It was so good to arrive. There's something about the noise and squishiness of planes that makes it less exciting than it should be, given that you are flying in the air, and it was a relief to walk onto the tarmac. Grace held my hand and squealed at the noise of the jet (she freaks out about hand dryers in public toilets so no surprise) but I convinced her to turn around and have a look. Inside the terminal she helped Daddy retrieve our bags, heaving her dora the explorer suitcase off the carousel like she'd been doing it all her life. Moments later Cam pulled up and we were on our way. I have no real sense of our location and have just figured out which way is up, or north today. All the roads are very windy and where we are seems unconnected to a major town, which feels strange when you are so city focused.
The moment of arrival at the house was joyous. I was so happy to see Betty, Ruby and Maeve and to my great relief they are still little. Grown a bit, but it's not as if they've turned into teenagers since they've been away. And it felt right to be with them straight away, like we'd hardly been apart at all. Grace and Ruby were so happy and even gave each other a little cuddle. Some of the things I've thought would be difficult are not. Grace is sleeping in a little beach shelter next to our mattress under a pergola in a very luxurious garage attached to the house. Her mattress is red and her doona cover has pretty flowers on it and Grace loves it. Betty went to quite some effort to make it comfortable for her and it is.
Other things are not so easy, after the initial delight in seeing everyone, there is a different house and household to get used to. And there are three children under five and by lunch time today they were all cranky. Grace is napping right now and she was only prepared to lie down and rest if I was there too. In fact I have been spending a lot of time helping her do things that she is fine with a home and I've found it wearing. G has been sick, possibly with a variation of what Grace had although I think he's better now. And it's hot. Very hot, when you've come from a Melbourne in which spring has barely sprung. The light seems very bright too, and I find it difficult to be out of the shade in the middle of the day. I have accepted that I will barely acclimatise while I am here. So I'm just going to try and take things slowly. And relax, despite the moments of chaos, because it's a holiday.
Yesterday Betty and I went out with Grace and Ruby. First we stopped at the big pineapple, which for some reason was very high on my to do list and I wasn't disappointed. It's kind of crappy but in a good way. It must be pretty old because I know someone my age that worked there as a teenager. Grace loved it and climbed up and down several times. I couldn't get her to go and meet Betty and Ruby at the growers market (we'd stopped to sit and recompose in the shade after a foot scraping on new shoes without socks incident). Apparently the market was pretty good and we've been eating some sensational mangoes and pineapple. And I learnt that pineapples don't have a season as such and that they take two years to grow. There are some around here and I will have to photograph them because they are strange and beautiful. After the big pineapple we went to the pool, and after some initial difficulties, it was so much fun that we could hardly get the children to leave. Today we've just been hanging out and tomorrow, I think we'll go somewhere. Oh, and I really need to get my act together and take some serious pictures of the children, perhaps when they stop being so cranky. Because they are just all so beautiful.