G’Day Mate

We finally arrived! and it finally hit me. You’d think the months of planning, packing, and saying goodbye to friends and family would have done it, but it was actually the little flight tracker on the plane from Auckland to Melbourne that did it. I realized that plane wasn’t turning around for us. We were on our one way flight to our new home.

The excitement caught up to us and we collected our bags, all 562 of them, and headed to our temporary hotel apt. Upon arrival at the hotel we realized that we left two items behind at the airport! Apparently 562 and 564 bags/boxes/walker combination seems the same as you are packing it in to a taxi. Luckily for us we have two great friends in Melbourne who spent their ANZAC Day driving us back to the airport to pick up the forgotten items.

We arrived to a cold and rainy city. Apparently their first day of winter had waited just for us to arrive! Time to put away the sandals and maxi dresses… and get out the Collingwood Magpies scarves! Thanks to some incredible friends (more like guardian angels) in L.A. (Thanks Astrid, Andy, and Melissa! if you are reading this) we were introduced to two of our newest friends in Australia who provided us with a true Aussie welcome.

A little background first… ANZAC Day (April 25) is one of the biggest national holidays in Australia. It commemorates and honors the Aussie and Kiwi military (Think Veterans Day and Memorial Day combined and on a much bigger level). The whole country practically shuts down. Most businesses close for at least part of the day and everyone in the city hopes to score some tickets to the ANZAC Day Footy Game.

So… back to our first day in Australia. We ventured out (in the pouring rain) to our first Australian Rules Football (otherwise known as AFL or Footy). There are 17 AFL teams, 10 of them are in the Melbourne area. With footy, cricket, rugby, tennis, and who knows what other sports we have yet to discover, this city is sports crazed! Every ANZAC Day the Collingwood Magpies and the Essendon Bombers play a match and draw huge crowds every year. So… you can imagine that this game is a pretty big deal around here. And rightly so, Footy is apparently RAD!

Enjoying the Footy with our new Mates, Jimmy and Pat. We were instantly converted Collingwood fans (the team people love to hate)! Go Pies!

The game was incredible, full of excitement and action (it’s like a blend of American football, soccer, and a sprinkle of extra action combined). The insanely fit players storm the field with furry. Kicking the ball to each other with unbelievable Accuracy. The Our Pies brought it home in the last-minute for an epic win against Essendon… then it was out to celebrate the victory with or new mates.