Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thirteen meals


We just spent four days away. I had a lovely time but my eating definitely wasn't on plan.

The drive to Sydney takes a bit over three hours, not including stops, and we went Friday afternoon/evening; stopping at McDonald's on the way. The next morning we had bacon and eggs at my mum's. Well, sort of. My mum is a terrible cook, probably mainly because she has sinus problems and no sense of smell. She also always underestimates how much people will eat. The scrambled eggs were burnt well beyond the point that even my polite husband could stomach, so we had a morsel of bacon each and some toast. The only available topping for the toast was vegemite.

Anyway; that behind us, Tim & I left the kids with mum and set off for our day out. It was our ten year wedding anniversary and we had a full day planned. After Tim was forced to choose between wife number 1 (me) and Karen (the GPS), we ended up taking a bit of a detour over Sydney Harbour Bridge but eventually made it to our hotel. We left the car there and went to Darling Harbour, a touristy area with the acquarium and Chinese Gardens and lots of shops and restaurants. We decided to visit the Madame Toussaude's waxworks (I didn't even know we had one in Australia) which turned out to be great. The models were much more realistic than I expected and most of them looked startlingly like the people they were copied from. We decided there were at least two teams of artists as some -- while looking realistically human -- didn't look much like the people they were supposed to be. I sat on the couch with Oprah and cuddled Johnny Depp and wore a crown next to Queen Elizabeth. Then we went to a lovely waterside restaurant to have lunch. The garlic bread was amongst the best I have ever had, then I had the duck and wild mushroom gnocchi which was delicious but too filling to eat more than half, and a glass of the nicest wine I have had for ages. For dessert we wandered along to the Lindt chocolate shop where we had a macaroon each and bought some Lindor balls for later, flavours you don't see in the supermarket. I had seen macaroons on MasterChef but never tried one, we agreed they were ok but nothing amazing. Sort of gooey cookies.

It was time for the matinee so we went to the Sydney Opera House -- those iconic sails on the harbour -- for a performance of Macbeth. It wouldn't have been our first choice for an anniversary outing, a big production muscial or a dance show would have been more fun, but we both like Shakespeare and it turned out to be very good. We had some of the Lindor balls at interval then a cup of tea afterwards before heading back to the hotel.

Present time! I gave Tim ballroom dancing lessons every Sunday afternoon. He often says he wants to do something together and we have enjoyed dancing in the past but kids interrupted all that sort of thing. The kids are old enough now to sit at the side with their Nintendo DSs. He gave me an iPhone! Yay! It was really difficult not to take it down to dinner.

The receptionist talked me into dining at the hotel and gave us a 20% off voucher, although Tim remained dubious. It is the first time I have been given an iPad by the waiter and told to order my own meal! Tim's reservations turned out to be well deserved, they served us the wrong meal (and it wasn't us, we ordered correctly, the waiter checked) and then Tim had to chase down the side salad we had ordered. We insisted on getting the correct meal so we had another long wait, they gave us a free glass of wine each but it wasn't very nice. All this meant that we had little time to freshen up before our next event, which was the Aurealis Awards.

I was one of the judges for the Fantasy Novel category. The dress varied from formal to fairly casual (I dressed up) and at my suggestion Tim wore his pirate costume. He was the only person in costume so got quite a lot of attention which was great. There was even some kind of documentory about speculative fiction in Australia being filmed so he could appear in the background of that! We skipped the after-show party and went back to our room.

Sunday was Mothers' Day. We had the hotel buffet breakfast which was really lovely. The day before I had only eaten a portion of my meals, I think my stomach was used to a bit less food, but I was able to eat quite a lot of breakfast. But I stopped before I got uncomfortable. We drove back to my mum's to rescue her from taking care of the children, and took her out to lunch. Another restaurant. It was ok, and I ate about half my meal. Still full from breakfast. We hung around mum's house -- I explored my iPhone -- then went to my grandad's house for the big family Mothers' Day/Poppa's birthday dinner. With cake. Slept at mum's again, on the horrible narrow hard futon sofa-bed.

Monday morning we headed off to Cronulla, a southern suburb of Sydney, to a hotel on the beach. The kids played on the sand, and even a bit in the edges of the water as it was a warm morning although it got cold in the afternoon and we spent some time at the park and in the hotel room watching TV. Crepes for lunch, Thai for dinner. No exercise for me other than a bit of walking around. While the others were on the beach I sat on the rocks. Although I love the concept of the beach, I have realised that in actual fact I hate sand, cold water, big waves, sharks, seaweed, jellyfish, and sunburn. So my ideal beach holiday is to sit in the warm shade with a view of the ocean, with a cocktail and a book.

Tuesday morning we met my brother-in-law and his wife for breakfast at a cafe. Bacon, eggs, and some of Jasmine's pancake with cream and maple syrup. My stomach had now expanded to be able to fit lots in. A play in the park, then it was the reason we had stayed in Sydney the extra couple of days; Tim's grandmother's funeral. Apart from the slight worry that my children were very bored over the hour and a half (although they were, as always, angelic), it was a lovely event. Tim made a speech and his brother and cousins sang. All of his side of the family was there.

We hadn't had lunch after our late big breakfast but there was an afternoon tea after the ceremony that was plentiful and varied enough to count as a meal. Chatting with family and an old friend, there with her new baby, was one of many highlights of the trip.

Finally the drive home, with McDonald's again on the way.

The only ones of those thirteen meals that weren't too big and/or plain unhealthy were probably the two breakfasts at my mum's. And no exercise. I left here last Friday feeling rather happy with my appearance, got back Tuesday night feeling bloated and flabby, with a bucket full of good resolutions that fell at the first hurdle today.

I weighed myself at home this morning, 76.8 kg, up about half a kg over the four days and more than a kg since my last WW weigh-in. I walked the kids to school, then came home to find the power off. Only after some confusion did I remember that letter we got saying the power would be off all day for the second time in two weeks. No Kinect exercises. No kettle for tea. No computer work or games. No way to prepare myself a healthy lunch from the very few ingredients left in the house. No HEAT. It is well below freezing at night now and pretty cold during the day. I went to a cafe but the tea was horrible and the baby at the next table smelled of vomit. I did the grocery shopping -- lots of fresh fruit and vegetables -- and came home to huddle under a blanket and read The Hunger Games -- which I enjoyed very much.

My food today was ok until I got to the three Lindor balls this evening. And no exercise again. Luckily tomorrow is another day.

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