Actually, Some Things Don’t Change

So, I’ve been driving. On the left side of the road. It’s really not all that terrible.

 

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It’s just that everything is so… backwards. You know when you follow your GPS directions to someplace new, following the directions, turn after turn through a new neighborhood? Then, it’s time to leave and, rather than reversing your navigation, you decide to find your way our all on your own by just reversing the directions in your head? Well, that’s what it’s like every time I’m behind the wheel. It. Is. Exhausting. I’ve driven a dozen or more times now and it’s finally beginning to click. I don’t turn on the wipers instead of the turn signal anymore. But I still get a pang of stress waiting in the right turn lane watching cars turn in front of me. And I don’t think I’ll ever not be terrified navigating the double (or triple) round-a-bouts! But, who knows? A few months from now, I could be a left-side-of-the-road-driving PROFESSIONAL and all these thoughts I’m sharing with you will be SO SILLY.

So, I put my new driving skills to good use this week and ventured to the mall. Malls here are different than in the States. Here they comprise all the shops you can think of but also include grocery stores, florists, cafes, even a library. And… Target! We parked and I schlepped two kids into the stroller, through the mall, and after the 3rd tantrum in a row (Stella), I decided to call it a day. We headed for the car… until I couldn’t find the car. I went to 4 different car parks. And each of their 3 levels. Still couldn’t find our car. At this point both kids have skipped a semi-tolerable level of whining and have entered full blown done-ness. I’m on the phone with Phill, in tears because, you know, I’m me and some things do not actually change and we are horribly, horribly lost.

In the middle of all this, I miss a call from Jill. I call her back, and, low and behold she is parking here at the mall! (Still amazed by this.) She came to find us and talked me through what little I could recall and, after a speedy 10 minutes, I was loading up my car with bags and two very sleepy children.

Jill (and Nate) to the rescue!

With all this change happening around me, I guess it’s comforting to know that some things, actually, do not change. I’m still me no matter where in the world I reside!

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Chin is Up

I am a lucky gal to have such kind, insightful and encouraging people in my life. Thank you all for the virtual hand holding!

This past weekend I had friends come to Sydney. They take an annual birthday trip in August and this year they chose Australia (lucky me). I joined my friends J, Letti, Nolan & Christine for dinner in the city at Rockpool Bar and Grill. The decor was art deco, the food was divine, the service was top-notch and the company couldn’t be beat. Sunday morning they joined me in Manly and we walked along the boardwalk before lunching at Pantry Manly. Another amazing meal (thank you, Jill)! And both restaurants were very gluten-free friendly!

Manly Beach with J on his BDay

Manly Beach with J on his BDay

Side note: Phill stayed with the kids while I was gallivanting around Sydney all weekend. Ladies, yes, he is amazing.

I really enjoyed the visit from my American friends. It was the first visit to Australia for all of them. So, as the only resident (of 2.5 weeks) of the bunch, I filled them in on everything I knew. The lingo, the history, places to eat, things to see, stuff to do… I explained as much as I could and did so with passion and gusto. With every story, every explanation, my happiness level crept up and up. I was playing tour guide, if only for a few hours, and got to explain how totally badass the town is where I now reside. It was a surge to my sagging spirits, a boost to my bummed out, homesick attitude. I live in an amazing part of the world, a place where people dream of visiting. Pity party is over, y’all!

I will leave you with several photos from our walk around the Cove on Sunday morning. Cheers!

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Picking out mommy, daddy, Stella & Declan shells

Picking out mommy, daddy, Stella & Declan shells

Liar, Liar

I feel so much better today! I think putting my feelings into words and then getting such lovely, lovely feedback from you guys did the trick. I have such kind and wise friends and family! Thank you all for the encouraging words.

 

Also, Baby Declan went and made a liar out of me.

 

He pushed through his first tooth yesterday! Ha! I do not recall Stella’s teething process being this bad. Maybe I just forgot? Either way, I am I glad to have that sorted. One down, 19 to go!

 

Happy D

Happy Baby D

Now can we go back to being happy all day and sleepy all night?

 

Declan is 6.5 months

 

No Boys Allowed

This weekend Stella and I had ourselves a lovely “girl date.” We went to one of the numerous cafes in Manly, Three Beans, for a gluten-free cupcake and a babycino. Stella was happily in her element! Using her dessert fork, she took the tiniest of bites of her cupcake and carefully sipped her ‘cino.

My super cute date

My super cute date

And last night, I went into Sydney with Jill, Polly and Brigette for a girls night out. Polly and Brigette are fellow Americans living in Manly. They could really empathize with my newbie status and all the circumstances and emotions that go along with that. We took the ferry and went to Peter Doyle for dinner, which is located in the Quay. Their website claims “great food, great views, great wine and a great time with friends.” And that is EXACTLY what it was. Our table overlooked the harbour and the Opera House and was simply magical. And, since this is the only picture I got, I made them all agree we just have to go out to dinner again and get ourselves a proper GNO picture.

View from our table at Peter Doyle

View from our table at Peter Doyle

And, maybe I’ll even have a few more questions after that…. and need another dinner……