Sam took a 'sickie' on Monday and we headed out for a long weekend camping trip at Pebbly Beach in Murramarang National Park. Friday had been a blur of preparations, and between meal planning, grocery shopping, Kenyon's swim lessons, and picking up the boys, it wasn't until we were well on the road that it dawned on me that I hadn't seen the two bags of grapes I bought...or the avocado...or the 3 peaches...or the loaf of bread...or the 8 bananas.
Let me preface this gripping tale of the Case of the Missing Groceries by saying that in Australia (or at least in the town where we live), you cannot take your grocery cart outside of Woolworths ('Woolies'). People leave their bags on racks just inside the store and pull their car up to a designated lane for easy access to loading. It seems a bit cumbersome to do all that, so I have simply gotten accustomed to pack-muling it and carrying all 174,572 bags out to the car in one trip--and really, with my apartment building's elevator having been broken now for 47 days (not that anyone's counting), I am Queen of the Pack Mules, a title I never set out to earn but I think it's the only shot I've got at being a queen so I should relish it.
Anyway, after buying my groceries I had to go next door to the liquor store for ice, so the cashier told me to leave my groceries on the rack by the door. I asked if they ever had any problem with theft, and she said, "No, absolutely not! The cashiers all keep an eye on them, and we've never had a problem." Righty-o...I took care of my errand next door and pulled my car up, Aussie-style, to load my groceries. Then came the remaining blur of afternoon tasks, and there we were, back in the car heading south as I wondered where my myriad fruits and bread ran off to.
Folks, I know you're in suspense so I'll just solve this mystery for you--on my very first attempt to grocery shop Aussie-style, one of my grocery bags was stolen. Not cool at all, especially since we were now 2.5 hours south, setting up tents in the dark as I wondered what kind of punishment would befall me when I broke the news to Kenyon that his morning oatmeal would not have chopped peaches. You don't want to mess with this kid and his breakfast expectations; he's like a rabid, fire-breathing dragon in the early morning light. There was also the fact that our peanut butter and jelly would have to be eaten by the globful instead of spread on bread since our bread was now sitting in someone else's kitchen (hopefully emanating massive amounts of bad karma if the universe is at all well-balanced). And I'm fairly certain ensuring an adequate supply of bananas was a major topic in my wedding vows, and now Sam was going to have to go without for three whole days. Grounds for divorce for sure; did the thief know that he was derailing almost 10 years of marriage with that one stolen bag of groceries?
Our friends Kylie and Josh, who joined us the next morning, were merciful enough to let us hog their bread among many other important foods, like beer, so I'm happy to report that our family is still in tact.
I'm happy to report that when I mentioned the missing grocery bag to the Woolies cashier today, she was more than willing to replace the lost goods even though I had no receipt. I love businesses with good customer service. But I'm not leaving my bags on that cart to be grocery-napped again; anyhow, the Queen of the Pack Mules needs to stay on her game lest someone else steal the crown. There is no end in sight for the broken elevator, so I shall have a long reign.
Oh, and the actual camping portion of the weekend? Epic. Pictures to follow in the next post...