island. That was a lifetime dream destination for your mommy and me, and you really loved it there!

After returning from Rapa Nui we hopped on another plane and flew all the way back to the United States. I’m not gonna lie to you… that flight was hell… but we made it! And we enjoyed 4 great weeks with friends and family.

When we got back to South America we drove to Mendoza where we decided to rent an apartment for 4 months and relax for the rest of the year! We had lots of reasons to celebrate during our stay, including our 4 year anniversary of Sprinter Life, your first birthday, and Mommy’s birthday!

Our time in Mendoza was amazing. It was nice to slow down for a second and play house. Plus we had many  great adventures in the area. Both you and Mommy learned to rock climb. We also had some visitors, including Auntie Reagan, Uncle Adam, Uncle A-BOB-a-Gado, and of course your Noni!

Over the last 6 weeks, Noni spent hundreds of hours playing with you, teaching you words, and all-in-all loving the hell out of you.


You two have been pretty much inseparable. She sure does love you Soleil.


Below, Noni holding your hand up and down the hall, slowly teaching you how to walk. I’m guessing she did a couple hundred laps with you.



You finally got it figured out all by yourself, and now you’re more or less unstoppable!




And so our time in Mendoza winds down, as does 2013. But we’re left with a lot of great memories from another banner year of Sprinter Life!

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Daddy’s little girl climbing everything in sight!



Amanto and Tree




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Mama and Soleil

Kiki photo

“This pool was a present from Noni. You’re gonna get in this pool and you’re gonna like it. This is supposed to be fun god dammit!”


The highlight of the last 4 months for Daddy was definitely Arenales. What a magical place to climb.

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Below, leading off on the first pitch of Scorpion, my most difficult send in Arenales.

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Your Uncle Amanto enjoying a comfortable belay ledge high up on the Scorpion.


Descending from the clouds after a successful summit…



Adios Arenales. Thanks for not killing us.



And adios Mendoza. Thanks for the great hang.



Packing up to hit the road…


And so we’re ready for a new year my baby girl. And it’s going to be an exciting one! We plan to spend the first 5 months of the year in Patagonia climbing and exploring. Then we’ll fly to Mexico for a month to see family. After that we’ll drive into Brazil for 6 months of surfing. Then, if all goes well, we’ll return to the United States for next Christmas.

Let’s do this!

Love – Dada

Soleil and Pounder Daddy an Sol present Sweet Soleil



  1. Auntie Alexis says:

    I wanna see the Big Jesus in Brazil !!! I can’t wait for Mexico! It’s going to be a blast! Happy New Year! Love you guys!

  2. I wanna see that, too, Alex!
    Man, you have a beautiful family. What an exciting year and what a wonderful blog to add to Soleil’s scrapbook. Here’s to an equally fantastic 2014!
    Happy New Year!!

  3. Shannon Petrello says:

    Wow you guys. We just made it through 14 months with a baby, and we were not on the road traveling in foreign countries, and it was definitely the most challenging, exhausting 14 months of my life. How do you do it? What’s your secret ingredient? I’d like a bottle of it.

  4. Fernando Femenias says:

    muy buen 2014, gracias por ser un ejemplo de familia ,un abrazo

  5. What a year! You two are totally an inspiration. Soleil is going to be such an open-minded, amazing women thanks to your courage to show her the world. Keep it up – the world needs more parents like you.

  6. Amazing , Yep ,you 3 are amazing !!!! LUV ya’s , be safe !!!

  7. Erin Randall Anthony says:

    Hope you have an awesome new year. Your lovely daughter looks like she is ready for climbing!

  8. Love love love that last picture-it captures her spirit perfectly …Happy New Year

  9. Julie Williams says:

    Love you guys! You have a sweet girl! Will you be back to Cali in August too?

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