Sunday, July 14, 2013

Well, that looks familiar...

Gia woke at 4:30am ready to start the day.  Since Corey managed a couple of night time issues with the kids and that is a good wake up time for me, I got up with her and we ventured to the main living area of the house.  I once again said a moment of thanks for the wonderful ND Australia staff stocking the house with cereal, milk, bread, peanut butter, and jam.  With three little kids, one does need not much else!  Gia had a little bit of cereal as we perused some of the Perth brochures sitting about.

Within the next hour we were joined by Caden and Lily, who both opted for multiple pieces of toast and jam.  All were excited to get a peak outside, but being the winter season, the sun does not come up until around 7 and goes down about 6pm at night.  We headed to the little office upstairs and worked on our drawings. 

I considered that I should be putting on my running shoes this Sunday morning to complete a 17 mile run, and couldn't help but smile that my running shoes are in Lily and Gia’s suitcase which is still doing some sightseeing in some exotic locale and not due to arrive until Monday!  A blessing in disguise as my body is not up for a run yet.

Gia got Corey up around 7:30 and we went out to explore the backyard.  Tire swing, sandbox, playhouse, pizza oven, and pool plus two fantastic outdoor dining areas.  We couldn't want for more!  The birds were up and full on, as the locals would say, and the kids entered into a feverish debate if the sounds were sheep or kids, not believing birds would really be making the racket!  Aside from the ‘bahhing’ there were beautiful songs as well.

We decided to venture on a walk to check out the surrounding area.  We began with a walk two doors down to our little local cafe - The Cool Room.  The owner was so friendly!  We bought a ‘flat black’ (two shots of espresso with hot water) and did a little window shopping in a little antique store right next to it.  It was a shop my dear friend Brooke with embrace fully so I snapped a couple of pics with my cell phone, wishing I could easily text them off.  I will try and figure out how best to share them soon.

We then headed back up the street a couple of blocks.  Caden was in his element collecting flowers, pedals and shells along the way – and lemons!  Lemon trees are everywhere!  While we had to restrain him from going into people’s yards to collect their lemons directly, he did find a few lemons that had ventured into open territory.

The architecture is stunning – old yet appointed with beautiful wooden garages and details of scalloped trim, brick fireplaces, and tin roofs.  The homes are quaintly positioned close to one another with flower laden courtyards. 

We soon came to George Street and crisscrossed the street excitedly to check out the trendy little coffee shops, restaurants, wine shops and pilates studios and this is just about 12 minute walk!  We decided on a coffee shop for breakfast called Cookie Dough, for obvious reasons, and for the fact that they had an entire upstairs with a long concrete table, a collection of raw light bulbs bundled together hanging down at either end, and cables along the far side of the wall with children’s drawings collected.  They brought us paper and markers and the kids dug in, drawing their first morning in Perth. 

Breakfast was devine with grainy toast nearly 2 inches thick, poached eggs, tomoatoes, avocado and thick cuts of ham-like bacon – enough for Corey and I to share.  
Lily and Caden shared an order of ‘baklava pancakes’ with cinnamon and walnuts.  Gia refused to eat, instead holding out, and making it known, that she wanted the donut with the sprinkles – which was actually one of their specialty cookies on display amongst there other delicious sounding kinds including dark chocolate mocha chunk, pear-white chocolate-ginger, and raspberry-white chocolate.  Seeing as how this was technically her second breakfast of the morning, we caved and purchased a few of their other types of cookies for the road.

All in all, we were very impressed with the street and I can see Gia and I will spending a lot of time here J
We next strolled over to Lily and Caden’s new school, passing two little parks well-appointed with play sets.  The school looks fantastic and so far, both kids are anxious to go. 

We decided to push on and head into the town of Fremantle to check ND Australia.  As we meandered through town under the beautiful trees and through the little cobbled courtyards, Corey and I commented to one another every few feet, “this looks familiar”.  It is surreal to be back after 15 years!  As we wandered down the streets Corey stopped to snap some photos of some of the beautiful architecture. 

It was then we realized these beautiful buildings were ND Australia!  A city campus, each building has its own style and look with an ND plaque modestly placed.  We passed Malloy courtyard and St. Theresa library.  Incredible location with the ocean visible at the end of the street!  Such a great place to be!

We next meandered to the Freo markets that we used to frequent back in the day, passing street performers and heaps of people out enjoying their Sunday morning.  The market was packed!  We stopped at a couple of stalls to buy some fruits and veggies, and came across a stand called Chijaujau Taco.  Wow! This will forever be a taco of record!  We shared the tacos outside by a bench, ‘sampled’ the remainder cookies from our breakfast locale, and stopped at a little stand where kids were invited to make clay figures, right next to the ‘truffle truck’- that offered all things truffle – eggs and mushroom truffle toast, ham and pea truffle suit… you get the idea.  I managed to not eat yet again, but made a mental note to plan a liaison with the truffle truck soon.  Lily made a little bird and Caden a kangaroo.

Next we headed to the transit station where you can take ferries over to Perth, connect on the ‘trains’ or hop on a bus.  We opted for the latter and were excited with how easy the process was.  The bus runs every 30-minutes, Kids 5 and under are free, kids over 5 are $0.80 and adults are $2. 
The ride took all of 10 minutes and dropped us just a couple of blocks from our new house on Holland Street.  The kids rushed in to make use of their lemons making lemonade.

We then got ready to head to our friend Dani and Tony’s house to watch some footy.  Dani and Tony’s teams were playing against one another, and it was really a lot of fun to enjoy the banter.  Dani did a better job convincing us to route for Freo - including providing us the hats :)

The kids loved playing with their crew – ages 11 – 16 – and it was so fun to see ‘little Thomas’ – my first baby love when we lived here before, towering above me.  Such a blessing to have friendships that pick up right where they left off.

After the footy game we enjoyed steaks on the barbi of course, and some chicken and sausage/hotdogs and a lot of champagne, beer and wine.  We took a cab back to Holland street, sleeping the whole way.

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