I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

1800 kilometres later...

When this blog last left our intrepid family travellers, we had just arrived in Sydney and were looking forward to several jam-packed days. The Harry Potter exhibition was as good as a Muggle like me might expect - in other words, pretty damn fabulous and well worth planning a 2 week driving holiday around! The Powerhouse Museum provided several hours of fun and discovery once we exited HP Land - I was surprised at how much joy we all got from the rest of the museum itself. At one point I lost track of everyone - the kids and DH had all scattered to see various bits of the museum and I was alone in a hall with a penny farthing bike on one side of me and a warplane above me but no family to be found.

Eventually (thank you, mobile phones), I discovered DH and DD1, and together we eventually found the other two - only to all get scattered and lost again as everyone found the bits which interested them the most. It was really several hours of fabulous discovery, and best of all is how engaged the kids were. We eventually walked from the Museum to Darling Harbour to visit the Chinese Garden of Frienship, which sounds completely dorky and all - but in reality is a stunning oasis right in the middle of Sydney. We traipsed around there for quite a while - around each corner there is something more beautiful to admire, or another pagoda to get some shade in. The weather throughout this trip has been stunning - but after so many hours on our feet in the blazing sun, we had all reached the point of no return and decided to head home. (Although we did entertain the idea of a few more tourist spots, DS had 'hit the wall' as it were and it was well time to head back. Poor kid fell asleep on the ferry ride home.)

A train ride, a ferry ride, a bus ride and we were home again - a quick dinner and a early-ish night in for all (although I must confess, that DVD player did see the light of day..but only so DH and I could watch a movie that night!). The next day we were out and about and ready to adventure once again, so we headed into Manly. A trip to the local aquarium (Oceanworld) and then a good long day at South Steyne Beach and a wander down the Corso - the beach was great fun for all of us, especially DS who loved laughing his ass off at his mother gettting repeatedly knocked over by the huge waves. I'd stand up, get pummeled by a wave, stand up, and start all over again. I never got the hang of wave jumping, but then it was more fun to watch him piss himself laughing than it was to wave jump anyway. The required lunch of fish and chips, more wave riding (okay, wave pummelling) and off we went back home to change and get ready for a night out.  We headed out for dinner with friends - friends who conveniently have a pool - so more swimming, heaps of eating (a deliciously grand BBQ dinner) and several hours later the exhausted, happy emzee family headed back into the night once again.

New Year's Eve Day dawned bright and early, but by now the emzee family had pretty much reached the end of their tether. We've planned SO many adventures, but have hardly taken the time to draw breath - so while we had an entire day of city touring planned, we didn't quite make it before our energy reserves ran dry! We ended up wandering around The Rocks, then climbing stairs (which are rapidly becoming a theme on this trip, with DS sighing and saying in a sarcastic tone, "Oh look! MORE stairs!") to get to the Pylon Lookout - which is almost like climbing the bridge except minus the grey suit and the $1000 price tag. Plenty of stairs, sun, and lots to see from up there - including the thousands of people lining up all along the Harbour in anticipation of the NYE fireworks! Lunch at a nice cafe in the Rocks, and it was time to head back to home and prepare for dinner. Dinner this time was at the home of some friends who again spoiled us with far too much food and good company - and while we *tried* to keep the kids awake, there was not a snowball's chance in hell they would last the distance to midnight. We staggered in the door of the flat, turned on the TV, and with 21 seconds on the Harbour Bridge countdown clock, watched the fireworks through eyes with lids at half-mast.

This morning - no rest for the wicked - we were up and about and headed for Taronga Zoo, where we met up with a third set of friends. With some of the most spectaculr views across the Harbour, and with some beautiful enclosures and interesting animals to look at, we had a truly brilliant day. New friends, new experiencies, heaps of sunshine - I'm pretty sure it does not get much better than that..but then this is OUR holiday so of course it does. We had a short space of free time, so we wandered into Bondi to get a ice cream - which is notable because there was no actual SAND at Bondi, only bodies to be seen...and also because it was the second shittiest ice cream I've had in Sydney. Possibly in my life. Seriously, is there no good ice cream in this town?! Dinner was again with friends - and the kids had the chance to mess about with kids their own age, something I think they really needed at this point in the trip.

We have been truly spoiled by the Sydney portion of this trip - by the sunshine which has made every day more glorious than the last, by the many friends who have welcomed us into their homes with open arms, and by the myriad adventures which have been exactly enough to make us exhausted and ecstatic in equal measures.

Tomorrow - our last full day here - has us attempting the Bondi to Cogee Cliff Top Walk in 30 degree weather, and the afternoon is currently free so we will see what adventures it might bring. It just might be time to relax in the cool of a movie theatre, or do some packing up, or...who knows. It's the one day we have not planned to the n-th degree. Tuesday morning we are headed off for Pambula - for 3.5 days of rest, relaxation, and recovery from all the endless running about we've been doing. We have loved every moment of the madness but a few days of recovery will be welcome.

We are all happy, healthy, well...and utterly unwilling to believe we're nearly needing to head home soon. With so much still to see and do, I'm pretty sure the kids will be planning our next road trip before you know it!

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