And so, the momentous 40th day mark was celebrated in style with some single parenting. Malcolm was on call and was at hospital the whole day. My father was at a tennis tournament in Shang Hai and my mother went along as his coach. Feel free to laugh, I did for a long time. And thus, I was on my own. I took the opportunity to knuckle down with our trip planning whilst listening to the wonderful sounds of my children practising their piano. Concentrating whilst trying to ignore the countless stray notes took some doing, but I got there in the end. The goal was to complete my super spreadsheet so that the travelling party of 12 would all be informed of the costs involved and the breakdowns. Having different members partake in varying activities at different didn't make the task any easier, but its done!
Much has happened since I last updated. The cruise line has decided not to visit the Egyptian ports and hence we will now be visiting the Greek island of Crete and the Italian port of Naples instead. Malcolm has found another "special' private tour operator for our visit to Iraklion on Crete. His name is Gregory, and his wife will cook for us. I organised the shore excursion for Naples and opted for the safe option of visiting the Herculaneum, going up Mount Vesuvius and finishing with a tour of Naples itself.
We've mostly decided on what we'd like to see at the various places and worked out which city or transport passes, if any, would be most economically sound. The exception is Florence.
To finish off this post, I am most happy to report that the Disney Store in Bologna is only about 200m away from our hotel. It is also conveniently located next to the Zara store...
Thursday, 18 October 2012
|Celebrating two birthdays as well as 39 years of marriage|
|Malcolm trying out his grandfather's hat, practising for the day he becomes a grumpy old man|
|Party time with the Albanys...a room full of them|
|A very emotional Uncle Paddy|
|Aunty Rita bursting into song|
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
|Alex, our third au pair|
Alex came to Australia from Hamburg, Germany, over three years ago to help our family. Jonah was only 8 months old at the time and Lara and Elliot 4 and 6 respectively. How time flies! While she was here, she developed a relationship with an Australian young lad which is ongoing and so we've had the opportunity to see her again a few times since. It must have been the week for past au pairs I've also received beautiful messages and emails from Heather and Shannon!
We had a lovely evening. We had time to explore the Rocks before dinner and discovered parts that we had never seen before! After dinner, we went for another walk hoping to get a closer look at the Radiance Of The Seas that was docked at the International Passenger Terminal. Alas, she had sailed off. We left Alex to enjoy the rest of her 10 days here with Jay before we meet up again in December, this time in Paris. Surprisingly, she has never been! It will be fun exploring the city together. At least she can speak some French...
|That little opening looks interesting...|
|Let's practice our stair climbing in preparation for all the buildings and structures that we're planning to climb in Europe!|
|It didn't take long for a little some to get "tired"|
|The view that we were rewarded at the top|
|A pretty alley way that we found and had never come across!|
|We discovered that it had been preserved from way back when...|
|Things you learn! I never knew that Hickson Rd was not the original shoreline|
|The Wharfs and buildings right on the waterfront are now hot property having been converted to apartments and restaurants|
|Our restaurant for the evening, Indonesian cuisine|
|One my favourite dishes, squid with green chilli|
|The best and only way to have satay...Indonesian style!|
|Our view from our table. Ah one day...|
Sunday, 7 October 2012
|Cirque Du Soleil's Ovo at the Entertainment Quarter, Fox Studios|
Unfortunately, they did not allow photography inside the big top so you'll have to be content with photos outside!
|Lining up to get into the carpark|
|And we're out of the carpark!|
|Bee line towards the big top...|
|...via the gozleme stand!|
|Jonah prefers to lie down|
|Jonah also prefers to be fed...|
|Time to go in. Yay!|
|The next stars of the circus?|
Saturday, 6 October 2012
|The birthday boy!|
|Lara and Elliot always happy to be at a party|
|Elliot organising "pass the parcel"|
|The party bags|
|The "healthy option"|
|The Disneyware are making special apprearances|
|The tea station|
|Mmm...yes there are nine candles on the cake. Daddy put them in...|
|Let's blow the candles out quickly so we can eat it!|
|Pass the parcel. I won! Oh no...|
|Its a princess pencil and notebook set! Just what a boy always dreams of|
|The children with their pass the parcel loot|
|Jonah with his presents|
|A new scooter from nanna and grandpa!|
|Alysa loves her cousin|
|All eyes on the screen at lunch|
|Showing Uncle Brian how its done|
|With fried goodies|
|The boys amused themselves by making spaceships whilst their parents played a boardgame. Samuel's ship|