We are here - and about 2/3 of the way through, so I thought it might be time to appraise you in how the other side of the world has viewed us - and we them.
Firstly, did you know that they do things a bit differently here?
I mean, I knew about the whole date thing, and the side of the road bit, and even the light switch issue (how bizarre is THAT!?) but I was completely unprepared for their stove dials to be anti-clockwise or the supermarkets...
On the upside, they have borek - well, I assume its borek, haven't tested, will let it be so in my imagination... May have invested in some if they had spinach or cherry, though.
They also have my favourite Sweet Chilli Sauce, so it can't all be bad, can it?
Their deodorant aisle even caters to psychological profiles!
And why go to any trouble, when you can buy it canned, frozen, pre-created and microwaveable?
But its the bits that they DON'T have that has caught me unawares.
The baking section has sprinkles in every shape and colour - but no food colouring;
Gluten-free flour, rice flour, masa harina (oh my dream), and spelt flour - as well as shelves full of mixes and pre-mixes - but one lone bread flour in the whole aisle;
Dessicated coconut is non-existant, while you find the angel coconut in the snack section;
(Prepare yourself for this one)
THEY DON'T HAVE FROZEN Shortcrust Pastry!!!
All in all we have muddled along. Next trip I am bringing my vegemite and Dilmah Tea, however.
Most of the first week was preparation for Paris' FIFTH BIRTHDAY PARTY - and that involved shopping. Shops are HUGE and designed to be driven to and between - heck, I am betting that in the next few years, they will be offering bus tours within the shops. It could just be the suburban stores, but there is very limited public transport and I can only walk so far.
The party was marvelous - we met cousins and second cousins and third cousins and aunts and uncles and had a lot of cake and burgers and Frozen fun.
Half of the second week was Christmas preparation (another shopping opportunity), degustation and recovery - although we did cheat and use Australia's Christmas Day for our celebrations, as on the real Christmas Day we....
booked into this hotel and became so many ants at...
Disneyland!!! (and technically California Adventure Park)
a good time was had by all...
but this was one five year old's favourite moment... 'Salina's favourite bits I don't have on the computer yet, as they involve her NEW CAMERA (she shouted herself for Christmas) and time at Disney with her new-found teenage cousins.
We returned yesterday for a downtime day - just as well, as I (involuntarily) decided to celebrate with a roaring migraine all day...
Tomorrow (and our last week) is the Zoo and Library and family and New Year and trying to fit as much time with V's Mum and his family as possible.