Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Visit from Home

It has been just over two years since I got married and moved to Tasmania.

And we HAD been planning a trip back home for my cousins wedding (where we would be able to meet up with lots of family all at once, as well as partake in the lovely event) that just didn't work out.

Now that we're fully immersed in parenthood,  it's kind of hard to say "yes we will travel 27 hours worth of flights with a small baby", and stick to a date. I mean, Simon is exhausting at the best of times, let alone being stuck on a plane for 13 straight hours and undergoing major time zone changes. So we haven't exactly been able to make rock solid plans about trips (though we have had tentative ones about visiting in the next 6 months or less).

So instead, my parents decided to come to us.

I mean, two years is a long LONG time. And of course they needed to meet their first grandchild (I joke that he was probably the main reason the came... and it's only a half joke. I'm still pretty sure he's the main reason they came, and I don't blame them. He is an adorable child, even when he's exhausting).

I kind of tentatively looked forward to their visit at first, just because the more contact with home and people back there that I have, the harder it is to be here and not want to curl up in a ball of sadness over missing my family and friends. And the occasional hot dog. So the thought of my parents coming and spending two whole weeks with me, of actually getting to HUG them again, made my heart hurt. Because I miss them so so much. The closer their day of arrival came though, the more excited I got to see them, hug them, talk face to face with them, and show off my boy and finally share him with some of the most important people in my life (and the grandfather he's somewhat named after).

I sobbed like a baby when I first saw and hugged them.

Sadly, their visit was only two weeks, which really isn't a lot of time when you take into consideration you loose an ENTIRE day to travel, jet lag, a small baby, sick parents and travelers, and a mamma who still isn't too great at driving all over Tasmania. We did manage to do the important things 'round here though on their visit.

Popop (my dad) showing Simon some birds
Of course we managed a visit to Wings Wildlife Park, the MOST important thing to do, since when you come to Australia, you of course want to see the bizarre wildlife. And pat it. And listen to some pretty cool employees give talks about the animals. And Wings is, I have heard, the better of the two wildlife parks close to us. Having only been to Wings, I'll just continue to say they totally rock and we'll probably only ever take visitors here.
Mom patting a wombat
(This was my personal second favorite thing!)

Mom joining the mob of female kangaroos

Dad being overtaken by mammas and joeys

Oh hi der! We'll be friendz, right?

There was eating fish 'n' chips on the beach. Sadly, we got there at the end of high tide, so we couldn't look in many tide pools. And the wind was pretty chilly. But not so bad that we couldn't fully enjoy our delicious fish 'n' chips and then do a little beach combing.

First trip to the ocean!
Well, second if you count that time we had to pull over for a feeding.

The Honey Farm, of course, for some of our favorite ice cream, tasting of some unique Tasmanian honey, and the drive there, which takes you down some twisty roads that are... interesting for tourists to drive on. Narrow, curvy, LOTS of blind corners, and, you know, the whole driving on the left side of the road instead of the right.

Sleepy boy, still likes playing with... anything.

We made two stops at my favorite place in Sheffield,
Fudge 'n' Good Coffee, for the obvious. Our last visit there was Mom and Dad's last day, so Simon and I picked out a box of fudge to send home as a very late graduation gift to my brother. Sadly, he had a cold when he got his gift, and hasn't indulged in the deliciousness yet, saying he doesn't want to miss out on anything because of congestion, so he has yet to tell me how fantastic it all tastes.

"Our" backyard

Mom and Dad rented a car while they were here because Dad thought it would be fun to learn to drive on the other side of the road. And something about not wanting to inconvenience us. So for a few mornings, while I was still dragging myself out of bed after only four hours of sleep (Simon went through a growth spurt and a "thing" during the visit and did. not. sleep.) and trying to not look and feel like I'd only gotten four hours of sleep, Dad would take off for a few hours and do some trout fishing. He bought a seven day licence, had Phillip tell him a few places to go, and caught nothing. But did, I believe, manage to see some pretty scenery and startle some wallabies.

Then, of course, there was visiting friends and my in-laws, letting my parents get to see what our life consists of, and then lots and lots of just hanging out around the house, letting Simon get to know his grandparents, And me, just soaking in as much of their company as I could.