Hi Amazing Peeps,
Today we had a real adventure. I took two of the kids out for the day.
Munchkins number 3 and 4 had never been on a train. Well to be honest, none of the kids have been on any public transport except the oldest Munchkin, who flew to Sydney by herself last year, to spend her birthday with Dad. That was a trip to remember.
The kids have never been on public transport because Tasmania has no passenger trains AT ALL (only state in Australia that doesn’t) and we lived 2 hours away from the nearest city – buses don’t go out that far either. We drove everywhere.
So Today was a treat for me (I haven’t been on a train since I was 17) and them. They had their opal cards ready as we walked into the station and they proudly beeped them to say we were logging on for our trip.
The station in Cronulla was almost empty as we were waiting. We were catching the 11:05 train so the morning rush was well and truly over. They jumped up and down as they saw the train arrive and marveled on how big it was – that was funny!
As the doors opened we ran inside which was then quickly followed by a squeal “It’s a double-decker.” I asked upstairs or downstairs and of course they went up. Silly question Mum.
We sat down in a carriage all to ourselves as they squealed in delight. The doors then closed and we started to move.
It sped up and up and the munchkins thought that we were going 110 kph (68.3 mph). I think they would faint if they saw a bullet train.
We needed to get off at Miranda which was the 3 stop and it came to our stop sooner than they would have liked.
As we got off the train and they watched it pull away, I looked up at the time on the platform. It read 11:11:11 (hrs:min:sec). That was a great omen for me – all was good.
We were in Miranda to give them another first – a large shopping centre. We crossed the road and entered the Miranda Westfield.
You know we are tourist when as we enter the doors, we all look up at the displays hanging from the roof and say “WOOOOOW!” We went up the escalator and said it again. It was HUGE!
Note to all: Remember we are country mice who have not really seen anything past a 2 story, small shopping complex. I saw bigger ones years ago so are easily WOWed, HA HA HA.
We went to the nearest touch screen and found out it had 4 stories – 4! It was time to explore.
I let the munchkins choose the directions and we were off. They marveled at the shops, the lights and the size. We stopped to admire books or toys or pictures through the windows. We ran down this corridor and that one, looking at all the shops.
Then we started exploring the different floors. We went to the second floor then the 3rd, then back to the second and then more of the third. There was so much to see.
We had seen aeroplanes hanging from the roof in the book store (it was so good to see a book store again), they saw turning manicans in the windows, a hanging beanstalk from the roof and even got to watch 4 chefs cooking in a kitchen.
Munchkin number 3 has wanted to be a chef since I can remember. He loves food but loves to create in the kitchen. His cooking day is his favourite chore of the week.
So getting to watch chefs in action, was a dream for him. He stood with his face pressed against the glass, just watching. I’m sure he could have stood there for hours but there was more to see.
After having watched the chefs, they seemed to have developed an appetite. So we went in search of the food court to fill their bellies…….a little at least.
Once we discovered where it was hidden, the munchkins got to pick whatever they wanted. There was everything from sushi to fried rice to Mexican or Indian food. Then there was your typicals, McDonald’s and KFC. I didn’t push, they had free choice.
I was glad that they didn’t choose the typicals but tried something different. Munchkin no. 4 had a roast beef mini sub from Subway. She is the easy one. No. 3 has a hard time with choice. He wanted me to choose but the day was a day for them. He had to choose.
He knew he wanted a burger – step 1. But where from? There was about 3 different options and he doesn’t like that many choices. He went to go to McDonald’s but saw another burger place first and chose that one.
I sigh of relief escaped my lips. One because he hadn’t gone with the typicals and two, he had finally made a decision.
He got a meaty meat burger with 2 patties, 2 lots of bacon but surprisingly no cheese. He was super bummed about that but ate it so fast, I’m not sure he would have tasted it if it had.
I got 3 different sushi wraps. They were nice just 3 was too much. I was full after 2, so the other was packed away.
Then the munchkins wanted to find out what was on the 4th floor. So we found our escalators and up we went. It turns out it’s parking and we found out that it was pouring with rain. Regardless of that, we walked to the edge of the car park and looked over. We were only 4 stories up but they thought it was high. They were having a blast.
We ran along the rooftop in the rain to find a different entrance. We found rooftop restaurants and then an entrance. There were cinemas up there which the munchkins thought was the coolest thing.
We explored more but they were starting to peter off. It was time to slow down a little.
There was a playground on the 1st floor that they had a small go of earlier and they wanted to head back. I thought this was a great way to end things, so off we ran once more.
This playground is funny. It has a climbing rope gym that leads to a slide. The rules state that you have to be over 106 cm (3ft 5.7in) but shorter than 165 cm (5ft 4in) to climb it. I’m 158 cm (5ft 2in) so I could have gone on HA HA HA! I didn’t but it would have been fun.
While sitting there, laughing at their antics, I yawned and rubbed my face. It had been a long day of running about and it was stuffy. I was now tired.
A woman sitting there also watching her kids smiled, got up, came over and said “Hi. I was just sitting there and saw you looked a bit tired. Would you like a coffee?” Seriously! In a south Sydney suburb, in a shopping centre full of people and a playground that had at least 5 other parents there, this woman offers to buy me a coffee. I was shocked and grateful and so delighted for that to have happen.
I said no out of pure shock and we started to talk. She then offered again and I willingly accepted. I offered to pay for mine but she was adamant. I didn’t argue. It was wonderful and then we talked for another hour before she had to leave.
This just proves one more time that the universe provides miracles all the time. I believe nothing is by accident and this was a time where I was feeling the Love. This woman, who comes to the shopping centre daily, always comes in the morning when it’s quiet. It was now 1:30 in the afternoon and she had only just arrived. She didn’t know how she got caught up but it made her arrive late, just before we arrived for a play before leaving. The timing was perfect and it was a great meeting.
We talked and laughed for ages. She was just as quirky as me and her story was fascinating. She loved ours too. The thing is she says she never does stuff like offer strangers coffee, she just felt moved too. I was moved that she did. The only downfall – I am laying here, writing this and it is 1:23am because that coffee wont let me sleep…..yet. I do hope it wears off soon or I’m going to need to eat something – I’m getting hungry.
Just as she left, I met a single, stay-at-home dad of a gorgeous 4-year-old girl. Boy she had spunk! Such life and love and no fear. It was beautiful.
He was talking about how hard it is to raise a child on his own, then we got talking about our story. He perked right up and asked so many questions. He questioned himself then asked more. I don’t know how our story affected him but after we left, I felt that I needed to meet him, that he needed to hear it.
Maybe it adds a new chapter for him and his daughter. I hope it does.
Then it was off to grab some groceries for dinner and back to the train. The kids were tired but still looking forward to the train ride back. It was just after 3pm and there were a few high-school kids arriving.
Our train came, the munchkins picked upstairs again and we were off. There were a few more people on the train but not too many. 3 stops later and we were off again. It looked like we just beat the school rush as there were now hundreds of kids piling into the train. I was glad to be back.
The rain had stopped too which was perfect.
The kids booped their cards to log off after logging on at Miranda and we walked down go the beach at await the dingy.
We had just enough time to remove our shoes and roll up our pants before Hubby arrived with a massive grin and a hug.
We were glad to be back and all very tired.
It was a great adventure. Now for a snack and the coffee to wear off.
Good night all.
Beccie is a Best Selling Author, a World Travelling Sailor, an Awesome Wife and the Best Mum to the 10 most Amazing Children on the Planet, a Millionaire, a Polyglot and an Oracle