For five hours we flew across the ocean to Adelaide. My wee girl was so very good; thrilled by the novelty of unlimited TV on her very own screen! That a rather bulging carry on bag filled with new toys and art supplies...and snacks...all the snacks.
|In flight entertainment|
It is a long drive for a busy toddler from the city of Adelaide to Booleroo Centre where Mary lives. We filled the car with groceries and set out hoping for the little one to nap the majority of three our trip. There of course was a bit of fussing from cublet who was none to pleased to be strapped into a car seat after her plane ride the previous day. Thank goodness for a phone loaded up with childrens' music!
There had been rain recently so the normally golden, dusty countryside was lush and green. A sweet reprieve after the city. The highways turned to sealed roads which gave way to red dirt roads; bumpy and slick after the downpours. It was wonderful to turn into the driveway and finally see the place I had heard so much about. The house resting near a large Gum tree and creek.
The landscape is so very vast and flat. Such a stark contrast to the scenes I am used to here in New Zealand. Equally as wild and free but just so big. I couldn't get over how big the sky felt when uninterrupted by mountains and bush. The soil is burnt orange and the birdsong raucous.Yet inside my sister's house it felt like home.
She has spent many hours painting and decorating. Her home is warm and inviting. There is muted pastels with a mix of vintage and modern. Calm, sweet and just so beautiful. A place to build a lifetime of memories.
There are plans for a garden and there are signs of progress every way you turn. I am looking forward to seeing backyard fill with flowers and vegetables. For their fruit trees to grow tall and bear fruit. Most of all I look forward to spending time there with the sweet couple watching our families grow. Reunited every so often despite living so far apart. My children getting to experience rural Australia; a huge contrast to their own urban Kiwi upbringing.
|Exploring a 'cave' with Aunty Mary|
|Oh that winter light|
We spent mornings waking slowly, sipping on hot drinks and huddling by the fire. The wind was cold and frost sparkled in the rising sun each morning. We planned our our days adventures and savoured being in each others company.
Sisters separated by the Tasman Sea always have much to talk about. Little Mae enjoyed playing with toys her Aunty had collected for her. Her Uncle Casey works at night so we tried to speak in hushed tones but little toddlers aren't always great at this! When he awoke she greeted him with great enthusiasm "Uncle Cakey". It's fun to see their bond grow.
In the afternoons we ventured out to explore the local areas; Magnetic Hill, Orroroo, Melrose, Port Germein and Port Augusta. One afternoon we explored some of the Mount Remarkable National Park.
We saw many Kangaroo and 'big ducks' as Mae called the Emus. Mae delighted in the bumpy 4WD trip and yelled with joy as we jolted over bumps. Such a place of beauty, I could see how this place has gained my sister's affection and heart.
|Aunty and niece|
To get to know the area a little more and to spend more time with Mary, Casey and his family. Miss Mae will be three by then and it is wonderful to imagine that she might actually form memories of her Australian family and travels.