Sydney – Short and very sweet

ImageImageImageImageImageThis is being drafted on route from Sydney to Bangkok. We have about 5 hours to go after a delay leaving Sydney airport. It’s the perfect time to reflect on our 4 days in Sydney. Dominic is watching cartoons and Callum is drawing.

Our flight from Auckland was excellent and all went well until the boys were served chicken drizzled with a tarragon sauce. Needless to say lunch wasn’t eaten. I can’t figure out why airlines don’t offer kids a sandwich.

We arrived in good spirits. Excellent behavior helped the cause significantly. After checking into our hotel, which was basic and small but perfectly adequate, we had a refreshing dip in the pool before walking 3km to Nicola  (Trina’s sister) and Marcus’ apartment for dinner. Dominic is in awe of Marcus and immediately requested/demanded to see all of his surfboards. We had a decent catch up and the boys spent time with their cousin, Louie.

Friday 5.30am and the boys are ready for action. They kept themselves amused until we got up. Trina went for a 9km run around Centennial Park and then off to breakfast at the hotel (which was excellent). It was then time to explore. I’ve only been to Sydney on boozy boy trips so haven’t really got to grips with the city. We walked from our hotel in Surry Hills through ANZAC Park, into Hyde Park and down though the Botanical Gardens to the Opera House and the harbour bridge. The architectural significance and the shear iconic value was completely wasted on our 2 (needless to say Rome will now only involve pizza and gelato). As a reward for the massive hike through town we swung by Max Brenner’s for a hot chocolate (in the famous hug mug). bussed back to the hotel, another swim and back to Nic and Marcus’ for dinner and a drink.

Saturday was sleep in day – 6.30! After breakfast we walked back to Nic’s and met Trina’s Aunty Pim for a coffee before walking through Centennial Park (stopping for a while to test out the flash new Frisbee) and up to Bondi Junction (yep, another massive hike). Bussed down to Bondi beach for the afternoon and then good ol’ Uncle Marcus took the boys out for a movie and KFC where Dominic finally received membership into the cult-like “Chicken Club”. This excursion was deemed by Dominic as the highlight of the trip thus far. Trina and I had the unexpected bonus of a night out so we ventured out into Surry Hills to a wine bar and a tapas restaurant. Modiva was the eatery of choice and was fantastic!

Sunday was Manly day. Dominic did ask if Manly beach was just for men, which luckily, it certainly isn’t. AUD10 for the 4 of us to get a return ferry ride plus all day bus travel – fantastic value. On our arrival at Manly beach we heeded some local advice (thanks Marcus) and ventured around the point towards Shelly Beach where we found a great little café. Dominic swam in the pool beside the beach while we had coffee. Then it was back to the main beach. A return to Nic’s for a BBQ and good-byes.

Early start on Monday to catch our 9.40am flight to Bangkok. We didn’t need to rush, delays at Customs and Security held all flights up. Whilst in the queue to have our bags checked we were “treated” to a live sex show from a particularly unattractive couple – a disturbing start to the day.

Anyway, that’s about it from Sydney. We really enjoyed it. Around Surry Hills (where we spent a good deal of our time), there appears to be a movement in the hospitality industry towards small, intimate cafes, which is appealing. The service standards are excellent and quality of food and coffee world class. Weather was perfect every day so couldn’t have asked for more. It was an ideal introduction for Callum and Dominic. Thailand will be much different.


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