Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Well its quite a nice way to start the New Year with some time away with the family. Looking back we realised that we haven't visited my husband's family in Sydney in 7 years....I hadn't realised that it had been so long. I'm not surprised his grandmother has been a little out of sorts with us lol!.
The trip down South was in a little jeopardy when Geoff fell very ill over Christmas. He had a small lump appear on his thigh the week before Christmas that increasingly became more uncomfortable and by the end of Christmas Day he was in extreme pain. Spent many hours at a local Medical Clinic on Boxing Day where he was prescribed oral antibiotics and two days later was even much worse and went back to see his local GP who is also a friend of his. Treatment for what he had comes with a hospital admission but Geoff was allowed to attend the Medical Centre daily to have IV antibiotics.
He had made quite a lot of progress so we embarked on the very long drive to Sydney, leaving at 1:30 am on 1 January 2012.
I stupidly believed the kids would sleep the entire nighttime part of the trip but they remained awake due to too much excitement.
We really had a very good run and made it to Grafton for breakfast at 6am. The kids were really very good, the two youngest getting a little whingy when they were tired as it wasn't easy to get comfortable to have a sleep.
We made a slight detour and drove by the house I lived in for nearly 6 years when I was a child. It was a RAAF house near Newcastle. They are no longer RAAF housing and I daresay are housing commission because it was extremely run down and it wasn't a very pleasant neighbourhood to drive through so we made a quick exit. I would have loved to have driven by my old school because it was brand new when we went there. I wondered if it was run down too.
Our first stop overnight was at Geoff's cousin David's house. The kids absolutely loved it there. David lives at Berrowra Waters and there is no access to their house by road so he came to collect us on "Toby" a lovely old boat that potters down the river.
Within an hour of arriving Thomas had caught about 6 small fish that we tossed back in so they can grow a little more. Samuel caught a whopper of a flathead that is now residing in David's freezer until we return and can feast on it for dinner. Joseph caught a slippery slimy eel.
On our journey into the city to our accommodation we stopped to have a visit with Geoff's Nan, who turned 90 in December last year. She was delighted to see the kids and I'm pleased to say that they were well behaved. She gave them $10 each for Christmas so they are very excited that they have that to spend whilst they are here. They are looking for a moment of their holiday.
We are staying at the Goldsborough Hotel in Darling Harbour which is an old wool mill that has been converted into apartments. The older boys were a little disappointed when we got here as they wanted something a little more "fancy". I find this funny but them realised the only place they remember staying is at Peppers at Kingscliff which is very new and modern and quite 'fancy'. I've told them our budget just doesn't stretch it to anything fancier. This hotel is really quite lovely and has a lot of character. Not sure how long ago they were renovated but I'm sure when they were they were pretty flash. I think the kitchen fittings aren't great quality and there seems to be a bit of Ikea fittings. But at the end of the day its quite clean and functional and very close to the Harbour.
We headed out this morning to explore a bit without any concrete plans. We ended up at the Maritime Museum which we all enjoyed, with the exception of Emma who at times vocalised how she had had enough and could we please leave. We just did the Museum part. There are some boats on the Harbour that you can tour through but that would have cost nearly $100 and we are doing this trip on a very strict budget that didn't allow for that. It is a shame because there is a war ship, HMAS Vampire and a submarine a long with a few others. The older boys particularly would have loved that. For our whole family to tour the Museum was under $20 and there was certainly plenty there to see.
We then caught a ferry around to Circular Quay. Thomas was a little nauseous and nervous about the boat but once we got around a bit he was okay. It is just gorgeous on the harbour and I don't think I'll ever tire of it even though I've seen it many many times. By the time we wandered around the Opera House the kids were well and truly getting hungry. Very hard to find somewhere suitable to eat that didn't cost an arm and a leg so we ended up at McDonalds...but of course the kids think that is fantastic. We haven't eaten out otherwise, the apartment is self contained so we've had breakfast and two dinners here. I would love to have breakfast in a cafe one morning before we go home and if you look around the city there are some great little cafes tucked away that are not expensive. I'll keep my eye out whilst we are walking around. Not sure if we will have a dinner out as I'd love to show the kids the city at night. We can see some of Darling Harbour from our apartment window. We will see how things go.
Tomorrow we have tickets to the Powerhouse Museum to see the Harry Potter exhibit and the older boys are really looking forward to that. They want to spend their $10 there and I'm thinking there probably won't be anything that cheap (that isn't crap).