Saturday was one of those bittersweet days when you can’t be in 2 (or in this case, 3) places at once. Thanks to the AFL Grand Final being played a week later this year, so were the Hampden and Geelong netball finals and, as luck would have it, both our girls made it to the big game this year, played on the middle Saturday of the school holidays. It was never going to be possible for us to be in Warrnambool and Geelong on the same day so we decided to put our holiday plans first and miss both games. Those of you who read my personal blog will know that this was a big deal for me!
Thanks to friends watching at both venues sending me updates, I was able to keep track of the games as we drove from Queanbeyan to Sydney.
The trip up the Hume from Canberra to Sydney was uneventful, albeit boring
(except for the netball updates). Jaime’s game was first and it was close enough to raise my anxiety levels. Finally the message came through that they’d won and I could breathe a sigh of relief until Sophie’s game started an hour later.
This was always going to be a close game and the scores were pretty much level the whole way through. By the time the last quarter came we were arriving at the park and I’m sure the check in lady thought I was completely mad as I tried to explain to her why I was watching my phone and jumping up and down and clutching my chest at the same time as I was filling in the resident details.
In the end Soph won too (by 1 goal, on the bell!) and I was sorry I wasn’t around to celebrate but glad I hadn’t had to choose between games, relieved that I hadn’t had the courtside stress and grateful to Wendy and Laura & Lisa for ‘live’ streaming for me. Also pretty proud that at three different clubs the girls and I have achieved a hat trick of premierships this year. I’m sure that’s some kind of record; go us!
Lane Cove Tourist Park is wedged between the cemetery and the crematorium and under a flight path. None of that looks particularly inviting on the map but the park is actually beautiful with the other boundary opening up onto the national park. After the cramped, cold and sparse conditions of the last couple of nights, the spacious 2 bedroom log cabin, complete with a full fridge and oven, lounge room furniture, split cycle air con, a queen sized bed AND pillows is palatial! We have a lovely outside deck that overlooks the national park and (with the exception of the planes overhead) no noisy neighbours or roadside noise. There is a prolific and friendly bird population, including a few huge bush turkeys who roam about at will.
Yesterday we ventured into Sydney on the train. North Ryde station is only a 10 minute walk from the park and, as luck would have it, there’s a special family pass available on Sundays that gave us unlimited travel, all day, for just $2.50 each. Bargain!
I think Sydney Harbour is spectacular and it doesn’t matter how many times you see it, it’s always an ‘ahhhh’ moment when you get a glimpse of the bridge and the Opera House. This was Taine’s first visit and he was suitably impressed.
We went for a walk through the market at the Rocks, where, unless you are an overseas tourist there’s actually nothing to buy. I think every last ounce of Australianism has been wrung out to capture the tourist dollar; racing wooden kangaroos, 3D postage stamps, soap in every imaginable bush scent, gilded gum leaves, dubious health products derived from various native animal organs….
We tried for a cup of coffee in a couple of hip/retro coffee shops but the wait time was 30 minutes just for coffee and the Devonshire tea (best scones in Sydney) was $14 a person.
We pushed on to Circular Quay and used our bargain Sunday pass for a ferry ride around the harbor. This took us past Kirribilli House and Luna Park and gave us the money shots of both the bridge and the Opera House.
For lunch we ate a little bit of food for quite a lot of money at the Opera House Kitchen on the water’s edge. Location, location and the food was pretty good too. A walk around Farm Cove and Government House presented an opportunity to give Taine a history lesson about European settlement and then we jumped on another ferry to Darling Harbour where we wandered around until it was time for an early dinner before making our way to the theatre to watch “ Matilda”.
Matilda was every bit as good as we expected it to be. Tim Minchin is a genius and the young cast pulled off his lyrics perfectly. We had learnt a couple of the songs for State School Spectacular last year so it was fun to sing along with ‘When I grow up’ and ‘Revolting Children’.
To get home we had to take the light rail to Central and then wait awhile for a train back to North Ryde. Not quite as efficient as the Metro or Underground but much cleaner and an easier to use system than Myki and our Sunday pass meant that each of our trips for the day worked out to be 50c each. Pretty good value!