Angaston, South Australia, which sits in the beautiful Barossa Valley, is our home away from home. This is our third extended stay in this idyllic little village and it won’t be our last.
When we arrived at our hundred year old stone cottage on French Street, there was a note awaiting us on the back door. Our good friends, Drs John and Margaret Rutter, who live just a few doors up the hill, had invited us to tea on Sunday morning. What a wonderful way to be greeted.
After a good night’s sleep, we drove to Tanunda, the neighboring village, for coffee at a cool little shop named Darling’s. The barista, a young woman named Amy, looked at us a bit quizzically, then her face lit up in recognition and she said, “Welcome back.” We laughed and talked to her about our mutual friend Lisa.
Another customer got his take-out order and left the cafe without saying a word. Unbeknownst to us, he works with Lisa and when he got back to work he said, “Hey, there are a couple Americans across the street at Darling’s and they’re talking about you.” Lisa ran across the street, entered Darling’s wide-eyed, and screamed, “You’re back!” as she came through the door.
After finishing our coffee and our conversation, we walked to the Barossa Tourism office a couple doors down the street. We asked the young woman behind the counter if our friend Carmel still worked there. After answering in the affirmative, she said, “Hey, I know you two. I was your waitress at Novotel a couple years ago.”
Angaston is a very small (just 1900 people) village obviously filled with very friendly people.
But as wonderful as Angaston and the Barossa Valley may be, they are places people visit for weekend getaways, not for multi-month stays. Except for the deYongs.
The first time we came to town, word spread quickly that two Americans were making Angaston their home for several months. We later learned that this was considered unusual behavior. It seemed like every time we met someone new, their faces eventually lit up and they’d ask, “Are you the Americans?”
Yes, we are. We are the Americans who love this town and this state and this country.
We’re just so very happy to be back. And so happy that we’ve made so many friends who seem to be equally happy that we’re back.
Feels like home.