Saturday, August 30, 2014

Week 6: reception, fire alarms and a beach

Six weeks down...but for our own sanity, we aren't starting to count how many more we have left. By and large, all four of us are doing great and having fun.

  • Bryson had a little cold that he passed along to Caden, who turned it into a full-blown cold that missed him a day of school.  
  • Caden and I are definitely missing friends and family back home; Ryan is LOVING the lack of administrative duties and meetings; and Bryson has already declared that he never wants to leave here. So our family has all of the emotions and feelings covered!  
  • Although it is still considered winter here, the rain has disappeared (forever?) and the temperatures are starting to creep into the upper 60's.  I even saw daffodils and dandelions this week - a sure sign of spring back home.
To skip ahead to Week #6 pictures, start at #294....

Friday, August 22, 2014


Imagine with me for a moment that all you have been eating for the past 6 weeks are Tim Tams (the greatest cookie ever made), breads and ice creams.  Now imagine that during that same period of time, your favorite pair of jeans have actually become looser, to the point that a belt is needed.  Pretty amazing new diet, right?  Perhaps I'm on to something??

Now - imagine the sadness one might have (okay, that *I* had) when I realized that I had worn the same pair of jeans for more days in a row than I care to admit AND that those jeans had not been in a dryer for 6 weeks.

So instead of creating the latest diet craze, I have come to understand that helping Mother Nature and doing the line-dry thing is NOT an accurate judge of how many calories one (okay, *I*) might be consuming.  I am still going to be a good Aussie and line dry as many clothes as possible...

...but these jeans are also going to take a trip into the dryer so I can be brought back into reality!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week #5

I was kind of afraid I wouldn't have a lot of pictures to share during week #5 as it started out a little on the not-very-picture-worthy side.  But on Sunday we set off for a hike and that provided lots of beautiful photos.  If you want to start with the latest and greatest photos (!), skip to #239.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Week #4 Down Under

The best part about this blog post?????  It's being sent from our house because WE FINALLY HAVE INTERNET.  After 30 days, multiple visits from the telephone company, HOURS spent on the phone with customer service reps and one frantic visit to our neighbor for a favor, we are up and running.  For living in the Central Business District of a large metropolitan city in a booming country, getting internet service was not an easy task!

The album below includes pictures from our fourth week in Australia.  Seriously, how is it possible we have been here for a month already?  The time is flying by (even Caden will admit to this), although at the same time it seems like we have been here forever because life is so familiar and routine.

To skip directly to the Week #4 pictures, start on #173.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Week #3

Week three saw the beginning of classes at the University of Adelaide, an ear infection for Caden, the Adelaide Crows Aussie Football game and the Adelaide Zoo.   To start viewing pictures from Week #3, skip ahead to picture #112.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Aussie Football

It wouldn’t be a trip to Australia without taking in an Aussie-rules football game, or so I’ve been told.  Once we found out San Antonio Spur and Australian-born Patty Mills was going to be recognized at the home game for the Adelaide Crows on Saturday, Ryan went online and got us tickets the first week we were here.  Since then, we have tried to watch a little Aussie football (or “footy”) on TV to try to figure out what in the world goes on in this game.  Here’s what I have learned:
  • It’s called the Adelaide Oval because the field they play on is in the shape of an oval.  Duh!
  • There are no helmets and no pads worn by the players, but that doesn’t stop them from smacking into each other and tackling others to the ground.
  • By and large, Aussie football players are pretty attractive.  Kind of the white collar, preppy look.
  • The best way to describe the game is fast paced football (20 minute quarters and the play rarely stops; if you get tackled, someone else takes off with the ball) with the kicking and field position of soccer.  But what do I know? I barely understand the game of soccer!
  • Ryan bought and wore a Crows scarf and Caden proudly wore a Crows hat.  Bryson and I tagged closely behind so we still find of fit in.  Everybody there had on jerseys and coats and hats and scarfs with Adelaide Crows loud and bright.
  • Before walking to the game, we stopped at a convenience store close to our house to let the boys buy some candy (or lollies) that we would sneak into the game. Ummmm….there was no reason to sneak anything in.  As long as you weren’t bringing alcohol or glass bottles, you could bring in whatever you wanted.  People had coolers with lunches, snacks and drinks that they brought right into the stadium.  That would have been a nice thing to know and what a drastic change from sporting events back home.  Live and learn.
  • Biggest lesson learned: my boys will NEVER be playing Australian Rules Football if I have anything to say about it.

The only tickets available were on “the hill”, so instead of having an assigned seat, we congregated with the masses, kind of like the hill at Faurot Field.  We were warned “the hill” got pretty raucous and rough and Ryan even read somewhere that the teams are “cheered by crowds whose throaty parochialism would make a football-crazed Nebraska fan blush.”   But the Big 12, SEC, Big 10 and IIAC (I couldn’t leave Simpson out of the conversation) must have prepared us well because it wasn’t any different than a Saturday football game, in my opinion. And in case you are wondering, when a goal is scored, YES some people in the crowd make the sound of a crow, and more join in as the game goes on and the beer and wine take effect.
Unfortunately, standing on the hill meant it was hard to see the field and poor Bryson couldn’t see anything, not even the HUGE screens in the corners of the stadium.   B and I sat down to enjoy our hotdog lunch to this view:

So at halftime Bryson and I went to look for another place to sit and found a bench that he could sit and stand on.  

Between leaving the stadium to buy trash bags to sit on (which we used for approximately 30 seconds), standing in line to get lunch for the boys and making up stories with Bryson to pass the time, I got to see about zero minutes of actual Aussie football.  But I got to see Patty Mills (Caden & I both had our Spurs gear on and we like to think that Patty saw Caden’s shirt and gave him the thumbs up sign…that’s our story and we’re sticking to it!).  Most importantly, I can now say that I’ve been to an Aussie football game.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Aussie Ears

I assumed it would happen at some point during our 5 month stay, but I was kind of hoping we could put off a trip to see a doctor a little bit longer.  No luck!  Caden went to bed Wednesday night with a terrible headache and woke up Thursday morning with a headache and a sore neck.  He went to school, but called around noon asking to be picked up early.  His neck was very tender, even to touch, and as the afternoon went on he thought it might be an ear infection.  Since Caden and I are sort of ear infection professionals (him having them, me dealing with him having them!), we looked for what evening options were available.  Using Yelp (who would have thought?), we found Adelaide Walk-In Emergency Clinic, open until 9pm.  Although it was only 14 miles away by car, it took us 45 minutes using the city buses.  Oh wait.  Did I mention it was pouring rain both when I picked him up from school AND when we left to get the bus?
Two bus transfers later, and after being dropped off on a very DARK residential street with nothing like a clinic nearby, we found it a little after 8pm.  

It was a very nice looking facility and there was only one other family there with a crying infant.  Who knew:
  • Trying to give the birthdate of your child using day/month/year order instead of month/day/year makes you look like a complete idiot.  I promise I know when his birthday is, it just didn’t sound like it.
  • When they take your child’s temperature, it’s handy to have a phone with you.  38.5 degrees meant nothing to me until I realized it was 101.3 F.
  • When a nurse asks for a weight and you reply 110, they are thinking in kilo’s NOT pounds.  Turns out he weighs only 50 kilograms.

The receptionist, nurse and doctor were extremely nice and helpful.  The receptionist called us a taxi when we were done, the nurse was very understanding and the doctor made sure he didn’t have meningitis (the first thought Ryan and I had with an extreme headache & stiff neck but it was just a swollen lymph node trying to fight off the infection) and that we knew where to find a chemist (pharmacy) that would still be open past 9pm.  I have NO reason to believe our health insurance will cover any of this visit, but at that point in the night money was not a concern.

The taxi took us home and then I walked ~4 blocks to the nearest chemist that is open until midnight.  How cool is that?  Yes, I took a picture.  

And I think everybody would immediately feel better if the prescription was made out to “Master”.