We spent a couple of hours Saturday morning getting the old house ready for viewings, then drove to Sydney (in the new car) to see the new one. The idea was that we were seeing if we wanted to buy any of the furniture that the previous owners didn't want to keep. They are retiring to a small house and downsizing. It turned out that the only thing we really wanted, their kitchen table, they are taking with them. But we are buying their outdoor setting. For us, the visit was mainly about getting to see the house again - after all we'd only gone through it once! We thought we'd be able to look at everything in detail and plan where to put our furniture, and also take lots of pictures, but it didn't really work out that way.
We met the real estate agent outside. Here is the front door:
The previous owners were home (they are not moving out until just before we move in), a retired couple. They were lovely and friendly and very talkative and basically followed us around chatting. It made it a bit awkward, we didn't feel we could look around properly since all the other people's stuff was there and they were looking over our shoulders. No opening cupboard doors or anything like that. A few surreptitious pictures. The real estate agent left after a while, bored.
The wife, Michelle, followed me out into the garden and told me the names and needs of every single plant. There were two lovely shade umbrellas on swinging arms but it turned out those weren't for human use, they were to shade precious plants!
This is the outdoor setting we are buying from them. The kitchen looks out into this courtyard area.
I was also treated to lots of pictures of her grandchildren, and the birds that visit the garden. And I met one of the neighbours and their placid friendly golden Labrador dog. At least a lot of the conversation was reasonably relevant to us moving there. Tim wasn't so lucky. He ended up trapped in a corner hearing all about John's career (now retired). Occasionally he would politely excuse himself to go look in another room but then was pinned down again.
The kids had a great time roaming around the garden unsupervised. Half their luck. Oh well, we did get to see the house (and garden!!) again. And were able to reassure ourselves we'd made a good choice, which we were a bit worried about considering we kind of rushed the decision.
After that we went to Tim's brother's house. It was Nick's birthday so we went out to dinner at a Brazilian place. It was all-you-can-eat, the waiters constantly bringing huge skewers of various kinds of meat and slicing pieces off for you. Fun, but we (Tim and I, that is) didn't think the food was anything special. Rather bland dry meat. Luckily they also brought plenty of side dishes so there was salad and salsa and chips. There was also a floor show with drums and lots of feather head-dresses and bottom-wiggling, so that was fun.
Afterwards we got gelato nearby. I don't have the same passion for ice cream as Tim's family, I had a couple of bites of mine and gave the rest away.
We stayed at Nick's place. As usual, very poor sleep on the hard bed. Soon we will live near them, no more staying over!
You remember that block of land that we thought about buying? And I mentioned a cousin bought a block of land recently? It was that exactly block! Shouldn't be a surprise really, but I hadn't realised it was that block. Would have been funny if we'd all turned up at the auction.
The next day was a big Chinese moon festival (Nick's wife Ping is Chinese) to celebrate the harvest so we went out to lunch at a Yum Cha place. I rather like Yum Cha as long as the food isn't too weird (like chicken feet and beef tendons, euw) - the waiters endlessly loop the restaurant with trolleys of all different kinds of food. More all-you-can-eat!! I don't think I overate but it is quite hard to judge how much you are eating when you don't see it all together on your plate. Here is some of the food, for six adults and three children. We had a lot more food before/after this. I think abundance and hospitality are important for the festival. But no wonder we are all putting on weight.
Aiden wasn't impressed with the food so we got him a Subway sandwich afterwards. Then the long drive home, made dinner, collapsed from exhaustion. It was a big weekend.