Australia 2023

This month we went on our first big holiday together as a family, and it was the first time I’ve left the country since I adopted my first child!

We had an amazing time and the girls coped really well with the flights and meeting so many new people and all the excitement that went with it! There were certainly a few bumpy patches here and there but it was great overall.

We spent almost 2 weeks with my dad who is almost 80 and who I hadn’t seen since 2018. He had a lovely time getting to know the girls and being a Grandpa and it was lovely being up in the beautiful Blue Mountains. We had various lunches with extended family members and friends, and spent a lovely weekend at the beach in Gerringong with my brother and my nephews. My friend CeeCee came up from Melbourne for a few days and we had a fun day out at Scenic World.

We spent the easter long weekend with my brother and his partner in Sydney, seeing the sights, and exploring Luna Park, Centennial Park, the Botanical Gardens, Clovelly Beach and Darling Harbour, the harbour bridge and the opera house. The weather was pretty nice and we got a bit of sun here and there!

Our last week was spent with my sister-in-law in Glenbrook and spending more time with my nephews for the girls to bond with their cousins. Lots of football and shopping and bowling and a trip to the zoo and so on. My daughter S also turned 12 while we were there so there was cake and presents and lots of celebrating.

Overall it was a really amazing holiday, and we had the best time.

Coming home was a mixed bag – on the one hand I think the girls were actually really relieved to be back in their routine again, back in their own rooms and beds with all their familiar stuff, and even going back to school went more smoothly than expected (I forgot how much my girls love a regular routine in their lives!). The jet lag coming home was really easy (compared with going there – I always find it super hard going in that direction and much easier coming back this way).

The saddest part was on our return we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat Cleo, who was very elderly and frail and had hung on long enough for us to come home and say goodbye but sadly she had to be put down the day after we got home. So that was a very sad thing to come home to. But other than that we have settled back into life and work and school with remarkable ease and are hoping that the next big holiday we go on won’t be quite as fraught with nerves beforehand!

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