Day 13 – Gladesville – rest day
Between Cairns, Melbourne, an upcoming trip to Avalon, and too many relatives to meet and catch up with, I was ready for a day of relaxation on this so-called vacation. All I wanted to do on this Saturday was as little as possible: catch up on email/Facebook after sleeping in, and perhaps go out again tonight if energy permits. Since Luke and I were out until 3am the night before, I had already gotten my party fix. Luke had a work-related engagement to attend that evening, so he would unfortunately be out of the picture.
When I came downstairs after waking up around 10:30am, everyone had already finished breakfast and was sitting in the kitchen sipping tea. Sally and her husband Mike had their wedding anniversary this weekend, so Aunt Carol and Gerry took their boys for a couple days while they spent some quality time together at the condo up in Avalon without the kids.
The thermometer against the window in my bedroom read 34 degrees Celsius, which translates to about 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Thankfully, the heat in Sydney is dry and more pleasant compared to the sauna we experienced that is Queensland.
Mum and Uncle Gerry stepped out to go shopping and asked me if I wanted to tag along. I declined, opting for the air-conditioned confines of inside the house. An hour or so later, they returned with Sally's kids, Ethan and Cooper.
As I mentioned in previous entries, Cooper ad Ethan are both autistic, and can be shy around people they don't know. I had already seen the boys a couple times, and I felt they were starting to warm up to me. Cooper, 4, is the more extroverted of the two, but has a penchant for disobedience. Ethan, 6, is more high-functioning, as he reads at the abilities of a nine-year old, but he's harder to win over. The boys brought their swimsuits, and were about to change and head to the pool. I decided to join them in beating the heat.
I stepped onto the hot brick surface surrounding the pool in the backyard. The first thing I saw was Gerry and the boys in the pool. I then noticed the submerged mobile pool cleaner whirring its way across the bottom of the pool towards Gerry. When it approached my uncle, he grabbed the hose from the unit, and squirted water in my direction. The water, upon hitting my body, was a bit chilly, but altogether refreshing given the sweltering conditions. I warned Gerry that he was bringing a hose to a cannonball fight, and I then proceeded to douse the entire area (Aunt Carol included) with a deluge created by my 240-lb body as I plunged into the pool. The boys loved this, and hopped out to practice their cannonballs. Needless to say, their kiddieballs were laughably puny compared to mine. Somehow, Carol's camera didn't get wet in all this fun! She captured some great action shots, as you can see below.
When I was a toddler, my older brother and sister would toss me around the pool like a rag doll. I decided today would be the day I pay it forward. As Ethan and Cooper were wearing flotation devices strapped to their arms, I wasn't worried about drowning the little buggers. From my previous experiences with Cooper, he enjoys being swung around the room by his arms or legs. Gravity and centrifugal force seem to light up his world! I grabbed Cooper by his torso when he was in the shallow end with me, counted to 3, and tossed him about 15 feet across the pool. As he flew through the air, Cooper squealed with glee, and doggy-paddled back to me for more. Ethan followed suit, so I gave him more of the same airborne fun. This continued until my shoulders got sore.
By 5:30pm, it started to get a bit chiller as a cloud cover swept over Sydney. Cooper and Ethan began to shiver when they were out of the pool, so we decided to wrap up pool time. The boys, each shivering and chattering inside in a beach towel, hustled inside, leaving tiny wet footprints behind them while Carol followed them to make dinner preparations. I dried off, walked inside and went to shower and change. Carol decided she wasn't in a cooking mood, so we called Gerry's favourite Thai restaurant to order a delivery. They said that delivery will take about an hour, but if we pick up the food, it would be ready in fifteen minutes. Mum volunteered to go on a food run after Carol ordered.
I'm not sure if the superior quality of Thai food has anything to do with its relative proximity to Australia, but Australian Thai food blows American Thai food out of the water! Over dinner, we discussed international politics, as well as the incoming Obama administration and what that meant for the rest of the world. After our ice cream dessert, we watched The Tudors, show still fairly new to Aussies.
The heat must have sucked a good deal of our energy, because everyone was ready for bed by 9:30pm. I didn't feel like heading out on the town by myself, so I decided to go upstairs, read some online previews for a big day of college football back in the States, uploaded the pool action shots to my Facebook page, and crashed a little before 11pm.