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Sunday, April 23, 2017

The magic suitcase!

As you probably know, my dad came to visit us! It was a surprise to the kiddos. They were excited to see him, but only briefly. I had made homemade pancakes for breakfast the morning he arrived and they wanted to return to their delicious food.

My dad brought a suitcase of stuff just for us. You can get most anything in Australia -- but at a steep price. This is an island nation. There's no Mexico or Canada from which to procure produce if the crop is poor in Oz. There are a few shops throughout the country that cater to Americans (which remember is the size of the US lower 48). Mostly, though American goodies are pricey.

A few weeks prior to Grumpa's visit, I began loading up our online shopping cart and shipping boxes to him. About a week prior to his departure he noted the suitcase still had some space. Big mistake :-)

So, here are some of the items that were so valuable to us:

  • The Sunday New York Times. This probably doesn't require an explanation, but you cannot get a print copy of the Times in Sydney. I really enjoy the Sunday edition. It takes me back to my pre-parenthood life. The New York Times recently opened a full bureau in Sydney; they report some interesting things and put out a weekly newsletter. But no print copy. No printed magazine. I savored that paper for 2 weeks and paced myself. It was glorious.
  • VPN-enabled router. We have a lot of streaming content available to us when we're in the US. When you're out of the US but still have that content available, it's not easy to access. Your device tells the request device where you are geographically. A lot of content gets blocked when you're outside your "home" country. We could stream American content on a laptop with a VPN (a sort of location scrambler) but that was very unsatisfying and inconvenient. The router is VPN-enabled. It has its own wifi name and password and it tells servers we live in the US. It took a long time to get situated but it's so nice to have. Very happy with this purchase. Thank you again M.O. for the help!
  • Girl Scout Cookies. We're rationing these.

  • Cheerios. The struggle is real. This was a last minute addition. E was so thrilled they had arrived!

  • Toiletries. All these can be found in Oz. At a hefty price. I found a comparable deodorant to what I like and it was $25AUD.
  • Zipper sheets. M requested bunk beds when we were furniture shopping. Having never tried to change sheets on the top bunk, I didn't know how challenging this would be. The zipper sheets will make life way easier. Props to Aaron for this suggestion!
  • Goodies for us + the kids. Nani and Bubbie Erma put presents and cards in for the kids, us and me. So thoughtful! I'm saving mine until my birthday.
This is not a full list of what was in the suitcase but it is some highlights. Nothing spectacular, as you can see.

There was a long delay in posting while we were on a 13-day cruise. More about that shortly!

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