Nana & Papa are here! (For those of you who don’t know, that is my mom and stepdad.) They arrived on Friday morning and will be here for 2 weeks. This is awesome on multiple levels.
1. It’s good to see them.
2. It’s good to see anyone from home!
3. It’s especially good to see Naomi see someone from home, especially family.
4. It’s a great excuse for us to do lots of fun things we haven’t done yet, like visit the Great Barrier Reef.
5. It’s very nice to have 2 more sets of eyes and arms to take care of Naomi. This includes babysitting. Ahh yes. Love that part.
However, picking them up from the airport was marred (heavily, at first – at least for one of us, I’ll let you read on and figure out whether it was Daniel or me) by arriving at the airport via train, only to discover that there is an additional fee to enter the airport if you arrive by train. Well, actually we knew that there would be a fee. But what we didn’t know, and the part that made me furious, was that the fee? Was $18/person! And for Mom & Sher to simply leave the airport on the train? $12/person! And that doesn’t include paying for your train ticket – that’s just to enter or exit the airport! That my friends is the definition of a rip-off.
Our other option was to get back on the train, go 2 stops up, get off, and take a bus back to the airport; then catch a bus with our visitors (and all their luggage) in tow (on a rainy, chilly, blustery day), to another train station. Not really something we wanted to put our visitors through, since they’d just been on a plane for the last 20 hours or so.
After giving some dirty looks to the girl behind the counter; then reigning it in enough to realize it’s not exactly her fault that she works for greedy, blood-sucking bums; then taking some deep breaths and finally praying… I was able to set it behind me.
And then we found Nana & Papa, and things got a lot happier.
We managed to make it home in one piece. Then we got to open a few gifts – Tara, you’ll be glad to know my mom managed to smuggle mild cheddar cheese over here. It is delicious! Also some almond butter – mmm! That was a special treat. Naomi got a few things too – some new pajamas (she only had one set of pajamas that fit her since at home she usually just sleeps in a diaper, but it’s colder here and that one set was getting awfully worn). The new ones have monkeys on them and they are a Big. Hit. She also got a new “baby” to add to her family of stuffed animals.
To help keep Mom & Sher awake and get their bodies used to the time zone, we decided to go out that afternoon. We took the ferry across the harbor to Circular Quay and the Opera House.
On Saturday, after a relaxing morning, we went to the nearby park. Or at least the rest of the group did. I stayed behind to pack a picnic lunch and by the time I met up with everyone else (lunch in tow), the wind had grown so frigid that none of us really wanted to eat in it. So we left. It was a shame as it was a really beautiful day – deceptively warm-looking with all that beautiful bright sunlight bouncing everywhere. If you could subtract the wind, it would have been perfect. The wind also made an interesting affair of the sky-writing we saw as we walked home. The pilot appeared to be attempting to write something like “RUOK?”, and he seemed pretty skilled at it too, but the letters kept getting blown away or misshapen, within moments of his writing them. It was kind of an odd message to write in the sky anyway.
We actually ended up eating outside in the end anyhow, along a row of shops and cafes we passed on the way home. There, a building was blocking us from the wind, which allowed us to eat out in the sunshine. The fun ended when a cloud of something sting-y (bees? wasps?) descended about 2 feet from us, and we high-tailed it out of there.
After Naomi went down for her nap, Daniel and I took off for a “date” while Mom and Sher stayed back at the apartment to nap themselves, and be with Naomi. For our date, Daniel and I went on a tour of the Opera House, which I’ll write about in more detail later.