Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day which we go to Ireland to buy a Scooter

In the morning, I took a solo walk on the beach. It was lovely and peaceful. The wonderful thing about Australian beaches is it can be a very solitary experience. There might be a few people around, but the beach is big enough that you can usually keep a great distance from them. Yes, see? I really was feeling quite socially avoidant.

After the walk, I returned to the cabin and my family.

We love holiday parks. They're beautiful and usually very affordable. I also like the fact that it's mostly locals who stay at them. I feel like we're seeing parts of Australia that most international tourists don't bother to see. There's only one problem though about being the only fly-in tourist amongst many drive-in tourists. We don't have bikes and scooters with us. And it seems like riding is pretty popular with kids at these holiday parks. I feel this makes things a little hard for Jack. In Port Stephens, the kids spent a lot of time on their bikes and scooters. Some of them were nice enough though to let Jack have a go. That was really sweet.

At Seven Mile Beach, I already felt Jack didn't fit in well with the other kids he wanted to hang out with. Not having a bike or scooter would set him apart even more. I remembered seeing that they had bike and scooter rentals, so I decided to go to the office to check that out. I wanted to know if they had helmets as well. They didn't. I figured we'd go into town and buy him a helmet. I talked to Tim and told him the prices of the scooter rental. It was ten dollars an hour and forty dollars for the whole day. What concerned me was that we'd end up renting the scooter during the hour that no other kids happened to be on their scooters. We'd return the scooter and then suddenly all the other kids would riding. We could do the forty dollars for the whole day, but that seemed pretty expensive. We wondered how much it would cost to just buy a scooter.

We decided while we were in Kiama buying a helmet, we would check out the prices of the actual scooters.

We drove to Kiama.

I have to rewind now. A few weeks before we left for Australia, we were driving to Dallas when Tim asked me the question I dread hearing and answering. It goes something like this. Well, so what other countries besides Australia do you want to visit?
Oh! I hate that question!

I want to live in Australia. If I can't do that, I'd like to visit as often as possible. If we were millionaires, it wouldn't be an issue. We could go to Australia every year AND other countries. It would be nice, but I think we're lucky enough if we can do international travel every two years or so.

I figured I really got more than I deserved in terms of going to Australia twice in a row. But I guess I kind of thought of that as my consolation prize. You don't get to MOVE to Australia. But you get to visit! I had this idea though that we'd go back in two years. But now Tim was talking about going other places. I think I realized I was being unfair. I couldn't demand that we go only to Australia.

I told him I didn't know where I'd want to go. Did he have any places in mind? He often talks about Italy or Spain....sometimes Ireland. Yeah, they're not Australia. But I could probably manage to have an okay time there.

Tim said, The Ukraine.
The Ukraine? This is a place that has NEVER been on my list of places to visit....not even back in the days when I didn't limit myself to Australia. I'm sure the Ukraine is a lovely place. But I just never gave it any thought. And I also had the idea that it was cold. I hate cold places.

I felt this sinking sad feeling, but I didn't argue with Tim. I realized I needed to be a good girl and open myself up to the idea of visiting other places. I also had to let go of this wish to frequently visit Australia. I told myself and Tim that the next time we'd visit Australia is the end of 2012. We'd go for my fortieth birthday. Tim seemed to accept this. I struggled to.

But then things changed when we were in Australia. I think I can credit Tracey and her amazing wonderful family. I think Tim enjoyed his time with them so much that when I mentioned maybe skipping the Ukraine to visit Australia in two years, he seemed totally fine with it.

During our 2007, Australia holiday I heavily promoted the idea of moving to Australia. I probably said multiple times a day. Maybe we should move here!

In 2009, I had a new plan. Let's make Australia our one and only foreign travel destination. My angle was that whatever we longed for in a different destination, we could easily find in Australia. This wouldn't work for some people because they're really into history. They go around the world to see historical sites. Tim and I aren't like that. We're more into the beautiful nature sites, new friends, food, fun, etc.

After seeing Mamma Mia, I thought maybe I could like Greece. I love the scenery in that movie. I figured maybe I could steer Tim away from his Ukraine idea and we could do Greece instead. No, it's not Australia. But Greece seems pretty cool; better than the Ukraine (sorry, no offense intended) But after my new idea of Australia-only, I figured I don't need Greece. I'll just find a place in Australia that has rocky cliffs and ocean waves. I'll feel like I'm in Greece. I can enhance the delusion even further by ordering a Greek Salad in a cafe.

And guess what. This brings me back to our day and our trip into Kiama.

Kiama looks like Ireland! At least WE thought so. It has those rolling green hills. And no I've never been to Ireland. But before going to Australia, I had seen P.S I Love You. To me, Kiama looked exactly like the movie. I told Tim we no longer need to go to Ireland. For all intents and purposes, we were already there!

We enjoyed Ireland. It's quite beautiful actually.

We drove into the shopping area. First we went to a very crowded toy store. We weren't overly pleased with their selection, nor their prices. We decided we could always come back, but we wanted to check out Kiama Cycles and Sports first.

I don't know much about scooters so I may struggle in telling this part of the story. There were some two wheeled scooters in boxes that the salesperson pushed us to buy. They were expensive and it's not like we could keep the Scooter. We'd have to get rid of it at the end of our holiday. I didn't want to invest that much money. The other issue is Jack's physical abilities. The kid is advanced in many areas. Athletics is not one of them.

There was a lovely three-wheeled scooter for eighty-five dollars. That would equal about two days of renting. I didn't want to push Jack into getting something that he might feel is too babyish for him. But fortunately he didn't see it that way. He was happy with the scooter. THANK YOU!

We needed to think about helmets.

I thought about it and decided we didn't need one. Yes, that might be irresponsible. But I felt it was a small scooter. It would be like getting a helmet for a child riding a big wheel. I figured yeah a freak accident could occur and I'd feel forever guilty about being too cheap to buy a helmet. But I felt he was in just as much danger climbing on the playground. If we were going to buy a helmet for that scooter, we might as well make him wear the thing 24/7.

Tim went to a store to look for a mixing bowl. He planned to make us pizza that night. I took Jack down to the park so he could ride his scooter a bit.

Tim came back with a weird bucket thing. I guess it was all he could find. At least it wasn't a sand pail. Although that would be pretty funny.

I sort of felt we should walk a bit and try to find the famous blow hole. But for some reason we didn't. I guess we all kind of wanted to get back.

Maybe we wanted to eat lunch. We were probably hungry. And since Tim had bought so much damn food, we probably didn't feel right eating out at a restaurant.

I think I ate leftovers from dinner. Jack and Tim ate sandwiches. Tim gave Jack a huge sandwich even though we both complain about restaurant servings being way too big. I think Jack ate less than half. I bitched at Tim about overfeeding our child. He says this is what Jack eats at home. I disagree. I think Tim was trying to push big portions at us so he could argue that he hadn't bought too much food at the grocery store. Or he was trying to fatten us up so he could cook us one day. He's an evil man!

After all that effort of buying a scooter, so Jack could ride with new friends he might meet, it rained. I think it started raining late in the afternoon and it didn't stop until the next morning.

We stayed in the cabin. I continued reading Morris Gleitzman's Toad Away. We discovered WipeOut Australia. That's pretty entertaining.

There was a movie channel so I also watched Tropic Thunder and Baby Mama.

Jack sat in the bedroom and watched Toy Story 2 on the computer.

Tim made his pizza for dinner. It was delicious like always. His pizza is my favorite pizza.

At one point, we pulled ourselves away from our screens to play hide and seek. Jack hid and I actually couldn't find him for a moment. I thought maybe our cabin had a doorway into another dimension or something. He's not usually that brilliant at hiding. But this time he found a good place and managed to stay quiet.


  1. I agree about the Ireland bit. That part of the NSW South Coast, from Kiama down to Nowra (through Berry and Kangaroo Valley too) is lush and verdant and very reminiscent of Ireland... except for the climate.

    I hope that Jack gets to use his scooter!!

    The boys and I always stay in holiday parks when we go on our holidays... and I've taken o/s visitors to our favourite on on the south coast. My understanding is that these pre-fab cottages are a very "Aussie" thing... mainly because we've got the climate for it.

  2. Fe,

    And you've actually been to Ireland, right? So, you would know.

    Jack did get to use his scooter, fortunately.

    I really love holiday parks. I hope to stay at more the next time we come.

  3. I can't believe after all that, he never got to use the scooter.

  4. FloridagirlinSydney,

    No. He DID get to use the scooter...just not a lot on that day.

    He used it on the other days and even used it once or twice in Sydney.

  5. It does look a lot like Ireland - or the bits of Ireland they stick in the films lol ;)

  6. I totally agree with you on the South Coast and Ireland and i have been to both. I love the south coast because of that reason.

  7. Jayne: Hey, maybe the movies were filmed in Australia! They might have even been filmed in America or Canada. I should just find out where and go there! It would save me that o/s plane ticket.

    Matt: I think it's beautiful there! I love pretend-Ireland.

  8. We love staying in holiday parks and caravaning.

    I enjoyed reading the scooter chronicles. I'm glad Jack enjoyed the scooter.

    Next time you come to Sydney we would love you to meet up with us Sydney bloggers ... Fe is delightful and she even bought the coffee.

    You have more adventures than the Aussie locals by the sounds of it Dina.

  9. Trish,

    I would LOVE to meet more people. I wish I had met more of you guys in Sydney!!

    I did get to meet Fe and totally love her!