The trip has been good so far. It’s been somewhat impacted by all the rain, with us having to change some of our plans as roads have been closed & its just been too wet to do some things, but it has still been nice.
We had 3 days in Sydney initially, arriving Friday morning (10.30am), getting through customs etc was pretty easy, so much easier with us all having Aussie Passports & knowing what we had to declare & where things were located in our luggage. I also seriously think that having a small kid or small kids helps in the speed at which you are processed, at least it seemed to help in Sydney & Levi wasn’t even kicking off. We had a theory that it was the FEAR that he might kick off that helped a bit as well though, especially after such a long trip over.
The first day we spent getting a SIM card for my old NOKIA phone (N95) organising some cash (thank goodness I do things like coding my pin numbers, so that I was able to workout what my pin numbers were as Geoff had no idea what his were). We also did a spot of shopping, where I was reminded as to how little fresh food there is in Canada, as compared to here & just how much is imported.
Going shopping, the big supermarkets (Woolies, Coles etc) are much better with a bit of competition in the area, with fruit shops, fish mongers, butchers & bakeries all next door. Something that I have never seen in Canada. If you want a butcher, you drive specifically to a butcher. You want fresh fruit, you go somewhere specifically for that. Yes, there are some markets on weekends where you can get some stuff, but not the variety that you see here & so readily available for anyone & everyone to access. What you get is so different too, the abundance & variety of fruit & veg is unseen in Canada, even in summer. Its so dramatically different.
The next day (Saturday 23rd) we went to Paramatta & met up with a friend to deliver some BBQ rib sauce that was needed & spent a lot of time chatting & then did a bit of a wander through the mall, as it was a bit late to go to the harbour. They had a lovely little activity area for kids, which Levi LOVED & now we are thinking of making our own little obstacle course/ gym thing for him for downstairs, to go with the climbing wall.
Sunday was my birthday & after a rather late start, & some lovely cheesecake we went down to the harbour (Circular Quay) to get some pictures of the bridge & opera house. Sundays are cheap for transport you can get family tickets $5 for both adults & you can use all buses, ferries & trains as often as you want, all day for $5!!!
Bearing in mind the cheap transport, we took a ferry over to Manly. The boat ride was a little rough, but it was to be expected with the crap weather that has been hitting the coast for a while now, Geoff got a little sea sick, poor guy (didn’t vomit, that I know of, just felt seedy). Once we got there we had a bit of a wander, managed to get some fish n chips, I also found some veggo sushi rolls (which I ate before we had fish n chips, yum) & we had a bit of picnic by the beach, just on one of the park benches up on the walk way.
After we had a bit to eat, we put Levi on the sand, which he freaked out about a little. He was VERY unsure about the nice warm soft sand that he was standing on & repeatedly asked to be picked up (up, hands in air (repeat) up, hands in air…) it took a lot of convincing & a little dragging to make him walk in the nice sand, & even then, he didn’t last long. He loved running around on the beachfront though (paved area) & even managed to chase some of the local sea gulls, which was very cute.
The boat ride back was entertaining with Levi making a few friends & we have an awesome video clip of him having a play with a little boy, which I will try to remember to upload & put up a link to in a few days.
Monday 25th we headed up the coast, picking up our hire car with Avis, saying goodbye to our wonderful hosts, Daz & Jess & stopping in to see Geoff’s nanna, his Aunt & then ultimately a friend of ours, Neil, that we met & travelled with in China, Tibet & Nepal.
Geoff’s nanna was in pretty good spirits. She told us yet again that she hated Levi’s name & that he should be called Alexander & that when it comes time for us to have a 2nd, she hoped that we would pick a much better name. I somehow managed to smile & not say anything, which I was very proud of. All in all, she was in pretty good spirits.
After we saw her, we went to see Geoff’s Aunt, Wendy, who was lovely & spent several hours catching up with her & she had a lovely time meeting Levi & having a play with him, again I will have to upload another video 🙂
Then it was off to Newcastle to see Neil & his girlfriend, Megan & crash the night.