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Saturday 25 July 2015

Out and About in Adelaide

During our recent trip to Australia we spent much of our time in our home city of Adelaide. It was so great to catch up with friends and family, but it was also nice to share our home city with the girls. Ava remembers life in Australia before our move to California, but as Lola had only just turned one year old a week before our move she has no memories of Adelaide. And of course, for our American born baby Mathilde, everything was new.

So we tried to get out and about in the city and see as much of it as possible. It was also a great chance for the girls to experience many of the things that we experienced growing up.

When we first arrived in Adelaide we spent a day out with my Mum, my sister Kylie, and my best friend, also named Kylie, and her little boy Sebastian. We started our day with an early lunch at Adelaide's Central Markets. On our way to meet up with everyone we stopped at a delicatessen in the markets and the girls tried a piece of fritz, a local South Australian "delicacy". I use the word delicacy loosely as fritz is one of those "mystery meat" sausages that kids love but adults don't - or they secretly love but won't admit it! Kids in South Australia grow up eating fritz and sauce (ketchup) sandwiches or eating fritz on its own as a snack. It always tastes best though when the butcher cuts of a piece and hands it to you to eat right then and there though. And that's what we did. The girls tried a piece of fritz each and they loved it. Ava used to eat it quite often when she was little but Lola and Mathilde were trying it for the first time. It was the first time I've been able to successfully get Mathilde to eat meat (other than chicken) and she continued eating it throughout our stay in Adelaide. The same goes for Lola who usually refuses to eat meat. I'll have to try and track down something similar here in California, but considering that it's not even available in other states of Australia that might prove a little tricky. The kids also enjoyed babyccinos with their lunch, another everyday item that is hard to come by in America. When we first moved here Ava was very upset that she couldn't get a babyccino when I went out for coffee. She could have a hot chocolate or a steamed milk but never a babyccino. Luckily, I can just make them at home with our coffee machine but it's not quite the same as having one in a cafe like a big person. Plus in Australia they come with marshmallows, and Australian marshmallows are so much better than American marshmallows!

After leaving the markets we caught the tram towards the river where we took a ride on the Popeye, a smallish tourist boat that makes trips backwards and forwards on a small stretch of the River Torrens. The last time I remember going on the Popeye was on my third grade camp which means I was the same age as Ava! The girls took it in turns playing captain and then we set off on our short journey towards the zoo and back. While Mathilde and Sebastian spent their time looking out of (and trying to climb out of!) and open window, Ava and Lola stayed with Aunty Kylie taking selfies! Ok, so there was a little duck face from Mathilde too!

Ava had really hoped to ride on the pedal boats that lined the shore however being Winter, they weren't available for hire until the following week when school holidays started. 

Back on dry land we checked out the bird life in the river and on the bank. Mathilde was pretty impressed with the big "ducks" - swans and pelicans - and wasn't scared of them at all, even after they chased a nearby group of picnickers away from their picnic!

We then made our way up to Rundle Mall for afternoon tea. As we walked past the Festival Theatre the sun shone beautifully across the top of it creating a little rainbow which went perfectly with the rainbow pattern on the building.

In Rundle Mall the kids played on the pig statues that have become a firm favorite with Adelaide families. Ava and Lola used to love sitting on the pigs when we'd go shopping in city back when we lived in Adelaide.

A few days later we were back in the city again to meet up with more friends. This time we visited the Art Gallery for lunch and pirate themed crafts for the kids. Then we hit up Rundle Mall again for another play on the pigs.

The pigs may be a favorite with local kids, but when it comes to Adelaide landmarks they don't come any bigger - or rounder - than Malls Balls! Ok, so I have absolutely no idea what this sculpture is actually called, and I intend to never find out because as far as I'm concerned (and pretty much the rest of South Australia) they're Malls Balls. Always have been, and always will be. This iconic sculpture stands outside the David Jones department store and is a popular spot for people to meet. In fact, before we all had mobile phones and had to organize a meeting spot before heading into the city next to Malls Balls was it. It was also the place to find one of Adelaide's well known local... umm... eccentric crazy people: the old lady that would yell at kids who banged on the balls! I'm sure she actually had a name, but any Adelaidean over the age of, say twenty five, will know who I'm talking about. She seemed to spend her days standing by the balls waiting for kids to bang on them just so she could yell. Which of course meant that kids would spend their time banging on the balls just to make her yell! Ah, memories... The old yelling lady is long gone now so the girls were free to run around the balls, bang on them and pull funny faces in them as much as they liked - or until I started to yell! Uh oh, I'm starting to see her point!

This particular evening we had plans to go to an AFL (Australian Rules) football game with my family. My family are all big fans of Port Adelaide, one of South Australia's local teams in the national league. My brother Adam very nicely organized seats in the member's stand for us and we had such a great night. I'm not really a football fan but the atmosphere at the game is always fun. The kids enjoyed being there with their cousins and they loved cheering along with the fans - even if they had no idea what was going on! Before the game we made our way across a newly built footbridge to the newly renovated Adelaide Oval. We made it there shortly before thousands of fans marched across the bridge en masse. Apparently it's a thing that Port Adelaide supporters do before each home game. It was pretty cool seeing the bridge completely covered in people but I'm glad we weren't among them with the kids!

Another thing that the Port Adelaide supporters do at the start of each game is hold their football scarves in the air and stand up to sing along to "Never tear us apart" by INXS. Adam had given the girls a scarf each so they were prepared for the game. The scarves also came in handy for the cold weather! In fact, it started raining quite heavily during the game. Luckily we kept nice and dry up in the member's stand. And warm under crocheted nanna blankets! Despite Port Adelaide's win there was much sadness in the crowd at this game (and all throughout Adelaide during our stay there) as their former coach had been killed a week before the game. As a tribute after the game, the stadium lights were turned down, everyone stood up, and a minute's silence was observed by the players, the support crew and the crowd. Thousands of twinkling mobile phones swaying back and forth lit up the stadium.

All the excitement of the football match after a day in the city was a little too much for the smallest members of our family who crashed out before they even made it into bed back at Nanna and Doug's house!

I know this one was a bit of a long post and I hope you made it this far. I have just a few more posts from our Australia trip left to share. We've been home for just under two weeks now but it already feels like our trip was so long ago.


  1. Your pictures of your kids and your trip are awesome! Looks like you guys made many memories that will definitely hold a special place and all photos to remind you of them can be kept in storage!


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