WE are all saying our vacation is over and now we are really living here. Which still seems a little unreal...those are palm trees out the window, that's the Pacific out that other window, and weirdest of all none of us have donned anything warmer than tank tops and shorts since we arrived. Word has it February is the warmest month. Hopefully we'll be hardier than we are now!
In a bit the kids will be up and putting on their snappy new uniforms. We got them on our trip to the school on Monday, which was also the day we braved the gigantic shopping mall about 20 min away. They needed school shoes(all black)socks(all white)backpacks and stationary supplies.Turns out the shoes Mel picked out were pictured under "incorrect" in our booklet so she and Tom went back to mall yesterday. Kmart had heaps of shoes on the floor below the racks evidencing the back to school shoe buying frenzy.
They will traipse down the street to catch the city bus about 8:05 and then it's a 7 min ride to school. We were told that aussie schoolies catch the bus for free but int'l students are supposed to pay so they have instructions to only communicate with the bus driver by pointing.
Aussie day was yesterday. We had the great idea of riding the bus into town. We were at the stop at the appropriate time and a bus whizzed by bearing the banner "out of service." Another bus was not forthcoming so I can only hope the same thing does not happen today. Tom and I have been banned from accompanying them to the bus stop this morning. If the bus doesn't come today they have phones now so I'm sure we will hear about it in short order.
Anyway, Aussie day. The parade was cute. For anyone who has ever traveled to the wilds of Weaverville, this was about that speed. Essentially, there were heaps of nippers riding on vehicles of businesses in town sporting t-shirts with advertising, squirting water and throwing lollies at revelers clad in flag-themed clothing. The highlight was the modern day hook and ladder with it's hose cooling everyone down. The hue and cry was "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi" and many had this written on their bods as well, presumably the greatest indication of national spirit.That,and small tattoos of flags on arms, faces, legs. Flags were flying on cars,hats,prams,bags,anywhere one could be stuck. The more Aussie style red, white and blue the better.
After the parade was the skydiving display, which was nifty. The wilting Perretts then retreated for a dip in the pool. We returned to catch what we hoped was the true excitement of the day, the toad race. Eagerly we approached the stage area keen to observe this competition...but oh no, that morning a dog had knocked over the box of toads and they all hopped away! We caught a little of the tug-of-war, some music (they played waltzing Matilda)and a sack race for the nippers.
We have survived some near calamities: Tom backed up to get into a parking space he passed up but, oops there was a car behind us.The friendly nurses in their government car were willing to excuse their now broken license plate holder. Next, I made a right hand turn onto incoming traffic and managed to not get hit by the car speeding at us, but Melissa did scream. Also, a few days ago I grabbed the side of the car between the doors as I was getting in, at the same time Eli slammed his door shut with my fingers in the door, guess who screamed this time. Somehow, all I ended up with is a bruised middle finger even though the door was closed all the way. So, it appears the angels that had been watching over us in Arcata have found us here as well.
Signing off for now. We have a home phone now, and we can call you for less than a dollar for 30 minutes. Give us a call and we'll call you back. It is 6 hours earlier the next day here. For all of you time challenged like we can be, It is 6:30 am on Wednesday here so it is 12:30 on Tuesday for all of you in California. (I think that is everyone except the Morlands)
Dial: 011 61 754 717 462 We'd love to hear from you!