It’s nearing a week since Buster Boy and I returned from Sydney and I think it’s only just sinking in what a magnificent time it was. I think what really confirmed it for me was yesterday morning when Buster Boy came out to the hut and declared “I’d like to go back to Sydney soon.” no higher praise can you get from a five year old than a request to do it all again.
Monday was typical of those when I set off somewhere of an afternoon, the day seemed to dawdle, right up to the point where we needed to furiously rush off to get to the airport. Buster Boy was bursting with enthusiasm, telling anyone who would listen that he was off on a big adventure. He settled into flight with remarkable ease, a relief considering the aversion to air travel his mother has, and we were lucky enough to approach Kingsford Smith Airport via the city, giving Buster Boy an outstanding view of the harbour, bridge, Sydney Opera House and the cbd itself, much to his delight.
The train trip from the airport to town hall was also approached with gusto, although Buster Boy questioned my knowledge when we jumped off at Central and changed lines rather than going around the whole city circle, “I think you were supposed to stay on the other train Dad, there isn’t one here to get on to.” Fortunately a carriage pulled in just as he finished that sentence, going at least some way to restoring his faith in my judgement.
The first hurdle we hit was checking into the back-packer’s hostel where we were staying, we arrived just after a large group of kids from the UK who hadn’t actually booked enough nights for their stay and wanted to sort absolutely everything out there and then. This did not impress Buster Boy at all as he was determined to eat and felt that these people were not paying due regard to his needs. Finally some other people took pity on me and let me cut in line, allowing us to drop off our stuff and head out to find something to eat.
As we were running late I took the option that every parent dreads to admit to and went straight to Macca’s on Park Street, much to Buster Boy’s delight. “No harm,” I thought to myself, “it’s not like he gets it at home and we’ll have plenty of other options for the rest of our time here.”
Our room had a double bed, with a single bunk above, which also was a cause for celebration for Buster Boy as he dropped various items on me from on high. It was shortly after we’d rung to say goodnight to Mrsdave that Buster Boy’s mood changed. “I want Mum and I want to go home.”
I was devastated. The trip had been planned for months and the two weeks since Buster Boy’s birthday had been full of enthusiasm, but it looked like it was about to become a disaster. Another call home, and moving from the bunk to my bed seemed to overcome most of Buster boy’s misgivings, but it was a restless night, despite our tiredness.
Tuesday morning Buster Boy slept in, by his standards anyway, until 7:30 which meant we were early enough to get to the showers before our fellow guests turned the bathrooms into a flooded, rank mess. Breakfast followed at a great little Italian cafe, where the owners pandered to Buster Boy’s every request, his opinion of Sydney was quickly improving again.
We walked from the CBD all the way to the Powerhouse Museum, a pretty good effort for Buster Boy, only to find ourselves there before opening time. A trip on the monorail saved the day, taking us back to the CBD where every problem could be solved with a bit of Lego shopping. The monorail took us back to the Powerhouse just in time to arrive before the school groups who were there for far less Star Warsy reasons than the two of us.
As we entered the exhibit someone dressed in a mask and cape and carrying a light saber caught Buster Boy’s attention. This guy wasn’t from the three Star Wars movies that Buster Boy’s allowed to watch, he wasn’t even from the three prequels which are forbidden in our home, I have no idea if he was supposed to be part of the exhibit or was just a lonely fan boy, whatever the case it scared the shit out of Buster Boy. As I looked over the original scale model of the Millenium Falcon, Buster Boy ran to the exits frightening the staff. After a lot of coaxing I managed to get buster boy back into the exhibit, but his heart wasn’t in it, he was still looking everywhere for the mystery Sith Lord, so upon spying an original Tusken Raider costume everything fell apart and we had to leave.
Total time at Star Wars. 30 minutes. It looked like it would be a long wait for our return flight at 4pm the following day.
Mercifully, our trip improved from here on in. Sydney Aquarium, a ferry to Circular Quay, more Lego, more Macca’s, Sydney Tower, a final Lego addition, and plenty of wandering around the CBD kept Buster Boy well and truly entertained.
We flew home, with Buster Boy enjoying the turbulence on the way much more than the smooth flight up. Mrsdave and the Troll Princess were at the airport to escort us home and begin the debrief.
I have no doubt that the experience will stay with both of us for a long time, and I’d do it again in a second.