Moving Part 5: Home Sweet Home, Alice Springs
G’Day! We’ve made it and begun settling in to Alice Springs. We flew from Sydney to Alice Springs on Quantas Airlines (Australia’s airline) and they required Emmylou to buckle into my seatbelt. We thought she looked so cute wearing her first airline seatbelt (and I swear she’s saying, “I got this, Mama!”)
From start to finish, this baby was a SUPER traveler! She slept through a fair amount of our travels and adjusted to the time change in a few days (just like us). She was seriously perfect and we couldn’t be more grateful! Here’s a bit more baby travel spam for good measure. 🙂
Stepping off the plane was SO exciting…
we I took all the pictures to commemorate the moment. It was also a bit surreal to arrive in the place (I’ve never even visited) that would be home for the next few years!
Our first week here has been busy (unpacking and gathering necessities) and exhausting (kicking off the new normal with jet lag in tow). It’s also been exciting and a lot of fun!
Jon got right to work on Monday and has been really enjoying his new position. He is loving the laid-back atmosphere at the site and happily traded his suit and tie for blue jeans and hiking/work boots (he was even given a hard time for wearing khakis on his first day on the job ). Here he is with Emmylou one afternoon after work.
Emmylou and I have been trying out the many playgroups in Alice Springs. Every day we are out and about with other mums and bubs (Aussie terminology is my new jam). Even if EL sleeps through the playgroup, I am SO appreciating the social time and getting to know other moms. Everyone has helped us to acclimate to the social scene in Alice- both base-related and local- and we couldn’t be more appreciative of their warm welcome! I am looking forward to watching Emmylou learn and grow in such a wonderful community. ️ Here we are at Tiny Tots playgroup this week.
In addition to our new routines, there were some other serious adjustments to navigate right off the bat- a new landscape and climate, new (and dangerous) wildlife/pests and, of course, driving on the other side of the road. I would say Jon took all of these new realities in stride, while I made a spectacle of each and every one of them.
Landing in Alice was such a novelty for me (the red mountains, the bright blue sky) and I took to taking pictures like a tourist…Jon was embarrassed but I really couldn’t help myself! 🤣 Here’s a peek at our house, car (with a roo-rack) and neighborhood:
The weather every day is pretty much the same- cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon and not a cloud in the sky (I literally haven’t seen a cloud since we landed here…not one little cloud). Talk about vitamin D, there’s no lack of sunshine here! We definitely need to up our sun protection but I don’t think I will miss the dreary/rainy east coast days!
We came home to find a hilariously Australian (blunt) letter from the pest control company wishing us luck with the local pests. Essentially, anything is sprayed will be “bug-proof” for 6 months and everything else is fair-game for (poisonous) spiders and other pests to make their home. Looks like we’ll wait to get outdoor furniture and a sand/water table until just before the exterminators come! It also warned that insect sprays will not kill bugs on the spot, so not to freak out if the giant cockroach you just sprayed continues to crawl or fly around for a while…So far we’ve only seen the webs of redback spiders but they are around. As for snakes, we have not heard too much about them but the “Snake Man’s” phone number is on our fridge so if I see one, I’m calling him! (Somehow this feels like Ghostbusters).
Although this sign is right across the street from our neighborhood, I am VERY disappointed to report that I have seen NO kanagroos or wildlife, with the exception of birds. I was pretty jealous when Jon came home from work and said he saw 2 kangaroos at the site. For now I just have to enjoy the local bird-watching…this bird was so brightly colored and beautiful so I had to snap a picture. Someday I will look back on this post and laugh at myself for taking all of these goofy pictures.
Penny is going to be heartbroken to find there are no squirrels and really no critters to chase…perhaps she’ll settle for birds in their absence? We’ll see! Speaking of Penny, she has been released from quarantine in Melbourne and flies to Alice Springs tomorrow! We can’t wait to get her home!
The last major learning curve of the week (for me, at least) has been driving. The first time I was behind the wheel was a terrible flashback to my driver’s ed days…which is a time I NEVER wanted to revisit. I am a good/cautious driver, but let’s just say it took me a while to get the hang of driving. Flipping to the other side of the car and the road has sent me right back to when I was 15. I would say our marriage hit an all time “low” when I was behind the wheel for the first time. Jon suddenly morphed into my dad, slamming his non-existent brake and clenching his teeth as he muttered, “You’re VERY close to the curb over here,” and, “You’re doing great…?” We all survived (Jon’s blood pressure eventually returned to normal) and our marriage is unscathed but it was truly a humbling experience!
I am happy to report that after just a few days here I was able to drive myself and Emmylou to the Tiny Tots playgroup and even shuttled a friend and her bub there later in the week! Luckily the learning curve at 29 is quicker than when it was at 15!
So far we are really enjoying Alice Springs and our new home. The best thing so far has been the wonderful neighbors and people we have met. We’ve been showered with welcome treats, cups of coffee, beer, visits and so much more from the families here. It has truly been a warm welcome and made us feel at home right away.
I will post pictures of the inside of our house as soon as our shipment comes with our things (in a couple months) and we are settled in. For now we are exploring our new area and are so excited to welcome Penny home!
K, J, EL & P