We left NZ in the middle of the night and arrived in Australia bright and early in the morning. The kids went screaming off the plane (literally) "g'day mate" at the top of their lungs... We had no worries "mate" checking in and getting the van and in no time we were on the road again. The drive from Melbourne to Mount Gambier or as the locals say ' The Mount" was about 5 hours with a stop at McDonald's of course. I do not know if the McDonald's back home have the coffee shop attached but the Vanilla Latte was awesome.!
We had no mobile phone nor did we have the phone numbers for the Gertners so we just showed up and what a reunion it was. Cooper, Dominic,Duane,Leanne and the new puppy Ruby we waiting for us and big hugs all around. We spent the rest of the day just relaxing at their house looking at pictures, exchanging stories and watching High 5, another Australian children's signing and dancing group. We had a great meal on the" barbie"and got to bed early as we had a long day.
We all slept in well except for Jimmy and Copper as Jimmy was bored and woke him up to play.
We loaded up the vans and headeded off for a day at the playground. In fact, this sounds like all three days at "the mount" - playgrounds, beach, barbie's, wine, talk, friends, fun.... The highlight for Jimmy was the kids filled New Years Eve party where the girls chased the boys to try and kiss them and his New Years day dip in the Southern Ocean. Lest you think we were lounging at hte beach all day. The rest of South Australia had on polar fleece and scarves. Yes, Jimmy went swimming the Southern Ocean in about 50 degree weather. He is well suited for MN, I think.
Cooper is big and talkative and Jimmy's new best friend. They are very much alike and a bit of kindred souls. Dominic is a "cheeky monkey", all devilish smiles and kisses. Cooper, Dom and Billy played with trucks, bikes and cars the whole time. And, yes, we did check Billy's pockets before we left. Kay gave Leanne and makeover with blue eyeshadow and pink nail polish. Tom, Leanne, Tracy and Duane just caught up on each others lifes in the last 2 years.
I cant think of a better way to ring out 2008 and in 2009 than with good friends, healthy kids and "down time" galor. Thank you Gertners!!!!