First Stop – Peru


Hello Blog Post Readers. This is Lissy Puddleton, finally writing about our time in Peru.

First of all, as you may remember, this was my first time out of the state, not alone the country. My cousins and I had never boarded a train, never mind a plane. It was all very exciting, albeit slightly terrifying.

To be honest, I barely knew where Peru was before Grandma whisked us off there. True, I knew it was in South America, but finding out exactly where it was (on the Pacific coast, with Ecuador and Columbia to the north, Brazil to the east and Bolivia and Chile to the south – just in case you were wondering), was something I had never given much thought to, until we were on the plane, heading south.

The first thing we found out when arriving was about the invasion of Francisco Pizarro in 1531 and the death of Athualpa, the Inca King, which led to the hiding and losing of the lost treasure of the Inca. To put this in prospective Henry VIII was on the throne of England and had just become the head of the church of England. The story of Pizarro and Athualpa was really fascinating, plus it’s really cool that treasure hunters are still looking for this treasure today, now worth an estimated eight-billion dollars.

Getting to fly across the Nazca Lines was also amazing. Even though I’m sure there must be a logical explanation on how these soil canvases were made, I have to admit, it’s pretty impressive, and does make you wonder how on earth (or not) they did it.

Of course, visiting Machu Picchu was the highlight of our trip. It’s only when you’re standing 8,000 feet above sea-level that you realize what an accomplishment the lost city is. Hiram Bingham’s re-discovery just over a hundred years ago, is also quite unbelievable. Pretty impressive, seeing he wasn’t even looking for Machu Picchu, but another lost city, Vilcabamba.

Having lived my entire life in Texas, I must admit, Peru was a bit of a shock. I never knew a place could smell different – but it did. I never thought I’d be daring enough to try new food – but I did. I also never thought I’d be trekking around the jungle with just my cousins for company – still find this one difficult to believe – but I did.

However, the best thing about Peru was something you can’t read about in books or online – it was the people. From the eccentric Lucila to the enthusiastic Senor Gustavo, I will never forget their friendliness and how welcome they made us feel. Truly, when it comes down to it, it’s the people that really make a country and bring it to life.

Happy travels, my friends.


We’ve had lots of readers asking for more info on our family, so I decided to do a series of interviews so you can learn a little more about us.

Our family spends a lot of holidays together, so I thought I’d start by interviewing them to find out which holiday they liked best.


L. Aidan, what’s your favorite holiday?

A. I really like Christmas, we have a big family and we all get together and play games and all our dads cook – that’s always fun to be around. Plus, your dad always sits by the fire and reads us Twas The Night Before Christmas. Course, I’m a bit too old for that now, but it’s still kind of nice.

L. I like it when he reads The Pirates Night Before Christmas.

A. Aaargh!


L. I was a bit shocked when Olivia told me her favorite holiday, but it soon become apparent why. Olivia, what holiday do you like best?

O. Definitely Valentines.

L. Really? Can I ask why?

O. Sure, for the past three years I’ve sent Cagney prank Valentine cards. She has absolutely no idea!That’s always the best.

L. You know she’s probably going to read this, right?

O. Oh, yeah, probably best not to mention the cards then. I’ll go with fourth of July – lots of rockets.


L. Tess, do you have a favorite holiday?

T. Yes.

L. Would you like to tell us which one.

T. The ones with food.

L. Any holiday in particular?

T. (after a long pause) Easter. Grandma Callie always hides a gazillion Easter eggs in the garden and coz I’m the youngest she always lets me head into the garden a good twenty minutes before everyone else.

L. I would have laid money on you saying, Halloween.

T. (another long pause). This is not as easy as you made out, Lissy.


L. Cagney, what’s your favorite time of the year with the family?

C. September 3rd.

L. Would you like to tell us why?

C. Coz it’s my birthday – duh! It’s the only time I don’t have to share stuff with you lot. It’s all about me, all day. What could be better?

L. Excellent. Oh and just one more thing, Olivia insists you read this blog.

C. Yeah, like that is going to happen!

L. So folks, that just leaves me. I think my favorite holiday is definitely Thanksgiving. I really like how our family cooks together and gathers around the table before eating and tells each other what we are thankful for. Cagney, of course, is normally thankful for her latest pair of shoes, but our moms and dads always come up with really great stuff they are thankful for. We also often have friends spending Thanksgiving with us and Grandma, of course, and after dinner we head to the Middle School field and play tag football. In the last couple of years we’ve played kids against adults. I won’t tell you who wins, but needless to say, we hold out hope that one day, it will be us!

Happy New Year

Hi Guys, Lissy here.
Welcome to my first blog post of 2014! Since I last wrote, both Tess and I celebrated our birthdays (which are just four days apart) and the five of us had a fun time at Christmas opening our present from Aunt Sam – CIA bracelets that she made for us! See if you can guess whose is whose?

CIA Bracelets

It’s also been a busy time for my aunt, who is now editing her next book set in India. Olivia and Tess say it’s best not to go anywhere near her when she’s working and Tess has asked several times what the word – crisis, deadline and a couple of other words that I won’t mention – mean!

It is the season of giving, and so my Aunt Sam wanted to do something nice for someone and chose a really cool charity to donate money to. The charity is called Half The Sky and I’m really glad she chose it, as it helps lots of little girls in China who have no mom or dad to look after them. Instead, Half The Sky pays for really nice ladies to look after the children and give them love.

Anyhow, I thought you’d like to know that a portion of the sales from Cousins In Action is going to a good home. Check out their website if you get a chance – it has the most adorable pictures on it.

Wishing you all a happy and adventurous 2014.
Your friend, Lissy.

The Launch of Operation Golden Llama

Hi Guys, My aunt’s book is launching this weekend, Saturday, November 23rd. There will be treasure. There will be snacks. There will be llamas! And, I have organized a quiz! Stop by if you can and feel free to wear pink – Tess would love that :O)

11:30am, Saturday November 23rd – Westbank Community Library, 1309 Westbank Drive, Austin, TX.