Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to the U.S.A. - Part One

We have been back in the States for more than a week and a half now, and I'm just now getting around to writing a few posts about our travels.  Sorry!  It has been a busy few weeks as we tended to all the details of setting up life in the U.S. as a family.

I won't go into great detail, but here are some photos of the first half of our trip, from Ukarumpa to Brisbane, Australia.

We were able to finish packing and cleaning the night before we left Ukarumpa, and so the morning of our departure was rather leisurly.  (Our flight didn't leave until the early afternoon.)  We were walking around and Greg wanted to stop outside the fence at the back of the store to watch the forklift moving pallets of food.  The workers invited him in and gave him a ride on the forklift, and let him sit there honking the horn while Brian chatted away.  It wasn't until after we arrived in the U.S. that we realized how spoiled Greg is.  In Ukarumpa, dad either has keys to all of the tractors and machines, or knows the people who do, and it's quite easy for Greg to go for a ride.  While we were traveling and now that we're settled in Oregon, Greg keeps seeing machinery and asking to go for a ride.  He doesn't understand that we don't have the freedom to do that here!

Greg was sooooooooo excited to ride in an airplane.  We had been talking about it for weeks.  The first of our 5 flights was just a short hop in a small plane from Ukarumpa to the capital city of Port Moresby.

We spent two nights at a guesthouse in Port Moresby.  While we were there, Greg discovered that he loves playing on slides.  

We also took a little side trip to see the new shopping mall that had been built in Port Moresby.  It was here that Greg first encountered an escalator.  (Escalators and moving walkways would soon prove to be a valuable source of entertainment for the rest of our travels).

 Greg studies up on airplane safety on our flight from Port Moresby to Brisbane.

We spent another two nights in Brisbane (which is a great city, if you ever get the chance to visit).  While there, we met up with a family that we had heard a lot about, but had never actually met.  The wife grew up in PNG, and we are friends with her parents.  They have a daughter about the same age as Greg, and are expecting their second child a month after ours is due.

We met down by the river, where there are parks and nice trails.  The kids enjoyed playing on the playgrounds and Greg enjoyed wading into the water at the play beach there.  (He was specifically told not to go into the water, and perhaps he enjoyed it all the more because he was being naughty).  In the photo above, he's actually sitting at an outdoor table waiting for lunch in just his diaper, as his jeans and shoes are hanging in the sun nearby to dry off.

After lunch we explored another playground, where we found this cool spinning thingy.  The kids insisted that the dads join them in spinning until they felt sick.

After we said goodbye to our new friends, the three of us took a ride down the river on the city catamarans that are part of the public transportation system.  (Greg loved riding different buses, trains and boats to get around the city).

 I will leave you with this pretty view from the river.  After a fun day, the ride back to the flat where we were staying was not so pretty - we had pushed our luck keeping a certain toddler out past his nap time, and had a good meltdown at the bus station, but that's another story.

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