How ya goin'?!?
So... I have been waiting to get an adapter for my laptop so that I can attach photos with this post but as that hasn't happened yet, I will just get to it!
Our trip began with repacking and adding yet another suitcase AT the airport, no less, (bringing our total bags to 7 - although not all of them were the big monstrous types) - thankful that the airport in Calgary has a scales off to the side to do this before trying to check in! Our trip went pretty smoothly - with us having an extra seat for each row we had resulting in Hana and I sharing three seats and Eoin and Brad sharing three seats. Partway through the flight, I had a whole row of three seats all to myself for a sleep while the others watched movies - how great was that?!? A definite highlight of the flight, for me, was seeing the moon set while the sun rose as we crossed the equator - it was beautiful!
Upon our eventual arrival in Melbourne, we were met by my exchange partner's (Greg) parents. Once home, my parents called to see if we had arrived and we discovered that my dad and Greg's dad, Peter, had taught together in Melbourne when we had lived here when I was a baby... This news just reinforced that the world is truly a very small place!
We took the rest of the afternoon to make lemonade using lemons from our tree in the backyard (there are some massive ones and a seriously deformed one that I will have to check in with Greg and Michelle about...) and to unpack the kids' things and to get them settled in their bedrooms (parents' things still have to find their places!!!). We ordered-in some supper and ended up heading to bed early. We all crashed and slept deeply!
The next morning Brad and Hana went out to explore while I hung out waiting for Eoin to wake up - sleeping beauty slept in until 10:00! We took the train into Melbourne and spent the day exploring the city, getting a feel for the place and ended up in little Italy (Melbourne has the largest Italian population outside of Italy) for supper and walking through Chinatown on our way back through the city to the trains. The kids were great all day, especially given that we marched them around for six hours. Luckily, the weather was cool - around 20 degrees - which made things easier! Today, we have taken it easy, heading to the shops with Peter for groceries (cant get over how reasonably priced - CHEAP - fruit and veggies are here) and then coming back to have a drink on the deck and to enjoy the sun while the kids play - mostly on the trampoline.
The heat is upon us and tomorrow we are heading back into Melbourne's centre for New Year's Eve festivities at Docklands at Melbourne's harbour. We are not much for NYE celebrations but given our circumstance and the blessings this new year is bringing, we want to ring it in in as memorable a way as fully possible!
We have another three-plus weeks of summer holidays here which we want to make the most of... For us, this means heading to Queensland to visit family - my mom's brother and his family live there so we will be taking time with them as well as heading off to explore further north. The holidays and the weather make things seem very surreal - to think that we went from -30 to +30 in a matter of days, from the snow to the tropics - it takes some time to wrap one's head around but we are embracing whatever comes our way this year. A teacher from Perth who was at my school in Red Deer this year said, "say no to nothing" while we are here and that is the plan!
We are fortunate to be here, to have the support and love of our families as we take part in our adventure and this time as a family to adventure together!
I will add photos later and I will have a special video to add as a request of the Fine Arts dept. at Lindsay Thurber... As soon as I can get that together, I will!
All the best for the windup of 2012 and a brilliant start to 2013!