A wonderful public holiday weekend in Sydney! Well, as wonderful as you can get with two kids, who are going through an incredibly irritating stage of constantly bickering with each other and shouting “Muuuuum” every forty seconds. Having said that, we are aware that this would be far more irritating if we weren’t living in Sydney. This city has everything you could ever wish for. A modern, vibrant, beautiful, beachy city, which makes for an awesome place to spend a long weekend entertaining even the most dysfunctional family!
The weekend started off well. Me in our local pub with some other Poms downing drinks, listening to a pretty cool band called 7 Days duo. I thought I had grown up a bit and knew how to handle my drink. Turns out I was very, very drunk, I stumbled on and off the courtesy bus (free ride home *WIN), fell through the front door, slumped in to bed, headbutted Tim and then proceeded to whimper for about 12 hours, feeling terrible, hugging the loo. This kind of ruined our plans to road trip it up to Byron Bay for a few days. *Sorry gang!!!
About 2pm on Saturday, I dragged my sorry self out of bed, the world spinning, made myself a berocca and tried to man up a bit. We decided to head into the city for some dinner and another look at Vivid. We were pretty lucky and managed to grab a last minute table at Jamies Italian .
Dinner out for us always seems to be such a bloody nightmare. We had to wait ages for our table to be ready, so we bribed the starving, tired kids with a glass of lemonade and some polenta chips at the bar. *Epic move…. No….. This only made things worse. The sugar went straight to Monty’s head and he started tripping up waiters, blowing raspberries at passers by, and was generally cruising for a bruising. So, the 45 minute wait for a table, all 4 of us perched on high stools, felt like an age, and by the time the waiter showed us to our seats we all hated each other. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t still too ill to have a glass of wine to ease the stress levels. . Good start to the evening.
We got the ordering over and done with fairly easily as there’s not a chicken nugget to be seen. Why is it that children will happily eat a “gonad burger” in a fast food restaurant, but offer them a healthy meal and they look at you as if you really have served up two gonads with a side salad. It’s a mystery! We awaited our yummy delights, both children holding i phones, faces glowing in the light, grunting at our sporadic attempts at conversation.
Our delicious dinner was gobbled in about 70 seconds, as Monty had finished his spaghetti, was bored, and about to blow. (I told you eating out was a joy). He had got to the point of being over tired, restless, and needed to be walked. Yes, he is like a puppy. We made our exit down the stairs, Monty had a mini tantrum at the top, the whole restaurant stared, I waved and we went on our merry way.
We walked to Circular Quay with the intention of viewing the lights of Vivid at the Opera House and the Royal Botanical Gardens, but Poppy was right when she said there were “a gazillion” people. We decided a week night may be a better option so we pushed and shoved our way back to the train, with the children yelling out for glow sticks, and light up crappy wands, Monty well and truly livid in the buggy!
Sunday was a much better day, just the fact that I had almost completely recovered from Friday nights antics was enough to make me smile… We packed up a picnic, threw the scooters in the boot, strapped the kids into the car and headed to North Sydney. We went to North Head Sanctuary . The Memorial Walk is very special, it honours those who have served and supported the defence of Australia in peace or in war. The paved pathway links five monuments erected to remember the major conflict periods in Australia’s history. I would have perused these monuments in more detail, if it had not been for the ankle biters kicking each other. In typical Wilson fashion Monty was upset because he couldn’t ride his scooter on the path (disrespectful little rat), and Poppy was away with the fairies, pushing her dolly pram, with dolly, blankets, baby bottles, nappies…. Every time she bumped over a stone the whole lot would fall out and we’d have to wait for her to pile it all back in, with tears welling up in her eyes (do you think its hormones?). To say this was frustrating is an understatement. What should have been a ten minute, peaceful walk, took 45 minutes, and I lost count of how many times I swore under my breath. We followed the path to the end, and took the short diversion to look out over Sydney Harbour from the Fairfax Lookout. This is the most beautiful view, even with Monty burping his alphabet in the background.
We finished the morning off with Monty ensuring all other visitors had seen the sign, and were sure to check under their cars for Bandicoots before squashing them “DEAD”. If anyone needs a warden, Monty’s your guy! We then made our way to the grass with our delicious picnic. Monty bypassed the sandwiches and fruit, and just ate popcorn. He insisted on dipping his licked finger in the salt over and over again, much to my despair. This backfired, as he was then incredibly thirsty, drank about a litre of water, and had to do several emergency wees in the back of the car, into my take away hot chocolate cup. Poppy obviously finds this “GROOOOOOOSSSSSS” and “EWWWWWW’, Monty isn’t in the least bit worried about peeing into a cup or the chocolate dust stuck to his nether regions.
Bower Lane-This beautiful little lane leads to Cabbage Tree Bay, where the locals drink coffee while the sea glistens like a huge blue gemstone. There are wonderful dreamy rock pools, filled with sea treasure for the children to discover, and a great walk down Marine Parade to Shelly beach. We diverted via Bower Street (due to storm damage on the parade), a nice (steep) walk, past lots of expensive hillside properties with stunning ocean views…*Not at all jealous. The unfortunate diversion was actually worth it for the swings on the way, the torture the children experienced walking so far, and the magical steps down to Shelly beach, through the trees and over the stream.
The Boat House Shelly Beach
This beautiful hidden gem is well worth a visit (without OUR children)! Whether you’re dining there at lunchtime with all the cool cats or popping in for a delicious Pure Pops Icy Pole and lashings of Parkers Ginger Beer, you must find a way to get to The Boat House!
It’s full of very glam looking “super mums” (with very glitzy looking kids) , young trendy couples, older trendy folk…. Just a very funky place to be… and then we turned up. Monty had a huge dirty stick, no shoes, only socks, and mud on his knees… Poppy was flopping about, swinging her arms, “dying of hunger and thirst” (although all she ordered was a chocolate milkshake.. Go figure..) and Tim was losing the will to live. We ordered at the hole in the wall, the sweet peonies bursting out of the vase, and we took our treats out onto the beach so as not to cause too much disruption.
The food in The Boat House looked immense, although I was delighted not to have ordered fish and chips to go, as the “Acro Yoga” bunnies were out in force… Not a great spectators sport when you’re covered in tartare sauce and suffering with the inevitable F&C heartburn. Tim did suggest we take up Acro Yoga, until I explained what he’d have to do. Think he’s happy to leave it to the experts for now. *Phew
After a long trip home, a few arguments about us not stopping for kinder eggs, and some fun traffic jams, we shoved the children in their beds, and sat down to gorge on chocolate. Hey, it’s Sunday, its the Queens birthday weekend, another family day tomorrow, and I still have the hangover munchies. Still loving the adventure…Tim cant wait to get back to work Tuesday!