This is a ‘Flashback’ blog post.
Yes, I have been swamped these last 5 months with baby #3 Safaia and trying to manage my time as best I can.
So when my hubby Leki and I have some time we come together and write a blog post to give you all an update on what we’re up to!
Today we would like to revisit a trip to Sydney in November 2019 for my cousin Sila’s wedding.
I’m going to do my best to present this trip to you in 3 parts.
Part 1 – Getting To Sydney
Part 2 – In Sydney
Part 3 – Coming Home To Melbourne
Here we go!
Part 1 – Getting To Sydney
Ok here was the plan.
We wanted to take all our booster seats and prams for our 3 kids.
That’s 3 x booster seats, 2 x prams and a bassinet attachment plus all our luggage. We counted 12 x pieces of luggage in total. Fun times lol
We also planned to have a Maxicab pick us up from our home in Gisborne and take us right to the Virgin Departures at Tullamarine.
Our flight was due to leave at 4:30pm so we planned for the Maxicab to pick us up 4 hours before at 12:30pm.
Fast forward 2 hours and trying many times to reach 13 CABS we made the frantic decision to bungle all our things back into our car and drive ourselves to the airport, park in short term stay and then rush to check in.
We left home at 2:30pm, arrived at the airport at 3:10pm, boarded the shuttle bus at 3:20pm (with all our crap – talk about struggles) and limped into the Departure lounge at 3:45pm.
Don’t ask us about any positive reviews for 13 CABS… ever 🙁
Here we found the next obstacle to jump over.
The self check in booths were broken and being understaffed we had to wait and be manually checked in. After some miscommunication we had to return to the check in counter to re-register the baby equipment.
Time check – 4:10pm.
The gate closes at 4:20pm.
We were feeling the pressure as we finally got all our things checked in and high tailed it to Gate 3 for our Sydney flight.
Throughout the whole trouble of the maxicab, being mucked around at the counter and sprinting to the gate for departure, Leki and I tried our best to be positive and optimistic.
Because the kids were looking at us and can sense something was wrong. We knew they were having a great experience travelling and excited to be boarding a plane so we didn’t want them remembering being told off for little things because we were stressed out.
So slugged on!
Finally we made it to the gate at 4:20pm just as they were about to close it.
As they were scanning our tickets they realised that our little Safaia was NOT booked as one of the travellers.
FYI – We bought our tickets in Mar 2019 and our daughter was born Sept 2019. Leki rang and explained the situation 4 weeks before the flight and it wasn’t documented. But we enjoy flying with Virgin as they allow you to travel with all your children things for FREE!
Long story short we held up the flight almost 20 mins as the ground crew worked out what went wrong and how to seat us on the plane.
You can imagine when we boarded the plane with all these judgemental stares facing us back as we struggled through the narrow aisle.
We didn’t care.
If they knew the drama it took for us to get here then they’d have a little sympathy.
The airplane hostess did come by soon after and made us feel welcome and explained that it was a offsite fault not ours which made us feel better about it all.
Anyway we made it!
When we landed and collected all our items we picked up the Kia Carnival family car we hired from the airport.
We used this as an opportunity to test drive a car that we’ll mostly likely upgrade to in the future.
After spending 30 mins putting all the booster seats in we were finally ready to head over to our accommodation – Novotel Parramatta.
What a looooong day.
We stopped by McDonald’s. Picked up the Family Box. Checked into the hotel and within 20 mins of getting into room… everyone was asleep.
Wed 27 November 2019 you will never be forgotten!
Day 1 done!
Part 2 – In Sydney
Perks of staying in a hotel?
Definitely the buffet breakfast.
Thurs 28 November 2019 was a rest day to recover from the travel and to enjoy the local area.
We walked to the Parramatta Westfields where I did my nails 🙂 wandered along the river and did some last minute shopping.
It was fun just to be in a new environment and soak up some Sydney sun!
We were looking forward to catching up with the Sydney family and the primary reason we travelled up was to witness my cousin get married.
Fri 29 November 2019 was the BIG DAY!
We had the morning to relax and build up to the Ceremony and Reception in the afternoon.
So after our breakfast we decided to take a walk out to the new BankWest Stadium which was a nice 20-30 min walk one way.
The kids had a little play and then we enjoyed a wander around the city of Parramatta.
When we got back to our Hotel we had a little nap and then got ready for the Wedding!
My little system is getting the bigger two organised first.
Once they’re done I look after little Safaia and Leki is also ready and happy to help.
I’m usually last to get ready and it’s a mad rush but this time I also got myself ready as I was getting the kids organised.
I did my hair and got my dress and outfit all organised (nails done the day before), had a few little things to prepare and I always save my last little touch ups make up wise in the car on the way to functions.
I always pride myself on being on time to things.
It stresses me out when I’m running late.
Annnnd guess what?
We were running late.
Wow West Sydney the traffic on a Friday peak hours was terrible! But fortunately we were only 10 mins behind.
I wanted to capture as many special moments as I could and witness Sila enjoy her special day 🙂
After a beautiful Ceremony we decided to return home for a couple of hours and rest while the bridal party took off for photos.
We then returned to the Reception and it was a nice intimate setting where family and friends settled into a nice balmy warm night.
There were a lot of highlights:
The kids were apart of another dance routine together. It’s great to see them dancing together and enjoying themselves.
My oldest Emelina performed a solo Tongan dance (she needs practice but we were proud as punch of her effort!)
Reuniting with family from interstate and overseas.
Seeing Sila and Timo enjoy their night and the special send off in the tunnel was fun 🙂
After a long day of partying, managing the kids (highly recommend ear muffs for the little ones) and socialising we left just after midnight to head back to the Hotel.
Sat 30 Nov & Sun 1 Dec 2019 was mostly Family Time.
We had a day out at the local water fun park which was absolutely free (check it out if in Parramatta called Ollie Webb Reserve) which was follow up with a trip to Pine and Lopi’s house where we had an After Party 😉
Lots of Aunties and Uncles, nieces and nephews plus relatives from interstate and overseas who made the trip to Sydney for the wedding!
Like with all Tongan functions… heaps of food, laughs and noise 🙂
The following morning was the Couples First Sunday.
They looked beautiful in their traditional costume.
We then had MORE TO EAT at an all you can eat buffet in Blacktown.
Thanks again to Timo and Sila for sponsoring the day! We appreciate all your hard work.
Afterwards we decided to organise a hang out at my sisters’ accommodation which has an awesome indoor pool.
So we decided to have a Pool Party!
It was so much fun and the kids (both young and old) enjoyed themselves.
Soon after we had a bite to eat and also celebrated my Goddaughter’s 15th birthday! Love you Chella!
Then just like that our weekend in Sydney was drawing to a close 🙁
Part 3 – Coming Home To Melbourne
Mon 2 Dec 2019 luckily we packed most of our things the day before!
Again, after our buffet breakfast we said our goodbyes to Aunty Kathy and headed off back to Sydney Airport.
We must say the Kia Carnival was such a comfortable spacious family car. Definitely an upgrade is on the cards down the track!
We left Sydney at lunch time and arrived back to Tullamarine at 2pm and then walked back into our Gisborne home at 4pm after doing some grocery shopping and grabbing a bite to eat.
That’s all folks!
What a time with family and friends.
Memories I’ll cherish forever!
Thank you Sila and Timo for everything and I know you’re enjoying this stage of your beautiful lives as Husband and Wife.
To our Sydney family we love you a lot and can’t wait to see you and catch up again soon.
‘Ofa lahi atu always.