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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Australia Day and Being Welcomed Back

It's been a whirlwind week for us. Arriving a week earlier than last time afforded us the luxury of extra time which was great in terms of getting settled, but it also allowed us to spend some time visiting with the great friends we've made.

There was a one-day exchange orientation at the Department of Education for Scott. It's a wonderful opportunity for him to become acquainted with the other teachers in Victoria on exchange this year and get answers to some of our questions from some resident "experts". Having already been through this exercise once, Scott quickly discovered that he was one of these "experts" and just like that we were back in the thick of things!

There was a pizza dinner in the city after orientation so that we spouses and children could meet each other as well. While the adults usually have more than enough to talk about, the kids mostly just played around on the grass, eating pizza and drinking fizzy drinks.

My personal favourite moment was a beautiful barbecue was organised for us as a welcome back. It was so great to see so many of the great friends that we had made back in 2013 there to welcome us back. We had so much fun that this lunch bbq turned into pizza, drinks and toasted marshmallows (imported from Canada of course)!

Monday we made a return visit to Arthurs Seat to the Enchanted Adventure Garden. (You can find our original visit here: Enchanted Mazes) Only this time we went with friends! Seriously, all this stuff is way more fun this time round with other families. The weather was great and the company was lovely.

That brings us to today - Australia Day. 3 years ago on this day we were still pretty alone here, so we took advantage of free admission at the Melbourne Aquarium.

This year was a much different experience for us at not just one, but two different barbecues with friends!

First up a welcome back with Scott's colleagues. Drinks, great food, great fun. More than one remarked that it seemed like hardly any time had passed since we left. They're all excited to have him back, so they must like him!

Next up, a bbq and swim at a friends house. It was the perfect way to end the day. The kids had more of their friends to play with, we had a lovely visit and another slice of pavlova. Did I mention I've had pavlova 3 times in 4 days? Doesn't matter, it was amazing every time!

So tomorrow is the end of school holidays for Scott. He has his first day of school - no students, casual dress and just meetings and presentations, so it should be a pretty easy transition back.  Hannah and Tyler don't go back until Friday but the countdown is on, just a couple more days of laying around for them!

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