Five weeks in the States

During most of December, across Christmas/New Years and into the beginning of 2012, we wandered, moseyed and explored our way around the US of A. It was an absolutely fantastic holiday that included:

  • Orlando (Disney, Legoland, Kennedy Space Center)
  • Washington DC
  • New York
  • Chicago (Christmas – bloody cold, but no snow damnit!)
  • San Francisco (New Years eve)
  • Big Sur coast down to LA

All in all we had a huge time. I posted lots of photos on tumblr, but I’m reposting a few favourites here for posterity – and some that we didn’t put on tumblr such as Mitchell as an astronaut, and us swimming with the dolphins.

Discovery Cove

NASA Kenney Space Center

And some of our favourite pics from the tumblr load

Some pork with your Christmas lunch?

Yesterday’s Christmas lunch didn’t quite go as planned. The intention had been for some friends to come over for a roast turkey and maple ham lunch, and to continue the Christmas cheer with fresh puddings, mince pies and shortbreads.

Unfortunately Mitchell’s immune system had other plans.

He’s had a cold for a few days, and on Christmas eve he developed a raging fever which persisted all night and was unresponsive to anti-pyretics. So come Christmas morning, with all of us very sleep deprived, we hurriedly opened presents and then headed off to the hospital for a swine flu test.

The initial check suggested he had H1N1.  With several littlies expected at our Christmas lunch, we thought it prudent to cancel everything. Then we headed home, to await the outcome of the influenza test.

Eventually, later in the afternoon, the test came back: negative. Which I guess is a shame really. Afterall, he’s already sick as a dog, but at least if it was the crazy pig stuff then he’d develop some immunities to it.

So that was our Christmas. Fried ham and egg sandwiches for lunch, roast turkey for dinner (sans friends), a puff on the shisha and some crappy TV on the box.

Hope you all had a great one. Merry Christmas to all!

Playing in Penang

We’ve just returned from a couple of days in lovely Penang, where we had lots of fun playing in the tropics. We stayed at the Golden Sands hotel, which was perfect for our little family unit, being very accessible for Sheridan and with lots of kid-related stuff like an indoor adventure zone and a great wading pool. We really struggled to get Mitchell out of both of these.

The only real negatives were that the visit was so short – only a couple of days – and someone broke into all of our suitcases between Penang and Beirut. Fortunately we didn’t have any valuables in the cases so the only thing they took was an old mobile phone. Unfortunately they wrecked the locks on the suitcases in the process, so the end of the holidays were spent filling out insurance paperwork with Malaysian airlines.

Bummer!

Holiday over, back to the Madness

We’ve just returned from our four week leave in Australia. After 20 hours in a plane and with very little sleep, we’re all kind of staggering around the apartment in that semi-intoxicated giddy state that only deep fatigue and jet-lag can bring you.  Mitchell woke up at 2.30 this morning and was ready to get into the day.  But luckily we managed to coax him into our bed and back to sleep until a much more respectable 6.30 am.

It was really great catching up with friends and family in Adelaide, Sydney and Canberra during the trip, but such a shame that Sheridan wasn’t feeling the best through some of it. Mitchell definitely enjoyed the trip, although I think he’d be hard pressed to decide on the best highlight. A few shortlist items might be:

– chasing Nanna’s fostered guide dog puppy Dax around the garden, pulling her tail, throwing balls for her and getting licked all over his face.

– discovering that the Easter bunny’s been and then spending the next few days gorging on chocolates. (He has now added the phrase “I want some chocolate” to his daily lexicon. Hmmm.)

– seeing the lions and tigers at the Adelaide zoo, or seeing the lions and giraffes at Monarto zoo.

– making Grandad chase him everywhere, totally and blissfully oblivious to Grandad’s dodgy hip and tricky ticker.

– playing dress-ups with Lily and trying on all of her necklaces, bracelets, rings and tiaras all at the same time.

– having water-bomb fights with Liv and Nadia in Geoff and May’s garden.

– discovering that unlike in Lebanon, Australian shopping malls have coin-operated rides every ten metres, but for some reason whenever Daddy goes to the mall he’s never got any coins in his pockets.

– riding on the carousel at Darling Harbour and saying “Hi” to uncle Christopher with every revolution.

– watching sharks glide over him and James at the Sydney Aquarium.

– consuming a full sized strawberry milkshake from Billy Baxters cafe in less than 30 seconds.

– riding on lots and lots of planes, plus a train, the monorail and the Popeye boat on the Torrens river.

– running endlessly from one end of Dubai airport to the other using every travelator in the building.

– being chased by the waves at Semaphore beach.

– swimming at Elizabeth aquatic centre, and then delighting when daddy got told off by a lifeguard for diving into the pool where there was a “no diving” sign.

– telling aunty Charmaine that she looked like a princess when she was all dressed up for work in the morning.

– playing piano and guitar with Erin.

– kicking Matt’s butt on the XBox 360.

– getting lots of really nice cuddles from all of his friends and family.

Yep, it was a pretty uneventful holiday…

Australian adventure

Well we’re back here in Australia for a few weeks, so no reports of life in Lebanon. We had a long, but not too painful, flight and have arrived in Adelaide exhausted but otherwise in good spirits.

Mitchell’s loving playing with Erin, Brooke, Craig, Charmaine, nanna and the dogs.  Nanna’s babysitting a trainee guidedog called Dax who is a beautiful big retriever labrador cross puppy. Needless to say, Mitchell can be found at any time of the day running around the garden yelling out “Dax!” “Dax!”.

Next few days will feature lots of good coffee, shopping for essentials, sane driving, and dodgy free to air tv. Stay tuned.

Christmas in Lebanon

So what did the Sherlex clan get up to on Christmas day?

For starters, Mitchell adhered to our prayers and slept in until 8.45 – lovely! Fina had been out late at a Filipina party the night before and so she was particularly happy that he wasn’t banging on her door at 6.30.

Then we came out to the living room and discovered that Father Christmas had been! All of the bikkies and juice that we’d left for him were gone, as was the water and carrot for the reindeer. Father Christmas was obviously happy with the mid-delivery refreshments, because he left lots and lots of presents. Not surprisingly, most of them were for Mitchell.

There were clothes, toys, chocolates, cars, sticker books (in all Mitchell got over 900 stickers!), DVDs and other goodies.

There was also a pair of goldfish, who’ve been named Curly and Moe. Let’s see how long they go without being scooped out or having their water “enhanced” with chocolate milk.

There was also a set of golf clubs. I’m sure the insurance claim for the smashed TV will be making its way to the Lorkins very soon…

There was also a monster trike with some serious on-road rubber, for making endless burnouts on our balcony or in the building foyer.

So yeah, Santa was pretty generous this year, as were all of our friends and family back home. We’ve never received such a huge influx of presies and mail! The mail room had to put on a bag just for us!

Present opening complete, then it was time to prepare for lunch. Marcia, Marcin and their son Balthazar (Taz) came over to join us for a traditional Christmas lunch, including some Polish delicacies courtesy of Marcin (let’s just say there was lots of cabbage – with the inevitable repercussions later that evening… ). There was salmon mousse, and Polish mushroom/cabbage galettes, turkey and pork and baked salmon (Marcia and Marcin are vegequarians), a buche de noel, gingerbread bikkies and shortbreads and mince pies.

Let’s just say we ate well and felt rather corpulent for the rest of the day.

And that’s about it. Hope everyone out there had a terrific Christmas, and I hope you all saved some money for the post-Christmas sales!