Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day which we eat and eat and eat.

Jack woke up cheerful and excited. It was a nice change from the night before. We stayed in our room for awhile. Jack looked at an Australian-American dictionary online. He loves looking at the differences in our language....well, maybe I should say dialects?

I think once we heard Tara awaken, we went out in the den. I remember I had a really hard time getting the door to the kitchen open. But I think Jack was able to do it. Yeah, sad. My seven-year-old is more capable than me.

I can't really remember what exactly happened. I think we ate breakfast. Tracey had been very nice and welcoming the night before. She had told us we should to help ourselves to breakfast. I forgot her exact words, but she gave us the feeling that we were free to take drinks and/or food whenever we were hungry/thirty. This was a huge relief. I think it's very uncomfortable staying at someone's house when you feel you have no least when it comes to eating.

I can't explain it exactly. I'll just say they made us feel very comfortable.

When Tracey and Molly woke up, I eagerly awaited for them to get out their Vegemite.

Molly got out peanut butter. Peanut butter! Peanut butter?

I didn't think peanut butter was an Australian thing. But now (with my new knowledge and experiences) I think Australians have some kind of peanut butter fetish. First, there's Claire on Lost and her whole peanut butter obsession. Okay? And two Australians on our holiday sang the praises of American peanut butter candy. I told them that American peanut butter is now tainted with the evils of salmonella. Nice.

Anyway, Molly ate her peanut butter. And then I think Tim had peanut butter and jelly. Or maybe that was the next morning? I don't know. Maybe it was Jack that had peanut butter and jelly? I guess I should say peanut butter and JAM. Jelly in Australia is what Americans call Jello. That might be a weird sandwich.

Yeah. This gets confusing.

I do think Tracey had Vegemite. I appreciated that. Someone needs to eat the damn Vegemite. Otherwise, I'd feel cheated of the whole Aussie experience.

I think we hung out in the house for awhile. I wish I remembered more. I mean I do remember a lot, but I wish I remembered every single detail.

Anyway, eventually we started getting ready to go to The Cataract Gorge. Because you could swim there, we put the kids in their swimming suits. I sort of wanted to swim, but couldn't because I still had the awful rash. Oh! Speaking of the rash. I forgot to mention this. In Sydney, I had bought some diaper rash creme. I had been using that ever since and the rash was slowly starting to heal. Thankfully!

While waiting to go, Tara and Jack sat at the coffee table with their little notebooks and did math problems. It was too cute. They weren't really playing together. It was more like parallel play, but an advanced mathematical type.

We drove to the gorge. Tracey had to take two trips because there were six of us and we couldn't all fit into the car. Tim and I watched Jack and Tara while Tracey returned to the house to get Molly.

I used to babysit a lot. I was a preschool teacher. Back then, I never had a second thought about taking care of someone else's child. After having Jack though, that changed. I get so nervous that someone else's beloved child will get hurt under my care.

And sure enough.....

Tara fell and cut herself.

It wasn't too bad. There weren't even any tears. And Tracey didn't give me any dirty looks or lectures. But poor Tara did have some pain while walking.

It was a fairly long walk which is good. We probably had millions of calories to burn.

There were kids jumping off cliffs. I watched hoping that Jack never takes that up as a hobby. I get nervous enough when he simply steps onto a hotel balcony.

I had a bit of confusion while walking. I had misunderstood what Tracey and Molly had said. I thought we were going to let Tara and Jack swim in the actual basin. It was all rocky and I couldn't figure out how that would all work. Jack knows how to swim, but it didn't look all that safe to me. I was a little concerned. But I figured if Tracey let Tara do it, it must be fairly safe. And we had three adults (and one teenager) there. One of us could jump in and save the kids if needed. My rash might sting a bit, but that's all right.

Fortunately, I soon realized the kids had been meant to swim in the big swimming pool. That was a relief. It's a nice pool. There's two sections. One with shallow water that young kids can easily stand in, and another pool that's a bit deeper.

We walked through the grass to find a place to sit. There was a lot of some kind of marsupial poo. I forgot what the animal was called. Maybe some type of Wallaby....or something like that. It was a bit gross, but also very exciting.

Tara swam in the shallow water. Jack wanted to swim in the deep. I allowed him, but went over and stood close to the pool so I could keep an eye on him. He quickly realized he'd rather go swim in the shallow with Tara. That was better for me because I could go back in the grass and talk to Tracey, Tim, and Molly.

The kids played in the water.
We talked.
I was hungry.

My blood sugar started feeling a bit messed up.
There was talk of lunch, but I felt I needed to eat before that.

Before walking back to the car, I went to the little cafe. For some reason, I wanted chips. Maybe because I'm a person with horrible health habits?

Their menu threw me off because it said Fries instead of chips. I thought maybe they were using the American term for some weird reason. But I feared I'd order fries and it would be something completely different. What if it was some type of meat? I decided to just ask for chips, a little worried that they would give me a bag of the American version of chips. They didn't. They gave me a large serving of the GOOD type of chips. And they were really incredibly good. I felt guilty though because I remember reading that white potato is awful for blood sugar. It's really not something I should have eaten to help calm my blood sugar issues. Plus, we were about the have lunch and I'd probably spoil my appetite.

The adults didn't show much interest in eating the chips. Maybe they ate a few? Tara and Jack helped me a bit though. Still, I ate much more than I should have. I can't say I completely regret it though. They really were delicious....or nice as Australians tend to say.

On our way back to the car, we saw a kangaroo! Or actually, I think it was a wallaby. It was our first time ever seeing a wild one and it was a very special moment for me. Tim quickly tried to get out the camera and snap a picture. I think I told him to relax and just enjoy the moment. Or maybe I just thought that in my head. I feel sometimes we obsess too much about taking photographs. We waste time trying to capture something rather than just enjoying it.

We went to a little Mexican restaurant for lunch destroying the myth I had heard of Australia not having good Mexican food. This restaurant had some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. Tim loved it too.

I had a burrito with a bean filling that reminded me a lot of the meat filling in Jack in the Box tacos. I LOVE Jack in the Box tacos. It's one of the things I have missed most about being a vegetarian.

The restaurant had huge portions. I thought that was just an awful American thing. Apparently not. And to me it gives some explanation to why Australia has beaten America in the obesity thing.

I was already somewhat full on chips, but I still had to force myself to not finish the whole Burrito. It took restraint.

And then to make matters worse, we had dessert. Churros. They weren't actually that impressive. But they had a chocolate dip that tasted like chocolate pudding. I think in Australia they'd call it custard. The chocolate was so yummy. I had an urge to forgo the churros, take a spoon, and just dig into the chocolate.

Yikes. Maybe I did! I don't remember. I might have done it and then blocked out the memory because I felt so ashamed.

I think after this we returned to Tracey's house. Molly went to work. I don't remember what the rest of us did, probably just relaxed. I remember at some point Tracey apologizing for sitting and doing her own thing (probably the Internet). I saw absolutely no reason for her to apologize. I think it would be an awful weekend if we all felt we had to constantly entertain each other. I NEED my downtime so it's a relief to be with someone who needs hers to.

Since we hadn't eaten enough at lunch, we started to plan dinner. The plan was that Tracey, Tim, and Tyrone would cook. I'd eat. No really. I'm serious. I'm awful at cooking. Tracey and Tim are amazing at it. I'm actually not sure about Tyrone. I THINK he was outside helping with the food. Maybe?

Anyway, that came later. First we had to buy the food. We all went to the supermarket which was fun because that's where Molly works. Also, in case I haven't mentioned this before....I love going to Aussie supermarkets. I love looking at all the different Australian foods.

They had their Easter stuff out and they had Easter Bilbies! I got all excited about that. Tim wanted to buy one for me which was very sweet. But I said no. I think I like the idea of them better than I like the idea of actually eating one.

We bought food for dinner. We bought wine. We had Molly check us out. We teased her a bit because earlier she had complained about how annoying customers give her a hard time on how she packs the bags. So, of course we gave her a hard time. Or at least I think we did. I know we at least PLANNED on doing that.

Tyrone came home after an exhausting day at work. I kind of thought he might collapse and fall asleep. But he didn't. He stayed up and helped with dinner. He socialized and all that.

We had a great dinner. I didn't help with any of it, but I did help with dishes. Well, at least I hope I did.

I really don't remember anything after that. I guess we maybe we went to bed.


Andrew said...

I wrote a long comment and it disappeared. Not your fault. From memory, you were brave to put yourself into the hands of a fellow blogger. Good it turned it well.

CherryBlossom24 said...

I always feel when on a long trip that by the end of it the beginning feels like it was years ago so you are do better then I could ever do on rewriting your trip.

M+B said...

Loving reading your blow by blow account of your trip :)

We alternate between peanut butter and vegemite at our house, or sometimes I'll make both and we chop and change! Boo will ask for it together but so far I always refuse!

Dina said...

Andrew: Sorry! I hate when that happens : (

Cherryblossom: Yeah! That was definitely the case in this trip. The beginning seemed like years ago. But once I started writing about it, it didn't seem so long ago. I'm really surprised at how much I'm remembering. Although if you notice, a lot of stuff is unclear or forgotten. I notice I write "I think" a lot. Sometimes, I THINK something happened, but I'm not positive if it actually happened or we had considered it maybe happening. Sometimes, I'll remember planning to do something, but I can't remember actually doing I have to wonder if we did it or not.

M+B- Thank you for liking it!!! Peanut butter & vegemite seems very scary. But who knows? Maybe Boo has the next cuisine trend.....

traceyleigh said...

That was a good account of our day :-)

Not sure I can even add anything except maybe the peacocks at the Gorge. There are so many of them. It really is a very pretty place in the middle of our city.

I should clarify that they were outside because we were having a bbq for dinner. Great. Invite your vegetarian friend half way across the world and cook a meat feast!!! lol. I thought that was funny. Loved that you were so easy going about us all eating meat still.

Did the men start playing Wii that night? I can't remember. I think we just talked and talked around the dining room table and in the kitchen.

Ohhh I remember something now! The blue cheese dressing!!! Remember, Tim was amazed that we didn't sell it, so I suggested we make our own as we had some nice blue cheese at home. So we bought some ranch dressing and he made it and I was in love with that dressing!!! It is soo soooo yummy!!!! I wonder if I would like it as much as a pre-packaged kind that you sell in your supermarkets?

MsJamie said...

I love reading your trip details. And just after I read this entry (on my iPod, then I go over to the computer later to comment) I was watching Bridget's Sexiest Beaches on Travel Channel because she was in Australia and I kept saying "Dina did that!" like when she climbed up on that bridge in Sidney. And she tasted Vegemite and went to Bondi Beach and Manly and saw koalas and kangaroos.

MsJamie said...

I wish I would remember to check the box to have follow up comments emailed to me. I'm making this comment only to do that now. xoxo

Jayne said...

LOL Loving your daily holiday memories, sounds like you all had a great time.

Dina said...

Tracey: I can't believe I forgot about the peacocks! Remember all the debates over which are female and which are male?

And the blue cheese! I've never tried the dressing so I'm not sure how the supermarket stuff tastes????

I'm used of being around meat! My family eats so much of it. I don't really feel I have the right to complain because I eat dairy and that's pretty unethical.

MsJamie: I think I saw some of it! I've never watched the show before, but I was flipping through channels. I didn't see much. Just that Bridget girl (who I found to be incredibly annoying) went on a small plane. She was in Australia, but I'm not sure if it was the same episode. Probably?

Oh and I always forget to check the box to get the emails!!! And then other times I check the box on blogs that are way too popular. So, then I keep getting too many emails.

Jayne: Thank you!!! Yeah. We really did have an amazing time!

Lightening said...

I'm really enjoying reading of your adventures. It's very interesting seeing Australia through your eyes.

I so know what you mean about jelly vs jam. The first time I heard of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I was all like "what the..." and "ewwww...". I don't like peanut butter so can't comment on whether peanut butter and jam goes well together but obviously many people like it. I'm definitely a vegemite kid though!!! Can't live without the stuff.

Dina said...


I don't like peanut butter either! I like it in candy, but I don't like it on bread. Yuck. I even hate the smell.

I'm weird with Vegemite. I don't really like it, but sometimes I'll sort of have a craving. I did this morning. Jack wanted it on his toast so then I wanted some too. I just put a little dab on. I guess I like the subtle hint of Vegemite. That's about it. At least for now.

jaevst said...

I remember when I travelled to USA to visit my pen-friend. We took over a small jar of vegemite for my pen-friend, but while my son ate it for breakfast, I think the jar went into the bin as soon as we left.I can relate to your comment about the supermarket. My pen-friend took me to the supermarket to buy food. I enjoyed looking at all the American food and packaging. It is strange to think that a highlight of a trip is just a simple visit to the supermarket. I also remember 'translating' food for my son (10yrs old at the time)- eg cotton candy is called fairy floss (we went to a baseball game), a can of pop or soda is called softdrink. It took me awhile to get used to 'lemonade' in the states - here in Aus, Lemonade is the same thing as Sprite. I look forward to reading about the rest of your trip here in Aus, especially the difference between Aus and USA.

abefrellman said...

When I worked for M&M/Mars I used to get my colleagues in the US to send over the Peanut Butter M&Ms because we couldn't get them here.

I can still count on getting lucky if I bring her Peanut Butter M&Ms.

abefrellman said...

By "her" I meant "wifey", sorry!

Mim said...

All this talk of vegemite, peanut butter and jam prompts me to share with you what my 7 year old has for breakfast most days. He takes two slices of toast, spreads one with jam and one with vegemite (no butter or margarine) and then sandwiches them together. It's very distressing to watch. LOL

Dina said...

Jaevst: I always forget about the lemonade! We ordered some for my son once or twice and I think each time I was surprised that it was like Sprite. We did get something at the Rock's Market that was like American lemonade. I forgot what they called it though. My son loves all the word differences. Actually, we all do.

Abefrellman: LOL. I was wondering about the whole "her" thing. Peanut M&M's are great although I'm afraid to eat them now because of the whole Salmonella thing. I'm paranoid.

MIM: That's one sandwich I probably don't ever want to try. But I'm glad your son likes it. Have you ever tried it? Maybe it's a good combo. One of those surprising combos that taste chocolate with hot chili.