Monday, February 6, 2012

Because Weekends Were Made For Fun

**Any of you very few readers who had the distinct pleasure of roller skating at Hot Wheels in Miami in the mid-80s catch the song reference in the title??**

By Friday of last week, three out of five of us were in a downward spiral.  As you recently read, Jackson was solid.  Kenyon rocked his first week of school and was doing great.  Sam was okay but even his wake-up-and-stretch-and-meditate routine that had armed him with Zen grooviness the first part of the week was starting to wane.  Alex was actively despising school and everything related to it, and between absorbing Alex's stress and the rainy weather, to say I was on edge would be very kind.

The universe smiled upon us in the form of sunshine Saturday morning, and we eagerly packed up a lunch, gathered our beach gear and ran out the door.  The stress of the preceding week was left in the wake as we practically skipped towards the beach.

We all were reborn with a renewed giddiness, and had a lovely time walking to City Beach.  The water in the harbour was smooth as glass, and we could see straight to the bottom.  We paused and pointed out different types of fish, and Jackson spotted a jellyfish lazily making its way through the water.

As Alex and I jumped waves, he was gleefully exclaiming things like "I feel like tip-tapping!" and "I'm so so happy right now!".  I smiled and laughed, all the while silently hoping he could bottle up this joy and enthusiasm to help get him through this next school week.

On Sunday, we woke up bright and early to catch the train to Sydney, although trackwork on our line meant we ended up on the bus this time.  Sydney and surrounding areas have Family Funday Sunday, which means that for a mere $2.50 per person, there is unlimited travel on trains, buses, and ferries in the greater Sydney area.  A bargain in Sydney?  It looks like this is the only one, so we're going to take advantage of it.  I wanted to do something special to celebrate surviving the first week of school, so I bought tickets to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.  Alex was chosen to be assigned to a house by the Sorting Hat; to his delight, he is a Gryffindor.  No pictures were allowed, but the exhibition was an amazing display of Harry Potter film artifacts and the kids were enthralled by the entire thing.  In fact, they loved the whole museum and were exclaiming that it was the coolest museum they had ever been to, even though much of it was under renovation construction.

We headed to Sydney's small Chinatown area for lunch and gorged ourselves on absolutely delicious dim sum.  Dim sum is such a fun culinary adventure, and everyone loved it.
these sesame prawns were my favorite, although Kenyon enjoyed them as well

Alex loved the jasmine tea (cha), and specifically asked me to take a picture of him and his cha.
Jackson made friends with the man selling silhouettes for $2 and got one for free (although we tipped him $1).  While it doesn't necessarily look like Jackson, it was pretty amazing to watch him cut out a silhouette so swiftly.
With full bellies, we headed to the Darling Quarter, where a massive playground with water features was beyond the kids' wildest imaginations.
Unfortunately, it was also beyond 563,295 other kids' wildest imaginations--and they were all at the playground as well.  The simple math of 2 parents + 3 children + massive crowds + playground equipment=a casual father but a stressed-out mother; the risk of losing a child was scientifically calculated (by me) at 1 in 3.
the older boys hard at work at the water scoop...
...while Kenyon chillaxed in the bowl.

We managed the chaos until they had sufficient time to cool off and then called it quits, using Clever Parenting Trick #112--the vague promise of returning 'next time' so they can explore the rest of the park.  To avoid the crowd factor, I'll have to make sure 'next time' is either during a severe hailstorm or at 2am, because it was if we had inadvertently used the Floo Network and found ourselves at Disney World.

Now ready to relax, we looked forward to a ferry ride for a little tour of the Sydney Harbour.  On the walk over, we spotted this...

Words and my pictures don't do the Sydney Harbour justice--it's truly gorgeous, and we all loved every minute of the ferry ride.
I made a mental note to begin buying lottery tickets when I saw some of these estates with their private docks.

the entrance to Luna Park, Sydney's iconic amusement park
The Sydney Opera House is so fantastic.

A man playing the didgeridoo set to some background trance music occupied us during the wait for the bus home...

...and we all felt just like Kenyon did.

An epic weekend was had by all, and here's hoping it will carry us through the week until the next one.  Looks like it's working so far--Alex met his goal of not complaining on the walk to school, and even made a friend!


  1. Your weekend sounds heavenly!!! I cannot wait to go to Sydney to see all the sights. I think of nothing else but coming to visit. Glad to hear Al is feeling more upbeatt.
    Love you all!

  2. Enjoying yours posts, Annie!