We just had a bit of a holiday in Adelaide.
The main reason was so I could do my next Hokushin grading - they only happen once a year (actually once every two years for me), and it's likely we wont be around when Sei Shihan travels to Victoria around April. Good Dog have also brought in a few new people in the last year or so, so it seemed like a good opportunity to meet them.
It was an interesting trip. Cheryl wrapped up some presents (pencils and colouring books) and snacks (rice crackers, nuts) for the kids, so for the first few hours they were very excited to open them up, and delighted at finding snacks (even though it's the usual stuff they eat during car trips, wrapping it in foil just made it so much more exciting). We stopped off at Horsham at a caravan park with a pool. Not our entire motivation for stopping there, but nice nonetheless.
The next day (Friday 8th) was 4 and a half hours to Adelaide, where the kids got a little tired and stroppy. We got there by around 3, and I had a quick trip into the GDD offices to catch up with Tom (over from the US, leaving Saturday) before heading to Chinatown for some dinner.
That weekend we caught up with some of our friends and checked out our old house in Morphett Vale. We also wandered around Marion Shopping Centre, and I had a quick wander through the mall. The kids hadn't really recovered from the trip, so we were somewhat limited in options, but we did go out that evening to check out my friends Japanese restaurant/Izakaya.
For the next week I worked at Good Dog, which was weird but familiar. I trained on Tuesday and Wednesday night at a couple of different Dojos, which was great - really good to have an instructor again. Cheryl took the kids on adventures across the city, but she'll need to tell you about that. I did finish early Friday so we could go into the city for a look.
Saturday we headed to Glenelg Beach to have a little play at the Beachouse and a swim in the ocean. Lily now loves the ocean.
Sunday I finally had my grading. It was for 6th dan, or Rokudan. I passed, so that's good, and Sei Shihan has given me some advice for how to proceed with my training, which is even better. It's nice to be at a point where he's no longer saying "put this foot here and hold the sword like that" and is now saying "relax, move faster, have an opponent". We had another little wander around the mall, ate at the Japanese restaurant again, and then we were done.
We stopped in Bordertown on the way home (once again the kids went to the pool, although this time I lay in the hotel room recovering from training while they did so) and were back on Tuesday to a very affectionate Max.