Friday, September 14, 2007

FAREWELL TO APARTMENT LIFE....

On Saturday Sept. 1, 2007 we moved out of the city and headed to the suburb of Epping. We were so excited to leave and get some room to spread our wings. Kev picked up the people mover (van) the night before [I will tell you the story later! I am sure you are excited! :) -- From now on if you see comments in [ ] you will know that this is Kevin interjecting his wonder knowledge on the subject at hand. Or as I like to call it, the 'W.A.K' -- World According to Kevin] and squished into the underground parking garage of the apartment - it was so tight that a few times he had to do a five-point-turn to get around corners. [It reminded me of the garage that Carl and Cynde had in Hong Kong. But I have to be honest that it seemed even smaller than that! But, that could be because I was the one driving this time!] He got all the way down to the bottom and they told him that there were no spots, but because we had been there for so long they said that he could park in the handicapped parking [I know that some of you are thinking this is probably normal for me!] just for the night. It turned out that there was one spot which he was able to park in. They usually charge $30 per night to park at the building, but again because we had been there for so long they let us park for free!! We got up Saturday morning and packed the last few items and began moving them down to the van. Kev borrowed the trolley and it took three trips to get everything down [Just remember that these trips also included little kids swinging from the top of the rack while I tried to push it to the car -- oh sorry, people mover]. We were packed to the hilt with stuff everywhere - including on laps and under feet. The kids could barely put on their seat belts and were a little grumpy [A LITTLE?] about it. We told them it would only be for a little while and they would be okay - we didn't want to take two trips.



THINGS WE WILL NOT MISS:
1. The lovely smoke smell [Not from Stacy's cooking but from the people in the rooms next to us!]
2. The dirty carpets - black feet and socks [Where's the Kirby carpet cleaner when you need it?]
3. The crowds of people on the streets [starring at us because we have three kids!]
4. Cramped quarters [Amen!]
5. Walking everywhere with whining kids [How many times do I have to say NO! I will not give you a piggy back ride because my feet hurt TOO!]

6. "Housekeeping, can we come in?" And that was if you could understand them. [They always came at different times so Stace couldn't plan around them. Guess who that bothered?]



THINGS WE WILL MISS:
1. Walks to Hyde Park and around Darling Harbor
2. Kev's short commute (15 minute walk)
3. Housekeeping (no cleaning toilets!!!) [No making the bed! -- Stace just said, 'You never do anyway!']
4. The swimming pool
5. The gym
6. Easy access to so many fun and interesting places
7. The view - Cooper watching cars to go to sleep
8. Picnics with Kev at lunch time
9. Not paying for petrol (gasoline)




We headed out of town -not really knowing where we were going [That's for sure!]. We went through a tunnel and saw a flashing board that told us a number to call in order to pay the toll. We had to call within 48 hours to pay or get a fine. [I had to call from church on Sunday from the clerks office to pay the toll. Is that considered buying something on the sabbath?] We managed to make it to the house in one piece and then had to wait for the rental company (for our meager furniture and supplies for one month) and our air shipment to arrive. The phone and Internet were supposed to be hooked up, but they were not. We had to wait two and a half weeks before they could even come to the house (they actually had a cancellation and came early). We were without any means of communication until Thursday when we went to get our mobiles (cell phones) - more on that later [Oh and it is a good story, trust me!].

After the stuff came we went out for a few grocery supplies to last until at least Monday and crashed that night in bed. Sunday we got up late and celebrated another Father's Day for Kev [Yippeeee!]. I told him that he has to choose to either celebrate American or Australian Father's Day - not fair if he celebrates both since Mother's Day is the same [I don't see a problem with it and I can't figure out why she does!]. We bought him a T-shirt and an upside down map with Australia at the top (for those of you who don't know Kev loves maps) [Now I know where Australia is!].

We decided that Kev would navigate while I drove to church - my first time. We made it in one piece, although I almost hit a curb and pole [The pole just happened to be on Kev's side. I saw my life flash before my eyes as I was screaming 'Look out for the pole'. All Stace could say was 'I didn't even see a pole. I was watching the road.' I don't know what kind of an excuse that was because the roads aren't very big and should be able to see a pole that is right on the side of it here!] at a tricky intersection [tricky? I can't stop laughing - and it is out loud. Just for the record, Stace is laughing too and now she is starting to cry. I am not sure if that is because I am laughing so much or because she thought it really was tricky!?!]. Now, I have anxiety [Now, I do too!] anyway while driving and down here it is much worse. I have to concentrate on so many things - mostly which side am I supposed to drive on and where is the blinker (no it is not where the windshield wipers are). The lanes are skinnier and the roads are not straight - it is like driving in the mountains. I miss Utah's grid system - nice and organized for me.

One day I was driving back from the shopping center and came out of parking at a different place. I had to put the map on my lap and try and figure out where I was going while driving. After that Kev went out and bought me a GPS system [You better believe it!]. It is really great!! There is a lady's voice that directs us and the kids named her Sue (in memory of the person who took us around when we first got here, and helped us rent our house - the kids really liked her). So while driving you can hear from the peanut gallery - "Thanks Sue!!" or "We're working on it Sue." It is a hoot!! I have figured out how to get to the shopping center close to us all by myself [I will refrain from commenting on this one!] and have made it successfully several times. It is right across the street from the temple -which is only about 10 minutes from our house!! [We live closer to the temple here than we did at home.]

The stores around here all close at 6:00 or so - except the major grocery stores which are opened until about 11:00 - every night except Thursday when they are opened until 9:00. So the Thursday after we moved in we headed out to get mobile phones (cell phones). After talking to Jessy and Kelli we decided to get prepaid phones where we could call each other for free. We checked out a few companies and found one with the best plan for us and headed to there store in the shopping center after Kev got home from work. We met a very interesting man there who asked us what state we were from and when we told him Utah he got this really weird look on his face and said "I have heard that there are a lot of those weird Mormons that live there." [Just so you know this is the standard response we get when we say we are from Utah. Usually there are two questions that follow -- if the person is brave enough, but you can tell everyone wants to ask them. 1st - Did you know that there are a lot of Mormons in Utah? As if we had no idea we usually just smile and say, 'Yea, we've heard that before.' 2ND - 'Are you Mormons?' They have to be really brave to ask us the second one.] We told him that we were Mormons and he said that we looked normal and he never would have known, according to him they usually look "shady." [I think I shaved that day!] He told us that he had met the missionaries and they gave him a book, which he read a little bit of and thought it was interesting, but he had lost it. We told him that we could get him another book if he liked and that he should read it. Apparently he had been to church a few times and hung out with the missionaries, but had lost contact when one of them went home a few years ago.

He told us that one day he was heading out on a date and the florist was closed, he had gone to church that day and the talk was on how the Lord provides, so he cut flowers on the temple grounds to give to his date. (Side note: according to him the temple has a pure gold statue on it [I had a person at work tell me the same thing. He also said it cost the church 22 Million dollars just to make the statue.]) He said that he still feels bad about it (although I am not sure how sorry he felt about it, as he was laughing the whole time he told us the story) and wanted to know how he would know if the Lord had forgiven him (the missionary had told him that he would be forgiven). We told him to pray about it and ask and he would know. To which he replied, with a funny face, that nobody gets their prayers answered. We told him that He does and that He has answered ours before and gave him a few examples. He was a talker and we were in the store for an hour and a half (Kevin mostly, I left to go look at a few other stores). It was an interesting experience - one I am sure that we will have more of while here.

Other than that we have just been getting things settled and buying a few things that we know are not in our sea shipment - which arrives on 9-15-07, but then had to go through customs and will probably be quarantined. We have found IKEA twice - once by train and once we navigated our way there in the car (before we got the GPS). It is a fun place - the best part is the free hour the kids get to play in the play land!!


[At this point you need to know about the STUPID grocery carts! We can not believe that they haven't figured out how good we have it back in the states (I say that jokingly of course!). In the states the wheels on the front of the cart pivot so that you can turn and the ones in the back are stationary and don't move so you can turn the cart, right! Well, not here. The back wheels pivot just like the front ones. The cart has a mind of it's own most of the time. Especially when you have a Cooper or a Madi with their hand on the cart and looking at who knows what, trying to walk with you. I can't tell you how many times we have hit the aisles and people. The only trick that I have figured out is that if you want to turn you need to stop completely, spin, and then start walking. Otherwise you just keep going the way you were and can't stop. Stace just said it sounds like a 'grocery store dance', which is very true. The problem is that the cart will never let you lead!!!!!!!]


The kids took some empty boxes and made a "secret club" in the backyard. They have been collecting sticks and flowers to put in it. Cooper and I have also seen three lizards of varying sizes in the backyard. I asked Kev if there were any poisonous lizards in Australia to which he just laughed [Like I am going to tell her!]. I love to open the door and listen to all of the birds [What? You don't need to open the door! You can hear them from the bed! At 4AM! Every morning! Did I say 4AM? Yes, 4AM!] - we have finally heard our first kookaburra and seen one in the trees on our street!! It also smells so nice [When I just read this I thought she meant that the kookaburra smells! Wow Stace! You have a good smeller!] in the yard because of all of the flowers and such around (it is nice that things are in bloom even in winter!).


[I just have to interject here and let you all know that I am a little loopy right now and running on little sleep. I am glad it is Friday night! WAK out!]


I may, or may not, let Kev interject his thoughts (WAK). What do you think?

1 comment:

Travis and Janae said...

I like the WAK, lets have more of it. Sounds like you guys have been busy lately, hopefully things will slow down and get to normal again soon.