Monday 4th March
This time in Sydney has been very different from the last visit. That time it was all about going to the city, going here there and everywhere, but rarely the beach (except for the time we went to Manly or when I took a dip in Tamarama). This time it's almost the complete opposite. Today we went in to the city though, and it made a pleasant change.
Catching a bus from Bondi then a train from Bondi Junction into town, our first stop was the Queen Victoria Building (or QVB for short), once a market hall, and now a plushly-renovated, exquisitely-tiled shopping centre. On the list of 'must-do' things that Karen had been given by mum, there was a note: "Visit the toilets at the QVB". Well, as we were there, Karen checked it out. She came out speechless, lost for words. What I could gather is that all the doors are automatic, very tall, strangely decorated, and that's about it. She said that she couldn't really explain it and I'll have to wait for the photos! (yep, seriously - she took a camera in there ... )
It started to rain really heavily, but we decided to press on to Darling Harbour when the rain died down a bit, rather than spend the whole day in the rabbit warren of underground shops that surround Centre Point. By the time we arrived at the Chinese Garden, the rain had pretty much stopped, and we spent an hour or so wandering around the garden. The kids got dressed up as a Chinese princess and emperor (just like this bloke) and posed for photos. It was so funny - as soon as the clothes went on, something magical happened. The kids went all quiet and bashful! Toby was funniest - he wouldn't smile for the camera, saying that's not what emperors do. So I made him pose standing on a rock, wearing the most serious looking emperor-like expression he could manage.
We carried on round Tumbalong Park and then walked through the Harbourside shopping centre. Stopped for a short while in a video arcade, where they played games of Rat Splat and that sort of thing, before Toby got all tired and started squinnying when we left the arcade 'cos he wanted another game.
Not long after we headed back to Bondi, and somehow, with a lunch break and coffee break thrown in, that lot managed to keep us out of the house from 10am to 5pm.