Monday, March 16, 2009

Day which we all feel a lot of love

I think we were lazy in the morning again. I could be mean and blame Tracey. I'm usually quite hyperactive on holidays. I rarely want to sit in someone's house or sit in a hotel. But no. Over the past several months, I had become incredibly lazy. I rarely wanted to leave our house. So sitting in Tracey's house talking, watching TV, having the kids play, grabbing snacks from the fridge, etc..... all seemed extremely lovely to me. But I knew I'd get a lot of grief from everyone who reads my blog if that's all we did. So, we were OBLIGATED to get dressed and go do something.

Before leaving, Tracey and I played on the Internet together. She showed me the Best Job in the World website. We all joked about entering. The idea of getting paid to be a tourist in Australia does sound appealing. The problem is I'm not good at scuba diving and other water activities. Tim is, though. We should have entered as a team. I have the enthusiasm for Australia and the ability to keep up with a blog. He has the athletic/water skills. Ah, and Tracey and her family have a lot of luck and talent with winning contests. I think, with all of us working together, we could have won that thing.

Tara and Jack played together. I don't really remember what. They did often play some game called naughty baby. I think Tara was the baby, and Jack was the parent. I'm pretty sure the game involved chasing.

Tyrone and Tim played Guitar Hero on the Wii.

Finally, we got our act together and left. I have to say I WAS being really lazy that morning. I wore my pajamas out. Well, technically, they're not pajamas. It's a t-shirt and gym shorts. But it was what I wore to sleep. I did add a bra to the mix. I just felt like being casual and comfortable. Plus, we were going to the zoo. I figured I didn't need to be dressed up for that.

Tyrone wasn't going to the zoo. He was staying home to work on his bike. I told Tim this and suggested he stay back as well. Things like this are hard because I don't want Tim to feel that he's not welcome. But I figured he'd be happier at home. He seemed to welcome the suggestion and said he had work to catch up on. When we left them, Tim and Tyrone were chatting away, and I wondered if either of them would ever leave the den to start their work.

Before going to the zoo, we stopped at Target, because Tara needed new shoes and underpants. I had already slightly loved Tara...thought she was absolutely adorable. I probably even loved her a little bit before meeting her. Don't we all sort of love the children we read about in our friend's blogs? But at Target, I really bonded with her. Why? I found out we have something in common. We have sensory issues which means we're both VERY picky about clothes. I hate the feel of wearing pants, ESPECIALLY jeans. I'd rather be cold and wear shorts or a dress/skirt than wear pants. That's one of the main reasons why I prefer going to Australia in the summer. I don't want to wear pants. When it's pants-weather in Texas, I go out as little as possible. And when I get home, I immediately get undressed and put on shorts and a t-shirt. Tara has a lot of the same issues.

Oh! We also went to Target because Jack needed a new charger for his DS. The one we had wouldn't work in Australia. Tracey went to look for that while I watched the kids in the toy section. They had so much fun. I started to think we should probably skip the zoo and just let the kids play in Target. But we didn't.

We couldn't find the DS thing, so we tried looking at another store. I can't remember if we walked there or had to drive there. I do remember that this store didn't have what we needed either. And we walked through some kind of outdoor shopping center.

Then we went to the zoo.

Near where you buy entrance tickets, there's a little thing where you can buy food for the animals. We all bought a bag. I expected them to have a little enclosure you can get into and interact with the animals. That's what they had at Featherdale.

This place didn't. The animals were in their enclosure and you were supposed to reach in and give them the food. The problem is we couldn't remember which animals we were supposed to feed and which ones we were not. We figured the Emus and Kangaroos would be okay, but the Emus were way too scary for us...very aggressive. And the kangaroos already had the food we would have given them. They weren't really interested. Later, we ended up giving most of our food to sheep, goats, etc. An aggressive goat scared poor Tara. And Jack was constantly scared of all the flies and bees. We had two anxious children on our hands.

The zoo was okay. Neither Tracey nor I loved it. They did have some nice animals including the Tasmanian Devil. My problem with the zoo is it was confusing. A lot of the enclosures weren't labeled so we had no idea what some of the animals were. We had a map (which I think we had to pay for. Or maybe not?). You're supposed to figure out which building you're at, look at the map, and then go to the corresponding number to find out what animal you're looking at. I'm not smart enough for all that! My goodness.

Towards the end of the zoo visit, my blood sugar was acting up again. I wanted to eat so we ate at the little zoo shop/cafe.

I remember there was some ice-cream confusion. We had told the kids the day before that we'd get ice-cream after dinner. We never did, and Jack and Tara held that over our heads. We were definitely going to get all of us ice-cream today and not just for the kid's sakes. There was debate, though, of when we were going to get the ice-cream. Jack thought we were getting it right when we got home from the zoo. I said no we're getting it after dinner. I think maybe then Tracey thought we were against ice-cream before dinner. But no. I'm totally pro dessert-before- meals.

Anyway, I'm not sure how we figured all that out, or why it even matters. I do know that we ended up letting Jack and Tara get two ice-creams that day, because they each got an ice-cream at the zoo shop. That's all Tracey's fault. Our family is very strict about how much sugar Jack consumes.

Yeah. Those of us who know my family know that's not true. My family is absolutely horrible about eating too many desserts. The term OCCASIONAL treat is not in our vocabulary.

After we ate, we returned home to find the guys outside talking while Tyrone worked on his bike.

I had to wonder if they had been in the den the whole time playing Guitar Hero together. My theory is when they heard our car pulling up, they ran outside and quickly tried to look busy. Tim assures me that he got a lot of work done. I guess I'll believe it. Maybe.

Before it was time to get ready for dinner, Tracey and I spent more time on the Internet. It was kind of funny playing on the Internet next to my Internet friend....a bit surreal.

I then finally got out of my night clothes and put on something that would be more appropriate for a restaurant.

We went to a nice restaurant near a lake. Tracey got out of the car and noticed an unpleasant smell. At least, I think it was Tracey who mentioned it. Tim and I weren't bothered by the smell because it reminded us of the smells near my parent's lake house.

There was debate of whether we should eat inside or outside. We ended up choosing inside. There was the smell issue, and also Jack had a problem with the flies! He doesn't like flies and gets pretty dramatic when one lands on him or his food. Tim and I were thinking we'll probably need to hold off on any trips to the outback. I do think the fly thing slowly got better, though. I don't remember it being such an issue later in the trip.

Anyway, we ate and talked. The kids played and acted silly.

Tyrone impressed me with his knowledge of Australia.

We then went outside and had someone take a photograph of all of us.

We walked near the water. Jack had been scared of that because Tara had told him about how Molly had seen a jellyfish and poked it with a stick. He was scared that there'd be a dead jellyfish again--waiting to attack him. We convinced him that it was highly unlikely he would be attacked by a dead jellyfish.

After the water visit, we went to get gelato. Again, we ate and talked. The kids acted wild and silly. We scolded them a few times but for the most part acted the part of the irresponsible parents who have no real control over their children.

It was an incredibly wonderful night....uh, well probably more for us than the people at the tables next to ours.

Oh! I forgot this story. And it's important to me.

I think I really grew to love Tracey and her whole family. And I saw how well Tim and Jack got along with them as well. I felt there really was something special between all of us. I had this silly idea of asking Tracey if they might want to come to Sydney to see us. But I didn't speak up right away, because I felt weird asking her. And then she said it first! I guess she's braver than I am. She told me she was was thinking they should come to Sydney for a weekend so we could all be together again. I was so excited about that...and happy too. For me it meant, my feelings weren't one-sided. If they were planning to come to Sydney to see us, they must really like us too. I felt extremely happy knowing that.


  1. My daughter has your sensory issues too. From 12 months old she would certainly let you know that there was to be NO JEANS (I think it was her first sentence string)! I was even asked to refrain from sending them as spare clothing to daycare due to the dramas jeans created.

    Sounds like you and Tracey, along with both families have formed a really special bond :)

  2. M+B,

    I really hate jeans! It's nice to know there are other people out there like me.

    I do LOVE how they look on people and I wish I liked them. I have forced myself to wear them at times, but stopped when I read this thing that said life is too short to wear uncomfortable pants.

    I know some people think jeans are comfortable. It's so hard for me to understand that.

  3. I live in my leggings only because I find them sooooooo much more comfortable than jeans, and skirts haven't looked good on me since I peaked in my fashion stakes
    at age 2 :P

  4. No jeans? Oh, my goodness.... I have a confession to make. I have never actually counted how many pairs of jeans I have, because it would be at least 30 and that's quite shameful. I am rarely able to go to a shopping centre without feeling a compulsion to buy a pair.....and have an entire wardrobe devoted to their storage. It's bordering on addiction!

    I'm loving reading about your trip in such detail.

    G :)

  5. Things to add..

    Was this the night the kids did the sparklers? I think so. Maybe it was the night before. Anyway, Jack was initially unsure about it all and rightly so. They do look as though they could hurt you but eventually the lure of the sparkle drew him in and before long we had two kids dancing around the loungeroom with sparklers in both hands in the dark. They loved it and we loved watching them..again and again and again!

    I feel guilty for being so lazy. I realised that there was so much we didn't do that I wanted to do and show you. We are always slow to get moving in the morning. I guess it is because I am such a night owl and also...well..lazy! But when I am away somewhere I'm usually the same as you..although Tyrone and Molly still like to sleep in and be slow to get moving in the mornings. I'm more inclined to want to be up early. When we were in Thailand I was up by 7.00am each day.

  6. Ohh and yes, I totally agree with you on the zoo. It was not a good map at all and really took away from the experience of it all. I also thought it was quite shabby aside from a few exhibits. Certainly not worth the money at all.

  7. Jayne: I used to have leggings I loved. My family teased me because I wore them so often. They got really worn out. I haven't found any I like so much since then. Skirts make my butt look huge. I wear them anyway. A few years ago, I had an eating disorder and could fit into tight uncomfortable jeans. I'm sure my legs looked great, but I wasn't any happier than I am today. So....

    Gina: That IS shameful! Wow. ; ) I didn't know you like jeans. I think you wore a dress or skirt every time I saw you. So, do you find jeans to be comfortable....more comfortable than other clothes? And why?

    Tracey: I'm glad we were all lazy. I think I needed time to adjust. I'm not sure I was ready to go rushing around. I liked that we had time in your house just talking and stuff. I'm sure we missed some things, but I'm VERY content with what we did. And as much as I love Tasmania, honestly my favorite memories are us being in your house...sitting around in the den and hanging out in the kitchen.

  8. Tracey,

    Wanted to add...I'm starting to think I CAN relax on a holiday because I did okay in Canberra and Seven Mile Beach...and Tasmania.

    It's the big cities that do me in. I feel I have to constantly be doing something. The problem is I end up getting so exhausted. I was so TIRED in Sydney. I knew I needed to relax. My legs were killing me. But I had this much to see and we have only a few days left.

    I'm that way in NYC too.

    So, we were thinking we need to limit how much time I stay in the big cities. No more two week stays probably.

    I wonder what we'll all be like in Hawaii. I hope we do some stuff, but I hope we also relax a lot.

  9. I wore jeans the morning we had breakfast at Croydon. The only reason I remember that is that it was quite hot sitting in the sun... Usually in summer, during the day, I wear skirts / dresses because it's cooler, but in the evenings and in winter, for the sake of comfort I pretty much live in jeans. Or short skirts and long boots - that's the other option!

  10. Gina, I remember you looked gorgeous in that summer dress you wore. Both Molly and I commented that we could never wear something like that as much as we'd like to..short factor and all..and for me the fat factor!

    I'm a jeans girl too. I just find them easy and comfortable. I don't have to think much about the rest of my outfit when I wear jeans.

  11. I imagine Hawii for me will be a lot like how I am in Thailand. A mixture of both. I love to relax and swim and sit by a pool or the beach but I can't do it all day long. I need to break it up with some sight seeing or doing something totally different. I know I will really want to explore the island and find hidden out of the way places as well as satisfy the teenagers and take them shopping and into Waikiki. Molly wants to know if Taco Bell is there?!! lol. I'll be an early riser so I can get the most out of my day but that doesn't necessarily mean rush rush rush iykwim?

  12. Gina: I guess I didn't notice your clothes on Saturday. I agree with Tracey though. You probably look good in whatever you wear!

    Tracey: LOL about Taco Bell. We'll have to look. They do have the Outback!!!! Actually, I'm going to check now about Taco Bell.

    They have them...several! Molly is set. I think Molly and Alex will love Hawaii. It's a great combo of American and Japanese culture.

    We already have things we want to do in Hawaii. Jack wants to go to the water park. I want to do the shark cage thing. You're in a plexi-glass cage so it's totally safe. Even children can do it.

    We'll probably be early-risers because it will be four hours earlier for us. I think for you it will be three hours later...minus a day. All very confusing!!!

  13. Dina and Tracey...stop it with the compliments, I'm blushing! But as I never feel confident in anything I wear, thank you!! :)

    All this Hawaii talk. I'm sitting here daydreaming now..... But Molly can have Taco Bell all to herself - I'd be sending her there and trying to find the most amazing tepanyaki (how does one spell that?) place I went to one most memorable evening!

  14. Gina,

    You mystery girl. What happened on that memorable evening? Huh? Did it involve Sawyer? Is Tepanyaki the place where they cook the food in front of you? No, wait that's Hibachi. We went to one with Jack and he was so scared of the fire.

    I'm trying to remember what Tepanyaki is. Is it where you boil your own meat at the table?

  15. I love mexican food as does Molly but I told her that she will no doubt be very disappointed. For her though, it's all about.."so I can say I've been to a Taco Bell" regardless of the culinary experience! lol

    Tepanyaki...NOW you're talking!!

  16. Tracey,

    I think I've eaten Mexican food every day since we've gotten back. That's my current food fetish. Not sure about Taco Bell. Tim used to love it and ate it a lot. I think I might have eaten it. ??? That was back when we ate fast food on a regular basis and I wasn't vegetarian.

    We should definitely all try it once though. One time won't kill us.... Well, I hope not.

    It will be at least fun for the photographs. And this time I won't lose the camera!!!!!! Maybe? You and Gina can be the camera watchdogs. Although Gina kind of failed at that job during brunch!!! I had to remind her to remind me. She's going to have to prove herself to me before I again give her such an important job position.

  17. No Dina, when I ate at the tepanyaki place in Hawaii (yes, that is when they cook the food in front of you), I had never even heard of Sawyer, much less asked someone to kidnap him and send him to me!!

    It was just a very fun night with a great group of friends, excellent food, and kicking on with way too many Coronas at an equally fabulous pub that we found, then meeting up with more of our very large party. Much fun was had by all!

    You're right, I am a lousy camera guardian. I don't think it's a responsibility I want again. I compulsively check that I have my wallet, phone, keys and ipod. Not sure I can manage another object!

  18. Gina,

    Oh, so now you're quitting on me? Huh? Well, FINE!

    The night with the Teppanyaki sounds beautiful.

  19. Actually...sort of sounded like you sacked me!!

  20. Gina,

    No, I just wanted you to prove yourself! But obviously you think you're way above such a menial job.

    Should I promote you? Would that make you happy?

    You can be the one who goes and talks to the police once I've already lost the camera.

    I think that would fit you.

    Or you can be the one who explains Lost to me after every episode.

    BTW, did I tell you we're trying to stay with you. We could go way ahead, but we want to be on the same episode as you. I'm such a good friend. Well, no. I shouldn't say that because I'll probably get too curious eventually and watch all the episodes we have taped.

  21. Oh no, I'm quite good at menial.

    You really don't have to do that - the Lost thing, I mean. I know if I was in your position, I doubt I would have the willpower.

    Bit annoyed about this week's episode - I have a work function to go to tomorrow night, so not only do I have to get seriously frocked up, I will miss Lost. And dinner at my sister's! She's promised to tape it so I will go over on Thursday night to watch it, I think.

    Badly timed football event!!

  22. Gina,

    Sorry about missing Lost : (

    We might watch it tonight but I doubt it because Tim's not coming home until about 10:30.

    So I'll still probably be pretty much with you.

    It's actually hard for us to catch up to all the other Americans. Tim's working full-time and we really don't have the time to sit and watch all the episodes at once. Plus, I like spacing them out.

    And I do like the idea that we're kind of in the same place.