mardi 25 septembre 2012

My first blog post!

Along with many other "firsts" in Australia, I can say that this is my first time ever posting a blog! I can admit that I am a bit technically challenged... but here goes finally.

I have been in Australia just a little over two months now. I began as an Au Pair for another family, but quickly realized that we were not the right fit for each other. My friend Amanda always talked about her friend Morgane's family and how wonderful they were, and it turns out that Morgane was looking for a replacement for herself as she was going back to France shortly. I asked Morgane to give me some information, and soon enough I met the family and things took off from there! Pretty good decision!! ;)

Young and Stephanie are both very active and encouraging. I realized that Ai-Vy may or may not be a zombie after she informed that she would like to "Eat my brains" on my first day with them. Kien-Nhu was a bit shy at first but he quickly warmed up to me.

Ai-Vy, Kien-Nhu and I enjoy going to the parks nearby. We try to go to new ones and do different activities. Sometimes we go just to play on the equipment, or just take a nice walk on the many easily accessible paths nearby. The kids also enjoy just having a quiet picnic outdoors with some books after daycare. I also take them with me to Chermside, the local shopping mall and they never fuss. They really are awesome kids, and are always happy to do things with me. Ai-Vy really enjoys baking cakes too.

We have already done a ton of fun things as a family together. On my first weekend here, we went to the beach at Surfer's Paradise and had a nice picnic lunch with some of Young and Stephanie's friends. The kids (and me too, not even going to lie) enjoyed finding massive amounts of seashells and sand boarding down the dunes.

After our fun weekend, it was time for me to buckle down and learn to drive a manual... LOOK OUT AUSTRALIA... I had already mastered driving on the left side of the road but I hadn't come this far in life yet with the manual. Both Morgane and Stephanie were extremely patient with me and I think I learned pretty quickly. Young might disagree. LOL.

Other "firsts" for me include eating a Kangaroo steak, compliments of Young. Tasted like steak with a bit of a fishy after taste... Bon Appétit!

I got down to my true Aussie roots one weekend at Springbrook National Park and walked BAREFOOT on the bushwalk (ouch)... after a few comments, strange looks, and pity for my poor feet, Young made me some truly natural "shoes" from the bush. See pic!

We have also gone to Noosa on a holiday with Morgane before she went home. We have also been to Currumbin Beach for the day for a picnic, swimming, and a nice walk.

On Mondays and Thursdays, Stephanie likes to take Chom Chom and Todd to Agility Training. So far I have had the chance to go once and it was really fun. Chom Chom and Todd hadn't gone to Agility for a long time but impressively still remembered everything. I learned a lot of cool techniques and moves so I look forward to doing the same with my dog when I go back home.

A week ago today, we went into the city to Young and Stephanie's citizenship ceremony. There was music, an Aboriginal performance, and of course a lot of talking but it truly was awesome to be part of such a special occasion for so many people. Afterwards, we went out for Indian food... ask Stephanie how much she liked it!!

True Aussies now!
This last Sunday, we all (including Chom Chom and Todd) went back to Currumbin Creek/Beach to celebrate Young and Stephanie's new citizenship. We had a fantastic BBQ, and I got to meet more of their friends. We spent the afternoon just chillin in the sun, and afterwards we all went paddle boarding/canoeing. It was my first time paddle boarding but definitely not the last. Aaah and I wasn't the only one that fell off the board ;)

Aside from all the activities with the family; I myself have traveled to Sydney, Noosa and the Australia Zoo, Byron Bay a few times, and Stradbroke Island. I have gone to a Footie match, whale watching, Dreamworld, Cirque Du Soleil, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, and abseiled the Kangaroo Cliffs. I have climbed in the middle of the night to the top of Mt Warning to catch the very first sunrise in all of Australia, visited the Glasshouse Mountains, and hiked the ridges of Mt Gravatt. I have enjoyed walking along Manly Bay, making BBQ's at Southbank, and exploring the bush on bike.

I have met wonderful people along the way from all over the world, and have made some lifelong friends for sure. It's truly been a wonderful experience, and I look forward to more!

Sand art @ Byron Bay
Aussie Sunset
Catching the sunrise at the top of Mt Warning
I hope to visit Lamington National Park, Fraser Island, Tamborine Mountain(I hear you can get a fabulous cheese and wine platter!), the Blue Mountains, The Whitsundays, Mt Moffatt, Melbourne, Alice Springs, and Uluru (Ayers Rock).

Stay tuned!!