well here we are at last - I cant quite believe we have been here for a week already... its absolutely flown by. We have been sooooo busy sorted out 1 thing then another then another...
We arrived after a very smooth flight (Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong) on 2nd January, were picked up by 2 suspicious looking characters at the airport (only joking - thank you so much Yvonne & Pete, nice to be greeted by others who'd been in the same position as us).
And there the smooth run ended.... we got to our apartment (where we stayed 2 nights) desperate to flop on the beds... to be told that our room would not be ready for another 2.5 hours. We set off to walk around the middle of town to get a few essentials like bread and milk etc to see us through our 1st day & night. About an hour later when we couldnt walk any further, we returned to just sit in reception and wait! I think the misery on our faces plus 3 whingy children was enough for them to offer to upgrade us to another room which was ready.
The next morning our eldest daughter started to complain about a pain in her hip and generally aching all over. If it hadnt been a public holiday we would have used this day to register at Medicare. This would have saved me a heap of panicking not just about her health, but also the hospital fees I could see spiralling out of control before my eyes, when she went into hospital at midnight that night with my husband. Fortunately she was sent home with antibiotics after a blood test a few hours later and told to drink plenty of fluids. Lucky my OH is a nurse else she may not have been allowed to go home so soon. (Fortunately hospital costs were non-existant...we did not have to pay for the antibiotics either - the only plus-point of the experience, and Heather did say she preferred the hospital here to the one in Wolverhampton!)
Next day we were taken to the real estate office to collect the keys for our rental, via another Pom in Adelaide to collect our camping beds to see us through til our beds arrive next week (thanks Liz & Rich, and Hattie for the DVDs, Mary Poppins has been enjoyed!!).
We get out our credit card to pay the bond only to then be told that they dont take cards AAARRGHHHH!!!!!!!! Can't withdraw the money we needed from an ATM using the UK card we had, meanwhile kids in car, 1 still feeling worse for wear - thanks Yvonne for taking them to yours while we sorted out the bond.
Then arrive at rental (in the lovely area of McLaren Vale, through wineries and vineyards - lovely views of the hills to the side.... BUT no electricity at the house... and this wasnt sorted out until the following day. Head torches were definately good stocking fillers for the girls at Christmas... worth their weight in gold!! Shame we didnt get them millipede poison too!!
Since those first 48hrs though, we have been mega busy, but with the kindness shown to us from other PIAs we have been comfortable. We have set up bank accounts, registered for medicare, family allowance, bought 2 cars, got a fantastic large FREE fridge off Freecycle.. glad ours not being shipped now!,bug-bombed the house, fed kangaroos, been to beautiful, empty beaches, and generally done loads of driving and starting to find our feet.
An action packed, thoroughly exhausting week but we know we have definitely made the right move for the girls, and ourselves. Hope the next week is slightly less fraught than the 1st ... but bring it on.... and the VB / Toohey's certainly helps!!