Wednesday, July 25, 2012
In a matter of weeks, we depart for Australia.
For a little over three weeks.
It'll have been two and a half years since we were there last. Two and a half years since we packed up and said our goodbyes, ready for some adventure in California. We were sure we'd get back sooner, but life happens.
Two and a half years.
The Faery was three and a half years old. New to being a big sister. New to preschool. On the cusp of... so much.
She'll be six when we visit. Six. Such a world of difference in what she's capable of, and knows, and understands.
Miss Pie was barely ten weeks old. The most contented little (actually, big) newborn, happy to go with the flow. She made the whole overseas move so much easier on me than it could have been.
Now she's a two-and-a-half-year-old. A firecracker of a toddler, marching to her own beat. Unwilling to bend for anyone, but still has her many moments of absolute sweetness. American life is all she knows.
I'm going to introduce Miss Pie to all the things that her sister loved at her age. She is going to adore sipping on a babycino - marshmallow on the side - when we go to cafes. I'm also pretty certain that Cheesymite scrolls will be a hit too. She may have lived most her life in the US, but I've made sure she has Vegemite coursing through her veins.
As for me, apart from the obvious joy of catching up with loved ones and snuggles with new nieces, it's also my tastebuds that are getting excited at the prospect of this trip.
Drinking creamy cafe lattes where I can actually taste the coffee - because I haven't had to navigate through a bucket of stiff foam on top. Where espresso is the norm when eating out, and no restaurant or cafe would dream of telling customers their espresso machine is broken (this has happened to me a number of times in L.A.). They may as well close up and call it a day. Where brewed coffee is mixed with real milk - not processed, flavoured powder or little caps of liquid curiously called 'creamer'. Each to their own, though. I'm sure many Americans would find coffee the way it's done in Australia not to their taste either.
And to nibble on while I enjoy my coffee and the girls enjoy their babycinos? Toasted, fresh banana bread (with lashings of melted butter, of course). This was a staple for the Faery and I when she was younger and we'd stop in at cafes. I realise it's not a uniquely Australian treat, but I don't really encounter it here - at least, not toasted with butter. Another favourite I haven't stumbled across in our corner of L.A. are Portuguese tarts.
If it were passionfruit season, I'd be eating it like no tomorrow - someone tell me why it isn't popular in California? Seems to me like the ideal climate to grow it.
Barbecued beef sausages, Shepherd's pie, Sunday roasts. Cheddar cheese that's yellow, and not dyed a scary shade of orange. Double thickened cream. Tim Tams, Scotch Fingers, Mint Slices. Oh my.
Two and a half years.
I need to be careful I don't gain back the 16kg (35 lbs) I've lost this year. (But yay me, right?)
Look out Sydney. Lock up your pastries, because here we come.