Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Strolling down Fellowship Link this morning, we passed by Tranquil Gardens and Serene Bend. These are all street names!!! It amazes me everytime I see them - not sure why, but I guess I'm just not used to such beautiful street names. And again it hit me that we are actually in Australia - Australia!!! Our halfway mark has hit and I know these last 2 weeks will go very quickly. Andrew and I are looking forward to a weekend in the Stirling Range coming up and getting a bit more 'hilly' hiking in. Not sure what the internet connection will be there, but if I can't post for a couple of days, you will know why.
Some observations since we've been here - Australians have done the roundabout very well. There is no confusion about who has the right of way and there is a lot less stop and go. On the other hand, pedestrians never have the right of way, unless you are in a marked cross walk (zebra). So, if you just decided you were going to cross the street willy nilly (thinking of Wolfville here) and you were hit by a car, that's your fault. Cars always have the right of way.
Great example of a roundabout or a circle - good visibility and no traffic backup. Smart option.

Australians have also done bike paths/access extremely well. They have made biking a very safe alternative here. Just keep to the left. I still have issues when walking to stay left. Very often I get annoyed/confused looks as I veer to the right and straight into someone's path. It's getting better though.
Well marked bicycle paths everywhere and well used.

Tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia - first time for that!! Katie and I made a pumpkin and apple pie this morning. They don't sell Crisco shortening here and that is my go to for pastry. We ended up buying 'Copha' - a vegetable shortening but the ingredients listed were coconut oil and soya bean lecithin. Well, let's just say, cutting that into the flour took a bit of time and strength. It was so hard. Also, you can't purchase pure pumpkin here (in the can) so Kathryn had frozen some squash and we used that. It's a little bit lighter, but the flavour is still there. And their apple selection does not include Gravensteins, so we used Fuji - it might be a little sweeter than we're used to! I also had some dough leftover and made my signature cinnamon sugar pastry (Eden thought that was pretty yummy!!). 
Katie taste testing the sugar for the apple pie.

Today also included a trip to the swimming pool for their weekly lesson. Australians are known for their swimming skills and they start them early on with lessons. Eden is quite the little fish and really has no fear. Katie is a little more timid but she is only 3 and I'm sure in a couple of years she will be keeping up with her sister.
 Katie (third from left) getting ready to do her jump!

Eden (closest to the camera, on her tummy) - I couldn't get her to look. This is like a large floating pad that the instructor uses to help them get their kick correct. 

I don't have a bird of the day today, but this large snail caught my eye as we were heading out for our walk today. The second photo is an example of a strange phenomena which I shall call building a sidewalk around the trees. There are lots of trees around, so I'm not sure why they do this, but it makes for an interesting picture. It just seems funny to me.
 A large Australian snail.

I'm used to a straighter sidewalk - but it is interesting!

Neat paper bark tea trees - it look like they are shedding. They are common suburban trees here and they are quite happy to grow in marshes and ponds.

Kathryn and the girls left about an hour ago to pick Tim up from the airport. They should be home soon and likely very excited to have their dad home for 6 days. 

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