Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I guess I should throw in “Happy Thanksgiving” as well since It has been a while since my last post.  

The Vawters have left the water (not for good… don’t worry).  After we settled Banyan into her slip in the marina near Whangarei, New Zealand, we quickly packed up our duffel bags and headed back across the date line to California via the big metal bird.  In just 24 hours door to door we covered the ground it took us 42 months to travel.

The whole of our luggage, out of which we will live for probably 8 months or more!

We spent two wonderful weeks in California visiting family and touching base with some work projects in Napa.  The days were filled to the brim with the celebration of my Grandmothers 100th birthday, Isa’s 10th, Thanksgiving and connecting with old friends.  My brother visited with his family from Hawaii and I got to see tons of cousins.  It felt fast and furious and I wish we had had more time in California.  


The reason we are back in the Northern Hemisphere is entirely due to the winery we helped to establish in 2016 in Canada.  A few key employee positions have been recently vacated so Cameron and I have come up to fill in and also hunt for replacements.  Cameron is back in the General Manager’s seat and he is doing a wonderful job.  It is a joy to see him tackle the job with such grace, compassion and skill.  I’ve stepped into the Winemaker position which is a fairly easy thing to do with the wonderful staff of women in the cellar who know their business well.  I’m splitting my time with the girls homeschooling, the winemaker role and construction; which is mainly communicating with the construction team as we build the main winery and answer any production questions they may have as it relates to the design and the move into the main winery this spring.  Phantom Creek has a great instagram page here showing lots of images of the growing brand.  They also have a wonderfully done blog and website.

Cameron on his first day of work

Today though, we are in Indiana for the Christmas.  The holidays are pretty bright here with many family and friend gatherings, games and goings on.  We have been thrilled to meet our new niece, Cameron’s brother’s new daughter.  She is beautiful, bright and brings a new energy with all of us making goggly faces at her.  



Almost all the Vawters from Cameron’s dad’s side (We missed you Debbie and Steve!)

We will stay here through the New Year and then head back up to Canada where we will jump back into work and homeschool.  We are staying in a condo attached to a hotel right on the lake which is fully outfitted so our accommodations are comfortable and we have vehicles to get around.  The weather is cold this time of year, but usually not too much snow.  I’m hoping we will be able to visit my sister in Whitefish Montana as well as get some snow skiing in when we find some free time.  

Our adventures continue but they will be a bit more land based for a few months.  We don’t have an end date in Canada as it hinges mainly on finding replacements for our roles.  So, we are keeping things loose.  We do have some European plans in the works which would include French classes, the 75th Anniversary of D-day in Normandy and some quality time near the Monet Gardens with my sister and her family.  Fun will be had in 2019 and I’m really looking forward to our homeschool plans as we have so many resources while we are land based.  

Thank you so much for following our journey.  May God’s love shine on you in 2019 and may your new year be filled with learning, fun, growth, joy, health and love.  

From all of the Vawters on the Water

P.S. If you haven’t heard, I’ve added photos to a few of those older posts.  You might enjoy going back over a few of our adventures and seeing the photos that went with them. You can look back at our posts about Niue, Suwarrow, Isa’s Bird Island post, Adelaide’s Reef Walk post and our arrival into New Zealand.

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  1. Harvest says:


    So much love for the abundant beautiful life you, Cameron and the girls are living. Duhig’s will be in Whitefish tomorrow, in the event you might be there this week?


  2. Marianne McGriff says:

    Thank you for ALL the photos…Blessed to have you in Indiana and looking forward to France in early June…love and Blessings, Marianne

  3. Elizabeth Vianna says:

    Dear Vawter family,
    It has been such a joy to follow your travels and adventures! Wishing you all some wonderful land time and a healthy and happy 2019! You are an inspiring bunch!

  4. Joanie Schumann says:

    Happy 2019 to you. Wish you a great adventurous year.
    Boy do I need a lesson in packing
    Seeing all your gear makes me
    rethink what I need.
    Love all of the photos

  5. Ruth Esther Vawter says:

    I finally had time to read this blog. I checked out the pictures for the vineyard. The pictures are excellent from the new leaves, blooms, baby grapes, and ripe grapes. The mountain views are breathtaking. I can see why you want to work at this place which is beginning to make history. I’m very grateful I could spend time with your precious family at Christmas. Am honored that you chose the Vawter family picture to be added to your blog. We are a great family. God bless you with each future adventure whether on land, air, or water. Love you dearly.

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