AUSTRALIA PART I
Put another…case of wine in the fridge because I am bringing my 3 kids to Australia! Did you really think I was going to inject the ridiculous “Put another shrimp on the Barbie” colloquialism in to this blog post? No, although I did eat shrimp my first night…
When I first mentioned my plan to go to New Zealand for 6 months, several friends asked me if I was also going to go to Australia while I was there. To be honest, it hadn’t crossed my mind. My brother and his family live in Sydney but they were coming to New Zealand for my Mum’s birthday so I knew I would see them then. And my main focus while planning this trip was pure survival. So there was never a “Should I add an international trip to Aussie, without Jeff but with my 3 kids on to this already slightly insane adventure??” No. No. NO. And then my brother invited me and all I could picture was Poppy holding a koala and I was saying Yes Yes YES. So flights were booked and honestly not much thought was given to the details because Sydney was a long way off…until it wasn’t. Easter was the perfect time because here in this part of the world, Easter is a holiday. The kids didn’t have school on Easter Friday, Easter Monday or the following Tuesday. Which is in such contrast to Easter in the US. There, no time off given and the religious significance of Easter is paramount. Here in New Zealand(and in Australia), there is very little emphasis on God and it is viewed as a family holiday. Case in point, Poppy came sprinting out of her classroom on the Thursday before Easter yelling “The Easter bunny came to see us and he left big white footprints behind and he gave us all chocolate eggs!!!” After drinking in her cuteness, all that kept popping in to my mind was “That wouldn’t happen in the US”.
Travel is such a gift and I appreciate every opportunity I have. I love to see and do it all. So when considering which flight to Sydney we should take, the early 6:30am flight seemed like the obvious choice. We would arrive around 8:30am and we would have all day to adjust and relax. A 6:30am departure meant I needed to wake my kids up at 3:40am to get in our taxi at 4am to get to the airport at 4:30AM. Ridiculous. Luckily, it all went smoothly and my kids were complete troopers.
With a flying time of 3 and a half hours, there was time for a movie(me-Everest, Tate-Star Wars, Emma listened to music and Poppy watched ChipWrecked)and breakfast and then before we knew it, we were landing in Sydney. It was amazing to see my brother and his son there to greet us. The cousins picked up where they left off a few weeks before and off they went to jump in to the pool. Three hours after arriving in Australia and showing no signs of jetlag(them not me-I looked like a drug dealer with all the visine I was shooting in to my eyes), the kids were jumping in to the surf at the beautiful Balmoral beach. Watching my American kids running along the beach in Australia was one of those moments that I hope to not forget. When I finally got my kids to bed, they had been up for 18 hours straight. Such a big, massive, amazing day.
While our first day in Sydney was cloudy, Day Two promised the best weather so we made the most of it and packed our day full of touristy fun. We headed downtown and walked around an area of Sydney called The Rocks. It is the historic district which I love to wander through each time I visit Sydney. My kids just kept asking when it would be time for ice cream. Then we climbed the Pylon on the Sydney Harbour Bridge which gives you great views of the Bridge and the rest of Sydney. Initially we had planned to do the Bridge Climb but with a minimum age of 8 and a staggering price of $170 AU per person, we decided to wait and do it when we were all old enough to complete it. Because at that price, we plan to experience it just once…
It was then time to get the kids home to meet one very brave babysitter(6 kids) and I was practically running out the door. It’s amazing how jetlag and the pain of running in high heels is completely forgotten with the promise of cocktails and great food…My brother and sister in law have lived in Sydney for a long time and know all the great places. We grabbed an Uber in to the city to the Opera Bar which is located next to the Opera House. It was a gorgeous night and it was packed with people all there to enjoy the view.
We then headed to a Probihibition type bar named Palmer in Co. The waitresses were all dressed in their flapper best and the male waiters and bartenders were styling their 1920’s finery. The drinks were delicious and it felt great to be out in such a great city. We then headed upstairs to Mr Wong’s for some incredible Chinese food. Such a fun night!