The final stop on our Australia experience this summer was Sydney, where we met my brother and nephew for four days of city fun.
My brother and his family, consisting of my sister in law, nephew and niece, live in New Zealand therefore when we began planning our holiday we asked if they could meet us as we were unable to add on any other trips to our holiday. They decided that my brother (J) and nephew (C) would have a ‘boys weekend’ and, as much as I wanted to see my SIL and niece too, I was pleased I was going to get to spend time with some of them. It was made extra special as it was the first time Little L was going to meet his Uncle J!
Having visited the city before, J acted as an unofficial tour guide, and after a slight mishap meeting up (turned out there were several hotels in our hotels name and they were waiting for us at a different one!), we spent the first day wandering around Sydney, seeing the sights and catching up. By the end of the first day I nicknamed J “Fact Man’ because he seemed to have information about EVERYTHING that we saw – interesting at first, then astounding that he knew so much crap! Ha ha!
(Trying to take a nice picture with two kids is not easy!)
Seeing the harbour bridge and Opera House was a surreal experience…something that I’ve seen so many times on films, pictures and tv was suddenly there and, as stupid as this sounds, made me feel like I was truly in Australia! I managed to get some stunning pictures of the sunset over the Harbour Bridge…you don’t need amazing photography skills when the view is so amazing.
We were so lucky with the weather, although it was chillier than Queensland, it was still fairly warm in the sun and dry which was a massive help for our sight seeing adventures. I’d be advised to visit Manly beach instead of Bondi and, although I did want to see Bondi, there was a race on so the taxi driver said it would be heaving…therefore we gave it a miss. It didn’t matter. I absolutely loved Manly…so chilled and pretty. I’m not a city girl so being near Sydney but not in the busy centre was lovely and refreshing after exploring the previous day. We had the morning on the beach, J and the hubby braved the cold sea and the kids had fun splashing around and building sand castles.
In the afternoon, J managed to persuade us to see a “football” game. Usually I wouldn’t take much persuading as I love football, and am an avid Huddersfield Town fan, however in Australia football is actually Rugby….and football is “soccer” – confusing much?! It was a good way of finding out if Little L was ready to go to Town games with his Mummy…after the game is was a resounding “NO” – ha ha! His attention span was not good enough and he wanted to climb all over the seats. The hubby bought our son and nephew a flag each which they then proceeding to wave around with no care for anyone around them, I’m surprised I still have both eyes!
Our third day in Sydney was the one I’d be really looking forward to…I LOVE a zoo and I’d heard amazing things about Taronga Zoo, it didn’t disappoint and is in the most stunning location, set into the land, everywhere you walk there is a indescribable view of Sydney skyline, the harbour bridge and the opera house. I actually got frustrated because none of the photos I took did it justice! The Pelican’s made an impression at this zoo, with one looking a little like an old man that was chuntering on to itself. A Chinese lady also took a liking to the bird but proceeded to bash it on the head with her zoo map! Rude! My brother being the guy he is had to say something and told her off – hilarious!
Our final day was a dramatic one to say the least! It began with a taxi ride down to the harbour, where I was almost knocked out by a taxi boot which fell on my head as I was getting the buggy out – it produced a massive bump and yes, i cried like a baby!Once I was slightly less concussed (I’m joking – i was fine other than a headache when i moved my eyebrows), we went to the Sea Life Centre. I was really impressed! It was far bigger than I expected and had some amazing animals (mammals?) I hadn’t see before.
Unfortunately, after this, my bro and nephew had to head for their flight so I held it together (just about) while I said goodbye to them then the hubby and I went for a wander around the shops in Sydney whilst the little man napped.
The holiday ended in a…unique way. When my sister went to Sydney, she got her first tattoo, a pink rose on her ribs, in dedication to our Dad. When he died the funeral flowers where white roses (for my dad and I – Yorkshire rose), red roses (for my step mum who is from Lancashire) and pink roses (for my sister who is a mixture of the two).
Since then, I always said I’d have a white rose tattooed however, white flower on white skin would be difficult. Once my sister had hers done, I thought it would add extra meaning for me to have mine done in Sydney, at the same tattoo place, ideally by the same tattooist. I was in luck, the guy who tattooed my sister was available (pure fluke as he had a full day but managed to get ahead of himself) he had a beautiful design drawn up that no one had used and was perfect for what I wanted. So, on the last day of our holidays, two hours before we had to go to the airport, I had my tattoo done on my forearm – prominent and proud of my dedication to my Dad’s memory. I was over the moon with the outcome.
And then suddenly, that was it, home time. I flew home with my hubby, toddler, cling film on my swollen tattooed arm and a bump on my head! Little L was as good on the flights home as he was going, after a slightly rocky start when he couldn’t get comfy to sleep which was solved by a kind lady telling us of a spare seat which my husband moved to so that our son could stretch over two seats. As we were flying home from Sydney is was only one stop in Qatar again and before we knew it we were back on home soil.
I am so glad that we stepped out of our comfort zone and booked this amazing holiday. Precious memories were made as a family, with amazing friends and with my brother and nephew which I will treasure forever. I realised I didn’t need to be anxious, taking our son out of his routine. Toddler’s are adaptable and our little man, mostly, was a little star.
Finally, I have to mention Karen at Flight Centre who organised everything regarding flights and accommodation for us. Nothing was too much trouble and she was reassuring and knowledgable. She even rang a couple of days before we went to wish us a happy holiday! You can contact her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can read my other instalments of our holiday here: