How’s life for you? I have just spent two glorious weeks with my sister, her two granddaughters and my granddaughter. The last time I saw Jade, she hadn’t yet celebrated her second birthday. To say I was over the moon is a slight understatement. I was thrilled to be able to read stories to her at night, scratch her back while she fell asleep and show her all things Australian.
We visited The Australia Zoo (the Crocodile Hunter’s zoo) where the girls got to relieve a bit of jetlag by running around the park seeing all the Australian animals (and one not so live jumbo croc). They REALLY wanted this joey to hop out of the pouch but no amount of coaxing worked.
You could have heard their “Awwwws” from all over the park when we came upon this mother koala cuddling her little baby.
The girls wanted to be real Australians so surfing lessons were high on the list of must-do things. Luke, their instructor, got all three girls standing up – on the waves. There were mile wide smiles.
The girls took surfing lessons at Noosa and then they went boogie boarding at Mooloolaba as often as they could. They quickly learned why in Australia, you must swim between the flags marking where the lifeguards work. There was a rip on either side and we might have had one girl who needed a rescue.
The girls had a good time at Underwater World aquarium and while they were looking at all the fish and scary things, John and I were at the nearby park cooking traditional Australian sausages and hotdogs on the BBQ. Nothing better than an Aussie barbie.
The last time Carole and Emma came, it was school holidays and she got to sleep at the aquarium. No schoolies this time.
They had a great time at Lone Pine Koala sanctuary and each got a chance to cuddle a koala. Jade had her photo taken by a professional and that was her souvenir for her dad. He loved it. Carole took this photo and I love it just as much.
We wanted the girls to experience a bit of Aboriginal culture but were unable to get a tour at Jellurgal Aboriginal Centre. Searching the web, we found that the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast has a group of traditional Yugambeh Aboriginal Dancers (from Jellurgal) who perform every day. Of course we had to go.
On our way home, the girls said they really wanted to bake some gingerbread cookies. We made the dough and while it was chilling, we went back to the beach. Upon our return, dough was rolled, cookies were cut and eager faces were ready to eat some when they came out of the oven. I made the icing and Emma was in charge of the colors. We had some amazing cookies. Photo of the cookies is coming. It’s on Carole’s camera not mine. duh.
The next day, Carole and the girls performed for the oldies at Arcare for their Daffodil Day high tea. They sang I’ll Fly Away with each girl singing a solo and then just for fun, they did, Oh I Had a Little Chickie. The Arcare residents loved Carole’s fiddle music as much as they enjoyed the girls. They often get nursery school children but rarely do they get kids 9 and 12.
Finally, one day the 9-year olds wanted to do a ‘fancy dinner’ complete with menus and waitstaff. They asked what was for dinner and then upon entering the dining room we were individually seated and given our menu. Amazingly, everyone ordered everything on the menu. You’ll notice that one of the girls obviously doesn’t like dressing on her salad. Or not.
The girls made flowers for the table, put out the good crystal and china and served all the food. Once it was over, we received another menu for dessert. We all ordered pavlova. Or Pavovla with or without wiped cream. Spelling didn’t matter because enthusiasm was the order of the day.
Since I prepped cooked and the girls did all the work, Carole did the dishes. By the end of every day, I was completely done in. I had help with cooking any time I wanted it. I needed a few potatoes peeled for scalloped potatoes and ham and boy did we have a lot of potatoes.
This was just a part of our holiday. I still have a grin on my face. Thanks to my nephew Ian for making it all happen.
I AM feeling better. Much less foggy brain and a little less back pain. Still a bit dizzy but we finally have a plan for that so I can get back to exercising and I know once I can look up as well as lie on my back, all the back pain will disappear. I’m doing my best to get back to work and back into life.
Finally, last week I received an email from my next door neighbours, Jan and David. They are the friends who go out to eat with us often. Jan and David are in France for 2 months (lucky things) and David wrote, “We’re in Chinon for a few days,” and went on to say where they’d been and what they’d been eating. I replied right away and said my food blogger friend Jamie Schler from Life’s a Feast had bought Hôtel Diderot in Chinon. I said you couldn’t miss her miles of dark, wildly curly hair.
To my utter surprise, David quickly replied and included a photo of Jan, David AND Jamie. They stayed in her hotel – without my hearty recommendation. It’s a small world, isn’t it? Jan said Jamie’s homemade jams and breakfasts were great. I can’t wait to visit myself. Here’s Jan’s photo of Jamie’s jam cupboard.
Hope to see you soon!