Anne Marie's Australian Adventure

Follow the Adventures of Anne Marie, Fergus, Cooper and Bean Sidhe in Australia!!

The World Gets Smaller Every Day

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on May 20, 2011

Through our Airedale connections I have met a woman from South Africa. Her husband and kids will be moving to Canberra in July. I’ve been emailing her about places in Canberra that were our favorites, places to look for housing etc. This is so exciting. They wanted to move to Adelaide but for now have to go to Canberra. Just discussing with her about things to do there made me very “homesick” for the place – odd isn’t it?

We’ve gotten some very sweet emails from our friends in Australia. It is the first time that we’ve moved that I have felt like we were going towards something rather than leaving something behind. I will miss people and things in Kansas (not tornadoes that’s for sure) but I am not leaving with dread in my heart and the sinking feeling in my stomach like I had when leaving Idaho.

So every day I pack a little, toss out a lot, separate Goodwill donations, library donations and pile up things to give to friends. Sorting my life one room at a time. And as the stuff my life slowly gets smaller my world is rapidly getting bigger.

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31 days and counting

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on May 16, 2011

In approximately 31 days we will be arriving in Australia (I say approximately because of losing a day when we cross the International dateline). Thanks for all the well wishes I have gotten since my last post. I am so relieved that it is finally happening but the reality of the task at hand is beginning to sink in. There are boxes EVERYWHERE. Every day I am throwing out bags of trash – how did we accumulate so much stuff in just two years. The movers came last week to write up an estimate and we should have the results of that soon. The kids’ flights are booked, they leave on Sunday June 5.

I am taking some time to visit friends here. Sharon and I are taking a quick quilt class this week. We are trying to get together with Fergus’ friend Rod from medical school and his wife Marina before we leave.

Fergus has a few days off this week and then is working pretty solid until the first of June. In the meantime he is working on selling the big items like our cars and the exercise equipment. We met with Ryan and Rhonda the nice young couple who will be buying the house and all the papers have been signed. They are as anxious to get into the house as we are to leave.

The “kids” are really unsure what is happening around here, lots of strangers visiting, boxes everywhere and worst of all,  SUITCASES!!! They know what that means. Only this time they won’t be going to the kennel (they don’t know that yet.)

So that’s what’s happening here.

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The New Adventures of Old Anne Marie

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on May 11, 2011

FINALLY, we have news. I haven’t posted because I got tired of not having anything new to say about our Australian move. We did do some cool things since my last post. I never finished loading the pictures from Belgium. We had a quick short trip to Washington DC which was fantastic. And then we went to Puerto Rico for about six days and met up there with Danny, Chris and Curtis. It was all lovely and the weather was fantastic.

But the main thing on our minds and in our plans was getting everything for Australia. The visas have finally been approved, flights have been booked and we will be on our way….. JUNE 14, 2011. A little over two years since we arrived home.

So far I am all smiles. The serious packing begins.

We have a couple who are going to “lease-to-own” the house. The dogs have their “permits” to be allowed into Australia. We are still working on flights for them. They are booked into the quarantine station in Melbourne. Fergus starts work on June 20 and I will begin searching for a house to rent.   I plan to have a guest room for ALL the visitors we will be having so start booking early.

We will be the Bay Area for a few days before we fly out on the 14th. I was hoping to get out to visit all my girlfriends in Washington (Carole & Marsha), Oregon (Janet & Britt), Idaho (Kelly & Anna)  & California (Polly, Peggy, Linda & Justina)  before we left but now that the Visas have come through there is still so much that has to be done before I can leave Kansas.

I will have a chance to see Judy because she lives near Fergus’ parents – so Judy let’s make a date, okay?

We will be able to go to Curtis’ high school graduation, visit with Fergus’ parents and Scott before we leave. It will be a whirlwind weekend.

Thanks everyone for hanging in there with us. I’ll keep posting to the blog as the adventure begins to unfold.

Love, Anne Marie

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Where has the time gone?

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on March 19, 2011

I was going to add more pictures and info about our Belgium trip but haven’t gotten around to it. Then I realized I hadn’t even finished posting a draft I started in February. In the meantime we took a long weekend and went to Washington, DC, one of the few cities in the US I still wanted to see before we head over to Australia…oh by the way it looks like we will be leaving in May. But before I get ahead of myself I need to catch you up on Belgium, Washington, DC and our upcoming trip to Puerto Rico.

I am still waiting for pictures from Fergus’ camera of Belgium and Paris & DC so don’t give up on me.  I will get around to it soon.

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Belgium Memories #2 – Beautiful Baby

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on March 19, 2011

We wanted to get to meet Paco before he grew up and it was love at first sight. He is four months old now and is a happy, smiley, easy baby. He laughs and is curious, always looking around and noticing sights and sounds. Now I don’t have much experience with babies but he is just perfect.

Papa, Paco, and Granny.

Leslie and Manu have a darling house in Ways near Waterloo. They have done some remodeling and have wonderful plans for converting the attic into a master bed and bath.  I forgot to take pictures, it was cold outside and although we did many day trips to chateaus, abbeys, the university and shopping, once we got home we just wanted to get inside and get warm. Many of these places were in the central area of Belgium. The area is beautiful. It is green and I can imagine what it would look like with the flowers in the spring. Next trip for sure.

We spent one day in Brussels with Manu and Paco. We walked around the quaint streets and visited the plaza with these fantastic ornate architecture. We also had to visit the famous fountain, Mannikin Pis – the peeing little boy. Everywhere you go they have souvenirs of this little guy and when I finally saw it I had to laugh – Much Ado About Nothing – the fountain is so small if there weren’t crowds all around it I would have walked right by it – LOL.

This is it.

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Belgium Memories #1 – First Class all the way!

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on February 19, 2011

We had enough United Frequent Flyer miles to fly First Class. Wow!!!! I am hooked. It was so wonderful to be able to stretch out, get champagne before we even took off, a down blanket and real pillows, TV and movies on demand, gourmet meals and more. How in the world will we ever be able to travel in steerage again.

Lots of room.

What a way to go.

 

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Belgium Memories

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on February 19, 2011

We have been back from our trip for almost two weeks.  When we got home I was very jet-lagged and then came down with a terrible cold.  I wasn’t able to access my blog when we were in Europe so I’m going to give you many of the highlights of our trip in the next few entries.  I will try to get them all posted in the next couple of days. Thank you for your patience.

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Au Revoir

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on January 26, 2011

We are heading off to Belgium this afternoon. Mainly we want to see Leslie, Manu and the baby, Paco but while there we plan to visit Paris, too. I will try to take time to write what I have been up to these past couple of weeks. Maybe while we are at the airport in Chicago – if they have free WiFi.

It’s been sunny and cold here but a couple of weeks ago it was very snowy. Here’s a picture of the front yard.

View from the front porch.

Stay tune for more pictures and highlights of our latest adventure.

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First Snow of 2011

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on January 11, 2011

Actually this is the  first snow of the winter for us. These are pictures from the front porch at around 8 am. It is very cold – about 10 degrees but it sure looks pretty.

The Australian update is that the Australia medical board needs ANOTHER copy of Fergus’ high school transcripts – they misplaced the original one we sent.  This apparently will be the “proof” they need that he speaks English. I guess they don’t know that they don’t teach “spoken English” in the English classes.

He has already requested the FBI report they want but that can take several weeks. The Adelaide hospital says they have everything they need and he can start work immediately, it’s the medical board approval they are waiting for.

We are figuring nothing is going to happen for a couple of more months. We decided to use our Frequent Flyer Miles and visit Leslie,  Manu,  and Paco in Belgium. Leslie has arranged for the five of us to go to Paris for a few days while we are there. So at the end of this month we will be going to Belgium. I hope to have lots of pictures to post.

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Happy Holidays

Posted by Anne Marie Serrano on December 23, 2010

Dinner with Helen And Steve.

I was hoping to have more news about Australia for you all before I posted a new entry but alas , nothing new except they want more paperwork. So here is what we have been doing in the meantime. We went to Portland to visit Fergus’ niece , Aine, who is going to the University of Portland. We also had a chance to visit with my niece, Janet and her husband Mark who live about south of Portland. It was a quick trip. Fergus has a college friend, Steve and his wife Helen who also live there. Steve wasn’t able to make the trip to Santa Barbara for the fraternity reunion so we had a chance to get together while in Portland. It rained most of the time- well what do you expect, it’s Oregon after all but it didn’t dampen our visit one bit.

Aine and Fergus at the waterfalls near Mt. Hood.

 

 

Janet and Aine with me in the middle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fergus parents are here with us again this Christmas. No snow and not as cold as last year which is good for them. I hope to have more news for you all about Australia – as soon as I know something. Have a great Holiday.

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