Saturday, June 20, 2009

Part of the Club

Recently we drove up to the Blue Mountains (which are more like hills by California standards) to take the kids on the Zig Zag Railway. Predictably, we pulled into the parking lot just as the train was pulling out of the station.

So, we found ourselves in the mountains with a couple hours to kill while we waited for the next train. Since it was freezing cold outside, we decided to take the advice of the station attendant and head to the Workman's Club in nearby Lithgow.

I've been wondering about these clubs since we arrived in Australia. Every suburb seems to have a RSL Club. I assumed (incorrectly) that you needed to be a veteran to go into these clubs. It turns out they are open to the public and are a hub of social activity here in Australia.

The Workman's Club in Lithgow, otherwise known as "Workies" is a combination restaurant, casino, sporting facility, and bingo hall. The place was packed with people (mostly white haired, but plenty of the younger crowd, too) playing the pokies, watching lawn bowling, and eating chicken schnitzel and chips. Televisions offered a variety of viewing options; like Magnum P.I. and The Footy Show.

The best tables were the ones by the windows, where people crowded to see the bowling outside and the greyhounds racing in the distance.

There is really nothing in the U.S. that compares to these Aussie clubs. I think the American Legion, the Elks Lodge, or the supper clubs of the Midwest come close.

If I had to rate our visit to Workies, I'd give it a "C" for food, but an "A" for it's interesting look into Aussie culture.

And, we did make it back in time to catch the last train of the day. To see more about our ride on the Zig Zag Railroad check out the Little Princess's Blog.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

And the Winner Is . . .

Fifteen years from now when the Little Princess completes her first triathlon we will look back and say it all started today.

First, she ran the Mini-Mos 2k this morning with her daddy. The crowds were huge!

While walking home after the race we passed the local bike shop. The Little Princess fell in love with the light blue Mongoose bike so we brought it home. Half an hour later she was riding a two wheel bike for the first time!

As the principal of her school told us when we took the tour, Aussies love sport. I think it's rubbing off on her.

If only it would rub off on me a little.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tea for Two

Today I had the pleasure of taking my mum to tea. Just the two of us. No crying two year old, no Little Princess jabbering away. Just us grown up women spending some time together.

Having my mum here in Australia has made me realize how much I appreciate her. I am so glad she is healthy and able to travel to the other side of the world to visit us. I marvel at her memory when she shares stories about my childhood or her own. I'm grateful for her helpful hands and kind heart.

And so today it was so nice to take the time to just sit down together and enjoy a cup of tea. The view was beautiful, the finger sandwiches were lovely, but our time together was the best treat of all. Just me and my mum and a cup of tea.
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