Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Australia Day

Up early this am for a big breakfast of bacon and pancakes.  When we first arrived, we suited up our home on wheels with 6 chairs, a folding table and a great little barbeque, and it has been wonderful to prepare our own meals rather than struggle with constant restaurant food.  Then into the town of Geraldton to join the Australia Day festivities.

Loads of events on the “Foreshore” (seaside park), with “jumpy castles” for the 10 and under crowd, sand castle building competitions, pirate activities, water fun for the teen crowd, and cake for the kids.  Katie had an Aussie flag and a kangaroo painted on her cheeks, and we enjoyed the costumes of the crowd, with flag bikinis, capes and boxers everywhere.  I think my favorite costume was a “blue man” suit with a flag for a skirt, though she was no doubt really hot under there.  It was mid thirties but the wind kept the heat bearable (unfortunately they had to cancel the parachuting and fireworks for safety sake).

We all bought a sausage from the fundraising stand, and were surprised when one of the boys behind the counter said “hi Derek”…. it was the family our kids had played with up in Shark Bay at the swimming pool for a few hours, and his t-ball team was raising dollars for their trip to the State Finals…. In a city of 30,000 it was great to see a familiar face (as well as quite the co-incidence!)

Our next overnight was a few hours south to Jurien Bay, and the caravan park had the “biggest jumping pillow in Western Australia” so the kids enjoyed the extended fair.  We prepared our Aussie meal of lamb chops and mint sauce, and relaxed  in the shade with the birdsong.  As a bonus in the evening there was a Bushman Balladeer, Buzzer, who shared his guitar and song including Waltzing Matilda, the classic Aussie hymn.  Two young boys on didgeridoos joined in, making the evening truly authentic.  It was a wonderful way to share Australia Day in our home-away-from-home

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