Sydney & The Snow - June 2009

Have food, will travel!
My parents like to consider themselves as travelling kind of people. Sometimes, when Jack & I are driving Mama a bit stir crazy, the fact that she & Dada stopped traipsing over the countryside and chose to have a family instead makes her question their sanity... However, after our fantastic performance as mini travellers on our big trip to the Snow and to Sydney we've reassurred them that the travelling gene has passed on to us.

This is my account of our holiday, as seen through the eyes of an utterly delightful, easily pleased and eager to please two year old. (Me!)

The Driving Bit

At Dubbo Zoo
Raining Leaves
Everyone was a little bit worried how I'd go sitting still in the car for such long stints, considering that I am not a child who particularly likes to sit still. What people didn't bargain on though was my absolute fascination with vehicles of all shapes and kind. I was more than content to sit watching the trucks as we went past and identifying cars which were "likie Dada's car" or "likie Mama's car". What's more - it turned out that driving was a bit like going on a farm tour. Multiple days would hear me saying again and again - "look Jackie, look, more cows".

I'm very much into showing things to everyone at the moment, and so I'd make sure I went through the whole family (including Spotty and Ty), saying "look Mama, big truck", "look Dada, big truck" and so on.... It kept everyone amused and Jack was particularly good at sounding enthused even after I'd shown him the 17th windmill for the day.

but not wet enough to stop me!
Hmmm, this looks wet...
In preparation for the drive Mama & Dada compiled a number of new activity books, audio books and packs of crayons ready to keep Jack & I busy (not to mention bucket loads of snacks ready to be consumed). They also tried to stop as much as possible so we could play in the park (I particularly enjoyed our new game of "raining leaves" whenever there were lots of dry leaves about). At Quenbeyan the park was particularly wet though, because it was so cold, so my play in the park turned into more of a swim (requiring a costume change afterwards, of course) - it seemed to bother Mama more than it bothered me though!

At Dubbo of course we stopped for a day to break up the big drive and so we got to stretch our legs around the Zoo and get a break from the car for a day, which helped immensely. I spent most of my awake time looking out the window, drawing in my Thomas colouring in book and listening to lots of new music I hadn't heard before. I am now quite the fan of The Goanna Gang who do some fabulous rendition of Australian favourites like Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, The Road To Gundagai and, my all time favourite, Here Comes Rumby Jackie.

The Sleeping Bit

In addition to being concerned about how I'd go with the driving, Mama & Dada were also slightly concerned about how I'd go sleeping in the port-a-cot (they really don't give me a lot of credit, do they!). It turns out, I did just fabulously which is most likely as a result of sleeping at Granny's each Thursday and now being much more used to the port-a-cot than I was 2 years ago when we went down the Coast.

We did run into some slight problems in Sydney, when Jackie & I had to share a room. Jackie begged for us to go to bed at the same time and so our parents tried it for 2 nights and then decided that whilst it was techincally fine for us to sleep in the same room, the actual going to sleep in the same room didn't work so well. So, in the end, Jackie would go to sleep in Mama & Dada's room and then be carried into our room when they went to bed. This led to some hilarious early morning antics. I discovered that I could climb out of the port-a-cot and onto the other single bed, then down onto the floor. This meant that I could do a variety of things:-

1. Wake Jackie up
2. Head into the lounge area and play to my hearts content at 5am
3. Poke Mama in the face and say "get up Mama, get up" at 6am.

None of these activities which I tried impressed my parents. Mama & Dada moved the single bed away from the cot and thwarted my further attempts at escape, so instead I had to lie still until Jackie woke up and continued with my morning Japanese or Australian Folk Song Lyric lessons.

The Snowy Bit

I absolutely loved the snow and thought it was just fabulous. I was quite content to just eat it for the first day, though time after time would continue to be surprised at just how cold it was in my mouth!!! I helped build the snowman and joined in on the snowball fights as much as I could - I had some stability issues though! I loved Toboganning once I got into it, though was quite happy to just sit in the snow playing with Mama while Jack & Dada went up and down, up and down, up and down. The highlight of the snow for me was actually our cabin in Adaminaby - I just loved feeding the chickens, saying Hello to the cockatoo (who crowed like a rooster whenever you talked to him), patting the owner's giant dog and running around and around our cabin to my hearts content.

A hearty breakfast before we hit the slopes...Mmmm, this tastes good!Building SnowyOn the train at CoomaRestingReady for actionAll out of energyFeeding the chickens

The Sydney Bit

I was still a little too little to enjoy the holiday to the same degree as Jackie. The museums were interesting, but not hand-flapping exciting (certainly not like the trucks we'd see on the road when we were driving). That said, I was incredibly patient and my usual compliant, uncomplaining self and Jackie had plenty of time to wander around the museums to his heart's content. Rather than be asked to leave The Observatory if I broke some incredibly expensive telescope, Mama decided while Jack found Mars & Venus I'd be best playing outside. I thought so too!

Having fun at the Powerhouse Museum
I can make them make noise!
Train driving
We were well and truly rugged up in Sydney, which meant that I got plenty of adoring looks from passers by because I cut such a cute little figure in my varied collection of woolly hats.

I loved the idea of Monorail ("train coming" kept everyone amused at the station as we waited) but absolutely hated being on board. We're not sure if it was because of the height or my inability to see, but I was quite scared. By the end of the week I had gotten used to it, but definitely preferred to go by bus, train and ferry.

At Museum Station
At the Observatory

The highlight in Sydney for me was definitely the digger that did construction work outside of our hotel the entire week we were there, closely followed by visiting the Zoo. I had an absolute ball and I was an absolute trooper. It was the only day that Mama & Dada did not bring me back to the apartment for a sleep and I coped perfectly without it, though I was completely tuckered out by the time we came home. The high point was playing in the Eco house which the zoo has set up, mainly because it has a great little water well play area. Sam + Water = Wet Pants, every time. The sight of me being all rugged up on top and in shorts down bottom gave other people something to smile at though (Mama's nappy bag spare clothes were still the summer version!).

Cheeky AnimalsAnd elephant makes 4!Look at that snake!!!Nice shortsHello Koala
You look cuddly...
so I'll poke you in the eye!

The After-Effects

I love pretending to drive Mama's car and whenever we drive into the garage I ask "Sam drive car". Every now and then I also offer to drive while we're taking Jack to school (though I'm never allowed). I decided that given it was such a big trip, I'd offer to share some of the driving with Mama & Dada on the first day but after being told "No, Sammie's not driving" about 20 times, I got the message and didn't repeat the offer. That was, until we drove into the garage the day we got home. No sooner was the garage door up and I said "Sam drive car". It was not an offer either, rather just a statement of fact that I'd been very patient and now I wanted my go!!!.

For a few days it took some getting used to the idea that I was no longer going to be supplied with constant snacks and activities while we drove 10 minutes down the road. I have accepted that change now though, but am refusing to accept that I cannot request whatever songs I feel like listening to. Hence, "More Rumby Jackie" is now usually the first sentence I say every morning as soon as we get in the car. It is my very favourite song - I hope you like it too!!!

Play the "Rumbie Jackie" movie