As we pulled up to our house I spotted an industrial, classroom-style whiteboard across the street on the curb; it was a double-sided monstrosity on wheels, complete with a bag full of markers and accessories hanging from its side. We rang the neighbors' doorbell, and they happily told us to take it-- which we did. Wooo-hooo-- SCORE! It was perfect timing, my boys then spent most of their three and a half week school break playing school with the whiteboard. BEST. GIFT. EVER! I would have gladly paid the whiteboard $20/hour (going babysitting rate in Sydney) for all the entertainment it's provided, it was THAT good!
And we did actually leave the house a few times during winter school break because there were some great things on in July around Sydney and we needed some action.
This past weekend the Winter Festival at Bondi Beach, called Bondi Bergstation began. They've built an ice skating rink on at the beach along with an entire mini-village including a Max Brenners (famous for their hot chocolates), snacks, skate rentals, and snow, it was actually suds, but I won't tell those poor kids who've never seen snow before and now think it's foamy and smells like soap:.
People who've never skated (I'm just assuming this by watching them) and people who clearly aspire for skating greatness, joined each other on the ice for 45 minutes sessions in which it was wall-to-wall skaters -- and lots of wiping out on the ice.
Here are some moments captured from this past weekend at the Bondi Beach Winter Festival:
The sea o' skaters.
The snacks. $6 for a stick with some spiraled potato cut into thin chips-- I think we went through six of these, probably the single most expensive one potato ever sold.
The rink at the beginning of a new skate session, before it got completely packed. Note the aspiring skater in the pink tutu.
Hmmm, the Bondi Beach paramedic mobile? How do they carry the stretcher on that?
Back view of the village perched up on the grassy area at Bondi Beach.
We also went to The Good Food & Wine Show at the Sydney Convention Center. Normally we would have gotten a babysitter and left the kids at home for something like this, but the four of us are obsessed with a little television show called Masterchef Australia, it's similar to Top Chef in the U.S. (but better), and two of the Masterchef judges (Gary and George) were doing a gig at the Good Food & Wine Show.
Unfortunately we had seats on the floor and couldn't see much. There was a ginormous television screen above the stage so at least we had that view, but whatever, I could have stayed home for that-- especially considering that what they made was virtually identical to what they made on the TV show the same evening. Though we couldn't see the cooking demonstration, we did however have an amazing view of a guy two rows in front of us who was plastered drunk. He kept turning around like he was going to start acting even more belligerent, but luckily his drunk girlfriend kept him entertained by making out with him. Family fun at its best.
So all in all, being that we were with our 5 & 6 year old boys and weren't planning on drinking an excessive amount of wine samples, the Good Food and Wine Show was a disappointment. There were really no places to actually eat any actual Good Food, except for one small restaurant type area featuring five chefs (two of them were the Masterchef judges). In all there were five dishes you could buy, and five starters-- it was pretty pathetic for a freaking food show.
Well I've just caught myself in a lie, there was one more place to eat, and it was packed (as there were no other options)-- the Sydney Convention Center cafe, hahaha! It was basically hospital food-- and it was where everyone was eating! Sorry, but that's sad- really, really sad.
So the Good Food & Wine show was a disappointment for us, and I don't think I've ever said that about any festival or event we've ever gone to in Sydney. Maybe next time we get the babysitter and go there only for the wine tastings, I am absolutely certain that getting sloshed would have improved my experience.
Here are some of the things we saw at the Good Food and Wine Show 2010:
Photo from our floor seats taken with the camera hoisted in the air, our actual view wasn't this good.
Clearly I needed some of this.
Looks like my six year old thought the show would be better after a stiff drink. We love limoncello!
The best part for us was the rides we went on in Darling Harbour after the show :).