Our first day in Australia wasn’t exactly terrible, horrible, no good or very bad, but it didn’t find our family at its best, either.
We were up at 5:30am to catch a 9am flight out of Fiji and, despite a cheerful early rise from our late-rising kid and a luxurious stop in the Fiji Airways lounge (thanks to Dan, the man with a credit card perk for every occasion), we were all pretty exhausted by the time we hit our Sydney hotel. But the day was beautiful (as was the view from our room!) and we were hungry, so we dropped our bags and hit the streets.
An afternoon snack at a nearby brewpub was delicious but roundly rejected by certain 5-year-olds in our party. A walk to the Opera House and Botanic Garden was beautiful but hot. Back at the hotel, a much-looked-forward-to swim was thwarted by a freezing pool and a broken hot tub. Some play time on the cool pullout bed resulted in a scary scrape to the leg. And a simple takeout dinner prompted yet another meltdown, this one including a heartbreaking moment when tear-stained Fiona wailed “I HATE Sydney!”
By the time we all crashed at 9:30, we were more than ready to be done with Day 1 Down Under.
Fortunately, as is often the way, our less-than-great day was followed by a more-awesome-than-we-could-have-hoped-for one—or at least one where the positives far outshined the negatives. Breakfast included cups of the extraordinary coffee Australia is famous for and (finally!) food Fiona was happy to eat. A trip to the zoo was full of delightful wonders: A ferry to take us there! Giraffe watching with a view! Adorable koalas! A picnic overlooking the harbor! A gondola ride back down the hill!
Upon our return, there was ice cream and St. Patrick’s Day people watching along the waterfront. Dinner was an all-around triumph, followed by a rousing walk home through The Rocks set to pop hits from the ’90s (courtesy of St. Paddy’s revelers) and a game of Go Fish on the hotel balcony.
All in all, it was a great reminder that that traveling brings its share of both no good and very good moments—often all jumbled up together—and that some days are simply like that… even in Australia.