Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sojourn in Sydney


The way this instalment is going we will be looking at Easter eggs before I post.

2010 was the year we decided to go our separate ways for Christmas.

Katie was planning on Tamworth with Cameron for company.Danielle was deciding between Melbourne and Dungog. Nick has his own young family and in-laws to celebrate with.

David and I had decided months ago on Sydney.

I suddenly remembered that we still had Ms Callie, who was not able to care for herself while we were absent. Rae who always cares for Callie while we are away was planning a trip north as well, so we were just a little panicked.

Two months out…the first speed hump. Katie could not take leave. She decided that she would stay home with Cam & Callie…all was well. Danielle decided on Dungog to visit her Grandmother and Aunt, with a stop in Newcastle on her return trip to visit her other Nan.

One month out…Katie can have her leave, so bus tickets were purchased for Tamworth.

Now we still have a problem with Callie.

Three weeks to departure and Rae (our “other” daughter), decides to stay home, so Ms Callie can now spend Christmas with Mitch the golden Labrador.

Departure day for four of us was Thursday 23rd December. Katie and Cam caught the bus at 12-30pm. David and I caught our plane at 4.50pm.

Mini Christmas cakes in  Qantas Business Lounge.

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A slight hitch with the aerobridge in Sydney had us “trapped” on the plane for 10-15 minutes longer than necessary. Taxi ride to city was uneventful as most of the traffic was leaving the city.


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Check in and  a drink in the Executive Lounge, and our Christmas break had started.

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This dingo greets us with his back end every visit…still waiting to catch him front on. You can find him on level 20.

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Shopping in the city was in full swing with the major stores remaining open until midnight.We took a leisurely walk to the Pitt St Mall around 8pm. Checked out the Christmas window displays at David Jones and feel they were nowhere near as impressive as they were in 2008. The crowd was 5-6 deep around all of the windows and this combined with those shopping, made footpath negotiation a tricky business.

We checked out the new 5th floor food court at Westfield. An extensive range of food goodies to choose…..but really humid inside. We were lucky enough to find a spot where the air conditioning was deflecting off a support column and in our direction.

Back to the hotel…bags unpacked and time to relax.

Christmas eve arrives and we decide on a walk to the QVB after breakfast. The streets are busy with everyone looking for last minute gifts. We had made the decision several years ago that Christmas was going to be a non event rather than a lavish celebration. No presents and no over the top spending and preparations for Christmas food.


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There really wasn’t a “perfect” spot to capture the entire tree


QVB clock….I will not make any comments about the clock. Couldn’t force myself to photograph the “white invasion”.





In the lead up to Christmas I prepared 2 festive recipes Ice Cream Pudding and Raspberry Ice-cream Cake. They were my only attempt at Christmas fare.

We spent an hour or so browsing in the Queen Victoria Building and by the time we sat for a cold drink and some lunch the crowds were pulsing through. So many people laden with so many bags. So many stressed unsmiling faces. Too many unhappy children tagging along with parents and grandparents. I was feeling exhausted watching.

It was a relief to walk or rather negotiate our way through the crowds and back to our Hotel.

Enough with words….I will let the photos tell the remainder of the story.

Christmas Lunch.

Ice Sculpture for the Prawns.









Turkey, Pork and Ham.




This enormous gingerbread house took pride of place on the desert table.

Each table also had their own house as a gift.

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The three days following were spent recovering from Christmas lunch.

We had a quick look at the post Christmas sales and purchased several bargains from Canterbury in Pitt St.

Oh, and we did manage to eat more food and chill in the Executive Lounge every evening.

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Apologies for the quality of the photos that were taken with my phone.



  1. I Have mentioned this to Jeff more than once, that one year we should just pack up and go somewhere nice for christmas that is a little different. Would have been much easier before Jeff's dad passed away a little over a year ago because now I would feel a little guilty not being there for his mum and small family but is a thought to consider. Your sojourn looks and sounded wonderful

  2. It was great. No food shopping, no prep, no cooking and no cleaning afterwards. Our youngest(fostered)is 16 and youngest home grown is 28 so no need to feel guilty:)