Friday, September 27, 2013

USA day 2

Hamish woke around 2ish in the morning and chatted to himself for a couple of hours before falling asleep again. David decided to get up at 3:30 am as he couldn't sleep anymore. I on the other hand was quite happy to go back to sleep. The alarm went at 7:30 and it was a huge struggle getting out of bed. We showered and got dressed and managed to get down to breakfast just after 9:00am. The choices were scrambled egg (powdered egg I think), ham, breakfast potato (fried up potato cubes), toast, cereal, fruit and yoghurt. More than enough to feed our hungry family. Isabella loved the chocolate puffs and went back for about four bowls. It reminded me of Sammy's return visits to the buffet in Fiji. She just loved the bacon, pancakes and maple syrup. Obviously the kids are not eating enough sugar in the morning back home!! After breakfast we headed to the 'big' Walmart. The kids were really excited to spend their own American dollars and really took their time picking treats for themselves. Josh got a huge bag of marshmallows, Sammy chose 'milk duds', Isabella chose some an art set with sparkly paper and fruit smelling textas. I got boring gluten free cereal, nappies and mascara, David bought himself a couple of slacks and a shirt and the youngest member of the family found an iron man doll that talks and that he couldn't put down. The three eldest kidlets paid with their $50 American notes. I handed them out and then waited for them to finish marveling at their change before I could put the money back in their individual envelopes in my wallet. There were lots of oohs and aahs about the coins. Back in the car we all tried some 'milk duds' for the first time while we headed home for a snack. They're little caramel and chocolate balls of yumminess. Mmmmm! Sammy was very good about sharing. At home David made me a cup of tea. No kettles come standard in hotel rooms so he had to improvise with a pot of water on the stove. It was a little slice of home. We're both really missing our familiar coffees and haven't been able to get our taste buds around to American filter coffee. After a short break we headed out to lunch. We decided to try 'In N Out Burgers' which are supposed to be so good. What an effort to find one! Really they should have a store locator on their site instead of the PDF list of outlets. Not very helpful when you don't know one suburb from another. We eventually made it there all starving! The choices for burgers were number 1, 2 or 3 with or without onion. Barnes and Noble, a mega book store. David was in his element! The kids were let loose and all came out with a magazine or book.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Packing and leaving Sydney

Last night we stayed up late. Last minute packing, organising suitcases and cleaning kept us going. I had spent the day buying little gifts for the kids and wrapped and labelled them. A little like Christmas! Then I stuck them in the kids bags. I'm sure the airport screening of bags will mean I have some explaining to do. Each gift is labelled with a number and an LA time. I hope the little packages help keep us going over the 14 hour flight! Or at least act as a circuit breaker along the way.On the way there...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

USA here we come...

A change of template to give a hint of where we're going in less than two days!

Our once in a life time trip is almost upon us and we're really not ready to go! Air tickets, visas and accommodation are all booked and we even have our e-tickets in our hot little hands, but bags are not packed, money is not loaded onto our travel cards and work we need to do before we leave is not done. Plus on top of all that everyone has been really sick. Thirty hours approximately of dosing everyone up on medication for conjunctivitis and high fevers and hopefully we'll miraculously come good at the last minute. 'You'll be right on the night!' is my motto for now!

So where are we going? The U, S of A of course! Twenty-four years ago I was an exchange student to Rhode Island and became a part of the senior class of 1990. I got to live with a wonderful family in North Kingstown and be a painful teenager. I went to two proms, joined the track team and pulled a muscle, (short lived experience) joined the drama club and performed in a big production, met some great people, explored the countryside, go myself an American boyfriend and made a friendship that has lasted the distance.

I'm looking forward to catching up with my girlfriend, Jenn, who is still as funny and gorgeous and crazy as she was all those years ago. How are we going to fit the last twenty years of girly gossip into the day and a bit I'll see her. Maybe encourage her to come to Australia and stay with a crazy family of six!! Ah....a plan!! ; )

I'm also catching up with my host family. A lovely family of three who put up with a crazy Aussie girl for an entire year. How painful was I? I will surely soon find out!

Before we leave Rhode Island we're going to visit North Kingstown High. This is the high-school I spent a year at. I managed to make an appointment with the principal this week. He was just lovely. The new principal is married to one of the girls that I was in my senior year of high-school with. She is an English teacher now. There is also another English teacher at the school who was also in my year at high-school. What a small world! They both remember me! I think a crazy Aussie chick with no sense of fashion and hair with a mind of its own (Who knew you could use product in your hair to tame it?) was never going to be able to blend in quietly.

Enough for now. Back to packing and medicating...