We arrived at our friends' house-sit in Adelaide refreshed after our night in luxury- to yet more luxury! It was a beautiful rambling house with a pool! And a pool room- and loads of toys so the boys were in their element, new adults who wanted to play all the time! Hooray!
It was a reunion of old housemates from Springfield Avenue, before children and it was like no time had passed. We spent our time swimming, catching up over wine and eating the leftover christmas chocolates. Just like normal really, but warmer.
On New Years Eve we thought we'd check out the local Wineries. We were lucky, Laura (Our host) used to work there so she had friends who were up for showing us around- even though it was their day off.
We were shown the traditional basket presses, the barrels, the cellar. It turns out the best wine is made the old fashioned way- and has an open fermenting vat. It was nice to learn that with all the insects around the place, none were seived out of the wine- it adds to the protein. Tasty yummy, indeed! Despite my initial revolt I was glad that I asked. If it contains protein it's like food and is good for you, yes? Hooray!
The boys and Chris played cricket on the lawn whilst the adults sipped wine- everyone was a winner. It felt so elegant, with the view over the sweeping valley and us, nestled amongst the atmospheric old buildings.
The Wineries at McLaren Vale were much more laid-back and accessible than any we had been to before. We felt like we didn't really fit in at Margaret River- but here was very easy. We could have stayed all day... oh wait, we did.
It seemed like a good idea to go wine tasting in the morning. We loved it but started to feel a bit sleepy by mid afternoon- so after a quick trip to the beach it was naptime for the adults. I was supposed to be buying the food for New Years Eve barbecue but woke up at 6pm, 1976 as NO SHOPS WERE OPEN. Adelaide never got the memo apparently that we were used to later trading hours... lucky for us, our hosts were used to this scenario and there was plenty in their freezer (thank you Jared and Liz)
The evening was saved as we had previously agreed to do the $10 Op-shop (Charity shop) challenge. The rules were simple- no more than $10 each per person to find the most fabulous outfit for New Years Eve. The charity received money and we got to sit about in bright fluency things all evening! What better way to sing 80s song to see in the New Year with?!
New Years Eve was special, watching Sydney Opera House on the telly, go up in pyrotechnics. This year though, we had been there- it was an actual, real place. The Eldest couldn't sleep for excitement so for the first time, and in no small part due to continued later bedtime, he saw in the New Year at Midnight. For him, it was magical.
We said our sad goodbyes and did the 8 hour return drive to Melbourne to the McEvoys house. We managed to catch up with the Murdochs again who we met at Coral Bay and got ourselves to the Zoo on the McEvoys membership card (sshhh!!)
It was lovely, wandering around looking at the animals discussing the next leg of the journey, after what felt like a lifetime in Australia. Our time here was definitely done but I couldn't get excited about Singapore. All I could think of was leaving our lovely friends.
We retired back to their house, the kids went nuts with their friends and Huey cooked up a storm. James and Chris came over for dinner and it felt like the last supper. After only 3 months on the road I had really cherished having good friends around us. What on earth will we feel like after a year on the road?! heaven knows.
We discussed communal living and dreamed about setting up a scheme/ co-op somewhere in a warm climate in the future. It really works, sharing the jobs and letting the children play together all the time. Why don't we live like that anyway?? Nuclear families just don't seem to make sense to me. After discussing the endless possibilities of communal living and picking their well-travelled brains we had a more refined battle plan for the trip and beyond. Its like they helped us put our brain in order- but I guess that's what friends are for.
We waved goodbye and I cried like a baby, realising how much I was going to miss all our lovely Australian friends. We have to see them again soon before the kids forget about each other again... some how.