It has been a long, beautiful day, and I've got to get to sleep in five minutes, but I wanted to post a few photos from the last day and a half.
Tuesday night, Alia and I left California to fly to Australia for two Power of Moms Retreats being held on the Gold Coast and in Sydney.
Here we are saying goodbye (I've never left my family for so long before, and it is harder than I expected):
Alia was absolutely giddy about getting on the airplane. She was four years old the last time she flew.
We got to our gate three hours early--and then the plane was delayed an extra hour, so we sat in this spot from about 8:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. (isn't it cute that Alia still likes to match me?).
Saren and Felicity, our Retreat Coordinator, have spent countless hours getting the details of the Retreats squared away. (You can read more about it on Saren's blog.) It worked out really well so that we could each bring our 12-year-old child with us (paying their own ways). Ashton and Alia have been such great travelers so far--even with the jet lag. And I feel so grateful to have Saren here to show me the ropes of International travel (she's been all over the world, and I've never left North America).
Alia smiled ear-to-ear for basically the whole flight. She liked the little toothbrushes, the eye masks, the fluffy pillows, the little snacks . . .. And she totally obeyed every rule.
Here's our first photo in Australia. I thought the Koala saying "G'day" was so cute.
And we couldn't resist snapping this shot on our way to customs:
The line was incredibly long, but after this wait, we got our very first passport stamps.
We didn't see any "Exit" signs in the airport. Just ones like this that say, "Way Out." So logical, don't you think?
And when we finally came out of Customs, we were greeted by Felicity and Naomi (Felicity made Alia's dreams come true by holding up a sign that said "Loosli/Perry").
I love these ladies. They have been online friends for years, and now we get to be together "in real life." I'm already sad to have to leave them after these Retreats are finished.
Felicity helped us get our "hire car," and she taught me how to drive on the left-hand side of the road. I kept accidentally veering to the right, and whenever I tried to signal, I turned on the windshield wipers. Honestly . . ..
Then I was so tired this afternoon from the jet lag and the night of sleeping sitting up that I couldn't even walk straight. Fortunately, a lovely woman named Sharon is letting us stay in her home, and she has a guest room for us with a beautiful, soft bed where Alia and I got to nap. Sharon and her daughter Sarah cooked a genuine Australian meal for all of us tonight. It was delicious! (I took a bunch more photos, but they are taking too long to upload tonight, so you'll have to take my word for it.)
This place is gorgeous and full of kind, good people. I know it's a privilege to be here. The Power of Moms is a group effort. Our devoted board members, trainers, writers, and community members are the ones who make this what it is. And I feel very grateful for this chance I have to learn from the mothers of Australia this month.
Okay, I must sleep now. Our Gold Coast Retreat starts in 15 hours! My stomach is full of butterflies.
Much love from "Down Under,"