So, a tip I forgot to mention to anyone moving overseas—-we learned when we arrived in Brisbane that we could have booked ahead through our airline to have employees ready to help with our luggage. Funny that no one mentioned that ever, even when we checked our many bags in….oh, well. Good to know for future reference.
Well, our first full weekend down under is coming to a close. There were several little highlights and accomplishments that make me feel like a big girl. 😉 We figured out Skype on Saturday! I was able to video chat with Karen in NY, perfect timing for both of us it seems, and also call my Dad’s landline—both worked amazingly well and that is comforting to know. Also, today, I was able to listen to the Buffs big loss to Ohio State online, streaming the same radio station we had in Boulder—-fun! Except for the score, of course. It’s amazing how these little pieces of familiarity can bring such comfort.
My proudest moments came in the kitchen. We are definitely on our own for the most part here; so on Friday, I already had to start making meals, in addition to throwing together lunches which started the day before. I managed frozen pizza and then Steve made breakfast Saturday, but that night I made pasta primavera (of sorts). It is hard to be in someone else’s kitchen no matter where you are. This particular kitchen seems more designed to show how upscale life can be, rather than for ease of productivity. Maybe it’s just me, but I found this kitchen harder to figure out than most, and I don’t think it’s an Australian compared to American issue; I believe it’s this particular kitchen. Add that to piecing together ingredients I wasn’t completely familiar with and, of course, not having my own staples, and the Celsius temperature on the oven and I was pretty dang proud to figure out pasta, sautéed veggies, heated up bread in the oven and a salad. Double that joy with making the scrambled eggs, veggies and toast I worked out this morning. Yippee! If I can feed my family, I’m feeling like I’m doing ok—that’s always paramount on my list of necessary proficiencies.
Thankfully, we had Anna’s Mum and stepfather bring us dinner tonight, complete with wine and treats for the boys. They are such lovely, warm, understanding people—we loved chatting with them and the boys loved Buba as a new playmate. Great feeling to have the support of friends. Ben and Rachel came Friday with our new car seat, which they wouldn’t accept money for. I only hope I can really have cooking mastered (and driving) when their twins arrive in a few months, so I can be a good friend to them! It was lovely and comforting to see them as well. We are now the proud owners of a thoroughly cleaned $15 couch (which Mick’s roommate wouldn’t accept money for either—definitely feeling warmth from the Aussies) and a brand new, just out of the box car seat! Yippee!
On a different note, we had two lovely mornings at local beaches—one accessed by walking that I hope to enjoy walking/jogging on in the coming days, and one by driving that was an actual sandy beach to play on and get in the water at. Both were truly gorgeous and I feel I can definitely become accustomed to the lovely salty air and gorgeous vegetation. The boys were absolutely delighted by the beach today (Zach’s first time!) and it was wonderful to know we are giving them such a wonderful experience in their lives.
I have to admit that I did experience a sense of isolation watching all the happy groups of people gathered at their Aussie BBQs this weekend. Yesterday, I felt like I did not see one mother I could picture myself friends with (and we know you can judge that just by looking at someone!), or having anything in common with, and today I just felt a sense of closeness from the groups I saw that made me wonder how I will ever get to that stage here. However, I have been here only five days now and it is much too soon to worry about that. I was more interested in trying to see what they were eating and drinking, what they do for the kids’ birthday parties, what games they were playing, etc. We did drive by the local Y today, too, so I will make it a point to check that out soon! All in all, a good weekend, trying to rest, adjust and learn the way things work, which I think I’ll be learning for many many weekends to come.