Hello, future self! Thailand was perfect. We were aiming to ease the kids into travel, and I give us a big gold star.
From there, a long trip to Albury- 20 hours, via the rooftop pool at my beloved Changi airport in Singapore, and an almost-running flight change in Sydney, where my brother John was not, despite my best eye-keeping-out.
My folks treated us to a first few settling-in nights in a fab hotel in Albury, with I’m sure the coldest swimming pool the kids have ever been in. They’re made of sterner stuff than I gave them credit for, and loved it!
Then we all squeezed into their little 3-bedroom cottage/tardis and had more laughs per square foot than anywhere, ever. Easter, water gun fights, the amazing Oddies Creek Park across the road, kids falling in the Murray River, deafening flocks of wild cockatoos and galahs at dusk. After a week of that, they got their crazy new house. It has a cinema room, and a pool table room with a funky bar, and the most beautiful back garden, sloping down to public land with bike paths and playgrounds and a stream. The sweet old widower they bought it from left a heap of furniture, cupboards full of linens, a wall-mounted motion-activated singing moose head, specific instructions about the best way to break down the lawn-mowing if getting it all done in one day is too much for you, and over 4 dozen bottles of red wine. I seem to be the only red wine drinker in the family, <hic>!
Why would we leave? What could possibly drag us away? Well, we’ve come up to the coast, just south of Sydney, for a little house swap- my darling Auntie is at ours, and we’re having a couple of weeks of the beach, with maybe a few day trips to Sydney, a few old friends to catch up with, and the little science museum/planetarium I worked at, as a uni student. But mostly the beach.
Here’s a thing- we walked out of my folks’ house 25 hours ago, without Henry’s iPad. And so far, no biggie. Huh.
Also not to forget- Lauren turned 7 at the new house, chose her own cake, and we all nearly died laughing over a game of Duck, Duck, Goose with Lauren, Henry, Dave, me, Gran, Auntie Cang, and Uncles Josh, Mike and Bones. Grandpa was very amused.
Uncle John will be here next month, too- we might have to have a do-over.