Friday, 26 December 2014

Happy Birthday Elliot

Once again, it has been a while since we've celebrated Elliot's birthday at home! In the past years, the lucky child has celebrated Christmas in New York, the French Alps and the Caribbean! It was time to resurrect the traditional boxing day BBQ at the Albany's. Malcolm has painstakingly prepared satay skewers of all sorts...pork, beef, chicken, kangaroo, duck. Elliot has had a great year achieving in sports and music as well as scoring the role of the scarecrow in the Yr 6 productions of the Wizard of Oz! Here's to a great start to high school Elliot!

Elliot 12 years ago...

Satay round 2!
The year 6 production of the Wizard of Oz. Elliot scored the role of the scarescrow!

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas

It has been a while since we've celebrated Christmas at home. With Malcolm's mother in hospital after spinal surgery, the celebration was low key but special nonetheless. A family lunch at Brian's consisting of food brought back from Jakarta as well as home made satay was not what you'd call traditional Christmas fare but it was no less delicious. what we have with the birth of Jesus

We've finally managed to find the more pieces for our nativity set

I guess the message got through...

But presents are still a part of Christmas!

A new game!

What every girl needs... matching golf clubs with Dad but in pink!

Books for the bookworm!

Presents round 2!

Time for Christmas lunch...satay!

Food direct from Jakarta

Even Dad got an awesome present

Oma is ready to use the lap pool

It fits!

Hey that's my bike!

The family get together

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Wet'n'Wild Sydney

As part of our "Enjoy Sydney" campaign, we bought ourselves season passes to Sydney's Wet'nWild. The water theme park opened a few years and we still had not been. To be honest, the entry tickets are not cheap. However, with a special offer on to get one pass season pass for free, it made the price acceptable. We had about 4 months to make the most of it...

We arrived there just on opening time and were able to enter quickly. There were already many families and many of the "good" shady spots were taken. However, there were many tables under shade that were still available. So what did we think? In no particular order:

1) Having bands per person is a good idea. However, they all look the same so if you happen to mix it up, there's no way of telling them apart! This wouldn't really be a problem unless you are a big family at the entry gates having to rearrange bands between you...

2) The bands only came in one size! It kept sliding off Jonah. We tried his wrist and his ankle to no avail. In the end, it came completely off on one of the slides. The staff were kind enough to replace it for him but it still meant taking time to go to customer service which was time away from the slides.

3) The locker system was not intuitive and despite trying several lockers, our bands didn't work on them. Once again, this took us 30 minutes to sort out!

4) There were no consistent service levels from the staff. Some were fantastic, some were just atrocious!

5) There was very little shade in the walkways that link the various areas of waterslides. The ground got very hot and it wasn't a particularly hot day on the day we went.

6) We went within the school term and so the lines were not too bad, but I can imgaine how awful the wait would be in peak season. 

7) The slides were actually quite good and a lot of fun. Be prepared though, the water is very cold! The loading system though could have been a lot more efficient. They need to look at the major theme parks around the world to learn a few things or two! Waiting 15-20 minutes per ride would be alright, but not if you had to wait an hour or two...

8) Food, as expected, is not cheap. The quality is average.

9) The park was easy to find but from our cursory research, if you don't have a car, it might not be the easiest place to get to by public transport! We were there early and so did not have trouble finding a parking spot. However, the parking lot seem large enough with good capacity.

All in all, we had a good time. We probably won't renew our passes until they improve the services and facilities around the rides. It is a shame as the rides themselves were quite fun.

Carpark still empty

The slides that can be seen from the carpark

The entry

Finding a place to base ourselves for the day

Monday, 6 October 2014

Happy Birthday Jonah

A birthday swim!

Home made chocolate Bailey's mudcake!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Seaside Escape

We took the opportunity to take a short weekend break during the school holidays with Nanna and Grandpa at the beautiful Port Stephens. Nanna and Grandpa had somehow managed to get a great accomodation deal at the sleepy Lemon Tree Passage. It was a relaxing few days fishing, eating and just having fun!

We're there!

Tide is low so grandpa suggested looking for bait

Our abode for the next few nights. Basic but comfortable and clean.

The beautiful Birubi Poimt (Anna Bay)

So happy to be on holidays with Nanna and Grandpa!

Camel riding! Elliot still remembered the name of his camel from when we last came here 8 years ago!

Grandpa on kiddie duties

Mother, meanwhile, enjoyed her coffee in the cool shade...

Sand dune activites next!

Getting ready to sandboard down the dunes

How many calories does walking up a sand dune at 45 degrees burn?!?!

Back to the sleepy fishing village. A great base as it was not as crowded as the more popular towns of Shoal Bay and Nelson Bay

Fishing at 8am!

Just loves it

The small one that he did catch

A trip to Nelson Bay. Crocodile pie anyone?!?

The famous Red Ned's gourmet pies

The beautiful waterfront

No trip would be complete without a hike!

Back to fishing!