Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sand Dunes and Beaches and Bowling, oh my.

It's autumn break from school down under and the strangeness of living in the southern hemisphere seems to be affecting me more now than it did our first spring here-- or fall, depending on how you look at it. It's officially safe to say, I'm experiencing seasonal chaos.

For me, the association between Easter and spring is apparently so strong that I cannot adapt to it being fall during "Easter break". Things are further complicated by Australians referring to "fall" exclusively as "autumn".

Recently my five year old advised me that he learned in school that he's a "spring baby"; his birthday is in November.

And finally there's the Easter Bunny, which is not the mascot o' Easter in Australia, because they've replaced it with an Easter Bilby, which I've been told looks like a bandicoot, and I guess I'll be doing an image search to see what that is.

And this is no American-style-week-long-Easter-break either. Schools in Australia have a 2-3 week-long break every quarter, then one long summer vacation (in December of course) for almost eight weeks. I, for one, plan to milk the quarterly break schedule for numerous trips to everywhere we can get within a three hour drive (or occasional plane ride) from Sydney.

So this is what I've been doing for our autumn break in April:

We spent a couple afternoons at Bondi Beach, it's perhaps the most gorgeous place on earth.

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We headed to Port Stephens for a few days to get away from it all (the stress of marshmallow ducks and Cadbury eggs is, at times, overwhelming).

This was in front of us on our way out of town...

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Port Stephens rocked like my mama wearin' red cowboy boots:

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In Port Stephens there were sand dunes and beautifully treacherous beaches neighboring each other, it was an incredible sight.

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We bowled... every day.

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The look of defeat. Sucks losing to a four year old, huh? I know the feeling.
He did get to keep the scorecard and that made him ecstatic.

On our drive back to Sydney we did a drive-thru at the BK Lounge (that's Burger King slang, and in Australia it's called Hungry Jacks anyway -- so HJ Lounge would be more correct)... of course what else would be in the Happy Meal but a bowling toy, duh.

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Now as I sit here writing this, there was an almost identical bowling alley on Desperate Housewives tonight. I must be in bowling heaven, or hell, depending on your frame of mind-- get it.. frame of mind-- a little bowling humor for your reading pleasure.

As we pulled into our driveway this kookaburra was sitting on the scaffolding outside our house; at the least the never-ending construction provides occasional entertainment.

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Incidentally, on this 20th day of April, tonight's new episodes shown in Australia of Brothers and Sisters and Boston Legal were both the Thankgiving episodes.



JD at I Do Things said...

I would have soooo much trouble with that whole season-flipping thing. It's just wrong. Easter comes in spring. Christmas in winter. How do those maniacs live?

Bondi Beach looks amazing! And . . . camels? What????

Dina said...

I confuse the Autumn spring stuff too.

I think in some ways it's more confusing than summer/winter thing.

It seems so strange for Easter to be in Autumn. To me (since I'm not Christian) I think of the holiday as celebrating Spring.

Where did you see the camels in Port Stephens?? We missed those!!!

tinkalicious said...

Looks like you had a great time.
Go herefor a shoutout!

Dana said...

Hey! We're leading parallel lives, we were just in Port Stephens for the school break and I snapped that same camel picture! We didn't go bowling though...sounds like the thing to do in Port Stephens...next time.

danielle said...

I agree wholeheartedly, I was reading an Easter book to my kids and it was referring to spring, the new flowers, etc. Way to confuse the kids!
On another note: what channel is Brothers & Sisters on??

Jen said...

Oh, you were in my neck of the woods when you were at Port Stephens. :D

I like your blog, am always interested in hearing the observations of how others see our beautiful country.

Keep up the good work - and if there are any 'australianisms' you need a hand with, dont be afraid to ask - lol


Kristie said...

Looks like fun! I love Bondi Beach. Was only there for a short time but it was great!

Marvin the Martian said...

Awesome pix! Camels and kookaburras! I am sooooo jealous.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

JD- I know, I know- I am constantly saying "What?????"

Dina- I agree that spring/fall thing is harder-- maybe because the weather is also more similar to each other than summer and winter. The camels were at the sand dunes.

Tinkalicious- Thanks!

Dana- The bowling was really fantastic-- in fact, we researched it and there's a bowling alley in Randwick-- we surely need to meet there!

Danielle- Brothers and Sisters, Desperate Housewives, and Boston Legal are on Monday nights on channel 7 near us-- I think Foxtel had some type of dispute with channel 7 and we didn't receive the channel on Foxtel until about a year ago.

Jen- Thanks and next time we head that way I'll have to send you a note!

Kristie- We love Bondi Beach too, it's so much less crowded than Florida beaches and is so insanely beautiful-- the sand is so gorgeous too-- so clean and fun to play with

Marvin- I know, I'd be jealous too if I wasn't here! Haha.

Teresi Family Blog said...

I was so struggling with the Spring / Fall thing here. I was convinced it was Spring and Tulips were going to start blooming. But, since it's getting colder, and darker earlier, It's finally feeling like Fall, er Autumn.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Ana- I totally agree, just in the last few days (with the rain) it seems to feel a little more fall-ish, or autumn-ish as they say.

Jenny said...

Looks like you had a blast in Port Stephens! Can't wait to check it out. Thanks for the info!

Currently Untitled said...

haha, i think you meant the bondi lifeguards were gorgeous ;)

the thanksgiving episodes annoy me almost as much as the halloween ones do. cos they are not our holidays so we don't celebrate them. you think they'd have an Australia day episode!

and the only downfall of the bilby is they don't make massive chocolate ones like they do of the rabbits!

Captain Dumbass said...

Easter Bili-what? And that's what a kookaburra looks like? I learned something new today.

A Free Man said...

We saw those Wicked campers all over Kangaroo Island. The first time I saw one, I thought 'Oh, very cool.' Then I realized - after about the sixth - that it was just clever marketing.

Looks like a great time, though!

Rassles said...

So, since the seasons are all reversy down under, are astrological signs signs viewed differently?

This will keep me up at night.

ghost of keywork said...

Ahhhhhhhh, the kookaburra. Wonderful bird. My fiancee is having an aneurysm over this seasonal discrepency you have described.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Jenny- Hope you have an awesome time there this weekend!

Gnu aka untitled- Yeah, actually you are correct-- the lifeguards are pretty darn hot.

Captain Dumbass- I'm all about providing an educational experience.

Freeman- They totally crack me up, I've seen some completely hilarious ones.

Rassles- Why'd you have to go there???? Now I'm going to be thinking I'm no longer a winter baby and I'm no longer Sagittarius... what the hell??

GOK- It's only the 2nd one I've seen here-- they look like they'll peck your eyes out and eat your for dinner.

blue house mom said...

Man the comments are flying here.
We did the bowling thing in Shoal Bay LAST Autumn holiday. When it rained so much we had to cross raging rapids to get from our hotel room to the car.
Did you get to partake in the cosmic bowling? Kids thought that was the best part ever.
As for the season, this upside down crap sucks. Autumn should be my birthday time, not mothers day. UGH!!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Blue House Mom- Now I'm dying to know what cosmic bowling is!! We definitely did not do that-- well at least as far as I know, we didn't.

Gypsy said...

Sounds fun! I am a totally horrible bowler. I have to use both hands. It's pathetic.

suzinoz said...

Looks like fun. I think Easter in Oz is a difficult concept. There are no Easter pastels, no tulips, and candy that isn't of the chocolate variety doesn't exist--where are the Peeps? The Sweetart Easter shapes? Easter themed Pez dispensers? I mean I like chocolate, but I don't like chocolate to the exclusion of everything else. We've celebrated the last 4 Easters in the USA, so I can't complain too much. Your photos are great btw!

Melissa said...

hey there.

I think this is my first time commenting on your blog. I'm in Nevada and going to Melbourne this summer... er, winter. July. :-) I just wanted to tell you I like your blog a lot. I'm curious, with Easter being a different kind of holiday, do you still give your kids Easter baskets?

Marketing Mama said...

Looks like you had an AWESOME time!!! I bet my kids would like bowling... hmmm.... :)

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Gypsy- I think being the worst bowler should actually mean you get a trophy. My mom is here, we took her bowling today-- she definitely gets the prize as absolute worst bowler-- last week I had that title.

Suzinoz- I actually prefer all the Easter candy be chocolate, but peeps would have been nice too. I like that they sell Lindt everywhere.

Melissa- Well since we're Jewish we don't do baskets, but I think other people do-- though I'm really not sure. Are you moving here or just visiting?

Marketing Mama- Yeah, I can't believe we didn't try bowling earlier-- then again, I didn't know they now had ramps for little kids to send the ball downs and little electric barrier gates that keep the ball from going into the gutter for the kids-- it makes all the difference.

Ali said...

The kids look great. And the beach is so beautiful and the last thing to expect to see is Camels and its Autumn, Im confused already! haha

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Ali- You couldn't possibly be more confused than I am!!! haha