the big, long plane ride

Hello there. You’ll have to excuse my punctuation and other errors, because this post coming to you strictly from the voice recognition software of my phone. The pictures my Instagram account, and it looks this may be the only way that I can update the blog while we are Australia.it turns out that the internet connection we have here isn’t very good, in fact, it’s rather ancient.I’m not sure there’s much we will be able to do about it, so I’ll try my best to post updates, but…yeah.

so, yes, we are here! We left Utah on July 26 and flew to Los Angeles. We stayed a few days in Los Angeles, as witnessed by my blog post there, and on July 29th we flew out of Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia. That flight was aboard an enormous plane, eating something like 800 people, and the flight lasted 14 hours. Almost all the flights had television screens built into the backs of the seats, so the kids had no trouble at all with the long flights.

our flight to Sydney left Los Angeles at 10 p.m. And they served dinner at midnight, which three of the kids were still awake for, and then they turn down the cabin lights and everyone on board went to sleep. I got 6 hours of horrible sleep, and everyone else seemed to do fairly well with their sleep. I woke up while we were flying over Christmas Island, but because it was the middle of the night, I didn’t see anything. I slept a bit while we flew over summer and Fiji, and then most of all of us were up and just watching movies on our little screens. The flying was easy. Like, the easiest part of it all.

while I had been excited about all the knitting I was going to accomplish on our big, long plane flight, I ended up knitting and sewing nothing at all. I was simply too exhausted. I guess with the swimming, the full day at Disneyland, I’m a general all-around poor sleep, I just didn’t have anything left over to concentrate. It felt like work to pay attention enough to understand a movie.

once we landed in Sydney, it was a mad rush to get to our connecting flight to Brisbane. We had two hours to make the switch, which included picking up our ten suitcases, taking it all through customs, checking the 10 suitcases into domestic flights, and then taking a bus to our departure gate on the other side of the airport. You know, while towing four crazy children. We made it to the gate about a minute before they started boarding the plane.

we then flew from Sydney to Brisbane, and then later took another flight from Brisbane to Bundaberg. the Bundaberg Airport is tiny. It’s just one conveyor belt for all the luggage, housed in the same room as the ticket counters. Michaels company’s office is at the airport, so our car was ready for us and a couple of people from his work walked across the street to greet us when we arrived. After the enormity of everywhere else we had been, it was so odd to be in such a small place. We loaded up our baggage, some in our people mover, which is what Australians call minivans, and the majority of it on a workmates flatbed pickup truck, and then we set off for our temporary home, driving on the left side of the road, which makes me think we’re going to die at any given moment.

and so we’re here. We will live at our current house for one more week, and then we will move into the house we will be staying in until our departure in December. The ocean is one block away, and we tried to walk down there at least once a day to enjoy the waves and the sand. The kids are loving it all! It is quite beautiful, the birds make very different cause here, the wind blows through the palm fronds, and the sunshine is warm and delightful.we’ve had only a few days here but already I love it quite a bit. Hopefully I can figure out a better way to update the blog, as this way has taken me far longer than I would like to admit. Until then, I am updating and posting to my Instagram account usually a couple times a day. Unless I can find another way to make this work better, that may be the route I choose to go with Laur while we are here. I hope your summers stateside are going well, and hopefully I can resolve this ancient internet issue quickly.

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Disneyland

Oh, what a fun day!  There were lots of lines, but the Brookelets handled it all fabulously–no meltdowns at all.  We took a break around lunch to head back to the hotel to cool down and re-charge, and then we went back to the park until we could hardly walk anymore and just did not care if we missed the rest of the rides.  Good times.

Dumbo Ride. Now that’s joy.

Monkeyboy was SPEECHLESS when we took him to see Captain America.

Heading back to the shuttle.

What a fun day for us all.  Hopefully we’ll be able to return again in the future…preferably in the off season though.  It was a lot of sun, a lot of people, and a lot of lines.  Perhaps an autumn or spring-time trip next time.

It’s so funny to me how satisfying it is to me to say that I’ve now taken my kids to Disneyland.  I remember, during my childhood in Canada, talking with my school chums about Disneyland and how American kids must have so much fun all the time because they were able to go to Disneyland every summer because it was so close to all of them.  Now that I have children, and they are very much American, I feel like I carry a subconscious “to-do” list for their childhoods, which included taking them to Disneyland.  Complete!  (Other random items on that list include Mt. Rushmore, Gettysburg, and Washington DC.  My understanding of American childhood “necessities” has been completely informed by 1950’s era advertising.)

While I Lounge, Exhausted

We flew out of Salt Lake yesterday, and the kids loved the airplane ride!   There’s a video of Bluebird and Penguin during take-off that I’ll have to post later because they were so stinking cute.  Everything went really smooth in regards to our travels.


Highlights include:

1. Monkeyboy flirting with his Japanese female seat neighbor for the duration of the flight.
2. Junebug asking her Latino seat neighbor why he wasn’t speaking English…when he actually was.
3. Junebug watching “Toy Story” with the aforementioned middle-aged Latino man, and the two of them laughing at the same places together.
4. Bluebird watching “Frozen” with headphones on, and belting out “Let It Go” for a few bars before Michael and I could catch her attention and remind her that she was sitting in a crowded airplane.
5. Penguin’s smile throughout the entire trip. Goodness, she enjoyed everything.
Waiting for our shuttle at LAX.
We spent today exploring the area around our hotel. We’re taking a few days to enjoy the Los Angeles area before our departure from the northern hemisphere.

The kids’ one big wish: swim in the hotel swimming pool. I’m happy to report that Michael and I fulfilled their great wish this afternoon.
Highlights include:
1. Monkeyboy flinging himself into the deep end of the pool, trying to get Michael’s attention. Me yelling Michael’s name across the pool so that he’d turn around and see his drowning son.
2. Penguin has the beginnings of some diving skills–she can do flips and spins off the side of the pool. I have no idea when/where she learned to do any of it.
3. Michael can throw Monkeyboy halfway across the pool. I insist upon being in the vicinity of the boy’s landing spot so I can pluck him off the bottom of the pool. Michael says it’s not needed, as he gets to Monkeyboy before he runs out of air.
4. Bluebird jumped into the pool towards me, but then decided she didn’t want to be by me, so she kicked me in the gut as she swam away. Nice to see you too, daughter.
5. After yelling, “Don’t run!” numerous times to the kids, I pulled off a spectacular slip-and-fall while simply STANDING next to the pool.  Some days I find it questionable that I ever possessed athletic ability.
6. The kids are SO TIRED that Monkeyboy asked if he could sit in my lap during dinner at the restaurant, and after he situated himself he laid his head against my shoulder and fell asleep. We had to carry him back to the hotel, and he didn’t wake up when we changed him into his pajamas.
7. Michael is so sunburned, but only where he wasn’t under water, so he’s got this hilarious sunburn “capelet” going on. He’s currently responding to work emails without his shirt on, and had informed me that, in Australia, minivans are called “people movers.”
And, even though it never occurred to our children to ask for it, tomorrow we’re going to Disneyland. The kids have never been, and Michael and I have only been once each. The kids are SO EXCITED that they put themselves to bed at seven.
Which leads us up to now, with me lounging on my super comfy hotel bed, just being tired and content. The power of the family vacation, especially after packing up six people to move halfway around the world. I’m very grateful for this little “hiccup” in our journey that’s allowing us some “just us” time. It’s been a busy couple of months leading up to this.
Disneyland tomorrow, and THE BIG FLIGHT the next day. We party hard and travel harder, yo.