Friday, July 24, 2009

Settling In...still

Wow. Where has the time gone? It's been nearly 8 weeks since the little people and I returned from 2 months in the good old USA. After an initial week of jet lag and self imposed quarantine (seems everyone was convinced we'd brought the swine flu back with us from the USA) we returned to our usual activities...for a week or so. Then school holidays came along and some of our American relatives turned up for a visit. Two weeks went by and another set of American relatives turned up. We've been busy, busy, busy!

Why so many American relatives and why all at once? Well, it turns out that both the Handsome Australian and I have siblings that reside in the USA. In the same Texas city in fact. Yes, it's true. Wait, how did that happen? My sister lives in Texas because well, she's always lived in Texas. The Handsome Australian's handsome brother lives in Texas because, he's married to an American girl too! What can I say? Good taste runs in the family.

So it was the Handsome Australian's handsome brother and his gorgeous little family that arrived first in Australia (two weeks after we returned from the USA). Much like our annual pilgrimage to the USA, they generally make an annual trip here to Australia to visit with the Handsome Australian's family. This makes my inlaws tremendously happy and it makes their extended family even happier. A festival atmosphere begins and there is night after night, day after day of large family gatherings. There is lots of food, plenty of drinks and heaps of laughs. It's a good time. We always enjoy their visits. This year was no different. We had the little ones up late night after night as they spent time playing with their cousins. Bedtimes seem irrelevant when you consider how precious these moments are for these two families living so far away from one another.

As the two weeks with the Handsome Australian's brother came to a close, my sister arrived from the USA with her husband and family in tow. They overlapped the Handsome Australian's brother by one day. So we said goodbye to one set of cousins and geared up to entertain another set. This was my sister's (and her husband's) third visit to Australia and the second one she's made with her children. The children were very young the last time they came, so we had plenty of ground to cover. There was much to see and do in the short time they were here. Here are a few highlights of what we got up to:

*A visit to the Melbourne Aquarium where we saw a very lame performance by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

*A visit to Scienceworks where we saw the special Star Wars exhibition. Star Wars loving brother-in-law was pleased with this.

*A trip to the Tivoli Theatre in Malvern to see a production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

*A trip to Chadstone...the Fashion Capital.

*Swimming at the local indoor pool

*A self guided tour of the Queen Victoria Market in the City.

*Greville Street and Chapel Street walking tour in search of music stores.

*Visits to the many local parks

And because I wanted them to have a complete tour of Melbourne, I also took my nephew to the Emergency Department at Cabrini hospital one weekend at 2am. He was released three hours later without too much drama and was almost as good as new the following day. For his parents, it was an interesting peek at the Australian health care system. What can I say? We like to offer the full package.

This second set of American cousins departed for the USA last Tuesday. So now it's just us here in Australia again. Back to normal....whatever that is. It's been so long, we can't really remember. Time to find our feet in Melbourne again...


Rita said...

Phew I just got tired reading all that! Having overseas family around is so precious, but I bet you can't wait to have a night in with normal bedtimes and routines back in place! I bet you could sleep for a month straight!

suzinoz said...

And then some Rita, and then some!!