Mawlers’ Big Adventure ’06:

The Mawlers Go Bi-polar

Yalour Islands Around-the-World Shot

Oh Baby, It's Cold Outside

Having been unseasonably warm and beautiful through the end of November, the weather turned distinctly colder in Washington, DC with the arrival of December, but not to worry. Stuart and Lea Ann aren’t suffering frost bite or shoveling snow at home (or any of the places that get snow in the U.S.). We decided to go south for the winter.

Well, actually, a little further south than you might be thinking. Some people go to Florida to escape the cold and ice of winter in the mid-atlantic. Some people might go to Central America. (It could happen.) But we decided to aim a little lower. Antarctica to be precise.

We have gotten a lot of questions resulting from this choice of winter vacation. Some people have exclaimed that it’s December, and ask if we’ve lost our minds. To this question, we can confidently answer, “No. It’s summer in Antarctica in December.” This is true. It is summer. And while there are parts of Antarctica, like the South Pole, that never get above freezing, the Antarctic Peninsula, where we’re going, will have balmy highs of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, there are lows, but let’s not discuss those, shall we?

We have gotten additional questions that have stuck with us. One is, “Are you going to rent a car there?” The answer to this one is “No…” This one is a little more tricky to answer. You see, there are no people where we’re going. Although the Antarctic Peninsula has a couple of research stations, they’re manned by only a couple of people, and I don’t think they rent out their Skidoos. I’m not sure where you’d drive a car if you could rent one. You’d definitely need all wheel drive. Maybe that traction control stuff…?

The most common request we’ve received is, “Bring me back a penguin.” It’s true that March of the Penguins is a popular movie, and penguins (pinguinos, en Español) have long intrigued people and sparked their imagination, and the penguins from Madagascar and Happy Feet promise to thrill audiences again and again. However, it is interesting the number of requests that we’ve gotten to bring back a penguin. It is possible that people forget penguins are actually meat-eating birds with sharp beaks, who would probably prefer that you keep the house below 50 degrees. Also, Emperor penguins can actually be 4 feet tall. Hardly a cuddly little bird.

Sadly, because we’ve had so many requests, we probably won’t be able to honor any of them, because our space is limited on our return flights. Besides, it wouldn’t do to bring some people penguins and not others.

Stuart suggested putting a bonnet on one and buying a seat on the airline for him. Then, if anyone questions it, you angrily ask how they could insult your son that way. Seems plausible.

We can borrow one question from a fellow expeditioner we met in a pub. (I know, it’s shocking to think of us in a pub…) She told someone from home (facetiously) that she was going to build a house in Antarctica, and they promptly asked her where she would do her grocery shopping. That does pose a problem.

We have also had the request, “Take pictures!” For those of you who know us well, have met us, have seen our house, been to one of our shows, or run into us randomly in line at the supermarket, you can stop holding your belly and get up off the floor. It’s not that funny. For those of you who don’t know, we are gunning for the world record in volume of photographs taken. I was thinking about it tonight, and on one camera that we’ve had for two years, we’ve taken 59,000 photographs. Give or take.

So, I’m not sure there’s much to worry about that we might not take many photos. In fact, I’d be afraid (very afraid) if I were you… A Mawler slide show may be coming to a party near you…

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Okay, You Asked for It!

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All materials © 2006 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler