In hindsight, the 16 hour flights always go quickly. This time, our entire trip lasting less than a week went just as quickly. The following are some of the memorable moments, in our home country of Australia.
The boys as always were very good flyers, although they avoided proper sleep as far as possible. This sadly was until the flight’s last hour for Myles, and the last 30 minutes for Lewis. It made it very difficult to wake them and depart the plane once we touched down. A few passengers found it more amusing than I did. There were also many impressed that Myles was wearing a suit yet so young. Maybe a dozen commented on how handsome or smart he looked, and he probably received double that many smiles mostly from women. I could still learn a lot from him.
It’s an interesting approach to tourism that once you touch down in Australia the four massive wall advertisements you first pass are devoted to Australia’s scariest predators. It was a sense of “Welcome to Australia, you’re probably going to die” when you see a life-size picture of the largest crocodile ever found, the number off spiders we have, and the number of poisonous snakes that bless our huge land. It could be giving the public what they want, although we were hoping for a less extreme adventure.
The reason we were in Australia was to attend my new nephew’s Baptism, as well as meet him for the first time. Bracken is such a beautiful happy baby. As far as I could tell, he only laughs, eats, and sleeps all day.
At the church the bible reading by two ladies got some extra attention when a phrase that God was to say, was actually said by an unknown deep male voice. In fact it was very surprising to most, with most looking around, and even a curious “where the [eff] did that come from” from someone in the crowd.
We took the opportunity of being up the Sunshine Coast to rent a cabin near the beach for the week. I find it interesting that I fly Myles and Lewis to the other side of the world, then we stay a stone’s throw from the beach of the beautiful Sunshine Coast, yet the boys’ favourite experience of this holiday may in fact be that they get to sleep on the top of bunk beds.
It was a bit disturbing though that when Lewis woke up and climbed down from his bunk bed, he walked toward the very loud sound of my Mum’s snoring and tried to join her in bed saying “Daddy, Daddy”.
On our first morning up the coast I made the most of the early morning and went for a run. There’s something magic about the sea breeze and a sunrise. Something that maybe only the east coast of Australia can provide. I made it around to Bulcock Beach, where the wind was blowing quite strongly. It was lovely to be able to enjoy such a nice breeze in my face. When the wind is that strong in Dubai you really must head for cover or you’ll choke or be blinded from dust. Here you could breath it in, and my lungs said thank you.
Corey managed to take some time off while we were in town, so we had a sneaking suspicion we’d get to go fishing. Lewis must have been tired for it as he nodded off while we were going almost full speed at the hands of Corey’s new 125 horse-power motor – altho I don’t believe horses have hands. Seeing Lewis asleep, Myles let out a “pffft”, then perhaps inspired by Captain Haddock from TinTin he explained disapprovingly that Lewis is a “Typical Land-Lover”.
We think Myles took honors again in the fishing stakes, with a catch of several bream, an estuary cod and a small blue-dotted stingray. Altho there could be a small protest, since a couple of these fish he caught were on a line someone else baited, cast, and finished the winding in. Particularly with the stingray. Myles remembered very well that Steve Irwin was killed by the barb of a stingray. So he really wanted to make sure that it was kept well away from us – which seemed like Corey’s plan anyway. I was Myles’s assistant in bringing the ray in, what a fight they put on!
On one of the nights we went out for dinner at Corey’s restaurant. The barman that served me looked familiar, a bit like someone I went to school with. Soon after, my brother confirmed it was indeed that kid I went to school with, and it was good to catch up with him and hear about his young family. However my brother saying his name, Dean [Surname] rang no bells. It wasn’t until later when I heard someone say, “seeya Deano” that I realised I only ever knew him through his nickname.
We made our way back to the Brisbane vicinity a day before our flight. We had important shopping to do. Expats have a responsibility when they’re in their home country to buy up certain supplies for their countrymen. For Aussies in Dubai I had a list of the usual items, Twisties, Cherry Ripes, Picnics, Bushells teabags, and for this trip, promite, and Easter Eggs. Although there are enough Christian expats here in Dubai to get plenty of eggs here, you can still pick up things overseas at a fraction of the local price.
With that done there was just one thing remaining on our agenda before having to leave. My parents bought tickets for the kids to see the How To Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular. It was great. I was amazed at how life-like they can now make such big robots move. I saw more than a few couples going to see it without a kid in sight, which is probably a good sign of the show’s popularity.
Then we took our return flight home on a completely filled Boeing 777-300 ER. The boys were amazing for me again and this time slept for maybe four hours. This allowed me to even take a nap, after drinking a handful of red wines to help the process. 🙂 Although Emirates has by far the world’s best in-flight entertainment, it was interesting to watch Lewis trying to navigate through the menus, movies, and games. Three year olds don’t know better, so they automatically swipe and pinch, like it’s an iPhone or iPad. The ICE system isn’t quite there yet buddy.
We had a lovely trip to Australia, one I’m sure the kids will always remember.
We’ll get sadly dragged back into Dubai reality tomorrow, all three boys have their dental appointments. :-/ then Sunday it’s back to work, school, and nursery for us. We’d probably get through the first day back easier if only we could swap who goes to each to these places.