Boxing day 2014 we decided to fly south for the cold month of February, skip some of Toronto‘s harshest temperatures and visit our home there. So far I have spent 7 months in Australia and it was surprising how quickly certain things feel familiar. Although there are so many more things to experience, I cherish it as a new home. With family there, parents waiting with home made bread, an amazing niece and nephew and family to spoil us, how can it not feel like a home.
Parents and twins were notified, joy was felt all across and threats of taking Husband down on PlayStation were made. We left on a Saturday and before our trip we stopped to visit the local pair of twins we have here and take them on their first slay ride during a lovely snowy day. One of the most amusing outfits a one-year-old, in our case, two one-year-olds can be seen in, other than lady bug costumes for Halloween, it is n-layers for winter weather. You can almost bounce them in the snow that is how padded they are. They almost liked the snow and they almost didn’t scream all the time we were outside so an overall success. It is such a surreal experience to leave Toronto on a full snow day and wake up in Brisbane during perfect summer.
Updates from home
Our twins here are 5 years old. Last time we spent time with them they were around 3 but thanks to technology we keep in touch and we speak often. Our conversations are a continuous show and tell of toys on their end and random things from our apartment on ours. Their lives are entering very busy stages with sports, fun activities and pre-school. I do find it wonderful how sharp they are and how quickly they come up with their own plans and adventures. They also can get cranky and tired so I guess some things are similar to their younger selves. It was and it is very hard to leave them to come back and we miss them dearly. There is a beautiful balance of emotion and pragmatism that characterizes their communication with us. Sometimes Gus will be so logical and his realism is incredible. He reasons our departures and explains to Aggie that we had to go back to our world to make money so we can come back to visit them. Meanwhile beautiful Aggie told me we can still go bounce on the trampoline the day before we left, since it is not yet tomorrow when we were to leave. Her ability to just focus on the present moment so we can make the most of it, sent me to the bathroom in tears. And as the good-byes are so tough and emotional, the only coping mechanism I can come up with is to remind myself to make the most of it while there and deal with the melancholy when back in Toronto and then start planning a new trip.
Our parents there, Husband’s parents spoiled us as they always do, and from daily fresh bread to freshly squeezed juices, fresh seafood they were all provided along side some classic movie watching and laughs over the weather reports from Canada. Construction and new waves of townhouses built all around the place changed the scenery a bit and the cutting down of trees pushed more birds around Chris’ mum and dad’s place. So our Kookaburras were around, King Fishers, some Cockatoos and plenty of Rainbow Lorekeets.
Day trip to Sydney
International traditions are very important and comforting to remind you how close we really are to each other. Husband’s friend, Mr. I Surf in Sydney and his girlfriend hosted us in yet another session of walking around their new lovely home, real estate horror stories, butter chicken dinner at the same restaurant as two years ago and watching Taken 3 to follow from 2 years ago when we watched Taken 1 and 2. Yes Liam Neeson brings us together every few years. There better be a Taken 4 or this reunion will not happen.
We also took a few hours to spend at the Sydney Art Gallery and see beautiful aboriginal art work and various pieces of history.
Trip to Leura
The little Leura heaven Chris’ aunt and uncle have is always an oasis to look forward to. We get spoiled with beautiful food, drives through beautiful Blue Mountains sceneries, conversations with Chris’ uncle that make me feel I need to read more and soon. Also I am very excited to see how the mosaic of a lemon tree branch is coming along as it is being in the studio worked on as we speak.
Trip to Caloundra
We went to Caloundra for a weekend to enjoy some sun and ocean waves. The first day was shared with Gus and Aggie in a mini trip which proved to them that Uncle Chris is definitely the swimmer of the family. A day of beach and splashes ended with a failed attempt on our part to put them to bed. Aggie went to sleep with her dad, and Gusie sneaked into bed with Chris and I. While we were in and out dosing away, he was going at 100 miles per hour with no signs of sleeping in sight. He finally took pity on us and turned to me to tell me he needs to be kissed on the forehead to fall asleep. As soon as I did that he closed his eyes and slept through the night. It was one of the sweetest moments we shared and realized how among all the shenanigans they do, there is a need for comfort they have that reminds me of their innocence. During our stay we took some lovely walks along the shore and photographed parrots and other lovely birds.
I am not sure I can finish this post without mentioning how the flights both ways were excellent but the airport experiences could make up a sitcom episode.
- Bought ice wine sets from Peller Estates as we thought it best to share some Canadian goodies with our family and friends.
- 6 bottles were individually wrapped for a secure transport through the LA stop over airport.
- Flight delayed for an hour while the plane had to go through cleaning services because of the large amount on snow on it. If we wouldn’t have had 20 hours of flight ahead of us I would have thought it cute.
- LA Airport: Slightly on the uncomfortable side time-wise after the snow delay we realize we have to exit and go through security again. All while frantically trying to sort out where to go in a very poorly organized airport.
- Security clearing unsuccessful as the bottles did not clear the explosive detector for any potential bomb threats. And just as quickly as you can say ice wine, each individual security-friendly wine bag was open and declared inappropriate for travel with more and more security officers around us explaining to me that security is more important than the expense of the bottles. I am being patted down again, carry-ons open and checked again and I am getting aggravated while Husband Chris is trying to calm me down not so say anything silly.
- In my loss of calm I ask for printed proof that the bottles do not clear security to pick a later fight. They look at me as if I asked for snitzel in a French restaurant and between disagreements they allow me to take a photo of the machine with its sad verdict against our wine.
- I should preface this by saying we were also a bit cheeky here. We had to take back about 12 plates, various little bowls and cups all we had left at Mum and Dad’s place before moving to Canada. We managed to push our carry on to a silly weight of 15 kg.
- We escaped the check in without anyone poking at out carry on and a lovely lady joked with us and wished us a good flight back.
- Towards the security clearance a guard with a scale randomly selected us among other suspicious heavy lifters to weigh in their carry-on.
- Our puffed up carry on managed to catch his eagle eye and what followed was a horrible dance between him and our initial lovely lady, who wrote us a free pass as I am getting teared up explaining some of the stuff we are carrying are wedding presents. Her pass did not impress our guard and we had to downsize to 10 kg.
- We ended up carrying everything in shoulder bags and drag and empty carry on, the silly thing is almost 7 kg by itself. Painful.
- Arrival in LA: The departure of the Air Canada flight back home caused so much disorganization and commotion that people were facebooking photos of the chaos.
- Arrival in Toronto: Wait for approximately 2 hours for our bags.
- It all ends with me losing Husband’s identity card.
We were a bit tame here, since we had to carry back wedding presents from years ago but still managed to stop at Nook, a lovely shop where I bought a top from Miranda Murphy and got a lovely blue suit for Chris to attend a friend’s wedding. Later on in the year we were explained by Mr. Zoolander, a friend of Chris visiting us in Toronto that suits are not made the way they used to and they are glued. Husband is no longer as much in love with the suit as he used to be.
The arrival back was soothed only by the thoughts that we will go back soon, but made absolutely painful by a week of serious jetlag.