Australian holidays – August 2017

Two weeks back at work, and I’m in danger of forgetting my two weeks holiday in Australia.

I arrived in Launceston for a change, as Elle and boys were visiting an ill family member. The next day was already arranged for the boys and I to go zipline-ing at Treetops in Hollybank forest.  It was a wonderful experience.  I really don’t know what age group had the most fun.

We had only another two days with family in Tasmania, before we flew up to Brisbane.

The next day we were “Show And Tell” at my nephew’s class when we surprised him at school.

We became quite odd objects for his classmates to ask some interesting questions. They were most interested in how far away is Dubai. How do you get to Dubai. How many minutes is that? How long does it take to get there. Then again, how many minutes is that??

It wasn’t until we mentioned the flight took enough time to watch eight movies back-to-back that the questioning moved on.

Then perhaps the last question was the most interesting to them, when they learned that I work at a theme park with LEGOLAND!  Lesson learned. I really should have led with that one.

Back in Brisbane, thanks to my parents we saw the Brisbane Broncos play at home against the Parramatta Eels.  The boys were super excited. It was the first live NRL match for Lewis & Owen. Well, for Lewis. Owen fell into a deep sleep soon after we arrived in the stadium.  Even with all the extremely loud cheering, he didn’t stir.

Sadly, most of the cheering from 12 seconds on, was for Parra.  Bronco Adam Blair thought it was a good idea on the first kick return, to pass it aimlessly to an opposition player to score the fastest try recorded in NRL history. I think Blair’s been in need of a Head Impact Assessment for all of his life.

Broncos eventually scored some points in response.  They even began dominating, until silly mistakes undid all the good work. The final score was 54-34.

The boys and I still came out victorious, thanks to a McDonald’s promotion.  The Broncos scored more than 19 points, so each spectator could take their match ticket into a McDonald’s restaurant and pick up a free Broncos Burger. Myles had already devoured one of those in our travels and was a huge fan. When we visited the city the next day, we got three … and then another, and another. Free food really sparked Myles’s imagination. We wondered how we could print and redeem the other 29,000 tickets from the game.

That day we visited the Gallery of Modern Art.  It happened to be hosting an Avengers exhibit.  They had lots of costumes and props from the movies. And we got to design and share our own super heroes (I wonder if my Library Woman character will ever hit the big screen). The most fun was certainly the BRILLIANT interactive character exhibit that mimicked whatever moves the boys would make. The boys (and I) could have stayed there for hours, dabbing and kung fu kicking as Iron Man, HULK, and Guardian of the Galaxy characters tried to keep up on the big screen in front.

On the Sunshine Coast we stayed with my brother and family. It coincided with the Caloundra Power Boat Club’s “Take a kid fishing” Day.  We had a trial run on the day before and caught a few fish each, which was promising for the competition.  On the day that mattered though, we caught almost nothing.  The boys were more than pleased to just catch a few toad fish. Three out of our four boys still won a rod & reel combo regardless.

Our nephew’s Poppy opened up his arms wide and asked Owen how big was the fish he caught.  Owen felt compelled to correct him, “It wasn’t nearly that big!”  Quite an honest boy, but not a real fisherman. Yet.

We tested out the rods a few days later. Again with very little success, except for a couple of toad fish.  Myles was so proud that he was able to catch one with his bare hands.  It might be the only thing worse than catching a toad fish with a fishing rod.

Then our time in cool Australia was over.

It was an enjoyable, relaxing time.

For our flight home I saved almost two thousand dollars and flew China Southern Airlines, via Ghanzhou.  Apart from a few minor peculiarities (like people’s carry-on luggage being a 12kg box of peeled garlic), I thought it was pretty cool. Their premium economy seats were better than any other I can recall. I thought we found a wonderful alternative, until at the baggage belt in Dubai one of our bags was missing. We learned that it was safe and sound, but still in China.  Perhaps it’s an indication that you get what you pay for.

On the plus side, it was nice to have a good excuse for not shaving on my first day back at work.