The Guilt Trip

Flight

About this time last week we were on our way home to Harbour City after a lovely long weekend visiting Mr Posy’s family down in the City by the Bay. Niece Posy read us the riot act back in January – she was very unhappy that we hadn’t been down to see her for a while, and demanded to know when we would next be visiting. Given our last visit was in August (time got away from me), her guilt trip was very effective, and that night I was looking up flights.

I started a countdown calendar of work days to our trip (because I am five), and I was tickled pink to hear that Niece and Nephew Posy were counting down the days on their own calendar (“THEIO AND THEIA POSY IN TOWN!”). Getting up at 4.30am to get to the airport for our early morning flight was hideous, but worth it once we got off that plane at the other end and I could give the kids a big hug.

Melb

Niece and Nephew Posy are getting so grown –  I relished every minute of colouring-in, playing superheroes, making tutus, reading storybooks, singing at the top of our lungs, searching for fairies, and taking selfies. And bowling! We took the kids bowling for the first time and they loved it.

Saying “see you next time” still felt like a knife going through my heart, but there were no tears on leaving this time round (theirs/mine). We’re hoping they might be able to get up here in May for a long weekend, and Mr Posy and I are making a list of all the places we want to take them and all the things we want to do.

It’s funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it? If somebody had told me when I first started this blog (after sidelining my previous blog), that the thing I’d miss most when Mr Posy and I moved to Sydney was having his family right across the road, I would have said they were out of their mind. Yet here we are – more than four years and one interstate move later, and I miss them dreadfully, and I wish they lived across the road. I don’t miss Mr Posy’s Ma’s cooking, but I do miss having his family so close. I miss our family BBQs, and I miss seeing the kids grow.

We’re at a bit of a stalemate though – they will never move to Sydney, and Melbourne will never be on the cards for us. We will just have to settle for video chat and frequent flyer points.

Sad for Sydney

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The post-holiday buzz never lasts long enough. We’ve been back in PosyTown for a little over a week now, however I noticed my buzz quickly dissipating at work last Thursday (two days after our return) – by Friday it was well and truly out the door, and I found myself looking up flights back to Sydney for the long weekend. Common sense prevailed ($700-800 and a 15 hour flight just to get to Sydney is a little excessive, especially given the direct flight only takes four hours and usually costs around $200…), and I spent my long weekend sulking on the couch.

We had such a fabulous trip. In the cab on the way to the airport, I found myself fighting back tears. It was only once I finally stopped that I realised how completely exhausted I was. I knew I was tired, I knew that I was stressed, but I didn’t realise how completely wrecked I was; I didn’t realise the past six or so months had taken such a toll on me. I was excited to be heading down to Sydney (my happy place), but I think I needed a good cry. I watched a sad movie and sad TV shows on the flight down, and sobbed nearly the entire way. When we arrived in Sydney, we headed to our hotel in Circular Quay, checked in, and went out for a walk/in search of ice cream (at about 11 o’clock at night, as you do). There is something cathartic about crying, a good walk and ice cream – I felt a lot better for it! I suppose it also helped that I was in Sydney…

Late night walk

When we’ve taken trips away in the past, I’ve always found it really difficult to switch off from work, and will find myself answering emails while I’m on leave. This trip, I really stepped back – I checked emails for a couple of hours the first morning we were there, before I rolled my eyes at myself – everything was under control (my staff are fantastic), and I reminded myself that I was only away for four work days. While I was a little distracted with something else on my mind, relaxing was definitely much easier after this realisation.

It was such a lovely few days. There was a lot of eating – we dined at Firefly in Walsh Bay, The Woods (the newish restaurant in our hotel), and Wildfire in Circular Quay (when our movie in Centennial Park was rained out). We drank a lot of coffee and quite a few cocktails, we ate a lot of frozen yogurt, and we Mr Posy did a lot of shopping.

The birthday party that we flew down for was fantastic. My friend really outdid herself (as she always does!) – I know her little boy had a truly fantastic day. They had a petting zoo, which kept the little ones (and the not-so-little ones) amused – there were rabbits and ducklings and chickens and goats and lambs!

Teddy Bear Picnic

We spent some time by the beach, by the pool, with friends (though not as much time as I would have liked, and I didn’t get to catch up with everybody I had planned to see, unfortunately), I squeezed in afternoon naps, and we met with a few wedding vendors. We made a visit to the giant duck in Darling Harbour…

Relaxing

Mr Posy didn’t have to drag me on to the plane back to PosyTown (to his amazement, I’m sure), but to say I was a little sad about having to leave would be an understatement. I really needed the time away, and I do feel better for it, but now that we’re back to the daily grind, it’s pretty depressing. I am missing Sydney dreadfully. Pretty sad and pathetic, I know, I know.

Duck

A whirlwind vacation

And, we’re back. Well, we’ve been back for about a fortnight, but I’ve been waist-deep in university assessments and haven’t had the time or the brain-space to even think about writing for enjoyment. I also can’t remember the last time I read a book that wasn’t “required reading”… I have at least one essay due every week between now and the end of August, so my life is all kinds of exciting right now. Work, study, sleep – rinse and repeat. The good news is that after this hard slog, I will be done. The crazy news is that I’ve been looking at Masters courses – why stop at two degrees? I am a glutton for punishment, what can I say.

Our trip away was everything that I needed – time off from work, time away from PosyTown, time with family and friends that  I miss so much. Before we flew out, I was constantly feeling like this awful angry person – someone that I am not, and I certainly did not enjoy feeling so on edge all the time. Spending time with my dad and grandparents and extended family in Bega was exactly what I needed. The landscape down in that part of the country is magical, and it was so lovely to be able to escape from the world. I hope my Pop enjoyed his 80th birthday party as we all did!

On our way back up to Sydney, Mr Posy and I spent the night in Canberra – it was his first trip to our nation’s capital, so we took the day to explore what is a very pretty locality. Say what you will about Canberra, there is no denying that it is a beautiful city. Unfortunately our flight to Sydney was delayed the next morning due to heavy fog, and when we did eventually make it to Sydney, our bags did not. I had watched them, from my seat on the plane before take-off, unload all the luggage, so it came as no huge surprise when we arrived in Sydney and the baggage carousel was empty. An apology certainly wouldn’t have gone astray, however…

Our time in Sydney was a bit of a whirlwind – we caught up with as many people as we could, but our trip was over before we knew it. My dear friend Neek remarked to me over a drink that she loved that I was always excited about visiting Sydney, because she knew so many people who don’t share that same excitement. Who are these people that visit or live in such an amazing city, and don’t even know it?! These people need to pay a visit to PosyTown… In the middle of the build-up, when the heat and humidity is so bad that you start to think that you are literally in Hell.

Can you believe that we are now at the END OF JUNE? Niece Posy is going to be TWO YEARS OLD next week. TWO!

Days go by

It feels like just yesterday that a friend and I were lamenting over coffee that we were in the middle of March, and now here I find myself at the end of May. We’re almost halfway through this year, which is a scary thought – Mr Posy and I have still have so much to do over the coming months, and not really a whole lot of time. I can’t believe that Christmas is “only” 7 months away!

When I was a little girl, it felt like time would pass by so slowly – I was always in a hurry for the next event, and I would will the days to speed up. Adults would tell me to stop wishing my life away, that time speeds up as you get older and that one day I’d yearn for my youth. I can vividly remember sitting in the mahogany tree across the street from my house with a friend, discussing how adults were crazy, that it just wasn’t possible for time to “speed up”, and that life would be so much better when we were grown up and we could do as we pleased. Now, there are never enough hours in the day, and I wish time would just slow down.

Tomorrow, Mr Posy and I are jetting off down to Sydney for a little break. We’ll be heading about five hours out of Sydney first up for my Pop’s 80th birthday – I’m looking forward to spending time with all my extended family. I saw them all in January for my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary, and the feeling of being in a room full of people that look like you and love you unconditionally… I can’t explain it. Living in PosyTown, so far away from my extended family, means that I’ve only spent a little time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and little cousins over the years, so when I do get to spend time with them, I cherish every second.

After a weekend with my family, we’re heading back to Sydney for a few days, where I am looking forward to catching up with good friends, shopping, and checking out this year’s Vivid Sydney light festival. We were down at the same time last year, so it will be interesting to see what’s in store for us this year.

I have been keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast, and I am looking forward to pulling out my coats and scarves and boots and stockings. What I’m not looking forward to is the niggling worry in the back of my mind about work – I know that my staff are well able to handle any issues that might arise, but it doesn’t make me any less anxious about leaving them. I am also slightly rattled that when I return, it will be June. JUNE!

Feels like home

There’s something about Sydney that always soothes my soul.

Up until a month ago, the last proper holiday that Mr Posy and I took was in May 2009, when we went back to New York City for eight days. We’ve had time off since then, a long weekend here or there where we’d jet off to Sydney or Melbourne, or just lounge around in PosyTown… but it had been a while since we’d had a real break.

Back in March when Mr Posy mentioned that work was looking at sending him to a conference in Sydney, I was all over it like a rash. After checking the calendar, I discovered that the weekend following his conference was the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. I convinced Mr Posy to talk to his boss about taking the three days between his conference ending and the weekend as recreation leave; my boss was just back from a month-long jaunt around the US, so I knew I had bargaining power for the week off work.

When Mr Posy’s attendance at the conference and our leave was confirmed in April, I was quick to book my flights and our accommodation for the nights after the conference (that weren’t paid for by work). I started a “countdown” of work days to go on my calendar – only 57 days, woohoo! I started scheduling dates with friends. I’d been on edge for months – with everything that had been going on at work, with my family, with the in-laws – I was wrecked.

When the cool Sydney air hit my face as we walked out of the airport, I nearly burst into tears. Sydney has always felt like home – one day I hope that it will be. I’ve never felt as comfortable, or as happy, or as whole, as I do in Sydney… As sappy as that sounds.

Poor Mr Posy. He had a bit of a struggle on his hands, getting me on the return flight. I cried my eyes out, the entire plane-ride back to PosyTown.

Travel Snap Tuesday: Boxing Day in Central Park

Cabs on Central Park West

It was Boxing Day, 2007.  It was absolutely freezing outside, but not quite cold enough to snow (something that I still have to stop myself from complaining about), and I was coming down with some kind of holiday-exhaustion-meets-plane-germs lurgy. Not one to rest while on holiday (I wouldn’t want to miss out on anything!), I was adamant that we were spending the day in Central Park. It was on the schedule, after all. I had spent at least six months agonising over every little detail, planning our trip with military precision – we were sticking to that bloody schedule.

We grabbed a map from the Visitor’s Centre (the Dairy), and made our way around the park. I will never forget how cold I was that day. Chilled-to-the-bone cold. I bought a hot coffee from a cart selling snacks and beverages by Wollman Rink, but it barely warmed my insides. I couldn’t understand how it could possibly be so cold, yet not snow. I was freezing – and there was only one thing that kept me going. Squirrels.

Squirrel-spotting

Much to Mr Posy’s dismay, I was more interested in chasing squirrels than I was in the beautiful park that surrounded us. I squealed with glee when one particularly bold squirrel came right up to my shoe, but with nothing to feed him, he quickly ran off.

We hiked around the park, taking in the sights, stopping occasionally to snap a photo when I would spot a squirrel. After a few hours of this (and a lunch break), I began to grow tired. I was sick, I was freezing, and my clothes were damp thanks to the mist and a light sprinkle of rain. I wanted to go back to the hotel room. I wanted a hot shower. I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep.

Mr Posy had other ideas. He wanted to find Strawberry Fields.

We were somewhere in the middle of Central Park, and I had no idea which way was up. I couldn’t work out where we were, or how to get to where Mr Posy wanted to be. I was tired and cold and starting to whinge. But still, Mr Posy was on a mission.

Occasionally I would spot a squirrel, and I’d perk up a little. For a few minutes. My feet were starting to hurt, and I was getting more tired by the minute. I didn’t think we were ever going to find where we needed to be. Or our way out of the park. Eventually we hit Fifth Avenue. Awesome. We were blocks and blocks away from Strawberry Fields. I begged to go back to the hotel. We could come back tomorrow. I just want to sleep. We have the ballet tonight. I don’t feel very well.

Mr Posy would not give in. I began to grow suspicious. And a wee bit nervous.

It took us two hours, but we found Strawberry Fields.

Stalling, I pointed out a vendor selling gloves. “Look! You’ve been saying all day you wanted gloves! These are like mine!” Mr Posy exchanged a few greenbacks for the gloves. He lingered around the Imagine tribute, taking a couple of snaps (I refused – people might think I was a tourist…), until the crowd thinned out a little.

“Miss Posy? Can you take a shot of us both by the tribute?”

I was a gun at taking self-portrait shots and he knew it. I knelt down beside him; my stomach had butterflies. He was on one knee. Was this it?

Imagine – Strawberry Fields

It was here that Mr Posy whispered into my ear, asking me if I could “imagine” spending the rest of my life with him. It was here that I giggled nervously, not really believing that he was asking, asking me, despite knowing that a ring had been in his luggage for over a week. It didn’t feel real.

It was here that I said “Yes”. I no longer felt cold.

Travel Snap Tuesday is ALL Little Miss Moi’s – it’s about sharing a moment in time through a photo (or three). If you want to join in Travel Snap Tuesday, simply post a pic of anywhere you’ve been in Australia or abroad – perhaps even at the end of the street! Head on over to her blog for more (and to share your links)!

What’s Yours is Mine

When we found out that the second attempt at Niece Posy’s christening (after the first was cancelled thanks to a cyclone) would coincide with Apple selling the new iPad, Mr Posy was stoked. He was convinced that we would be bringing home an iPad 2.0 from Melbourne. I was doubtful.

His excitement started to dissipate as our trip to Melbourne grew closer, and his calls to various outlets enquiring about stock were fruitless. When his co-worker read out an article stating that iPads were sold out worldwide, he was heartbroken. His hope momentarily spiked after a call to the Chadstone Apple Store – they’d directed him to a web address where he’d be able to reserve his gadget. He later realised that we’d be on a plane at 9.00 pm, when the reservation system would be available. When we arrived at the hotel at 2.00 am, Mr Posy made a mad dash to check whether iPads were still available. I went to bed.

Accepting that he would be going home without a new iPad, Mr Posy admitted defeat and got into the spirit of enjoying our little break.

Park Hyatt, Melbourne

Does anyone else not take many photos when they’re on holidays? I’m always so paranoid that locals might think I’m a tourist that I often refuse to get my camera out. It probably doesn’t help that my trusted point and shoot died a painful death, and I hate carting my DSLR around… I snapped one quick photo of our hotel with my iPhone (when nobody was looking) to mark our visit, and got on with enjoying the city.

After subjecting Mr Posy to two days of traipsing around shops, High Tea, and lazing around the hotel’s heated pool and spa, I found out via Twitter that a friend had secured not one, but TWO iPads. I had to find out how she did it.

Lilli’s Mum advised me to try reserving an iPad again that night. There was no way I was telling Mr Posy what I was up to.

As we walked back to the Park Hyatt after a lovely dinner at Cecconi’s, I pulled out my phone and navigated to the right page. “Oh my gosh!” I gasped out loud. Bugger. I hadn’t meant that – it was supposed to be a surprise. I was going to whisk him out to the ‘burbs, and announce that we were picking up a new iPad once we reached the Apple Store. Too sloshed to lie, I came clean to Mr Posy. “I’ve reserved an iPad for us to pick up at Chadstone tomorrow!” I felt rather smug that I’d managed to secure an iPad when Mr Posy had not.

Mr Posy was beside himself with excitement. I was busy trying to work out how we were going to get out to Chadstone.

A tram, a bus, and an hour and a half later, we found ourselves in line at the Chadstone Apple Store. I hadn’t had breakfast and was beginning to get grumpy. I was not quite as excited or as patient as Mr Posy.

Treasure from the Apple Store

Forty minutes later, and I had a new iPad in my hands. Yes, my hands – I claimed the brand new iPad and so generously gifted Mr Posy my old iPad. Isn’t that how it works?

Travel Snap Tuesday: Where imagination is the destination

My dear friend Little Miss Moi is with child. She also has a two and a half year old. She works full-time, and her husband is often away for business. And she’s been blogging up a storm. My “I’m too tired to blog, I’m exhausted” excuse suddenly makes me feel pretty darn lazy. It is for this reason that I find myself trawling through travel photographs and trying to string some thoughts together late on a Tuesday night, following a particularly lovely home-cooked roast at my Ma’s.

I don’t consider myself well-travelled. When I was 19, I went on a 4-day cruise to New Zealand with my (at the time) bestie. When we eventually got to Auckland, we stayed the night, and then caught the earliest plane back to Sydney. We were poor uni students, and had spent most of our fun-money on the cruise, in our defence.

Mr Posy and I have holidayed in major cities around Australia. We’ve been to the USA twice, and both trips were spectacular. We still have to trek through Europe, shop in Singapore, lounge around in Bora Bora, ski in Japan, and head back to the US for another visit however!

Our first trip overseas together was pretty magical – first stop: Disneyland, California. Just prior to Christmas, 2007.

I’ll never be able to explain the overwhelming emotion that I felt walking through Downtown Disney, and then through the gates of Disneyland. My eyes welled up, and the tears spilled over. To this day, I can’t decide if I was overwhelmed with happiness, or if it was some kind of indescribable sadness – that I’d never again feel the way I did in that moment. I think too much, I know; Mr Posy tells me this often.

Mr Posy was such a trooper – I dragged him all around the park, forcing him to ride carousels, and making him pose with characters. The Mad Tea Party spinning teacups in Fantasyland were easily my favourite attraction; I dragged Mr Posy on the ride three times in as many days. I spun the teacups round and round, as fast as they would possibly go. I felt a sense of lightness, like the world had disappeared and only Mr Posy and I were left.

We spent three days at Disneyland – on our last day we spent 15 hours wandering around the park. We went on every. single. ride. We ate our bodyweight in $1 churros. And it all finished with a magical crescendo of music and fireworks over the Disney castle.


Travel Snap Tuesday is ALL Little Miss Moi’s – it’s about sharing a moment in time through a photo (or three). If you want to join in Travel Snap Tuesday, simply post a pic of anywhere you’ve been in Australia or abroad – perhaps even at the end of the street! Head on over to LMM’s blog for more!