This blog is in serious need of some Ex-lax. I’m having trouble remembering back two whole weeks to all the fun things we did when my parents were here, but it’s simply got to move along because it’s getting very behind. So here goes.
Day 3 of Nana and Papa’s visit we took the train out to Bondi Beach for their annual Festival of Winds – a kite-flying festival! It was a perfect day for it, as it was very windy, sunny and mostly clear. With hundreds of young families out there on one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
We decided to go to the early service at church that day so we could get out to Bondi sooner. Afterwards at morning tea (the Aussie version of coffee hour) we finally met one of the other American families at our church (they’re from Tennessee). Since they have lived here almost 10 years (but still retain their American accents), I figured they could be trusted to know what they were talking about. Thus I was finally convinced that Daniel is right and the city of “Cairns,” where we would be heading later in the week, is actually pronounced “Canns.” (This put an end to a firm disagreement we’ve had for the last 6 weeks.)
Then we found our way to Bondi. It took a bit of work to figure out which bus would take us to the festival from the train station, but once we got that sorted out, there was no mistaking where the action was.
Right away, Naomi was enchanted with all the bright colors flying up in the sky. She had no hesitation about what she wanted to do: head straight into the fray. The only thing she couldn’t make up her mind about was where to look – in the sky of course were all these amazing colors and shapes flying in the breeze, but then on the ground, kids were running every which direction – and some of them were even flying those amazing colors and shapes. It was all very exciting.
Her favorite spot, however, and where she landed for quite some time, was a cluster of several 10-foot tall bright yellow banners stuck like flags in a circle in the ground. She has begun to learn her colors, and far and away her favorite is “yeyow.” In fact, for about a week, no matter what color we pointed at, it was proclaimed to be definitely “yeyow” (still happens if you catch her in the right mood, even though she knows blue quite well and red and green are growing on her). That, combined with her love of climbing on poles, made that particular area her little heaven.
Eventually, however, other things caught her fancy and she moved on. And understandably so – there were some pretty neat kites there. Some of the larger kites included a blue whale, a killer whale, and some massive dragons. And then there were a few kites flying really high – like so high you could hardly see them.
Naomi failed to get her nap that day, so I took it for her. One thing I enjoy about my parents is that they love just sitting back and relaxing. While Naomi and Daniel went to see all the kites up close and personal, Mom and Sher and I dozed on a nice spot on the grass. It was so peaceful, and I noticed myself unwinding more than I had in perhaps weeks. It made me realize that, despite staying pretty connected to friends and family at home via Skype, and despite making new friends here, it really has been a lonely month and a half. There is something exciting and fun about going to a new place to live for a time, and I really appreciate it and am enjoying it; but it’s truly no substitute for relationships. Not that one can’t build new relationships if they move, but close relationships are something we have been missing. Given that, a visit from my parents was definitely what the doctor ordered!
After awhile, we got hungry so we picked up some sandwiches at a nearby shop. I have a dim memory that, waaaaaaay back 2 weeks ago, I had planned to write about how good they were, but all I can remember now is that they involved sun-dried tomato, melted cheese and herby spreads, and that they were good. (Daniel is now reminding me that I’m actually remembering the sandwiches that he and my mom got… my own sandwich ended up about half-eaten because it was kind of a flop.)
We ate our lunch in front of this cool bungee-jumpy trampoline place that was set up. At $10 for 4 minutes I actually thought about doing it. Mostly because I saw a little 7-year-old girl learning to do flips and have always wanted to try that, but then lost my nerve later. Well, that and the line had about 40 people in it, and I wasn’t really that interested in trying a flip for the first time.
The sandwich shop actually sold yogurt too (like freshly made yogurt!) so I bought some yogurt and blueberries for Naomi for her lunch, not realizing that it was sweetened (rather than her usual plain). Quite sweet, in fact. So sweet that I’d say she basically had dessert for lunch. This did not help her nap-less, kite-crazed, sandy state. If I remember right, it wasn’t too long after that when we decided to head home. Not to place blame, but I do believe this had to do with the youngest member of our party being the loudest and most influential. (Not that she wanted to go home – no sir!)
If we had stayed a bit longer we could have seen some kite fights (!) and other kite-flying demonstrations that sounded really neat. But even without those, we had a wonderful day.