Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Adelaide, South Australia

After doing a little birding in Melbourne and sight-seeing with mom and dad in Sydney, we all flew to Adelaide to mom and dad's new house for the year. It was so fun seeing them get settled into their new home, new town, new country, new continent, new hemisphere. We were there for about two weeks, and on the very last day my brother Luke joined us from the Philippines! It was great to catch up with Luke, even though it was too short. He'll be there for the next two months working and helping out at mom and dad's. Luke brought with him some very exciting news: he and his Philippino girlfriend Maya got engaged! It's difficult to get Canadian visas these days, so they're not setting a date now but the engagement is a commitment to work towards living together in the future:) It was just awesome to see him so happy. Congratulations Luke and Maya! 
We also helped mom get settled in her new classroom, which began as a cleaning frenzy since the interior walls of the entire school had been painted over the break. 
But we also managed to get out and see some of the sights around Adelaide, which is itself a very pleasant little city. This blustery scene is from Granite Island, which is joined to the mainland by a bridge. Aside from the lovely views atop this island, we also got to see Blue Penguins when they came in to roost at night. They were very cute, like you might expect penguins to be, but we didn't expect to see this animal walking on sand amid tumbleweeds! We also saw a few dolphins and a seal playing together in the bay:)
Our sightseeing happened to take us through a few vineyards, for which the state of South Australia is famous. It was d-r-y! But surprisingly cool. The sun was hot, but the shade was cool and at night and with the famed 'Gully breezes' blowing up from the southern ocean, it was positively chilly. Mom and dad say that it has become hotter since we left them, but we were all joking that it is a cleverly propagated myth that Australia is a hot country.
We sampled a little of the local wine and understand why it's world famous. Haselgrove was our fave.
The day we picked Luke up from the airport we also squeezed in a cricket match - or rather the morning of one day (of five) of the match between Australia and India, who are arch-rivals. And it just happened to be both Australia Day and India Day - what a coincidence, eh? We spent most of the time catching up with Luke and asking Geoff - who was the only one who really understood the game of cricket - to interpret for us what was happening on the pitch. 

We had such a great time being all together again after so long apart. This year will be a big learning curve for mom, and a wonderful opportunity for mom and dad to work on this challenge together. Thanks for everything, mom and dad:)  

Check out more pictures on our online Picasa web albums - the link is located under 'Family and Friends' to your right.