Settled & In A Rhythm

6 May

The Hoggies blog photos this week are brought to you by the extraordinarily talented Mark Hodges 


Last I wrote we had just jumped from Switzerland over to Canada where we will be for…hmmm…around 6 months, but honestly who really knows. I’ve given up on believing how long we are meant to stay put because it just never is what it’s supposed to be. I am pretty happy here in London, Ontario though, I gotta say. I feel like a normal person again with a car and being able to go places and get around rather than rely on public transport or getting from A to B by foot. Life is just made so much easier as well now that I can speak English and not try and figure out how to just buy basic things or schedule appointments etc. Everyone here is really really friendly and it’s just such a breath of fresh air.

We have now been here about 5 weeks and we’re all settled in. Since I last wrote I have found a daycare for Humphrey just 2 afternoons a week for 2.5 hours to just give me a little bit of time to run some errands without him or go to the gym during the times that the child care there isn’t in operation. Mummy needs some mummy time and for that it is perfect. Everyone that looks after the little guy falls in love with him so it’s nice to know that it’s not just me that thinks he’s the bees knees. I’ve met a few other mums but not really reached out to any outside of the classes that we are a part of but it’s just a matter of time I think and I’ve just been finding my feet so far.

Mark is still working on and off in the States but he’s been home the past 3 weeks now. It’s been so nice to feel like a normal family with every member in the same house at night and in the mornings and just getting into a regular routine has been good. He is off to the States again this weekend though for 2 weeks so it will be back to living solo again for a little while.

We were able to get away over Easter. Mark and I procrastinated and procrastinated on what to do and where to go. We didn’t want to spend too much money and I also didn’t want to cross too many time zones because getting Humphrey into a new sleeping pattern is not the easiest challenge and I didn’t fancy being up at 4am or getting him to sleep at 10pm. We looked at Mexico, the Dominican Republic and a few other countries in the Caribbean, however, the week we intended to go was Holy Week. Holy Week is just before Easter and a lot of those countries stop serving alcohol and don’t allow water sports etc so that kind of ruled that out because if we were going on a holiday we intended on drinking, thanks very much. We were about to book a package to Cuba but by the time we had made our decision the deal was no longer available (we were booking the day before we intended to leave). So…what to do, what to do?!

We ended up going on a road trip to Chicago which is a 6 hour drive from our place. The Windy City by name and definitely the windy city by nature. We arrived on a Tuesday night and just went straight to bed after having some room service delivered but Wednesday we headed out to the Navy Pier and I think it took double the time it should have to walk there from our hotel because of the head wind we were facing. Navy Pier…mmm not too sure why it is a place to see. The hype and recommendations are really misleading. Go to Manly wharf in Sydney as it shits all over the Navy Pier. Next we headed to the Magnificent Mile – a mile of shopping. Great if you intend to shop, pointless if you don’t but still some beautiful shops and the Burberry building was really cool. We jumped on a trolley and purchased tickets to do a tour of Chicago as to get out of the windy day. We pretty much just stayed on the trolley until we reached a stop not far from our hotel and that was about it for our first day.

I had a really bad tooth ache that was giving me an earache and headache so I went to the dentist the following day and had 2 fillings while Mark and Humphrey had a bit of a boys morning. They went to see Cloud Gate at Millenium Park and then walked down the the Hilton Hotel which was pretty spectacular inside. Mark’s phone didn’t work so we decided to meet there at a certain time but I was still in the chair at the dentist so that plan didn’t quite go according to…well…plan. We met back at the hotel and then headed out once more to the Art Institute. We were in there all of 10 minutes when Humphrey decided it would be a good place to start squealing and crying so I took him and left Mark to wander around and check it out.

On Friday we hit up the Aquarium and the Field Museum and we jumped on the trolley again to see a bit more of the city. On Saturday we intended to go to the Skydeck, along with everyone else in Chicago so it seemed. The line was right around the corner and even though we had special passes so we could skip most lines, the Skydeck didn’t look like one of the lines we could jump so that was an error to try and go on the Saturday of the Easter long weekend. We decided to get on the L train (elevated train much like the old monorail in Sydney) and do a bit of a loop around the city. It kind of weaved between buildings so we didn’t get to see as much as we had hoped to but it was still something to do. We also walked around the city a bit and went to some different shops etc. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the planetarium either so 2 of the things we probably wanted to see most of all we left out. We hit the road on Sunday to drive to Detroit to stop in at the outlet malls for an Easter Monday of shopping so that was the end of our trip to Chi-town.

On the Thursday and Friday nights that we were there we had a babysitter come to the hotel room and mind Humphrey whilst Mark and I went out on a date night. Yep…2 nights in a row. Woo hoo! It was so nice as we hadn’t gone out together since late December or early January when we were in Sydney. That is definitely something we need to look for now when we travel – babysitting service at the hotel.

When we got back it was business as usual and back into the routine which I have taken a great liking to here. Hopefully we will get to do a bit more travel, although I’m not sure when. My guess is we may be able to sneak in a weekend getaway at the end of May or some time in June but it’s going to start getting pretty hectic for Mark with work and them ramping up for a supposed go-live in July. I guess we just have to see what we might be able to get away with.

So London is not a really hip and happening place, and it’s not super pretty but it’s got all we need, and everything is accessible. There’s a decent cafe down the street from our apartment but we bought a Nespresso machine so I go to the cafe once a week with Humphrey as my treat and just to get out of the house for a little bit in the morning and give us both a change of scenery. The gym we go to is fantastic and is less than a 5 minute drive away. They have some activities to do although we’ve not really done too much except for 10 pin bowling the other weekend. We need to hit up the park with rock climbing and go-karts etc for a bit of fun I think. There is a great mix of restaurants with all different cuisines and the cost of food is very reasonable so getting take-out doesn’t break the bank which is a nice change from Switzerland.

That seems to be it for this post. Again…not a great deal happening and a far cry from our gallivanting around when we first left Australia to Germany but it’s a different kind of experience now. The family experience abroad.

I won’t bore your socks off again so I’ll wait until we have something decent to report before I write again. Few and far between posts at the moment but hey, can’t be exciting all the time.

Hope it’s not getting too cold for you guys now it’s heading into Winter. We’re a few weeks away from Summer and had a top of 11 degrees today – sick! Thursday has a 22 degree day forecast though – definitely going to get the pins out for that one I think and blind a few people.

Take it easy y’all!


Till next time…..xx


2 Responses to “Settled & In A Rhythm”

  1. Nealie May 7, 2014 at 12:38 am #

    you’ve got some great shots among this lot!!!! missed your calling i think!!

    • Ali Hodges May 7, 2014 at 12:40 am #

      That’s your brothers amazing handiwork xx

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