Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Sydney – Monday, 15 December

Manly - the kids first experience of Australian beaches and surfing. Manly schools physical education involves cross-country (running along the beach), followed by swimming and surfing. Connor decided to be all shy when he got the offer to join in with the surfing lessons – what is it with kids, it looked great!

I really like the idea of commuting by ferry everywhere, so much more civilised and relaxed. Well that was until we got the ferry back from Manly and we hit the waves from the sea, the ferry was rolling around like a roller coaster (sea, sky, sea, sky….). Yep, Milly and Connor thought it was great – all I could do was look for the life jackets and rafts.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Sydney – Sunday, 14 December

Kids seem to have a thing about the Rocks market, something to do with spending all their money as soon as possible.

To compensate for being dragged around the market again I thought I’d do something educational, so we went to the Museum of Cotemporary Art (MCA) at Sydney Harbour – turns out they have it all set up for kids, Milly and Connor really enjoyed going around with clipboards making their own art and answering questions about the artwork.

Fish and chips at Doyles a fish restaurant right on the seafront of Watson Bay – superb food at a reasonable price. OK, maybe expensive by Australian standard, but well worth it. Connor thought the Snapper was a Piranha, first time the kids have had fish that came with heads on.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Sydney – Saturday, 13 December

Wow, what a difference the day makes. Temperature was 35C cloudy in the morning and seriously sunny in the afternoon. We explored Circular Key – Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, then got a ferry to Darling Harbour.

We’re staying in The Rocks district of Sydney with fantastic views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera house.

First stop of the day was breakfast, eat as much as you like for $19, this sounds expensive but we managed to get value for money out of it. I think its essential to get a good breakfast for a hard day ahead being a tourist :-)

First stop was the market, Connor looking for a boomerang and Milly to get jewellery or handbags. Sam decided to buy some traditional lemonade with Connor and Milly, kept them quiet for about 30 minutes because it was made with real lemon and I think it was seriously bitter.

Can’t tell what the highlight of the day for the kids was, they get excited about everything. Sydney Opera house in the morning, using Darling Harbour fountains and monuments as paddling pools in the afternoon. The use of any water feature seems to be an OK thing to do as everyone else was doing it.

Firework display in the evening ended the day off nicely.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Sydney – Friday, 12 December

Oh boy what a nightmare flight, the lights in the cabin could not be switched off, so Milly decided she was going to stay awake for the whole of the night flight. This wouldn’t have been too bad if she left the rest of us alone, instead she decided keeping me, her Mum and brothers awake was good entertainment. The whole family were exhausted by the time we arrived at Sydney at 0645.

Staff at Quay West Suites were really helpful and got our room prepared by 10am, I think the fact that we looked like 5 vagabonds camped out in the hotel lobby helped!
Just to make things seem really bad, the temperature was only 18 C, and it was raining (hard) all day. So other than trying to get some sleep and food we didn’t do too much.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Singapore – Thursday, 11 December

Duck Tours and Raffles Hotel – a day wandering around Singapore, plus our first experience of a tropical thunderstorm. Up until today we had not experienced any rain, and the humidity was bearable, luckily for us we were packing our bags for the next leg of the trip when the rain began to fall.

For a brilliant eating experience try the Singapore International Convention Centre food court. We gave the kids $10 each and they went off and ordered what they wanted, real value for money. Although, you will need to like Asian food otherwise the choice would be limited.

Off to Australia!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Singapore – Wednesday, 10 December

Singapore zoo for breakfast with the Orang-utans, the kids loved it – must do experience. This was followed by the night safari…and yes another must do. The value for money was excellent and one of the best zoo’s I have ever been to.

I was expecting the humidity to be oppressive, but there was a nice breeze which helped. It's well worth paying for the ride around the park, you can just hop on and off, so when the kids get tired you can still get to the next part of the park.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Holiday, Singapore – Tuesday, 9 December

Arrived late in the day, not as tired as we expected. Staying at the Shangri-la (http://www.shangri-la.com/en/property/singapore/shangrila) was a very luxurious experience, maybe a bit extravagant; we had to avoid the restaurant, as it would have truly blown the budget for the 5 of us to eat there. Although, on hearing it was Connors birthday he received personalised cards, chocolates and a cake….he was certainly impressed.

The evening meal took place at a food court, I would recommend a visit to Newton Circus food court – lots of authentic dishes and experiences. Probably the best fried rice anywhere.