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Tuesday 13 August 2019

Catching Up...


I'm still here!

I know it's been an awfully long time since I last posted (probably the longest gap ever between posts), but while it's been very quiet here on Little Hiccups, it has been anything but in real life.

Between the end of the school year, packing up our lives in Berkeley, our trip to Australia, Summer camps for the kids, our road trip to Colorado, living out of hotels (and an empty house) for weeks, and now the daunting task of unpacking, things have been pretty crazy for our family! On top of that we've had flaky internet and I've had no access to my real computer, Lightroom and all my photos until now, so blogging and social media have gone out the window.

Boy, do I have a lot of things to update you all on!

I really should be unpacking boxes (and folding the massive amount of paper that were wrapped around everything) but I'm going to take a break to give a quick update on the last month. Or, rather, a long update because I'm really not good when it comes to keeping things brief - and I really don't want to go back to unpacking!

Let's go back and look at the last few months...

End of School
The end of the school year back in mid-June saw Mathilde graduating from pre-school, ready to start Kindergarten in the Fall. Wasn't she just a baby the other day? The end of preschool was a happy time for Mathilde but quite an emotional time for me - even if we weren't moving away. All three girls went to the same preschool in Berkeley so my last baby graduating really was the end of an era. A few days after Mathilde finished pre-school Ava and Lola finished up school for the year. Being the independent middle-schooler, Ava celebrated her last day by going out for lunch with a group of friends after an early finish for the day. Lola finished at her regular time and there were a lot of tears (from me!) hidden behind sunglasses as we said goodbye to the teachers and support staff that have been a part of our Berkeley family for the past seven years.

Summer Camp
With this being our last Summer in Berkeley Ava was keen to squeeze in a few weeks of her favorite Summer camps. It was a pretty crazy time with packing (for Australia and our move) but we started the Summer off with Ava attending Junior Life Guard camp at Lake Anza in the Berkeley Hills. This was Ava's third year attending life guard camp and she had a blast as always. After our trip to Australia we managed to fit in a week of Camp Galileo for both Ava and Lola. This was Ava's third year attending and Lola's first. They both had a great time at camp and came home with lots of fun things that they made during the week. Lola's week at camp featured the theme "Expedition to Everest" and she made a Nepalese puppet during art class and a rescue robot during science. Ava's camp theme was "Chefology: Decadent Desserts" and each day she brought home delicious treats - if she didn't eat it all at camp, that is!

Our Trip to Australia
The highlight of our Summer Break had to be our trip back to Australia to visit friends and family. We were only there for two weeks, and it flew by, but we managed to squeeze in a lot of fun during that time. We spent time with family and friends, ate our favorite South Aussie foods, fed kangaroos and wallabies at Cleland Wildlife Park, took the horse drawn tram to Granite Island from Victor Harbour, went ice skating by the beach in Glenelg, climbed a ropes course at TreeClimb in the Adelaide parklands, played on the epic playground at St Kilda, spotted dolphins at Port Adelaide, and played on the beach. I'll have lots of posts sharing our adventures coming soon, but for now you can see some of our favorite moments below.

Saying Goodbye to Berkeley
The saddest part of our Summer. Saying goodbye is never easy. We spent our last few weeks in Berkeley visiting all of our favorite places (mostly ice cream and gelato shops!) and catching up with friends. We finished up swim team, swim class and had a farewell party with our amazing karate family (two other families also moved away this Summer). We threw a going away picnic in Codornices Park and were happy to have so many friends join us for an afternoon of fun on the concrete slides and Cheeseboard pizza (our last Cheeseboard treat). As luck would have it, good friends who had moved to Italy a few years back were back in town and came to join us. We said one last goodbye to our empty apartment the following morning before heading off on our next adventure.

Road Trip to Colorado
Instead of flying directly to Colorado we decided to make our move a road trip. This gave us a Summer adventure and provided the chance to stop at some places we'd been wanting to visit. It also made moving Cookie, Ava's pet gecko a little easier as he wasn't allowed on a plane. He came along on the road trip with us! Our first stop was the southern shore of Lake Tahoe. Can you believe that after almost eight years of living in the Bay Area we'd never visited South Lake Tahoe before? In fact, we'd only visited North Lake Tahoe once before and that was during the Winter for fun in the snow (back when Ava and Lola were only 6 and 2) so this was out first time being able to play in the lake itself. We spent two nights at Lake Tahoe where we swam in the lake, relaxed in the hotel hot tub, made s'mores over a fire pit, ate lots of ice cream, and took in the views over the area from the Heavenly Gondola. I'm kicking myself that we hadn't made it there sooner! From Lake Tahoe we headed through Nevada and onto Utah. We stopped at Bonneville Salt Flats for a bit of a run around on the salt (which was much wetter than it had been during our last visit in Winter), and then headed on to Salt Lake City where we spent a few nights. On our previous trip to Salt Lake City we had spent a day at Antelope Island. We loved it there but it was so foggy and snowy that we couldn't actually see the lake. We went back again to see Antelope Island in Summer and we were treated to gorgeous views of the Great Salt Lake. Check out how reflective it is in the photos below. We also went hiking along the shores of the lake where we saw lots of bird and insect wildlife - and "wild corn dogs", as I like to call the bull rushes! From Salt Lake City we headed to Moab and Arches National Park. It was scorching hot and we almost gave the park a miss, but I knew we'd be kicking ourselves later if we passed through without seeing the amazing rock structures. We headed to Arches later in the day when it had cooled down a little (but was still around 106F!) and we were treated to stunning views over the intricate rock formations. For the most part the kids and Kim stayed in the car with the AC blasting, but they did hop out and join me for a few short hikes, in particular to Park Avenue and the Delicate Arch, which we saw at sunset. We'll definitely be back to see more of the area at a cooler time of year! From Moab we drove on through to our last stop of the Summer. Our new home in Colorado!

Our new House
It's been three weeks since we arrived and there are still boxes and piles of packing paper everywhere but we're slowly getting our new home set up. We spent about a week camping out and eating off paper plates while we waited for our belongings to arrive from California. I'm so glad that houses in America tend to come with fridges, washers, dryers and microwaves! It definitely made camping out in our empty house much easier. Back home in Australia these sorts of appliances usually aren't included when buying or renting a house. The kids are excited to have more space, specifically their own rooms and a backyard. So far, the biggest hits have been the hot tub in the back yard, the new swings that we hung from one of our big trees, and the ice maker on our giant double-doored American fridge! That last one has been amazing as it is so much hotter here in Colorado than what we're used to and the kids have been eating cup after cup of ice to cool down. I've never had a fridge with an ice maker (or a big double fridge) before so it's a huge novelty to me too.

All three girls start school later this week, so that's now my focus - and another distraction from unpacking! Settling in to new schools and making all new friends is going to be a little daunting at first, but the girls are pretty excited about it. Well, Ava and Mathilde are. Lola not so much, but I'm sure she'll be happy once she's settled in her new classroom.

Lots more posts about our Summer adventures and our new life in Colorado to come soon. I promise there won't be another two month break!

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