Thursday, 13 June 2013

Back Home Again... In Indiana

Most Hoosiers would know that song.. now I can't get it out of my head.. "Back Home Again.... In Indianaaaaaa...."

Greeted by my sister at the airport.. she is always the one to pick me up and drop me off... and to think I used to continuously destroy her Barbie Dolls!! ;-)))))

After 17 hours of flying (20 hours since I checked in to the Buenos Aires Airport), she gave me the car and I was off and running.. Only a few days to accomplish a thousand goals.  The plane landed at 2:30 PM and I had a meeting with an insurance agent at 3:30 PM and directly after that was to the bank to sort out months of bank stuff.. Then I drove to my brothers house on the opposite side of town.

Aunt Sherri Jo! Aunt Sherri Jo!  Check this out!!  (Geez, Sam, can I at least get a hug first?) 


Definitely a Wilkins!


Our next favorite thing to do is our yearly visit to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.. and I can NOT believe how much these kids have grown since I last saw them.  Oldest nephew Joey has surpassed me.. and I'm 5'9"!!  Sam and Molley will pass me up in probably 2 weeks time. Bugger.. I was hoping they'd stay smaller for a few more years.  As everyone says, they grow up so fast.  As far as the lions are concerned?  Parker, Tucker and Tao are now grumpy old men.. When I first started volunteering here at EFRC in 2000, they were much younger.. and nicer! But I think they are secretly happy to see us. ;-)


And these kids... lots of kisses and chuffs!


Big boss, Joe Taft, Director extraordinnaire..  I'm always happy to see them every year.  I get all the gossip and updates and miss being there on a regular basis. If you'd like to see more of the work and dedication both Joe and Jean have for giving these animals the best life, go to http://www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org/home.html





Always happy to see Rebecca who has been a full-time permanent for years now.. We've spent our time feeding out cow legs and heads and scooping up tiger poo together over the years.  Today I'm not working but I got quite a chuckle when I saw her in a firefighters suit!  "Rebecca, where did you get that!?"  She said it was donated when the local firefighters got new gear.  Brilliant!  Water/blood proof, warm and dry.. just what we need out there on a cold day.  Then she says, "Sherri Jo, you always have so many good looking guys on your blog, why don't I ever meet those guys?"  I hope she sees this and notices this particular fashion statement might be part of the distraction... just sayin' ???!!  Too funny.


Back to my sister's house where my other kids are growing like weeds.. Jack and Julia!  We went to the Indiana History Museum, which I absolutely love. I used to annoy the heck out of my Mom when I'd come home from school and carry on and on about Indiana History.  Now it's Julia's turn to do it to my sister.. ha!  The museum was new, interactive and very well done. A real credit to them!


Jack and Abraham Lincoln..


They have the wall of immigration.. I should create a new wall of emigration!

Superstar niece Julia (in the back row) is dancing at an event to raise money for cancer research in honor of her Grandma (my Mom) who died of cancer in 2001.  Beautiful girl, great job, Grandma Janice would be so proud!


Now!! One of my favorite new discoveries in Indiana this year at my sisters house is this!!  Pancakes and sausage on a stick... brilliant!!  Only in America would you find such a creation!!  Dipped in a bit of maple syrup.. and its a perfect breakfast!


Back to the cat farm a second time with niece and nephew #2!  I used to spend every single day out here so the more I can visit with everyone the happier I am!





We had lots of fun, and I love my days with nieces and nephews.  I might only see them one a year, but this time has been a long 18 months.  Stop growing!!

Now back to the east side of town and to my nephews school play.  Number one, I love seeing the good use that a hat I sent to him from Cusco Peru made in the play!!  Secondly, it was the funniest school play I've ever seen. 


You can't achieve a goal like that and not go to the Frosty Boy.  Parents said No.. but Aunt Sherri Jo says............ YES!!


I think me and Molley pretty much make the same face when we've got a yummy ice cream flavor!


Don't get too comfortable, back out to the west side where Julia has invited me to her school for "Special Person's Day" and do a small presentation in her class. Her teacher, Mrs. Hedges let me keep talking as long as the kids had questions, and boy did they have lots of questions!  It was so much fun. 

Sherri Jo's Because I Can World tour on a map!!  Even I haven't seen this until we drew the route in class!!

Winding up a whirlwind trip, one of my favorite surprises ever.  You all know how much I love duct tape.  Julia doesn't follow facebook, so she doesn't know how my windscreen looks and how the people make fun of it.  Yet!  She made me a document holder using only duct tape!  The duct tape in America has so many fun styles and colors and I absolutley love the design, including a velcro seal.  Perfect for me and that's right where my motorcycle documents sit to this day.. thanks again Miss Julia!!


Even though it is spring in Indiana, the buds on the trees, grass turning green, THE DAY I'm due to fly out, a huge snow storm desides to dump it on Indiana.  I love the snow, so I'm excited on one hand, and really hoping it doesn't screw up my flights today.  I have a prepaid cheapie connection flight from Sydney to Auckland and I won't get my money back if I miss it.


Goodbye once again Indiana! Will be missing all my family before I even get on the airplane, but it's unfortunately that time.


You wouldn't believe.  We only suffered a 1 hour delay departing Indianapolis in a full on snow storm.  I was expecting total shut down! I had to fly to the east coast, Washington DC for my next connection, which was also getting the snow.  I ran to my gate as fast as I could, where I was the last person to board the flight to San Francisco!!! WHEW!!!!!  San Fran was no problem and I arrived exactly on time in Sydney Australia.  A true miracle!


Over 40 hours from airport to airport this time. But I'm not complaining.. It's all been on frequent flier miles and so far since Buenos Aires, I've only paid around $100 USD in taxes for about $6000 worth of flight.. economy! Now, I'm unofficially in my home country, Australia.  Here I have a 6 hour layover for my final connection to Auckland, New Zealand.  That was a weird feeling for a few hours!  Everything was the same in the airport and it seemed like I was just here..Billabong and Ugg Boots shops.. has it really been nearly 3 years??  Yep, I haven't been to Australia since June 2010. I half way feel I'd like to just carry on to Adelaide, but I have a motorcycle waiting for me in New Zealand...

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