Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Beginning of a Great New Adventure...Down Under!

It all began on Friday, November 13, 2009. We hauled 10 large suitcases and 10 carry-on bags to the airport in Boise, ID. It is great when you are traveling internationally with kids and a ton of luggage; they give you your very own line to check in. Made us feel real special. You get a lot of funny looks from men and smiles from women. You know the men are thinking, "I hope they are not on my flight" and the women are thinking, "bless your hearts trying to travel with kids, glad it's not me." Thank goodness my dad, stepmom, and in-laws were there to help us get it all hauled in. I was a wreck; there is no way that I could have done it by myself.

Our first flight was BOI to LAX at 7pm. The kids did great. Brooklyn and Sierra grinned from ear to ear the entire flight. We had a slight layover at LAX. It was hard for us all to not fall asleep waiting. Our flight left at 11:30pm. About 20 minutes into the flight they began serving dinner. Brooklyn was so excited because she got spaghetti and meatballs. She ate about 3 bites and then started feeling sick. Of course, there were no bags in the seats in front of us. We had to ask for some and just as I was trying to open the bag Brooklyn started throwing up all over the front of herself. I felt so bad for her; she started crying because she didn't mean to throw up on her clothes. I was just glad that it was just a little stomach acid at first, so it didn't make a huge mess. After that, she fell asleep and was fine the rest of the flight. The other kids did great. They all slept at least 8 hours. James and I even slept really well considering we were in the cheap seats at the back of the plane. 13 hours and 20 minutes later we landed in Brisbane, Australia on Sunday, November 15 at 7:30 am. Once we go through all of the lines, we were only held up in customs for about a half an hour. I was expecting to be there much longer. We only had 3 items that were confiscated. Not too bad!

We then went downtown Brisbane to the Holiday Inn for a shower. Best money ever spent on a hotel room. We met up with the new guy and his wife, that James hired from Canada, for lunch. Then went shopping for a bit before our last flight to Roma. When we arrived in Roma one of the ladies from the office was there with our new puppy, Cooper Roley. I got my first experience driving on the other side of the road. Can't say "wrong" side or they will correct you and tell you that Americans drive on the wrong side, it is the "other" side. It is a trip driving on the left side of the road. I have not had to concentrate this hard on driving since Driver's ED. I still try to get in on the wrong side of the car and I always reach to my right for my seat belt. The kids just laugh at me. Don't get me started on the dang round-abouts!

The people here are very friendly. They always ask, "How you going?", which means, "How are you doing?" Everything is "thanks mate" and "no worries" here. I love it. The groceries are crazy expensive though. For example, a 12 pack of Diet Coke in the can it is $12.98. It is $3.60 to go into the petrol (gas) station and buy a 20oz Diet Coke in the bottle. A bottle of plain old of rubbing alcohol is $10.50. We spent $280 and left the market with one trolley (cart) of groceries. It was so hard shopping because I know that I could get things for half the price at WalMart. Needless to say, I am going to give up my Diet Coke. I just can't bring myself to spend that much. I found us a 4 bedroom house with a really nice yard. The only drawback is that it only has one bathroom. Which is the case for most of the houses here. The bathrooms are seperate from the toilets too and you don't ask for the restroom, you ask for the toilet. The kids are going to start school on Monday. Hopefully it will help them get better accuainted with the customs here and then they won't be so nervous to start the new year in January.

It is so strange seeing everything decorated for Christmas with as hot as it has been. It has been so hot that as soon as I get all of the laundry hung on the line, it is already dry. It has been over 110'F here every day and only supposed to get hotter. Between the 6 of us we have drank almost 30L of water. The kids and I are going to go swimming tomorrow, then I am going to take Kayla to see New Moon on Friday. (will post pics of the trip tomorrow)

In true Australian fashion, Good Day Mate!


Mindi said...

Wow, what an adventure. Your kids are so brave. Not only a new school but a new country and lots to learn. I hope that their experience at school is a great one and they can adjust easily. Good luck with the driving. That would definitely cause me a headache trying to think the whole time and not cause a wreck. Can't wait to see your pictures!

Camille & Ryan Darrington said...

Glad you made it! But I want to know what you are doing down there!? I probably missed the part where you said why you were moving. Exciting, I can't wait to see pictures too!