Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 13...in which I'm a bitch

On Friday morning we left Canberra and headed towards Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park in Gerroa.



We saw lovely sights out the car window. Hey! We were in Australia! How could it NOT be beautiful?

We stopped in Goulburn for lunch.

We saw the giant sheep.



We ate at another Abe Frellman recommendation, The Paragon Cafe.




Jack had spaghetti and Tim noticed there was no tomato sauce in the meat sauce. Tim had a theory that Australians use less tomato sauce than we do. He had noticed at another restaurant that their pizza had very little sauce.

I forgot what Tim ate. I had some kind of cheese on toast thing.

They had pizzas on the menu including an American one. I'm always curious how America is perceived. Well....in terms of pizza, we're black olives and pepperoni. I thought that was awesome because before I was vegetarian that was my favorite type of pizza! My taste in pizza represents America. How nice.

After eating we walked around the little strip of shops. We found ourselves in a discount store. Each of us found a treasure to take home. Tim found some jasmine rice. Jack found a jump rope. I found an Australian flag beach towel.

We then went to find Jack a new rash shirt for the beach, because I had been careless and left his other one at Tracey's house. Oops.

Yeah, they might come to Sydney to see us. They might bring the rash shirt. But we needed one now! We had a whole week at the beach.

We tried to find one at the Red Cross Op shop, but had no luck. We had to look elsewhere.

We eventually found one.

After our shopping, we stopped in Bryant's Cafe for dessert. Tim got something called a Rock Cake. Jack got a cupcake. I got a caramel slice.



With our tummies full, we headed towards our new home on the beach.

The ride was absolutely awful.

Terrifying.

The damn TomTom must have gotten pissed off at us for some reason. His revenge? Dragging us through Kangaroo Valley. This involved mountains and twisty roads. I'm sure Kangaroo Valley is a lovely place. But I do NOT like it. Just hearing the name puts a chill through my spine.

I don't like driving on mountains!!!

Somehow we survived. Tim got us through it. For an hour or so he was my hero. Actually, it was probably for about three minutes. Hey, but that's something. Right?

We made it to the Holiday Park. Tim had the same reaction he had at the Canberra Holiday Park; disbelief that I could have found a decent place. The Seven Mile Beach Holiday Park has two sides. One is near the river and one is near the beach. There's a highway inbetween. The office is on the riverside and we didn't know that the rest of the holiday park was across the road. Tim didn't sense a beach nearby. He thought I had accidentally picked a place that was not on the beach. He wanted a beach.

We soon figured everything out and drove to the other side of the holiday park. I worried a bit that we'd have to cross a busy highway to get to the office if needed. But it turns out they have a nice little pedestrian underpass.

It was a bit of a challenge for us to find our cabin. I could blame the holiday park on that, but frankly we're just a little bit stupid sometimes.

Eventually, we found our cabin. And it was awesome! It totally restored Tim's faith in me. The little cabin was darling. It was clean, comfortable, and cute. The location was great. The walk to the beach was shorter than our walk in Port Stephens. And best of all, we were right across from the playground. Jack could go play, and we could watch him from the kitchen window. A little farther down was a big jumpy bouncy thing for kids.

While we unpacked, Jack went off to play and explore. At home, Jack lives the life of a 21st century child. He can go out alone on our back porch and balcony, but that's it. He can't go out in the front yard alone. He can't take walks down the street alone. It's so different from my childhood. I don't know why our lives have become that way, but I know we're not the only one because I rarely see kids out without an adult chaperon.

In Port Stephens last year, we had let Jack have some freedom. He loved that and we gave him that gift again.

We didn't give him full freedom though. I told him he could go to the bouncy thing and the playground. I didn't want him wandering through the whole park...at least not in the beginning. I figured we could amend that rule in the future if needed. Jack didn't mind it though. In Port Stephens, he had wandered too far once and got lost. I think although he likes being able to go off on his own, he still gets a little nervous.

Tim headed to the grocery store while I was left in charge of Jack. I thought the grocery store was close by and I expected Tim to be back within about an hour. While he was gone, I think I alternated between hanging out around the cabin and checking up on Jack. He was very eager to find children to play with. He had met friends in Port Stephens and wanted to repeat the experience.

There were some children hanging out at the bouncy thing; two boys and two girls. Jack tried so hard to fit in with them, but they were not very welcoming. They weren't cruel. They didn't tease him. They didn't bully him. They just didn't act like they wanted to be friends. They were stand-offish. They were disinterested. As a mom, it hurts to see your child rejected even if it's not intentionally malicious.

I had mixed feelings about socializing at this point. We met people last year and I felt this obligation to repeat all that. But at the same time, I really didn't feel like it. I didn't really feel like talking to anyone. None of the people I saw seemed like people I wanted to be friends with. I felt stand-offish myself. I'm not sure if I was going through one of my asocial stages or if I just didn't feel any type of kinship with the particular people at the park. I forced myself to be friendly...smiles and hellos. A little chit-chat here and there. But what I wanted to do was magically make all the other people in the park disappear. Or at least most of them. Yes, I get like that sometimes.

Some of the kids went to the pool And some of them went without adult supervision. I think that added to my feelings of alienation because I still feel the need to be with Jack when he's swimming. He can swim pretty well, but I feel safer if I'm at the pool with him. I felt insecure. I worried the other parents would see me as overprotective. At the same time, I judged those moms as being too callous.

One mom did come by to check on her kids. I talked with her for awhile. She warned me that there were blue bottles on the beach so we probably couldn't do much swimming. I didn't think much of that. There were Blue Bottles on the beach in Port Stephens. We still swam. I should have considered that this woman lets her kids swim alone. One or two Blue Bottles wouldn't keep this type of family out of the water.

It was cold, so we didn't stay in the pool for long. It seemed some time had passed since Tim had left and I started getting a little concerned. I didn't get too concerned though because Tim is almost always late. I know if he says I'm going to run to the grocery store he really means I'm going to run to the grocery store and then stop at some other stores and then drop by to visit your mom and dad. If he says he'll be home around 5, I expect to see him around 6:30. That's how Tim is. I'm pretty used to it by now.

But after awhile, I did start to worry. It happens every so often. I think to myself this is it. This is going to be the time that something bad happens.

And he didn't have his phone with him. I saw it in the cabin.

I couldn't call him.

I thought who the hell takes two hours to go grocery shopping. I started thinking it would be pretty rude of him to go do other things without telling me and without bringing a phone. I can tolerate it at home somewhat, but not when we're off in another country.

Finally he did come home....home to an angry bitchy wife.

We bickered like good little married people.

He told me he went to Kiama to shop which is a twenty minute drive. That's why it took him so long.

I forgave him somewhat for that.

Meanwhile I was annoyed at him for what he had bought. We were sick of restaurants and one of the reasons was the huge portions. But now Tim had bought SO much food. I felt like we were moving into a new house rather than just staying in a cabin for a week. He bought two loaves of regular bread plus a package of flat bread. He also bought a whole bag of potatoes and multiple bags of pasta. I'm thinking he was having some kind of carb craving thing while shopping. Maybe he was protesting the Atkins diet. I don't know.

Oh! I'm looking at my notes. He also bought this whole frozen garlic bread thing. Yes, that along with flour to make his incredibly wonderful homemade pizza.

He did buy one awesome thing that I can remember---these chocolate covered honeycomb candies. We all loved those.

He bought me a Valentine's Day present. Did it make me happy?

No. I'm very picky about gifts. I'm a bitch when it comes to gifts.

There is a simple rule to follow if someone wants to guarantee that I'll like their gift. Make it Australian. If it's related to Australia, it's VERY likely I'll love it.

Here we are....IN Australia. It's the perfect place to buy Australian stuff.

What does Tim buy me? Belgian chocolate. Guylian. The seashell stuff. What the hell was he thinking? He told me there wasn't any Aussie Valentine's Day chocolate. The Australians themselves were all going for the Guylian. I accepted that excuse then because I actually didn't remember seeing any Australian V-Day themed chocolate. But now I'm thinking the Guylian box didn't have any V-Day theme to it. It wasn't red or heart-shaped.

He should have bought me the Cadbury collection or something. But we ended up buying those later so it's okay. And I was a bitch and didn't buy him anything. I told him his gift was he could share the chocolates he had bought me.

All was well.

Tim buys bad gifts.
I'm a bitch.
Nothing really new here.

We ate dinner, and before or after that we walked to the beach. There weren't one or two Blue Bottles. They were everywhere. Jack and I are both educated enough to know that if there's a lot of Blue Bottles on the beach, it's not a good idea to go swimming. We were a little disappointed, but figured we might still have fun.



Still. Things were a bit gloomy. Jack didn't seem to be clicking well with the other kids. I was feeling socially avoidant. There'd probably be no swimming at the beach.

Then Tracey sent a text that cheered me up a bit. She reminded me the season premiere of Medium was going to be on tonight. We watched it. That was a nice diversion.