Here is a 5 minute summary video of our first month in Australia.
We had our first home cooked meal tonight since we left home. Our new friends from the YMCA, Suz and Chris invited us over for BBQ. No, it wasn't 'shrimp on the barbie' but it was sausage and chicken and beef on the barbie. In Troy's words 'it was the best meal we've had since we arrived.' Potato casserole with bacon, slaw, salad, deviled eggs, and a double helping of Aussie culture.
We learned that they have mozzies after a rain. (Mosquitos). They are big Cricket fans. Every girl plays net ball (like basketball but without a backboard) at some point growing up. AFL (Australian Football League) is popular in Queensland (the state we live in). It is similar to our football, but they don't wear pads or helmets and they always kick the ball for a goal. The ball is a lot bigger, too.
For dessert we had pavlova, a traditional Aussie cake. I told our hosts that it was like eating a sweet cloud. Very light and fluffy. It was such a beautiful evening in a Brisbane suburb with new friends.
This is the day that I met my new place of work. My KettleWorX office is located within the YMCA of Brisbane. We hopped in a taxi from our hotel and headed over to the YMCA. It was all on the second story with parking below. The YMCA has a large gymnastics program and a fitness center, but I was surprised to find out that it wasn't a family-centered facility like YMCA's are back home. We had expected to sign the kids up for swimming lessons, soccer, and homeschool groups and basically have a place to hang out as a family and plug into the community. Living so far out in the country for the last 8 years meant that we were too far away to participate in these types of activities. We had hoped this move would allow us to experience these things. However, we quickly realised this was not going to be the case.
We didn't dwell on our disappointment too long, though, because we were also here to pick up our new car. We had been in Brisbane, Australia for about a week now and hadn't left the city business district (CBD). This is the day we got our wings.
After showing us around, the General Manager handed us the keys to the red Outlander and said, 'See you next week for your first day.' Troy and I just stood there with our mouths open. Didn't we need to sign our lives away? Have a lesson in liability procedures in the case of an accident? Go to Aussie driving school? Anything? Nope. The GM bid us farewell and walked away.
We quickly decided to head to Deception Bay, about half way between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. But first we had to learn how to drive in Australia.
We sat in the car park for a good while just looking at the GPS and becoming familiar with our route. Troy took the plunge and decided to be the first driver. He pulled out of the car park and up to the first stop light. We needed to make a left turn, but Troy pulled too far into the intersection instead of turning sharply into the correct lane and ended up having to go right instead. So, mistake #1 in the first turn. After that we began saying a chant when it was time to turn...'small left, wide right.' Overall, it went pretty well and we only got honked at once. The steering wheel has permanent dents where Troy's hands were, but we did it.
On the way to the bay, we stopped at Costco for sight seeing. We were curious to see if the Aussie Costco was the same as the United States Costco. We found it to be extremely crowded. More crowded than we've ever seen a Costco at home. The immediate differences we noticed were that they sell crumpets next to their English muffins, they don't sell any alcohol, music, or dvd's, and you enter and exit on opposite sides than in the US. After a hot dog and pizza for the kids, we finished the trip to the bay.
After that we took a drive along the boardwalk and stopped in our tracks when we spotted this playground. Silas is always talking about building his own zipline, so this was a must do. Morgan wouldn't do it, so she played in the shaded playground set to the side.
Thus began the first of many day trips out from the city to go exploring.
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