Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Viva Roma

The great tour continues as Matilda fights her way across the alps (should that be flies?). Now the eternal city's playgrounds and slippery slides lie before her. Veni Vini Vici?

Monday, April 28, 2008


Matilda meeting Paddington Bear
Chasing pigeons in Kensington Gardens
Buckled up and ready to go!
Chasing pigeons in Paris
Playground below that famous landmark in Paris
Researching where to go next while Mummy and Daddy drink coffee

Asleep at the Dawn Service
Wide awake before the Dawn Service
Payground near our hotel in Paris, the Bastille angel is in the background
With Mummy on the Eiffel Tower

Playing with stones at Adanac cemetry, Miraumont, France
Meeting Great-Great-Great-Uncle Harold
Matilda's Mummy had some crudeness on her sandwich ;)
Leaving the Australian National Memorial after the community service on the 26th

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lest We Forget

Its 4am, its freezing, I should be in bed. But Daddy wanted to come to the first ANZAC day dawn service at the Australian National Memorial, outside of Villers Bretonneux, France. I'm sure I'll understand the significance of this as I grow up. Until then there are a lot of warm legs to hide behind and pretty flowers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Sorry for the lack of photos, M's parents are yet to be awake enough after dinner at night to download any photos from the camera or phone ...
We're in Paris after our early morning on Monday (4:30am wake up call). Terminal 5 was .... OK ... security a bit crazy (told in one spot to take off shoes/belts, told in another not to), my hand luggage was completely checked due to the baby food in it, that I told them about, and was not even blinked at in Brisbane or Singapore. Uneventful, full flight. After the early start, M was asleep on my lap before we even took off.
Big loud demontstration of some kind in CDG as we waited for luggage. No idea what it was about. Monday afternoon we did some exploring, walking around the Bastille, to Notre Dame, and the like. The Boulangeries are AMAZING. Monday night takeaway quiches in our room, and everyone went to sleep early, and for the first time this trip, M slept all night. No wakeful period at 3/4/5 am - YAY!
Tueday we went to the Eiffel Tower, but decided to come back today, as we didn't have the backpack with us. We did find a very cool playground in the park next to it though, and had a big play!
Then off to the Arc de Triomphe, and lunch in a cafe on the Champs Elysees. Matilda was charming people all the way along. She fell asleep in the pram (yay! another new development), so we kept wandering along the Champs Elysees towards Place de la Concorde and the Toulieres gardens and the Louvre. M woke up at the gardens and had fun tearing around after the indignity of a nappy change on a park bench. ;)
The Louvre was closed, and we're not sure if we want to go and spend Eur9 each (and babies aren't free) to mainly just see the Mona Lisa. Matilda really isn't at the museum appreciation age ...
We then made our way to Notre Dame, and wandered through it. M wanted to tear around and make noise, just like usual at church. We were allowed to take photos, unlike all the churches in England, so Mummy went nuts. We then hopped on a boat and took a one hour tour of the Seine. Another nappy change in a public place ...
Dinner at a lovely little restaurant near Marais, they helped us with our lack of French, and M fell asleep while we were eating, it helps to sit down for dinner at 8pm!!
Today - weather is foggy, but we'll attempt the Eiffel Tower again, and then perhaps make our way to Montmarte. Tomorrow, we leave Paris and head for the Somme, ready for ANZAC day on Friday.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Flight to LHR survived ...

Matilda and her parents survived the flights to London. First was Brisbane to Singapore, leaving at about 2pm, arriving 8pm Singapore time. As we anticipated, M did not have her usual afternoon sleep before the flight, and spent her time charming the others in Qantas club, and trying to steal other people's tecnology items (laptops, mobile phones ...). JR scored a middle four seats to himself on the flight, and managed some decent sleep. Matilda and her Mum played and did LOTS of walking up and down the aisles, smiling at and touching the other passengers (Matilda was doing the touching, not her Mum!!).
The flight attendants had mixed reactions - some loved M when she decided to help clean the floort of the galley with some napkins, and others got cranky at her wandering after almost falling over her. M finally fell asleep not long before arriving in Singapore, and did not appreciate being woken to disembark. M's main joy in Singapore airport was the escalators going from the groun floor to the Qantas club lounge. Up and down, up and down. M did not want to have a shower, but she needed a bit of a tidy up after having a nappy explosion ... of course Mum became aware of it as M was sitting on her lap during turbulence and compulsory seat belt time ... nice sharing!
M fell asleep fairly quickly after leaving Singpore. She was asleep before her special toddler meal arrived for 'supper'. She slept for about 6-7 hours or so, between Mum and Dad. Mum got a bit travel sick, and having M lying on her lap/chest did not help matters. Qantas started waking the passengers at around 1:30/2:00 am London time, and M woke up pretty quickly, unfortunately. She devoured most of her brekky (sultana muffin was a big hit, the pancakes were eventually a hit). We arrived safely in London, went through immigration quickly (so much quicker than LAX!!), and waited for a while for bags. We decided at the last minute to NOT try to navigate the tube with our 3 suitacses, stroller in a bag, 4 pieces of hand luggage and a toddler, so got a shuttle, which was fairly fast and hopefully a good price for that time of day. We checked into our hotel early YAY, ha showers, and went out for a second brekky at Caffe Nero. We checked out Kensington High St, up the road from our hotel, and then went for a wander in Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park. M LOVED chasing the pigeons, even though it was FREEZING. She wouldn't wear a beanie or keep her hood up on her coat. No gloves/mittens also made for frozen fingers, but it seems all the shops here are gearing up for Spring, and no kid's hand coverings are to be found.
M had a big sleep on Friday afternoon, 2.5 hours, and went to bed well last night. She was a bit unsettled from 3:30-5am ish, but eventually settled down. A bit of a cold/blocked nose is not helping her at the moment. After visiting the Felsman's today, we got back to the apartment at about 7:30pm. M wasn't interested in dinner, and was so tired by the time she got to bed at about 8:30ish that she hasn't even rolled over yet ... ;)
Tomorrow is Sunday, and we're hoping to visit Hamleys Toy shop and maybe Harrods. Nothing much opens until 11-12, so hopefully we'll all have a bit of a sleep in. Monday morning will be early, the shuttle is picking us up at about 5:30 am to get us out to Heathrow nice and early for our 9am flight to Paris from Terminal 5 ... fingers crossed that all the craziness at the new terminal has been sorted out ...

Lunch with Damien and Emma

Our little world traveller just finished meeting her parent's good friends Emma and Damien. We all spent a delightful afternoon eating (kudos to Emma the Chef), catching up and intercepting M from her more creative investigations. Can't wait till next time. Apologies to Damien for the action shot. Spontaneous blogging works this way apparently.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Do we think someone is getting accustomed to the Jet Set life? Looking down from QANTAS Club at all the othertravellers?

Just a few hours to go

It's just after 7:30am and the house is quiet. There are three full suitcases in the lounge room, a pile of hand luggage on the dining table, toiletry bags waiting for last minute items in the bathrooms, Vita Brits ready on the kitchen bench fore brekky, and a list of things to do before we leave for the airport at around 10-10:15. And JR and Matilda are fast asleep.
Yesterday was Grandma Richardson's bday, and we celebrated with a lovely dinner (and lots of walking for Matilda outside, with parents, grandparents, and Aunty Janet and Uncle Darren! We got home at 9, put M in her PJs and settled in to do some more jobs. At 11, M woke up, very irritable. We gave her panadol, thinking her tummy was a problem. She even wasn't comfy having cuddles. After about 30 mins, I went to check her nappy (no smells, so shouldn't have been bothering her), and found red blotches on her legs and arms. We got her out of her PJs quick smart, and applied some cortisone cream. I also called the after-hours doctor to come out. After watching some Nick Jr and letting the cortisone cream do its trick, Matilda was happy playing. The doctor eventually arrived a bit after 1 and said we'd done the right thing, and it looked like some kind of topical reaction. Matilda wasn't keen on going to bed after her playing, but we all got to bed at about 1:30 this morning ... or so ...
So, Mummy's up doing whatever quiet jobs she can, and letting Daddy and Boo sleep. They won't be able to stay in bed much longer, and fingers crossed this somehow helps the trip!!!
(Picture above is Matilda helping research the trip ....)

Monday, April 07, 2008

10 days to go ...

On the 17th April, we all leave on our first big big big family adventure - a trip to Europe. For some reason, we thought that the three of us travelling in an enclosed tube for 24 hours, then moving around from hotel to hotel every three days, and visting countries where we can barely say "I'll have a pint please, oh, and two wines for the adults" would be FUN. I am yet to meet a parent who thinks putting a toddler on a plane from Australia to London is a good idea ...
Anyway, most of the plans are made (just accommodation in Singapore and Florence to go, oh, and one pesky car hire bit!), we all have valid passports, we almost have international drivers licences, and so it's almost just the packing to organise! That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.
Our plans:
18 - 21 April - London
21 - 24 April - Paris
24 - 28 April - Somme (ANZAC day)
28 April - airport hotel
29 April - 4 May - Rome
4 - 6 May - Florence
6 - 9 May - Venice
9 -11 May - Essen (Germany)
11 May - airport hotel
12 - 15 May - Singapore
16 May ... arrive home, bleary eyed ... and we'll know if we want to travel on such a big trip with a toddler again!