Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Adventures all over
My parents never stay for long enough – with five kids on four continents, it's tricky – and this time they were only here for nine days. Still, Berry managed to give her Australian Grandma and Grandad (or Ga-gum and Ad-dad, as she prefers to call them) a pretty decent tour of Louisiana.
We went to New Orleans for streetcars and shotgun houses, antique shops and jazz bands, Southern food, Uptown charm and dirty Bourbon Street.
We went to Breaux Bridge for swamps and sleeping alligators, Cajun music and Crawfish Town, and to see Berry's Grandpa and Tine as well as her great-grandparents who live there. Berry focused on the important things, like squirrels and balloon animals, murals in restaurants, eating, trying on Tine's jewellery, making friends with Woo-woof, and organising her various grandparents: "Si-down, Ad-dad!", "Draw, Papa, draw!".
She also took very seriously the job of keeping Grandma awake on drives: "Wake up, Ga-gum! Wake up!" over and over again. Knowing my mum the way I do, I could've told Berry it was a pointless task. Mum will be wide-awake at 2am, phoning her far-flung kids and answering emails, but daytime rolls round and she'll nod off at the drop of a hat. Driving around town on the second day of their trip, we were laughing at her extraordinary napping abilities. "I'm feeling surprisingly awake, actually," Mum said brightly from the back seat. Thirty seconds later, she was sound asleep. So Berry had a full-time job on her hands.
But sometimes naps catch up with even the best anti-sleep crusader. Family trips are exhausting, and although Berry fell asleep just in time to miss a Cajun music jam we knew she'd love, no one had the heart to wake her.
Not even Ga-gum.