After nearly falling asleep in my dinner at a restaurant last night, I was in bed at 9:00 PM and asleep by 9:01 PM! Then I slept until 6 AM, only waking a couple of times during the night! Boy, did that sleep feel good!
Today was our day to take care of some settling in details. Our local relocation specialist, Sonia, met us at our apartment and drove us around and answered lots of our questions. We opened a bank account (with no money required~can you open a bank account in the USA and not give the bank any money?), got some pre-paid cell phones and picked up a rental car. We are now the proud renters of a red, Hyundai i30 Hatchback! After we finished our list of Things to Do, Sonia gave us a short driving tour of some areas of the Melbourne that she thought would interest us. This was great because we were able to look out the windows of her car and take in the sights while she did the driving. We got to see some of the towns and neighborhoods that we had read about and now we know where they were. She also pointed out lots of her favorite restaurants!
After picking up our red car, we returned to our apartment and found out about the procedures for parking in an underground lot, which will be quite convenient. Then we got brave and headed out to a store that Sonia recommended based on some of the things we told her we were still looking for.
It takes a lot of concentration to drive on the other side of the road (out of respect for the lovely Australian people I am referring to it as the other side of the road, not the wrong side of the road, even though it is!!) I had the windshield wipers going every time I wanted to signal a turn because those sticks are reversed from any car I have ever driven in the US. My driving mantra is, “Keep Left or Die!” Making right hand turns is going to take some getting used to! But we put 35 K on the car this afternoon and it was all good!
Sonia gave us a wonderful map book of Melbourne and the suburbs but we decided a GPS unit would be beneficial, especially when I was out driving by myself. We tested that out on the way home from the store and it got us home directly and safely!
We got to see the huge Port Philip Bay today and it is beautiful, even on a cloudy, gray day. We will definitely be exploring more of this area.
I cooked dinner tonight in the apartment for the first time and that was a success, but I need to by a few more items for the kitchen, like salt and pepper! I have to remember that we are going to be here for 5 months so if I buy things like spices and cooking oils, they will get used up!
Tomorrow Jim goes to work and the plan is for me to drive him there in the AM and then come back to pick him up. He plans to ride his bike some days and may be able to find a carpool partner or will just take our car some days. Lots of things to work out. With public transportation just a block away, I don’t need the car everyday.
To those of you who have left comments, thanks! It was great to hear from you!
P.S. Did you see that an Australian won the Master’s Golf tournament? The Aussies here are going crazy!