It’s been a week of firsts here in Santa Barbara.
First time for driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road; first purchase of a brand new car (a very nice 2014 Acura MDX) in America (serious paper work!), with the driver’s seat on the left hand side; first time dinging a rental vehicle three times in one day (well, it was called a ‘DODGE’ – so I figured I’d test its ‘dodge’ ability… unfortunately it didn’t dodge the school secretaries car very well, when I parked up for our first school visit!); and first visit to Santa Barbara Zoo (where Miss 7 saw a snake for the first time, and is feeling a lot less freaked now she understands a bit more about them, besides – she has other things to worry about… her new class, at a new school, has a pet tarantula named ‘Harry’!). By the end of the week (I am still miffed at me writing this on a Thursday evening in California, whilst my good friends in New Zealand are well into their Friday ‘avo and my folks in the UK are fast asleep, in the early hours of Friday morning) I will be the owner of my first American bank card and have visited a doctor for the first time in the USA .
Unfortunately, I will not have discovered my first proper Latte since leaving the shores of New Zealand a few weeks ago (it feels like we’ve been away for months!), but my first tastes of local beer and wine have been favourable.
My children have sampled their first fish and chips Santa Barbara style (the chips get a thumbs up – but we’re yet to find fish that compare to our favourite Island Bay, Wellington, takeaway) and had their first close encounter with some of the native wildlife – namely pelicans, storks and cute little geckos. We’ve enjoyed our first social gathering of new friends (still waiting till 4th September to move into our house of residence for the year, but we did have a lovely spot for socialising, up until Tuesday this week.. now we’re in a little place on a housing complex – but it’s free – so not complaining… just thinking how to spend the money we’ve saved – have my eye on a little Californian sunshine convertible that would suit my hippie style nature!).
Enjoyed my first delicious smoothie and relieved to be discovering refreshing places to cool down and take a rest (especially when Miss 3 decides to conk out for an impromptu nap!)… gives me a chance to day dream on my dream car (ha, ha!)… really don’t think I am skilled enough to be trusted with a brand new, sparkling motor! And we took our first steps, as a family, on ‘Miramar Beach’ (kind of nice to have a local beach with the same name as one of our favourite Wellington peninsulas!).
Friday evening will be spent at the new schools ‘pre-term’ gathering – which will be another first – a ‘Mustang Roundup and Family Picnic’, complete with a band and country dancing… Yee Ha!!
Next week will be one of even more firsts… as Miss 10 starts a new school, in a new country, in a new hemisphere… and Miss 7 gives school a go – after a couple of years ‘natural learning’! I am going to find it so strange, as I’ve had all three of my daughters at home with me for at least six weeks now. Little steps…!