A Winter Wonderland

At the second little travelers end of year choir concert, the big finale came in the form of a Disney medley. With a grin from ear to ear, the second little traveler “Zip-a-dee-doo dah’d and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’d before she ended with a big hearty hakuna matata.  It was a whole new world. Literally.

At the end of the concert the principal asked for a show of hands on who was feeling nostalgic for Disneyland. Anyone who’d lived in North America and had been to the happiest place on earth shot up their hand. He went on to ask who was heading to Disneyland this summer and a mixture of hands rose through the crowd. I watched the second little traveler take notes on the numbers, this was information she was going to be using in the future when trying her luck at negotiating our next family holiday.

When the principal wished us all a happy and wonderful summer, full of ice-creams, sunshine and summer fun, a few of us realized he’d forgotten that a number of us were heading south. Our “summer” wasn’t going to be a summer at all. Our summer break from June – August, is what we technically refer to in Australia as, winter.

I’ve been asked many times why we choose to come to Australia. It’s a long flight, it’s expensive, we need to pack accordingly and apart from a brief two weeks, all of the other children here are at school. I am often reminded that we could fly to Greece, Italy, France or the UK in under eight hours and that we need to be making the most of these opportunities while we have them at hand. There’s only one small problem.

None of those places are home.

As I type, the little travelers are just returning from the beach. In an eclectic ensemble of their canadian toques (beanies if you’re an Aussie), board shorts, fleeces and gum boots, they will spend hours jumping through the waves, collecting shells and making literary statements with sticks in the sand. Today’s big excitement came in the form of a whale spotted from the shore.

As we drove through the vineyards today stopping here and there for wine tastings mixed in with chocolate and cheese discoveries, I had a quick glimpse through my email. The Qatar meteorology department had sent out a warning that Doha would be facing a week of a daily 49 degrees, they were reminding me to keep hydrated.

I’m not sure if my current methods of hydration were what they had in mind.

At this point in time though, I couldn’t think of a better place to be right now.

And I think they’re pretty happy here too (even if it’s not Disneyland).

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