Published: March 23rd 2010March 6th 2010
The gang at 30,000 feet
For an Australian, there was something seriously missing from Byron's CV - having set foot in Australia. He was born in Hong Kong, has visited Macau, but due to concerns about Swine flu last year, still hadn't visited Australia. Naturally, that wouldn't do for someone with such a bright future in the AFL playing for St.Kilda, so we set about rectifying that with a trip to Australia in February.
It was good to be back in Melbourne. It was hot - a welcome dry heat with balmy evenings. Byron and Georgia immediately felt at home at Joan's in Doncaster. It was fun being in Simone's old home. Georgia and Byron seemed to love the extra space, blue skies and big playgrounds. In the mornings we'd go to the playground and then the newsagent, bakery and delicatessen, and then amble back home for a feast.
After a few days we went to Sorrento to stay with Jenn, Jamie and Zoe in a lovely beach house. It was great to see them, and Georgia, Byron and Zoe became an instant gang of three, with shared interests in toys, DVDs and even fashion (with Zoe modelling Georgia's pink shoes). The pool was
Economy travel: not even comfortable for people less than one metre tall.
also a big hit with the kids, with Byron showing that he didn't mind being repeatedly splashed in the face (perhaps because he was the culprit!). Jamie's BBQ skills are equalled only by his ability to produce delicious pancakes, making dinners and breakfasts a real treat. Of course, my experience of Melbourne is that if you set off for the beach, it rains. In Sorrento it just became overcast, but the beach was fun nonetheless.
Back in Doncaster, Glenn, Morgan and Cory visited from Sydney. It was great of them to visit. We had missed their company since seeing them in Hong Kong, and there was a lot to catch-up on. One evening, Glenn and I made the mistake of trying to match wits with Morgan (Cory cleverly ducked the discussion!). All I got out of it was a headache. It could have been the not insignificant amount of wine we drank, but more likely it was just that my brain hurt from having to think so much (to no avail) in one sitting. Georgia and Byron were also pleased to see Glenn and his chaps, and trips to the Ruffy Park and Lake and the playground were great
Where's the action?
Georgia is ready for the fast life in Melbourne
We were also lucky that our friend Liz and her children, Gemma and Gabriel, were in Melbourne, having left Gary in Jakarta as he has just taken up the position of Australia's Defence Attaché there. Gemma and Gabriel are just a bit older than Georgia and Byron, so the four of them got along really well, and had a great time at a breakfast raid on McDonalds one morning.
And of course, there was a lot of catching up with family. Saturday lunch at mum and dad's is a weekly ritual for the family, and it was great to see everyone there. Georgia and Byron are lucky to have such wonderful cousins like Zac, Chelsea, Bailey, Jessica, Taylor and Cody. They loved their company and visiting John and Jenny's lovely new home was a treat. Sunday lunch at Fiona and Nigel's, with their four boys, Harrison, William, James and Timmy, was also great fun. Georgia and Byron had a wonderful time in the pool and bouncing on the trampoline (even though Byron took a face-dive off the tramp!).
Two weeks went far too quickly. The company of family and friends, and all the favourite and familiar
places of Melbourne were hard to leave. But even in leaving, the happiness of our time in Australia stayed with us and made us look forward to our next visit.
There are more photos below