Return of the Macs

Sponsored post for Hilton HHonors 

People often ask me if I miss Sydney. And I don’t. I really don’t. It’s not that I don’t love the old show pony in all her sparkly glory, it’s just that it’s now a nice place to visit, or come to for work. And that’s about it. I don’t miss the traffic. The humidity. The hustle. The parking. I do miss my friend’s that live here. Our families. The good coffee available everywhere. The sushi. And the dumplings. I really miss the dumplings.

Last week we were lucky enough to head up to Sydney for 2 nights to re-discover our old home town of Sydney and give the girls a taste of summer in the city. We happily hightailed it up the highway, out of the heat up and checked into the Hilton into our connecting rooms which would be our home for 2 nights. The girls instantly made themselves right at home.

I made myself at home by pouring a champagne.

It still amazes me that my kids are such country kids now. Even though they have only been there for 2 years. They get amazed by the buildings. The planes! The buses and all the people.

While Rob went off to the gym, I took the girls for a spot of afternoon shopping. As you do. We met my Mum who was looking after the girls for us so Rob and I could hit the town for dinner with friends. When we made it back to the hotel we hopped up to the Executive Lounge that we had access to – for some scones and tea. Shopping, afternoon tea, time with Grandma? A perfect afternoon.

After a quick costume change and farewell to the girls and Grandma, Rob and I headed down to a Hilton institution: The Marble Bar, for a pre dinner champagne, or two with our friends. It’s an amazing space, like going back in time, and was the perfect place to catch up with some old dear friends.

Unfortunately the Hilton’s restaurant Glass was closed (as was Zeta Bar) while we were there so after drinks we headed further down George Street to eat at one of Merivale’s latest restaurants: Felix Bistro. I’d heard great things about it, and it did not let down. It was like going back to Baltihazar in New York – superb food and wine and beautiful decor. Well worth a look if you are in Sydney.

The next morning we were up bright and early (despite the joy that is a complete block out blind and air conditioning) ready to tackle the town. I re-discovered an old run down to the Opera House that Rob and I used to do when we first lived together in a run down terrace in East Sydney while Rob had another session at the gym. We had breakfast up at the lounge and then headed out into the hot city.

The girls requested a visit to the Museum to see some Dinosaur bones (just like in Peppa Pig Harps told me) and seeing as it was a quick walk across the park and airconditioned, it was a perfect option.

After about an hour of looking at birds and bones, rocks and butterflies we convinced the girls that a quick walk to the Art Gallery would be really good fun. And of course we bribed them with the promise of a lemonade if they let us go and have a quick look around. Rob and I used to go there all the time pre-kids, so it was a lovely reminder of a great time for us.

On a hot summer’s day, I don’t think there’s anywhere much cooler, calmer or lovely than a gallery. The girls were (kind of) convinced.
From there Rob and I split up – he took Harper on a trip on the train, while Daisy and I went to have a look at some shopping. Neither adventure lasted long, it was hot and the kids were tired, so it was back for some quiet time back at the hotel. Rob went and had a massage, and the girls and I had a rest before we headed back into the afternoon for one last treat for the girls – a trip up Centrepoint Tower. Old School style. Just like proper tourists should. 
I can’t remember the last time I went up there – it was definitely some time in the 80’s and there was definitely some kind of revolving restaurant involved. It’s quite the business now – a 4D film to sit through before heading up the lift. It’s some view. It really is some city. 

The girls loved it. 

My grand plans of checking out another great restaurant down town was squashed as exhaustion, kids and reality took over. So a quick dinner back upstairs at the lounge, you can TOTALLY make pre-dinner canapes dinner for children, and an early night saw the end of our inner city adventure.  

We had a great time showing the girls some of our old haunts, discovering some new and of course soaking up some time in a hotel. And while that’s all very good and well for us, what’s the good news for you? 
Well, Hilton HHonors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct hotel brands, are giving away to one lucky BabyMac reader a chance to win 100,000 points which is equivalent to a weekend away in one of Hilton Worldwide’s top of the range properties (see below for list of hotels). All you have to do is tell me your favourite thing to do in your own city and why? 
And even if you don’t win the prize, they have a great sale on at the moment, the Any Weekend Anywhere Sale: if you book a stay at any worldwide hotels within the Hilton HHonors portfolio by Feb 14th 2013, you can receive up to 40% off. A perfect excuse to play tourist in your own home town or take a trip overseas! 
So leave a comment below and good luck and good travels! 
Participating Hilton Worldwide properties that you can redeem your points on includes: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels& Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. 
Membership for HHonors is free, and you can join online by visiting www.HiltonHHonors.com . Earn points with every visit and take advantage of free nights, early check-in/late checkout, express check-in lines and complimentary room upgrades. Check out what you can earn and redeem your points on here: HiltonHHonors/rewards. 

T&Cs – Entrants must become a member of Hilton HHonors (which is free!) simply by visiting: http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/index.html. The winner will need to provide their member number as well as their full name and email for the points to be transferred. Please note that this will take 4-6 weeks to be uploaded to the winners membership. Open until January 23rd 2013, winner will be announced on the blog on the 24th January.

Comments

  1. What a beautiful escape Beth – always love seeing your photo stories like this x And that restaurant? It’s a date!

  2. The ferry ride from Manly to Circular Quay or vice versa. Rain, sunshine, squalls, day time or night time – there is something primal and beautiful about the trip with the glimpse through the heads to the big wide ocean while surrounded by Sydney city and the most beautiful harbour in the world.

  3. Fave thing to do in Perth is window shop in King St – oooh lalaaaaaaa!

  4. Does it have to be my own city?

    I like arriving home at night after a day at work. It is one of my favourite things to do Ever.

    I also like going out to dinner with Old Mr FF at Montrachet. We like to sit at the bar and drink champagne. And we always order the same things.

    I also love having friends for dinner mid week at home.

    Might organise something right this minute.

    Great photos.

  5. It’s not really my city anymore, but it is the city I have spent the most time in. Melbourne. We left just after our eldest was born. Favourite thing to do would be to start in the city, coffee at Degraves Espresso whilst people watching, then off to Brunswick St for breakfast. Hop on a tram and head to North Fitzroy, buy some gourmet picnic supplies from Piedemontes(Italian IGA) and head to Edinburgh Gardens to meet friends for a picnic that lasts all afternoon. Dinner on Sydney Rd and then a tram back to the city for drinks and dancing. This is where my husband and I met and writing this now brings back many delicious memories. And top it all off with a stay in a luxurious hotel like the Hilton! Yay. I’m feeling a bit hungry. I want to be there…… x Ketakii

  6. What a great weekend Beth!
    I love the shots of the girls on the window sill…checking out the city scenery.
    Awesome giveaway too……My favourite thing to do in our city is to simply walk along the river with an ice-cream in hand and people-watch. I love sitting back and seeing the city through different eyes {my kids} and seeing how exciting and big it really is.
    x

  7. I can’t go past a lovely afternoon spent at Southbank in Brisbane. A city cat ride there, a walk, good food, and maybe a splash at the beach…. that’s my idea of a fun time! :) Looks like you had a lovely mini-break!

  8. Lorna Gordon says:

    A trip to the MCA, I discovered it last year (after 7 years in Sydney!) and fell in love. Anytime I make it into the CBD I try and sneak in a little time in there to soak up some culture.

  9. I love The Rocks in Sydney on a weekend and also the Botanical Gardens. Sydney on a weekend is lovely.
    Rebecca Simunic

  10. Love your words. We are just coming up to 7 years out of the city and our Little Misses love going for an adventure. Keep up the gallery trips – our fave melb trip with the girls is a combo of the Art Gallery (the waterwall – who can resist) and ACMI at Fed square to play movies and TV. We afternoon tea at the gallery, catch a tram and our country mice have a city fun day.

  11. Emily Quenette says:

    You looked like you had a great time!!

    I would have to say my favourite thing to do in Melbourne is to go and mooch around the little lane ways throughout town. Discovering something new each time I do this. Depending on time of day stopping off for a nice coffee, yummy cupcake, a champas or cocktail or two, maybe some dinner and listening to some live music. Always makes me appreciate this great city!

  12. Now that, my friend, is a sponsored post! You have a knack for writing them without sounding like a different person. I never usually read sponsored posts but I do read yours. I am even going to enter which I never do either!

    My favourite thing to do in Melbourne is go to the Australian Open tennis tournament, or to the Dancesport Championships both held at Melbourne Park! Gosh we are lucky with events here.

  13. I love going for a wander around Surfers Paradise, bet you every other local hates going there (unless they are 18!) but for me it reminds me of the years I lived and worked there and its summertime magic!

  14. I wouldn’t exactly call Dubbo, NSW a city but…. My favourite thing to do is visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo. We have Zoo Friend passes some can go any – and every! – day of the year, it has a great walking circuit for exercise, a playground for restless children and cafe and bar for mummies and daddies who need a rest after all the animals!

  15. I love The Rocks market & a walk down George St…….looking at The Opera House & the harbour & of course The Bridge….

  16. Darling Harbour is a favourite. As a child my brother and I used to run through the fountains and then we were treated to swiss/danish ice-cream with fresh berries. Now, we take our own kids to Darling Harbour and there is dedicated water play parks for them (& coffee and sushi galore for mummy!!) and the same ice-cream with fresh berries is still there as a treat!!!

  17. My favourite thing to do in Sydney is a late afternoon trip to the beach. I love Clovelly for the easy parking and kid friendly rock platform and Bondi for the clear water and body-surfer friendly waves. Throw in a picnic dinner and it is a lovely way to finish the day.

  18. We live on a farm and while like you I don’t miss the city, when we visit I just love soaking up the business of it all (and the eating and shopping). There is something about being in the middle of so much that is happening, call it the vibe, its the whole thing, to quote The Castle!

    Then I relish slipping back to the serenity and solitude of country life.

  19. I’m in Melbourne and I just luv wandering through the laneways and looking up at all the buildings… it still amazes me how well things were made so long ago! In todays society we tend not to do so well : (

  20. Sathya Barelds says:

    Our favourite thing to go in our own city is go down to Henley Beach and talk a long walk and paddle in the water if it’s hot and enjoy a lunch at Stella’s.

  21. Being a tourist in my own city of Canberra last week with my daughter was just delightful! We started with an icy cold drink on ‘The Deck’ at Regatta Point. A typical picturesque blue sky Canberra day, not a cloud in sight, only the slight cooling breeze off Lake Burley Griffin. To just sit in the middle of ones own city is indeed a rarity these days.

    Although very difficult to leave the vista of the Captain Cook Fountain, as the water from its spout teases the cars and joggers crossing Commonwealth Bridge; we made our way to the opposite side of the lake to enjoy a light stroll with the swans (and the flies) along the water’s edge. The sound of the world’s flags as they flap against the metal poles between the ever awe-inspiring history & nostalgia of the National Library of Australia, and the new but equally mesmerizing Australian Portrait Gallery. We stood in silence – as you do – when we took in the Australian War Memorial vista down Anzac Parade. And finally, we sauntered back to the car where we thanked our lucky stars for the geographical lottery we had won living in this unassuming – and often unappreciated – city.

  22. @Katwoman73 says:

    My favourite thing to do in my city (Sydney) is to take my family and my camera out and discover all of the awesome places both on the tourist route and off the beaten track to conduct random photo shoots and hone my photography skills, all the while having an awesome time exploring together.

  23. Yes that’s exactly right. Sydney is an old show pony isn’t she. Was born there, moved to wa.

    Great post

  24. On our very first date, my husband took me out in the Sydney for the day. First a ferry ride to Manly where we had lunch on the beach, and a wander and icecream, back to Darling Harbour where we went to the Imax and watched a movie. I thought the date was over until he surprised me with a fancy dinner overlooking the beach at Brighton Le Sands. No wonder I married him! We still love to recreate that day every so often, even with the kids tagging along now.

  25. My favorite thing to do in Brisbane……hmmmm……well it is so close to some fabulous places so weekend trips to Coolangatta, Bangalow (my favourite place ever), Noosa, the hinterlands – they are all at our finger tips! However, in Brisbane, my favouite thing to do is to go for a walk along the waterfront at Manly in the late afternoon with my Husband and poochas, then get some fish’n’chips and wash it all down with some gelato!

  26. Anonymous says:

    We moved to the country from Melbourne 2 years ago and we love taking the kids back to Melbourne to show them the old haunts that their dad and I use to go to.
    We love the museum, the zoo and then a beautiful Itaian meal in Lygon Street.
    This special deal would make a great gift for my husband and I for our 14th wedding anniversary, I might just have to go and check out the sale now, thanks for the heads up on it:)
    Sue N

  27. I am totally loving your photos, Beth – they are getting better and better and inspiring me to get out the Canon more often and ditch the ubiquitous iPhone!

  28. Hmmm. Newcastle. What do I love to do. Sleep in till about 9.30/10am (I don’t have kids… don’t hate me!) and then wander down for a long brunch to one of the excellent cafe’s on Darby St (with or without friends), come home and let the food settle. Then, once the afternoon starts to cool down go for a wander past the beach, maybe dip the toes in, breathe in the sea air, then come home and enjoy the view with a glass of wine and watch the sun set. Heaven.

  29. I just looooove The iconic Marble Bar!! It’s where I first started out with nights out as a young ‘un. They used to have the most fantastic happy hour (or2) back in the 80′s and also when I have revisited it they’ve had great jazz artists. It is a magnificent piece of work that bar! I have incredibly fond memories of it!

    I haven’t much to sight see in my home town in north western NSW! But in Sydney I would make it to the zoo and Manly plus I’d love to take my kids to the museums and art gallery. But a city I am yet to explore is Brisbane! I must make the trip there and have a good look around.

  30. My favourite thing to do in my hometown of Brisbane is to be near where I met my hubby by chance outside Riperian plaza, have lunch where we had our wedding reception, il centro. Then wander the riverside while quietly thinking how lucky I am to be me & to have the family I have.

  31. Hey dude – my favourite thing to do in Sydney is to see it through the eyes of a tourist. My husband is a Pom and although he’s been here a fair few years now, he still is SO excited about the harbour, opera house, bridge etc. which rubs off on me. One of our best ever dates was in Aug last year, we had tix to a cool band, we’d offloaded the kiddies for the night and saved up to stay in a (quite!) fancy hotel for the night. OMG I LOVED IT!!! Went to the fancy new shops, took Jonnie to a couple of my old haunts, just enjoyed the HELL out of our own city – you know?! xo

  32. What a fabulous trip you had! Nothing like air-conditioned hotel rooms during a heatwave. Our favourite thing to do is wander the main street of Queenscliff, looking in all the little shops, then a stop at the playground, finished off with fish & chips on the beach. If we are cashed up we foot passenger it over to Sorrento on the ferry watching the dolphins as we go. Nothing like it.

  33. love the good old fashioned red double decker bus tour around sydney and surrounds…

  34. I absolutely love the St George Openair Cinema that is held in Sydney every summer. Watching a movie on a giant screen poised over dazzling Sydney Harbour is just spectacular. To look to the side of the screen during the movie and see the Opera House, Harbour bridge and city is beautiful. The city that bustles during the day is so quiet that all that can be heard apart from the movie is the occasional lapping of the harbour, bats flying over head (not a big fan of those!) and the toot of a ferry. The fact that they serve champagne and food too is a bonus! A must do in Sydney in summer!

    Having a son who uses a wheelchair I also love that this event is fully accessible (as it should be but that isn’t always the case!) Sydney at it’s best.

  35. Lovely photos Beth! Hot days, summer in the city… (that song just got stuck in my head)
    My favourite thing to do in the city here (Antwerp) is to go to this teeny tiny little underground cafe/bar. It’s from the 1500s, and used to be a cellar run by the monks. It still has all the little rooms and arched doorways, that are so low you have to stoop through them. It’s dark down there, but they have big wax dripping candles everywhere, and they serve really basic Belgian food and beer. It’s a little bit touristy, but that is OK cause it means it’s kid friendly, and they don’t mind my dodgy Dutch. Off now to join up to the Hilton and choose which summery one I’d go to!!
    x Rhi

  36. Sydney can be a high handed lady who runs her citizens ragged…However if you get up nice and early on a Saturday morning and head down to the Boy Charlton pool at North Sydney things alter. After a few laps, with a latte and the good weekend in hand perching on a window seat in the sun, the pulse slows and you realise that however demanding she may be, her beauty is for free and to be enjoyed by all.

  37. I love the architecture, I’m originally from Scotland so I had it everywhere, but meandering through Sydney I love that its in pockets, especially the QVB Building, have often stood in Zeta Bar with Champagne in hand and admired it. A weekend in the Hilton (in Sydney) is one of my dreams, ever since working in a 5 star hotel in Sydney I’m kinda obsessed with Hotel life… love it!

  38. One of our favourite things to do in Perth, which we have recently started being able to do with E (2.75) is go for dim sum in Northbridge, then wander over to the art gallery. Deep fried salt and pepper chilli squid, prawn and chive dumplings, and art would have to be a perfect start to the weekend!

  39. I always get that same question…do I miss living in NYC.
    And of course there are parts of it that I miss desperately but overall I am glad that I don’t live there anymore.
    My favourite thing to do in NYC…once I have recovered from my jet lag…is spend all day walking around, getting a cheap pedicure, getting a Chopt salad and then settling in on my sister’s couch to catch up on American tv.
    Not the most exciting day…but that is NYC just how I like it.

    And it looks like Daisy has inherited your pensive look!

  40. My favourite thing to do in Sydney is actually in Bondi (I hope that counts.) I lived there a few years back and discovered a sweet little wine bar a couple of blocks back from the beach. We still like to get to the Speakeasy one or two times a year, the second I step inside and wrap my hands around a smooth glass of wine it is as if I am breathing out. It is just lovely and I do not think there’s anywhere better to sit and watch the world go by.

  41. Beautiful photos of what sounds like a fab weekend in gorgeous Sydney town. So many of those little adventures you went on, we do on a semi-regular basis too. We love the Art Gallery and museum also. The Powerhouse Museum is also fantastic… for next time you have a little hotel stay. And of course, the Botanic Gardens are breathtaking at any time of the year.
    Love the pics of the girls in the windows, so lovely xoxo

  42. My favourite thing to do in my city is to wander the streets, peeking up alleyways and into courtyards, finding all the hidden medieval and Tudor gems. It is such fun, like a secret city within a city.

  43. Port Douglas…walking Four Mile Beach. Perfect.

  44. My favorite thing to do in my city, (Fresno, Ca, USA) is to visit an area called, The Tower District. It’s an old timey downtown area with clubs and restaurants with a little theater thrown in. But, I visited Sydney a few years ago and loved it. One of my favorite things we did was to have a drink at the outside bar at the Opera House.

  45. I love it! What a wonderful way to spend a weekend – sharing memories with your girls as well as reliving some as a couple. Perfect.

    I wish I went up to Melbourne more often. I love to explore the alleyways, marvel at the graffiti, eat beautiful food and discover hidden gems. Melbourne is full of these gems. Sparkling bars, shiny restaurants and pretty boutiques. And with every visit, I discover new little gems.
    For me, Melbourne never loses it’s charm. It is never predictable. And no matter how much of a buzz I get from visiting other amazing cities around the world – Melbourne will always always be number one for me.

    I’ve been up once with the children, and I loved showing Miss D where I used to work and where we used to live. She loves to know that she was still in my tummy when we lived in the city.

  46. My favourite thing to do in my own city, Melbourne, is to explore and find all the new and exciting adventures that I never knew existed….there is SOOOOO much to do, so many places to see and experiences that are just waiting to be explored. On my 30th recently I went skydiving over St Kilda Beach and until 6 months ago I didn’t even realise you could skydive in the city! Sometimes it is great just to take a step back and look at your own territory and go WOW.

  47. My favourite thing to do is take my girls to the big christmas tree in King George Square (brisbane) to see the lights being turn on for the first time :)

  48. My city is actually renowned for it’s magnificent parks & gardens. It’s a great pleasure to make an outing of it. Feeding the ducks is, of course, an absolute must.

  49. Dang you took me back in time! I remember the Marble Bar!!

    I love Sydney..I grew up there and now as I live on the far south coast I love going home and being a tourist.

    My fav things…get off the train at Town Hall and wander down the back streets to China Town. The Steiner bookshop is on the way, always have to pop in and get a book or two..
    Have you noticed all the funny little Asian boutiques and shops in the back streets…I always have to pop in to them, and the Asian supermarkets…I stock up on my supplies, shaoxing wine, jasmine tea, a few more rice bowls, more chopsticks in case there are not enough in my kitchen drawers already….
    There is always the mandatory stop in a chinese bakery for a custard bun and pork roll….
    Then a wander around Paddys Markets, goggling at all the trash but still managing to find something I have been looking for for ages…
    Lunch at Captain Torres in the Spanish Quarter (garlic prawns and sangria) then back to the hotel for an afternoon siesta.
    I could go on and on…I love Sydney…

  50. I love Brisbane! We now live about 1 1/2hrs north which we also love, but I am a Brissy girl and love nothing more than heading back with my husband (minus children) and doing the things we used to do……live music, eating out, hanging out around the city soaking up the fabulousness that is Brisbane! Kerri

  51. So much to do in beautiful Sydney (much missed now that we live in Leura!) – Botanic Gardens, Opera House, ferry rides from Circular Quay, walk the city streets and marvel at the buildings, Australian Museum (great for kids!), Art Gallery, Boy Charlton pool, walks in Hyde Park, yummy dumplings or nasi lemak from the Westfield food hall, high tea at the QVB tearooms, shopping in the Strand Arcade – the list is huge! Great opportunity – and I really appreciate the fact that your sponsored posts are honest and upfront (without any silly c/0 stuff or ‘gifted’ stuff or trying to make it sound like something that it’s not – like ‘a seasonal series’ stuff. It shows your professionalism.)

  52. It sounded like a great weekend! I’m a Sydney-sider as well. My favourite thing is taking a ferry from stunning Circular Quay, cruising past all the fancy mansions in the various Bays, and winding up at Watson’s Bay. I love eating Doyle’s fish and chips in the shade of the trees, and then walking up to take in the spectacular view that are the heads of Sydney harbour. I genuinely believe we have one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the sight of the harbour on a sunny day never fails to take my breath away.

  53. What a beautiful city! Looks like you guys had a great time playing tourist. Great photos, by the way. I would love to visit Sydney someday.

    In my city (Calgary, Canada) I love to visit the farmer’s markets. We have two that are open year round and they are packed with all kinds of local deliciousness.

  54. Once a year (or so) we head into the city to stay in a 5 star hotel. The fact that we live in the Inner West, 10 minutes from the city is completely irrelevant, it’s another world in there. I adore crisp hotel sheets, baths so deep you can do laps in them and gorgeous city views. The kids LOVE it and are still talking about last Easter’s trip. We are tourists in our own city, ferry rides, climbing the opera house steps, Darling Harbour visits and enjoying amazing breakfasts. I think it must be nearly time for our next trip…

  55. There are too many wonderful things to do in Melbourne! But here are a few of my favourites – picnics in the botanical gardens, taking my girls to the children’s space at the art gallery, coffee in laneways, great theatre, beautiful wineries, drinks with mates at Transport (the view of the city from there is extraordinary). And if I had to choose what I’d do right now, I’d pack up my girls and a book and I’d go down to St Kilda beach and catch up on some reading while they played in the sand – bliss!

  56. My favourite thing to do in London…wander around Columbia Road flower market and just soak it all up. It’s a riot of colour, smell and noise. The barrow boys calling out their products and prices, the scent of the plants and flowers and the shoppers just wandering and enjoying the blooms. Great, relaxing Sunday mornings. Great post too Beth!x

  57. I love shopping in the city centre in Perth – living in a very small town means that the kids are just in awe of a train ride, the miles of shops and the buskers!

  58. There are too many wonderful things to do in Melbourne to choose just one, but some of my favourites are – picnics in the Botanical Gardens, taking my girls to the children’s space at the art gallery, the farmer’s market at the Collingwood Children’s farm, coffee in laneways, great theatre, visiting wineries, and drinks with mates at Transport on a warm Summer’s night (the view of the city from there is extraordinary!). And if I had to choose right now, I’d pack up my girls and my book, and head to St Kilda beach while I caught up on some reading and they played in the sand – bliss!

  59. Heidi Fitz says:

    I love a holiday-in-your-hometown moment but the last one we tried failed spectacularly! The last time we tried it was for husbands birthday a few years ago – glam o’night at the Windsor Hotel Melbourne for some 1920s art deco ambience … but ended up taking 2 year old with ear infection and booking in at 11pm because late night GP wait was humungous! Brekky in bed was sweet tho! Your city break looked gorgeous!
    Hx

  60. My city? Well, I can’t really class Mildura as a city so much… but one of my favourite things to do is take my little boy to the Farmer’s Market by the river on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning. Fresh orange juice, local (NOT imported!!) grapes and handpicked flowers to buy. What’s not to love?

  61. I enter the odd giveaway, but I can’t think of any, no matter what they are worth, that would mean as much as this one, to win. I lived in St Kilda for many years prior to kids…then moved further down the coast, an hour out of Melbourne, bayside, but very much suburbia..and while I would not want to move back to the city / inner suburbs, I MISS my Marvellous Melbourne. And, it saddens me that my daughters, aged 9, 8, 6 and 4 know so little of it….an hour away can seem a world away. I have long tried to convince my husband to stay in the city in a flash hotel for the night, but while not a stingy man, he just can’t see the “point”. If I won this, he would have to come, and then I think he would love it so much, I could convince him of the benefits of making it an annual event! As for what we would do…during the day with kids it would be the art gallery, botanical gardens, Fed Square, a wander along Southbank, with a stop for ice-cream. Then we would head back to the hotel, drop the kids off with a babysitter, and my husband and I would enjoy the very rare treat of going out for the night…dinner at MoVida….YES PLEASE. Then some gorgeous bars, tucked away in Melbourne’s famous lane ways. Dream come true.

  62. Sydney is a great city to visit! Great photos Beth. In my city, Brisbane,I love to people watch, window shop and enjoy some great coffee. I love taking in all the buildings and architecture. I too, love that I don’t live in the big smoke anymore but it’s not far away to enjoy the details and pros of city life.

  63. I live and work in Sydney. While I make claims that Im quite the ‘city girl’ I’m more of an outdoorsy kind of girl at heart. So whenever I get a chance to go away for the weekend, or even go for the day I like to drive to the Blue Mountains and go hiking on one of their trails. Last weekend we did Leura Falls. The waterfalls were absolutely stunning! I love that feeling of reconnecting with my natural environment and replenishing my energy for the working week. And to think that Australia’s landscape has such beauty and diversity in abundance! I’m so glad you got to spend some quality time with your beautiful family here in Sydney! :)

  64. Georgina Clark says:

    Nothing I love more in Sydney than going to Yum Cha! The best is at the Fish Markets – best salt and chili crab!! Can’t wait to go back sans very small children.

  65. Like you, I’m a Sydney girl through and through. My favourite thing to do is to take the boys into town on the train. We hit Circular Quay and head for the revamped MCA for an art fix. We then take some down time lying on the cool grass under the palm trees of North side of the Quay. Revitalised, we tramp across to the Opera House for a run around the stairs while I snap some pics (again!) of the sails. We ambled back slowly as we eat our gelatos and then jump on a ferry to Cabarita to head home on the scenic route. I love this city!

  66. PS: Your photos. better n betterer.

    Love,
    Gabs x

  67. I live and work in Sydney. While I make claims that Im quite the ‘city girl’ I’m more of an outdoorsy kind of girl at heart. So whenever I get a chance to go away for the weekend, or even go for the day I like to drive to the Blue Mountains and go hiking on one of their trails. Last weekend we did Leura Falls. The waterfalls were absolutely stunning! I love that feeling of reconnecting with my natural environment and replenishing my energy for the working week. And to think that Australia’s landscape has such beauty and diversity in abundance! I’m so glad you got to spend some quality time with your beautiful family here in Sydney! :)

  68. Anonymous says:

    It is so hard to choose a favourite thing to do in Sydney but when it really comes down to it I’d have to say either traditonal high tea at the Tea Rooms in the QVB or Retro/Funky high tea at the Winery in Surry Hills. Both are fab!

  69. I love Sydney – my favourite spot is the harbour and all its wonderful sights. Once I get to Circular Quay and see the water, the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the ferries I feel like I am home again. My most favourite thing to do is to hop on a ferry and go across to Manly, I love the trip across the water especially when it gets a little bumpy going past the heads!

  70. I love Sydney Harbour! As soon as I reach Circular Quay and see the water, the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the ferries, I feel like I am home. My favourite thing to do is to catch the ferry across to Manly, I like to sit back and imagine I’m on a private yacht, sipping champagne!

  71. My favourite thing to do in Sydney is to go to Chinatown – I love the colours, the sounds (taxis beeping, people talking all sorts of languages), the fashion that the ‘kids’ are wearing these days, the smell of my dinner in BBQ King and I LOVE the cute stationery shop next door. And then I like to catch the 412 bus and people-watch all the way home.

  72. CarolineC says:

    Oh I do love hotel sheets and air con on full blast. Doesn’t happen now tho with a 1 and 3 year old on the scene, and grandparents for babysitting either in the Uk or a 6hr drive away!
    Being from the UK and moving to Sydney 11 years ago the first time I set eyes on Sydney Harbour I was mesmerized. The fact that I was actually there! And now I’m no longer living in Sydney I get to feel that buzz all over again when we visit. Nothing like being a tourist in your own city.

  73. Melissa B says:

    Gorgeous photos Beth. I live in Adelaide and I absolutely love heading to the Central Markets. It is full of fresh smells, tastes and a vibrancy which is inspiring, especially if you are having a cooking slump. Oh, and lots of characters too. Good people watching, if that is your thing. Thanks, Melissa

  74. hobnobbing says:

    Easy! I’m an ex-East Sydney resident, and every Saturday we come in from the ‘burbs for a weekly swim lesson at the Cook and Phillip Pool. It’s the perfect launching pad for a fun day – there’s always something on in Hyde Park – Sydney Festival Events, photography exhibitions, something totally random, the beautiful fountains, old and new. Follow up it up with yum cha at the Picadilly on Pitt St. Otherwise we visit the museum, head into the domain, visit the gallery of NSW, or walk into the botanical gardens. It’s the best part of town I tell you! And we always need to pop in to the cathedral to say hello to Mary and Jesus (no matter your religious views, the kids adore the theatre of it all.) Imagine the thrill if we could repeat this all in a few weeks and stay over at the Hilton afterwards!

  75. My favourite thing to do in my humble little city is visit new cafes and take in the surrounds, people watch and take photos over a good cup of coffee and a slice of cake. And of course my favourite cafe of all time is King St Cafe (which I have just heard has just closed down!).

  76. Anonymous says:

    I am almost ashamed to admit that I have never actually stayed in town (Melbourne)…slightly depressing actually. Now that I have young kids (3 and 6), the places we would probably visit would be either the zoo or aquarium and then the museum and the imax theatre. If I could time it right, we would also go to China Town at Chinese New Year to see the dragon parade. We went to the Moomba parade last year and the kids went nuts for the Chinese dragon. If I could somehow bribe the grandparents to take the kids for two days, I would love to explore the city laneways with my husband (also something I have never really done).
    Christy ([email protected])

  77. I love an event in the city, it does not need to be huge or fancy. Just a gathering. Something that has a few different aspects to it – to appeal to more than one family member. It breaks the hum drum rhythm of daily life. Oh and Cocktails. The fancier the better. Opera Bar, Zeta Bar (that sounds like I am sucking up!) and bar (well not that pool bar at Ivy – not appealing!)

    Gorgeous photos by the way. Hope you are enjoying living my dream life in the country!

  78. I love parking at Kirribilli, looking at all the stunning houses / terraces then legging it over the harbour bridge, a walk down thru the back alley ways of The Rocks, walking along Circular Quay checking out the buskers, around into the Botanic Gardens all the way to Woolloomooloo then having a nice long lunch to consume the calories i have just burnt at one of the retaurants on the finger wharf (hope to catch a glimpse of Rusty !.. Am also a bit partial to the amazing shopping in the city, Pitt St Mall, Paddington (love the markets too) or even Glebe markets (get caught up in the atmostphere and come home with tiedyed slips you will never wear !).

  79. I live in the national capital. The thing I love about this city is the lake. Before I moved here, I used to whizz past it on the way to cultural institutions, but now I know its true beauty. It is canberra’s secret with lovely gardens, parks, walking paths and breath taking views. A perfect escape in any of the four seasons we enjoy here!

  80. Anonymous says:

    We have been in Sydney for two years now and one of our favourite things to do as a family is to visit the north sydney pools. The location is fantastic. the kids can enjoy a swim with the backdrop of the harbour, luna park, the bridge and the Opera house! AMAZING!
    Sarah R.

  81. Gold Coast is my own city, so where does one begin! The day would start at Burleigh Beach for a swim or walk, followed by a soy latte at my fav coffee house, Canteen Coffee in James St (which by the way came 4th Australia wide as one of the top coffee houses. Relaxing by the pool for the rest of the day. Then get dolled up and head into Broadbeach for dinner and perhaps some dancing. And yes I am a Mum but I’m being totes selfish and making it a weekend for the Hubster and I!!

  82. Walking around the Rocks and Circular Quay!

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