Sunday, 3 February 2019

Our Sydney Summer

Every summer we head to Sydney with my Mum to stay with my brother Chrish and this year we went for the longest time we have ever spent at once, being up there for 12 days.   We have been many times now and always have our favourite things to do.  As soon as we arrived we headed to Wet n Wild to cool down as it was 42 degrees celcius!   
We went about four times as we bought season passes again.  We don't even worry about going on any of the big rides anymore, but usually just go to cool down in the wave pool, go on the racers, float around the lagoon and do a couple of rides that don't usually have a big line up. 
We always do our favourite things in Sydney every time we are there,  but I was keen to see if there was a new place we hadn't been that would be fun. Chrish told me about a place called Bents Basin which was a great swimming hole so we took the kayaks there and went swimming.  It was amazing! 
The water was incredibly warm, even where it was deep.  I swam all the way to the other end with Mum, while the boys kayaked there.  At the other end was some really cool rapids and rocks which we sat in.  The boys loved jumping off the cliffs (although it was just a little bit scary for Kobe and he decided not to do it. 
We went to a lot of concerts last year but Jay was really excited about booking tickets to see Bastille as they're his favourite band.  Unfortunately the week before the concert (which was supposed to be last September) they postponed the concert until January.   Luckily we hadn't booked our flights to Sydney for January yet, so we were able to plan our trip to Sydney around the new date for the concert.  Kobe was really upset that he couldn't come to the concert as it was only for 13 years and older.  Mum and Kobe had a great night together anyway and bought lots of treats and watched movies together.  

I promised Kobe we would send him photos and videos all night as he loves Bastille as well.  Jay got all of us into them as he plays their music in the car all the time.   I knew their song Pompei from the radio but didn't know any others.  When he played me their song 'Good Grief' I really started liking them as well. 

When I booked the tickets I was stressing as I was told they were all standing tickets.  Being an old woman I didn't think I'd cope very well standing all night, but just thought I'd deal with it.  The concert was at the Big Top in Luna Park so we went a bit earlier and had tea there before going in. 
When we went in I saw lots of people going upstairs where there were seats! I asked the security guard about it and he said anyone over 18 could sit upstairs.  The boys were keen to get a spot up close to the stage, so I left them there together and enjoyed sitting upstairs on my own.  It was a win/win for the three of us. I kept texting them in between the support acts to see if they were okay and they were fine and loving it, and I was loving having a seat.  I was lucky to be right in the second row and no one sat in front of me so I had a great view. 

They played Good Grief as their first song.  This was my view from my seat upstairs. It was a small venue which made it quite intimate. 

During their song Flaws the lead singer actually walked through the crowd and then came upstairs! He was so close to me and the boys said they could see me when he came up.  They were very jealous that I got so close. 
Happier is probably one of their more well known songs. This is Jay and Harri's view from where they were standing. 
Pompei was their last song.  
It was an awesome concert and Jay and Harri both said it was their favourite one yet. 
Mum went and spent a few days in Mudgee with our friends Gail and Phillip.  On the days she was there Chrish was at work for two of those days.   One day we caught the train to the city and then the ferry to Manly for lunch and a swim.  
We were very disappointed to hear that there were blue bottles around.  The life guards kept warning people on the microphone but there were still hundreds of people swimming.  Harri, Kobe and I braved it for a little swim but we didn't stay in very long. 
The boys were excited that there were three Big Bash cricket matches on while we were up there.  I was quite proud of myself working out how to get to the SCG on public transport. I would much rather catch public transport than drive up there.  
Kobe was definitely the odd one out with his Hurricanes top on! He was excited to be able to watch them play a game in Sydney. 
Chrish had an RDO while we were there (and Mum was in Mudgee) so we decided to go to Palm Beach (aka Summer Bay - it's the home of the TV show Home and Away).  We walked up to the light house first.  The views are incredible!
When we got back down to the bay we checked out the 'diner' and 'Alf's Bait Shop' before going for a swim. 
Jay didn't tell the rest of us that we were doing the band cover shot! ;) 

When Mum came back from Mudgee we decided to go to Bondi.  It is always so busy but Harri is obsessed with it and always wants to go there.

The waves are always massive at Bondi and we had a great time in the water.  This video of Kobe almost knocking some ladies over, cracks me up every time I see it. 
Aaron died on Australia Day and we always try to make it a fun day instead of just a sad day, so this year we decided to stay in Sydney longer than usual because I wanted to experience the Australia Day fireworks on Sydney Harbour for the first time.  The morning of Australia Day we decided to go to Wet n Wild first as it was a really hot day. 
They had a thong throwing competition for Australia Day which we all decided to enter for some fun.   Kobe and Harri shocked us and both won their heats for their age groups!  They both won a free snow cone.  
 They were both in the grand final and we didn't think at all they would win, but Harri did!
 The aim was to get the thong the closest to the target, rather than distance.
Harri was excited to win a bag of goodies including a Wet n Wild towel, meal voucher and drink bottle.
 After Wet n Wild we caught the train into the city for the fireworks.
Chrish knew a good spot to sit up on the hill close to the Opera House, but this year they blocked it all off.  So we went back down to Circular Quay and found a great spot to sit right in front of a stage near the harbour bridge, that was set up for the night.  There were volunteers everywhere giving out Australian and aboriginal flags. 
Outside the Opera House was a ticketed concert, but we could hear it all around the harbour and it was also being played on huge screens.  There was a huge screen right near the stage we sat at, and the concert was televised.  Some of the concert cut over to our stage and we got to see the aboriginal band Yothu Yindi, as well as the children's choir sing the national anthem in an aboriginal language and also English.   
Yothu Yindi were awesome. 
The whole night was absolutely amazing. There were jet skis, ferries, tall ships and people on jet packs on the harbour which were moving in time with the music.  There were also jets flying overhead letting off fireworks and fireworks going off all night with different songs. 
It was amazing night and I'm so glad that we stayed up longer for it.  I think everyone in Australia needs to experience Australia Day on Sydney harbour.  

I felt so proud to be an Aussie when they were singing the national anthem and there was a huge grand finale of fireworks during it. 

 It was so busy with thousands of people catching trains home afterwards. 
On our last day we went to our first ever NBL game.   It was the Sydney Kings v Perth Wildcats so of course we had to go for the Sydney Kings :)
They didn't win but it was a lot of fun.  We loved the atmosphere and it felt very American with all the entertainment, music and cheerleaders.

We had a great time but were glad to get back home.  Sydney is always a lot of fun, but it is also so hot and busy. It's always nice to get back home to laid back Tassie. Thanks for having us again Chrish and thanks to Alice and Erin for house and dog sitting for us.
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