Well, after my great experience, it was hard to settle into my last leg of the journey in economy, from Auckland to Adelaide, but I managed. Because I know someone who works at Air NZ, they arranged to have some champagne and desserts delivered to me by the percer on the flight...a nice touch - thanks Andy!
Upon landing, I was whisked through customs without one question and came out to be greeted by Ann (Jill's sister) her husband Jeff and their 2 lovely children (Holly and Rowen) holding up handmade cards with my name and Canada on them! It was a great introduction to Australia! They let me get my bearings and a quick shower at my home away from home before taking me to the city centre to watch the "Tour de Adelaide" with Lance Armstrong. It was a great day with a picnic, wandering in parks and watching some of the best cyclists on the planet, all the while enjoying 27 degree temperatures.
I was dropped off around 5 pm, whereupon I rested for an hour, then went for an hour and 1/2 wander down the beach (only 3-5 minutes walk away) and enjoyed the setting sun and the colour and sounds of the ocean, and all those enjoying it. A great day! I went to bed around 11 pm, very satisfied and tired.
Monday, I was up bright and early arranging to pick up my new car and open up my bank account. Both were done by around 1 pm and I was soon scaring everyone on the roads! I did a bit of shopping (groceries and such) before arriving at home in time to meet the neighbor across the way from India, who has befriended the Jenkinson's (and hence myself) and I was invited over for some wonderful Chai tea. I had to turn down offers of food, as I had already eaten, but was assured that we would be eating together soon, because her husband is a chef at a nearby Indian restaurant and they want to have me to their house for dinner soon! Who am I to say no?!?
Finally, home to bed around 11pm, exhausted, after making arrangement to go boogie-boarding tomorrow followed by a pool party! It's a hard life, but somebody has to do it.
I awoke Tuesday morning, Australia day, to glorious sunshine (seems to be the norm here) and went for a run along the esplanade, taking all the sights and sounds of many people already enjoying a "day at the beach" to celebrate Australia day! I saw at least 200 bikers, many runners, kayakers, boaters, swimmers, etc. on my little 1/2 hour jaunt, and realized that I am surrounded by those who like to keep in shape, so I better try to do so myself. Shouldn't be to hard here (it's not like I'm going to slip on the ice or anything!). Returned home to have a quick shower, chat with mom and dad, then was picked up at 10 am to go "boogie boarding" with Ann, Jeff and children...we drove about 1/2 hour south of the city and had a blast in the waves for about 2 hours! Lots of fun.
They then drove me to my next destination, Corina's , a woman who had invited me to a pool party today at a teacher's house - she knows Mike and Elaine Oades who were on exchange here 4 years ago. It was a very relaxed get together with a few teachers, so I learned a lot about how the school system works here, and how different it is from ours. Very nice people, and I'm sure I will see them all again, as Corina already has me in the loop for a few things that she and her friends are doing together. Came home to a message from a friend of the Jenkinson's, who is going to pick me up for dinner on Thursday night! All of this socializing is exhausting - I don't know how I will have time to fit in work! Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do!
Cheers for now! My first day of school is tomorrow, so I do need to rest up a bit and put the socializing on the backburner for a day or two....then it's the weekend again, and much to do! Will keep you posted on my downunder adventures!