Bit of a whirlwind since I last wrote (must…do...better). However, in a good way. We’ve done some significant driving (plus 2 flights) and put some serious kms behind us. With the sheer size of Australia you must if you want to fit in all that we’ve planned. Who knows when I’ll be back, and I’m trying to see all that I can. Since our 3 person posse is a dictatorship, guess who wins?
Sydney made it tough to leave. Très tough. It’s a beautiful, multicultural city that I want to come back to one day and probably spend a significant amount of time in. It’s also where our trip continued its balancing act. The balancing part being what I enjoy vs what Sully and Max enjoy. It’s not really versus, just more of accommodating each other. Where they loved the Wildlife Park, the Aquarium, and the ride up and down the Sydney tower (plus the 4D movie beforehand) I was happy exploring the Harbour, the Opera House, having a beer at a pub and learning more about the history of the city (which I knew nothing about). It’s all natural and perfectly normal. Everyone who has kids or travels in groups, goes through it. Just in the moment, there’s no splitting up and meeting back at a certain spot. We all go one place together or no place at all. And finding that balance of making everyone happy can be challenging. But we all understand it and have been good at being unselfish and accommodating (see: Meltdown). The Great Ocean Road was another perfect example of that. I couldn’t wait to drive it, view it and stop long the way to breathe it all in. On the other hand, they had checked out after 30 minutes of driving and maybe 3 stops. To their credit, they didn’t complain and knew it was something I was enjoying. Even attempting to humour me with the odd, ‘oh wow Jay, yep that view is amazing’, while not lifting their eyes from their e-reader.
I’m loving the connections they’re making as we travel! While we were walking around Sydney, its quite hilly in the Rocks area where we were staying. Max commented a few times that this reminded him of San Francisco. Yes! Plus just hearing him say that it reminded him of SF…how cool? 7 and he’s comparing famous cities. Love it.
When we saw our first wild kangaroo (with a Joey in its pouch!) or watched the penguins parade on Phillip Island, Sully was taken by both. Saying that these things are one of the reasons we’re on the trip. “Jay! We wouldn’t see this at home. No way!". I guess I’ve drilled that into their heads, too.
Bad things happen in 3’s, right? I’m convinced we’re now covered for the trip. In the ‘who’ section of the blog when I described myself I commented (and have told many people) that I can rarely focus on anything with 100% clarity. There’s just too much going on and to be accountable for.
- I’ve left my bank card at a bank in San Francisco. I wasn’t able to recover it, but TD has shipped a new one to my sister in NZ and I’ll get it when she comes to visit us. Luckily I brought one from another bank.
- I left my wallet on the airplane after our flight from SF to Sydney. Yep, even leaving the plane certain that I had it. Didn't discover that I misplaced it until we were through customs and I tried to buy a SIM card for my phone. Was seriously pissed at myself. Especially since it was only a few days after leaving my bank card at the bank. A small panic attack ensued and I was able to get in touch with United. They searched the plane (we were in a few different spots since we got an upgrade and changed seats again to sleep) and luckily they were able to find it. Unbelievable! Serious stress while we waited an hour.
- The 3rd disaster, which Max so eloquently described in his blog (Boom goes the dynamite!) was when I dropped and smashed my iPhone. I was an idiot and took it out of its case, trying to get the perfect shot. It was cold, my hands were freezing and I dropped it. Secretly, I’m positive the boys loved watching their father screw up and do something that they might normally do. We spent the next morning in Geelong getting it repaired. It hasn’t been out of its case since. Yep.
And the Williams family! We met up with the Williams family from Oakville (Rich, Jenna, Richie and Luke) on the beach at Manly. A planned surprise for the kids. And it worked out perfectly! Luke and Richie both attend the school (James W Hill) where I teach. Sully, Richie, Luke and Max were thick as thieves for 4 straight days. Rich and Jenna being the ultimate transplanted Canadian hosts, having us over for dinner 3 nights in a row (shrimp on the barbie and chocolate covered vegemite…what more could you ask for??) and allowing the boys to sleepover one night (which was the best for them…and me). It was really fun hanging out with them, hunting down coffees, chilling on the beach and just planning the days as they came. We all took the ferry together into Sydney the day we left, and it was sad to see them leave. Sully & Max working me hard to stay. We’re hoping to see them again at some point in New Zealand or even Sri Lanka (right, Rich??? ;)
The boys and I are settling into a good groove now and the trip is becoming more and more enjoyable (Not that it never was!?). Sully and Max were really independent to begin with, and are becoming even more so. Arriving at hostels, getting their bearings and being comfortable right away. It’s feeling less and less like work, which is how it felt a bit through Costa Rica and the beginning of Oz. And the bouncing from place to place will and has slowed down. Our last leg of Oz involves a road trip from the Sunshine Coast (just north of Brisbane) to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. I’m planning on taking a little over a week to do it and then we’re off to Bali. South East Asia awaits. Will be different. Muchly!