Oh, I know it's the next weekend already but as I spent the rest of the week catching up from being away until late Monday afternoon (catching up at work mostly) I didn't get around the telling you how it went.
I left work last Friday around midday to head for the airport and didn't get to the hotel until almost four, thanks to a problem with the airport train line. I saw parts of Sydney from the train that I never knew existed. Thankfully, I wasn't in any real hurry. I settled into my little room at the Travelodge at Martin Place and wandered down to T2 and tried to work out what was going on in the Pitt Street Mall. It turns out that, if I had hung around, I could have seen Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattison who were there promoting Water for Elephants. I enjoyed the book but am in no hurry to see the film. Robert Pattison played Reese Witherspoon's son in Vanity Fair (which wasn't a patch on the brilliant BBC version).
Going to dinner at Parliament House is very nice. The view over the domain disappears at night, which is a shame, but the food was lovely, we sat at a table with very nice people from Penrith Council and saw some of our local friends (librarians from Leeton and Narrandera) win awards. We didn't win anything ourselves but had a very nice evening and it paid my way for a visit to family. So keen was I to see Tim, Shona, Pumpkin and Gumnut that I got up at 6.30 am on a Saturday to catch the train from St James to Central then Central to Gosford. Martin Place is not alive at 7am (the Lindt Café doesn't open until 10.30) so I was thrilled that we went straight to a café for coffee and banana bread once I arrived on the glorious Central Coast. All the young girls wear teeny tiny shorts and tops despite the cold and their cellulite.
I really do love Tim and Shona a lot but there is something so special about nieces and nephews.
Fortified with coffee, we went down to Terrigal for a walk along the beach.
My children would have been in the water despite the cool weather but Pumpkin was happy with a play in the sand.
This smiley face hid from the sun in his pram.
I forgot to take a photo of the biggest burger I have ever eaten. We went to Burger Girls in Avoca and I had a massive chickpea and hummus burger after which I needed an afternoon in front of the television. We watched Burn After Reading which was very amusing. Tim and Shona made delicious tandoori pizzas followed by chocolate fondants with ice-cream which we ate while watching The King's Speech. It was delightful to spend time with them, I wish they would move to Wagga.
In the morning Tim went off to the early service and we followed later at a decent hour. Pumpkin, who doesn't pose for photos, needs a decent amount of food to get through the service. There was cake at the end and everyone laughed at her as she scowled at the lady who insisted on telling a joke before cutting the cake. The look very clearly said "Less talking, more cutting and giving me a big piece."
Mum and Dad met us back at Tim and Shona's with sushi for lunch, after which we said good-bye and drove to Mum and Dad's. Ahh, the serenity. We sat with Granny, drinking tea, we ate cashews while watching Spooks and Granny casually mentioned that she worked with MI6 during the war! She gave messages from agents in France to Winston Churchill, Winnie as she called him. That is so cool. Lucas North, on the other hand (talking about Spooks now) is not cool and there is no recovering from what he has done. What is going to happen? How I love this show.....
Back to real life. I woke to a glorious day at Broke.
I sat with Granny, had two coffees and then it was time to drive to Sydney, back to the airport.
Andrew and the kids picked me up from the Wagga airport and, with that, the long weekend was over and I paid for having Monday off by having a manic week at work but it was well worth it!
I'll leave you with another example of Bethany's drawing talent which never ceases to amuse me. She received this invitation in the mail during the week. It is, of course, a Stampin' Up invitation from Liz.
Bethany immediately sat at her Megasketcher to copy the little girl..... adding her own, grumpy style.