Saturday, November 17, 2012

Moving Back to America- 1 Year Repatriationiversary

One year ago this week, we boarded a swank Virgin Australia airplane and set off for America, softly closing the door on four and a half years, of all things Aussie.

It seems like a lifetime ago that we spent long, leisurely afternoons at Nielsen Park (Sydney) walking up and down the beach, jumping in the crashing waves, digging our toes into the super soft, fine white sand, and all the while avoiding deadly entanglement in the scary looking shark net; they don't call it Shark Bay for nothing :).  

Walking through the fig trees at Nielsen Park...

And collecting sea glass...

This is sea glass from our secret beach in Sydney, sitting in an abalone shell given to us by our tour guide in Tasmania.

We often remember our favorite (or favourite) places like Oporto, home of the best chicken sandwich in Australia :).

Before our Aussie departure, they happened to have special cans of Coke with Aussie words on them.  I could not have asked for better Aussie blogging material.   

And our favorite Italian-Style Baked Beans with Poached Eggs brekkie (Aussie for breakfast) at Bernasconi's in Rose Bay.

And then, one fateful day, we came home from school pick up and it was finitely clear, our time in Australia was coming to an end.

Apparently someone was a baaaad puppy.   But that was that, the message was loud and clear.   It was time to return to America.

And in the last twelve months, my children have attended four schools, in two countries, and three states (one Australian, and two American).

Now my kids wear this to school...

As many of you know, first we spent four months in Florida.

And Florida was pretty much a lot of this... and have I mentioned it's about as hot as hell on a sunny day there.  Ugh, I hate hot.

And we've always been a house filled with music, mostly our own.  Our seven year old has been writing music for a couple of years, and in lieu of a birthday party this year,  we went to a real recording studio in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where thanks to a Groupon type thingy forwarded to me by my BFF The Fiery Redhead, for the low low price of $75, he was able to record three of his original songs professionally.  It. Was. Amazing!!  Our favorite song "Rock n' Roll" is very catchy, or,  as our guitar teacher says, "He really understands, it's all about "the hook"."  This video is actually more audio than video, but clearly this child needs to be on itunes, available for all the world to hear. :)

And we soon moved to San Francisco, where the weather is gorgeously sunny and cool and gorgeous, ALL THE TIME (except this week, but surely that's just a fluke).  And as the months in America rolled by, the boys got bigger, and louder, and hungrier, and blonder... assumingly, that part was helped very much by lack of the Aussie "No Hat, No Play" rule, and the California sun.

And our dogs have gotten bigger, and fluffier. 

And some things aren't all that different from Australia to America...

The barbershops are practically interchangeable.

Our Bondi Junction barbershop in Australia.

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Carl's Barbershop in Davie, FL.  Hardcore, old-school barbers.

And we can even eat Vegemite in either country, though in America Vegemite is at Lucky-Charms-in-Australia prices. over $12 per jar!  

And though Australia seems so long ago now, especially I can imagine even more so for the kids, my seven year old is still "going for the World Record" for most consecutive days of taking a Vegemite and Cheese sandwich to school.  He's been at this (not exaggerating here) for over three years.  Seriously, should I be calling The Guiness Book" at some point here???  If you know, please advise. :)

And our new city looks like this...

And this...

That's actually my mom and sister next to the cable car florist stand :).  Yes, the best bonus of moving to San Francisco was that my sister lives here!

And have I mentioned that my sister is funny?  And she is especially, crazy hilarious when she rides Ruby the Labradoodle around my kitchen like a pony.  Good times, good times.

And we somehow squeezed (though I want to say "squoze") in a trip to Alaska this past summer. 

In our departure city of gorgeous Seattle, we stopped at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a truly inspiring place.

We cruised with our cousins who came in from Portland, Maine-- and what they, and our children, did not know... was that my in-laws (their grandparents) were joining us for the cruise!  So when Grandma and Grandpa from Boca Raton, FL (the crankiest place on earth, no offense Boca-ites:) showed up at the Welcome Aboard Buffet-- well let's just say, it was total shock and awe.

I've been to Alaska several times, and it never gets old.  It's a beautiful place.

And of course, it's not a cruise without a talent show.  I can't help but show off, because my eight year old taught himself to play this on the piano while singing, and I love it. 

And, my now seven and nine year old boys are in a rock band that plays Weezer and The Beatles and The Ramones and The Sonics.  Impressed yet?

And we were lucky enough to go to a World Series game!  It was so so awesome, well except for the two dudes spitting and drooling sunflower seed shells out of their mouths next to us, non-stop the entire game, I kind of vomit a little in my mouth every time I revisit that in my head, and I pity the people who put their stuff down in that spot next game.  But I digress... obviously, going to the World Series was amazing, despite the spitting chaos.

My kids are absolute Giants fanatics, and that is like my husband's dream, for real.

The flag on the field at AT&T Park.

And finally, after living here for seven months, we finally went to see The Golden Gate Bridge-- just this past weekend.  Yes, I am aware that that sounds ridiculous.  But here it is, tall and gorgeous, in all its International Orange glory...

Not surprisingly, so many people I have met here, are from here.  And they don't plan on going anywhere... hence what is believed to be the inspiration for this sculpture on The Embarcadero, by the bay, symbolizing the famous, "I've Left My Heart in San Francisco".

"Cupid's Span" sculpture, commissioned by the founder of The Gap.

Poof.  One year gone.

Guess it's a good thing I took some photos. :)



ChiTown Girl said...

WOW! That was some post! Thanks for sharing that.

Welcome back, Lady!! You've been missed.

Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

how can you always make me cry at every single post. this one was a great one. i love the recap. what a really incredible year laura. so glad you're here. oh and ps: the barbers = not interchangeable. the one here is WAY cuter. you don't see that?

danielle said...

Wow, what a year! As I am about to become a "repeat" it is comforting to know that life does go on after leaving AU. And hello talented kids & adorable doggies :)

danielle said...

oops, meant REPAT , duh.

SuperMindy said...

Wow, I can't believe it's already been a year. I miss our chats and our shopping trips. Nathan and I are hoping to get over to the states in August. We hope to see you.

SuperMindy said...

I just watched the video of your little boy singing at the music studio. He is VERY talented. I wouldn't be surprised to see him on Ellen or the X factor or something along those lines. You have some incredible kids.

blue house mom said...

Wow Laura, hard to believe its been a year. Glad to know that repatriation for you all is going well. That is something we fear when we move back to the US. But, it's hard to match some of those Aussie experiences anywhere. We are soooo missing those lovely, leisurely Aussie breakfasts, Oportos (or anything grilled in good quality!) and amazing coffees in the sun.
Hope the next year for you is just as amazing! Nikki

steck said...

I don't suppose you were one of those people walking around SF naked, which inspired recent legislation against said practice. You didn't live near Lady Bay in Sydney, did you?

I miss the fantastic restaurants and pubs in Sydney, though here in Portland it's still pretty good.

I just had a visit from a fellow Yank I met in Sydney. Over this Northern Summer, we created an Android app:

Rassles said...

Oh my holy goodness, everything you have (family, dogs, photos) is adorable.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Got a hold of your blog from Google. I am a Florida girl as well looking to move to Sydney. Would you mind answering some questions for me? Shoot me an email at my spam account, once I get your email I'll email you with my real account so everyone doesn't have my email. I'd greatly appreciate it!


American in Sydney said...

Chitown- Thanks :)

Jilly- I love you, you crazy dog-riding fool.

Danielle- Wow, you are in a for a ride :)

Mindy- I miss you too, come to SF!

Blue House- Thanks!

Steck- I saw a nude dude riding a bike, my sister pointed him out!!

Rassles- You're pretty cute yourself. :))))

Jules- I will email you :)

Unknown said...

OMG! the adele song!!!!!!!! AMAZEBALLS! You have some super talented kids there!
I don't know how i didn't find this post earlier, but im so glad i did... its great to have an update on your lives and holy moly those boys are sure growing up.

GUESS WHAT!? I'm coming to America!!! In June to work at a summer camp for three months and then to travel for a month - im super duper excited!! Any travel advice? or must sees?? :) xx

Isabella Morgan said...

Thank's for sharing this post. House moving Sydney

steck said...

Well, now I'm living in the Bay Area. San Jose, to be exact.

Do you know the way here?

Tiffany said...

So nice to stumbled upon your blog. I am a Los Angeles girl in Sydney. Now. Right now. And oh boy is it nice. So nice we don't know if we should stay or go. I'll have to read more of your journey to see how you made your decisions. And where you got that labradoodle! Super. Duper. Cute.

Youe-hut said...

hi, you put some nice picture, and remember me about my childhood. thanks

Golden Sun Restaurant said...

Aww, always wanted to visit the US again! Maybe when I'm no longer as busy managing a Chinese Restaurant in Capalaba area. You just inspired me to go out more, hahahah!

Golden Sun Restaurant said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mandy Indonesia said...

I’m glad to read you again. Thanks for this post, nice place. Best for you Buddy! and Merry Christmas

tslandry said...

Question from Florida girl currently in Sydney ... collaroy beach to be exact .... I love sea glass are u willing to share your secret beach for collecting with a fellow Florida girl?? Please!! Lol