One of these days we might just settle down. Before then, our legs and feet just may fall off. No, really.
After walking for about 20 minutes we finally made it to Costco the day after we got here. Its a lot the same as the ones in the US only more expensive. The hot dogs/soda are $2.49 and instead of beef, they're pork dogs. And MAN they're good. They sell meat pies too. I might try that next time. After wandering through and grabbing a few things, we walked back to the train with our goodies. Oh wait, no we didn't. We had to have a little drama first.
We were sitting down getting kids in strollers, and getting bags organized ON the stroller when Ashley's flip flop decided to break. Wonderful. We remembered there were sandals in Costco so Steve ran back in to see if they would fit. They weren't quite right but he grabbed them anyway. Good thing Heidi is around so she'll have some nice pink sandals when she gets older... they were WAY too small for Ashley. Soooo.... Gavin wore the pretty pink sandals and Ashley wore Gavin's sandals that were actually too big. Who cried about the arrangement? Ashley didn't want to wear BOY shoes. But we all survived and we made it home. And I had another bout of homesickness before I could get over it and move on. I told my sisters its like a plague that's just waiting to pounce at any moment.
After trying to call for two days, we finally gave up on getting a hold of Cook's Cottage and rode the train to the station on Friday. Then we walked for 20 minutes before we got to Cook's Cottage. Only to find out that they'd had the egg hunt sold out for TWO WEEKS and didn't care to leave a message on their phone they didn't answer or post it on their site. I tried not to rip their heads off while talking to them and managed to get away from the park before blowing a gasket. Luckily we'd bought chocolate Easter eggs the night before so we could do one at home that night...
We took a train to Brighton Beach and ate our lunches. It was chilly so we didn't go too close the water. The waves were pretty choppy so it made me nervous to let them go near it. SO they just played in the sand. They raced, dug holes, made castles and ate the sand. That last part was Heidi... She's my beach baby. They all love the beach but she just plain can't get enough of the sand and the water!!!
Since it was our 11th Anniversary, Steve and I decided to go to dinner. Since it was also Good Friday, there weren't many restaurants open - except Chinese and Korean food. We decided to try Korean. They cooked the food right at our table. Steve wanted Kim chi which is SPICY and we also had octopus, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, bean sprouts and other food. Yummy! But here's a tip: don't drink orange soda when eating spicy food. YOW!!! It gets twice as spicy! Heidi and Ethan were sleeping but the other kids enjoyed the food. They weren't fond of the spicy but they liked everything else. Of course their idea of using chopsticks was to stab the food with the stick...
We got home and hid Easter eggs all over the apartment. Heidi found one of the eggs and ate it while Steve and I hid the rest. The eggs were found in 2 minutes flat and were eaten by the next morning... Steve thought it was funny to get Starburst gummi babies to put in the plastic eggs. Then he ate one and fell in love with them. I think he most of them actually.
Saturday was a nightmare from beginning to end. We had 6 houses on the list to look at for the day. They were spread out but still in somewhat of the same area. I had to cross off one when I realized the open house was THIS Saturday. Oops. By the time we got out of the house, we had to cross another one off the list. So we hopped the train and headed on to a house in Croydon, not realizing how far away it was. We got off in Croydon and started running/walking/whining. It was quite the uphill/downhill walk for all of us. By the time we hit the street and realized we were walking the wrong way, we were too late to get to the house in time. Nice that they're all of 15 minutes long... The street was way too busy for me to feel comfortable with my kids living there. So we turned around and headed back. This time we stopped and showed the kids the church as we passed it and tried to get them to stop crying because they were tired.
We hopped on the train only to find out we missed house number 4 because it took so long to get to Croydon. Grumble grumble.... We got off at Mount Waverley and started running/walking/whining again. Yes, this time I was definitely part of the whining. Only mine was all in my head because I didn't want to fuel the kids' grumbling. They were already doing well enough on their own. Poor kids.
We FINALLY made it to the house - and there was no one there. We were ten minutes too late. Wonderful. With a glare at Steve, I turned around and headed back. Steve, being the ever positive person, looked at the map and noticed that we were close to a park and some shops. AND he knew that we had 2 hours until the last house. So he gave us directions to the park and then headed on. By that time my head was a thundercloud. The kids, who'd been crying moments before, went shrieking happily toward the park. Those four children (the two younger ones got to sleep through the walking while their mom pushed them up and down hills) who had just run at least two or three or fifteen miles of distance to houses we didn't even get to see, suddenly had the energy to run. And jump. And fight. Because nothing ever occurs without a few arguments. About everything.
Steve got back with some delicious pizzas, chips, apples, and juice. We all devoured the food before heading off to the last house. Which was at least one town over but shared the same street. So, why not walk instead of hopping a train?!
An hour later, five hills walked, kids comforted many times, thundercloud mind turning to a full blown gale, and we finally almost reached the right house. Luckily, the area of Glen Waverly is beautiful. And by that time I think I'd gone delirious with exhaustion because I decided to be happy. Of course that might have had to do with the hilarity of watching me try to keep up with a double stroller going downhill while my two year old pretended to fly... Whatever it was, we were in good spirits by the time we got to the house. And what a house it was... the carpet was old, the house smelled, the doorknobs were up at my shoulders and the real estate agent was rude to my kids. Sorry, but just because you see 6 kids coming up the walk does not mean that they're bad mannered little monsters that are going to destroy your house!! They were actually very well behaved while we were there. Probably because of the 3 hours of walking we'd just done...
After that fiasco, we walked up another hill to the shops and train station. That was quite the hill but the houses were gorgeous so I enjoying looking as I walked. The kids mostly agreed but still asked if we were almost there. We raced through all the shops hoping to find a toilet (they're not restrooms here, they're toilets) before Gavin lost it. We made it! We were also able to find Ashley and Heidi Easter dresses and Steve got a hair cutting kit - which has many stories of its own...
We FINALLY made it home and while Steve made kangaroo bangers (sausages - yes, made out of kangaroo), I shaved four heads. And what wonderful haircuts they were too... I blame the razor. Know why? Because Steve also had an adventure with it the next morning. Long story short, He was using the longest blade so he could keep his curly locks, the blade attachment fell off, Steve had a very big bald spot... Now Steve has no more hair. Well, he has some but not much. So much for a business like hair cut! It's a very good thing his hair grows fast.
Between moving and having cleaning ladies cleaning the room we were moving into, we had about 22 minutes to get ready for church. Luckily I'd put Heidi's dress on already before we moved. But that was 1 down 7 to go. By the time we were ready, it was 12:53 and we had a mile to walk. We BARELY missed the Sacrament. But we had a wonderful time at church. We met great people, the kids loved their classes, Ethan jumped right into nursery and we had a fabulous Easter. Even if the Easter Bunny was lame and had to go through all the candy and cookies in the house to come up with anything because of Good Friday and Easter Saturday making everything closed... Whoops. The kids were good about it but Jakob is now suspicious. Actually, I'm pretty sure he's beyond suspicious.
Monday was Anzac Day so most shops were closed. Steve had the day off so we went to the Science Works museum. We were able to use our Questacon membership (which also works at Thanksgiving Point and a TON of other places!) to get in. We were there for an hour or so and then headed off to another beach.
This time we decided to head for Williamstown since it was only a few stops below where we were. The town was awesome. Its small towny and quiet and I LOVED it. The beach was right there and it was wonderful. The water was warm, the sand had streaks of color and the kids had fun. We ate our lunch and then let the kids play. We were there about an hour before we decided we better get back to the train. The kids wanted to play at a playground but it was cold.
Today was our last day of holiday. It was Easter Monday/Anzac Day something or other. We got to the train station, ready to head to another beach, and found LOTS of people. The train was PACKED. We managed to get to the station in time to head to the city with thousands of Aussie Football fans. And they all got off at the same station as we did. However, they stayed there and we moved on to another train to go to Frankston. We were going to hop on a diesel train for another beach but with the brilliant scheduling, that train left 2 minutes before our train got there...
So we stayed in Frankston. We walked the few blocks to the beach and the kids were in HEAVEN. The beach was great. There were a few spots where the kids could run between the beach and sandbars. In that spot, Steve found a sea star and a crab. And there were tiny little fish swimming around. Heidi had the time of her life walking around, licking her hand after splashing in the water and at one point she even shoved a handful of sand in her mouth. Yuck! We played for two hours before the younger kids announced they were cold. I changed their clothes and we headed out to the train. And I started calculating.... How long does it take to play an Aussie Football game? About as long as it takes for us to go to Frankston, play at the beach, and get back to Richmond Train Station. Yep, another busy station. We were packed even more but this time it emptied out faster. We met some nice people as we were being squished and smashed.
Tonight we decided to make sausages, Anzac biscuits, and German potato salad. Steve laughed when he realized how ironic that meal was. Its not funny when you think about it but it was yummy. Anzac Day is when Australia and New Zealand joined World War I. Its to honor those that were lost. They do huge parades and memorials services. I wish we could have gone. Hopefully next year we will be able to.
I've enjoyed getting to know a new city. I'm hoping to have more help with housing and schooling but whatever comes will come and we'll go with it. Because that's how we roll - whether we want to or not. :)