Sunday, 21 July 2013

Melbourne trip - Part I

In case you missed it, the Little Big Fella and I have just spent 12 days in Melbourne, Victoria, visiting family and friends.  It was a very busy 12 days!  We had an absolute blast!

But I have to say, I'm still recovering!  I'm looking forward to Tuesday because I'll be home, alone - the Big Fella will be at work, and the Little Big Fella will be at kindy.  I'm looking forward to just having some time alone, being quiet and restful and doing everything or nothing for a couple of hours.

I've finally sorted through all my photos.  Unfortunately none of them are particularly good (mostly because we were often indoors, and because I used my phone instead of my camera), but at least you'll be able to see some of what we got up to.

This was the first time the Little Big Fella has been on a plane (that he remembers - we went to Victoria when my youngest sister got married... when he was 1).  And he was SO excited!!!  We were counting down for about a week, and he wanted to go to the airport as soon as we woke up on Friday (the airport is an hour away and we didn't fly out until 3pm!).

I'd checked in online, but we still needed to drop our bags at the counter.  The lady was so lovely and let the Little Big Fella push the button to send our bags out to the plane!

Amazingly, we ran into one of the students from my college in Melbourne at our little airport!  Talk about unexpected!

Here is my boy inside the terminal.  And that's our plane outside (although I doubt you can see it).

And here he is on the plane.  I bought a bag of lollipops to help us settle the pressure in our ears.  Probably wasn't necessary, but we enjoyed it :-D

Here's the view from our window!

I hadn't really told the Little Big Fella what take off is like, but he loves going fast, so when the plane started picking up speed along the runway, he turned to me with the most excited expression on his face and said, "Mum!  It's going really, really fast!!!!"

Needless to say, he enjoyed flying.

There were only a handful of people on this first flight and the Little Big Fella got the hostess onside immediately.  She then offered him a juice, before we'd even taken off!

When we got to Brisbane we found the gate for our next flight and settled in to have a bit of a picnic on the floor, watching our plane through the window.

We saw our bags go on the plane.

Then we saw a bit of fuss around the tarmac.

Then we saw our bags come off the plane.

Uh oh!

An announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, there is an engineering fault on your aircraft.  At this stage we do not have an estimated departure time for you."


We continued our little picnic, because, let's face it, there's nothing you can do in that situation but sit around, try to be calm, and wait to be told what's happening.

On the way to our gate, we'd run into a guy from the Starlight Children's Foundation who was signing people up for donations.  They grant wishes for seriously ill children - everything from meeting a sports player, to a shopping spree, to a trip to Disneyland.  I'm pretty sure they granted my cousin a wish several years ago when she had leukemia.

Anyway, the guy had given the Little Big Fella a balloon, and he and a couple of other kids were playing with it while we were waiting.  I think some of the older passengers got a bit annoyed about it, but it kept the kids happy so I thought it was fine.

After not long at all, we heard another announcement saying that we had been moved to another plane at a different gate and would depart an hour after our original flight time.

I called my parents (who were picking us up at the other end) and let them know the good news.  Given that our last attempt to catch up with them ended with me and the Little Big Fella in a car accident, this was definitely a much better outcome!

We had a bit of time so I stopped and bought the Little Big Fella an ice-cream for dessert on our way to the new gate.

Eventually we boarded (after another 20 minute delay, we think there were staffing issues this time) and took off.  On this flight we were in a set of 3 seats, and the poor guy sitting with us (who was awfully lovely about it) had to put up with "excuse me" followed by a question or comment from the Little Big Fella every 5 seconds until they turned the seatbelt sign off.  Then I turned the portable DVD player on to distract him.

When we were almost in Melbourne the Little Big Fella finally fell asleep.  Which created some interesting dilemmas getting us out of the plane, because getting a backpack on when your 4 year old is asleep on you is kind of tricky!

We found mum and dad (the Little Big Fella kind of woke up, then didn't really sleep again until we were at their place - almost an hour away), collected our bags and headed back to their place.

I lived in Melbourne until 7 years ago, so it was kind of fun and strange to drive through it that night - seeing what has changed and what hasn't.

My parents have since moved house and it was lovely to see their new place in person.  It really suits them!

So, after a little drama and a lot of excitement, we were finally there and it was time to sleep.  Lots of big days were coming up!

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