Monday, December 14, 2009


After many hours of travel, we are back in Amherst, Massachusetts. When we woke our first morning we were greeted by 6 inches of new snow. Wow! The kids were besides themselves with joy. This photo shows all our suitcases in the snow. About half of the stuff was clothes, the other half was toys, bedsheets, towels, snorkel gear etc. You know, we didn't really have that much stuff in Mission Beach, yet it didn't matter -- we really didn't need much to be happy. The kids have enjoyed revisiting all their toys and so we won't buy a lot of stuff this year for Christmas. Good thing too since we are busy moving back into the house.

Things we miss about Mission Beach
  • Waking up to raucous birdsong
  • She'll be right (e.g. the gardeners mowing the grass in thongs (flipflops))
  • the beach right outside our door
  • Robin: my friends
  • Will: the pool
  • The rainforest (Michele: I visited the UMass greenhouse the other day and was overwhelmed at the sense of being HOME when I entered the tropical room. I wanted to stay there for hours.)
  • the view of Dunk Island
  • effortless outdoor gear (e.g. kids going to school barefoot)
  • geckos all over the house
  • yummy fish and chips
  • hanging clothes outside to dry
  • scanning the countryside for Cassowaries
  • Uncle Larry, Aunt Coreen, Melissa, Jim, Kristen and Cindy
Things that we are excited about in Amherst
  • seeing friends and family
  • SNOW! (it is snowing as we type this; the kids are playing outside with their sleds)
  • a nice kitchen with gas burners and dishwasher that doesn't tip over
  • our cats
  • Christmas tree
  • not being 14 time zones away from friends and colleagues
  • functional washing machine
  • Trader Joe's
  • Robin and Will: all our toys
  • good, inexpensive restaurants
  • Nana and Poppy
  • feeling part of the community
We won't be posting to this blog regularly now that our Australian adventure is over, but there are lots of stories that we didn't have a chance to share. Lots more Australian good ideas. We look forward to filling you in over Carlton Draught/YellowTail next time we see you. We'll bring the vegemite toast.

We all feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to live in Mission Beach for 5 months and enjoyed sharing our adventures with friends and family through this blog. We figured a blog posting was better than a postcard (no word limits, no postage, no delay and everyone gets to read it). Our wonderful experience in Australia could not have happened without the amazing help and support of Uncle Larry and Aunt Coreen -- they even loaned us their car! Thank you Uncle Larry and Aunt Coreen. We love you and can't wait to get back!

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