Well, if you have read my day three notes about our day four plans, it involved sitting poolside with Nathan while we leisurely waltzed through Sydney’s finer establishments on a carefree Wednesday.
That didn’t happen….
I was poolside with Nathan and Hannah, watching Nathan do his best underwater karate/ninja impersonation when the hotel manager came to the pool. I had thirty different ideas why he was out there… “you are too loud…one of your daughters is tapdancing on the flagpole…” but DIDN’T expect “a tour company has called and was concerned that you missed your shuttle”.
I looked at my phone, 7:30. Bus leaves at 8:00. Nathan is in the pool and Hannah is in la-la land. DeAnn was just getting ready to have a bowl of cereal and Emily was in that land that most 17 year olds find themselves…comatose. There was no possible way we were going to get to the place in time to catch the bus. Hell, the “bus” wasn’t supposed to be there until Thursday. What the hell were these people talking about?
I thanked the hotel manager and went upstairs to see what we could do. There was no way we were going to get the entire clan out the door (let alone out of the pool) and to the bus in less than thirty minutes. When I got into the room I saw DeAnn literally throwing things into our backpack and Emily awake, dressed, and ready to go. DeAnn gave me that look of “you better get your crap together now” and I rushed back down to collect Nathan and Hannah to get them out the door.
Back up the elevator with a soggy kid and a grumpy teenager who was pining for her boyfriend; we get into the room, get Nathan dried and changed and out the door we went. 7:38. No way we are going to make it…
A minute later we’re in the lobby and the manager had called and told the tour company we were on our way. Dashing with the kids out the door, our hotel finds a taxi that will “grudgingly” take us to where we want to go. Star City, on the other side of Darling Harbour. Normally a seven minute ride on if there’s no traffic, people, etc. But we’re heading down in rush hour…not going to happen.
Aussies love us Americans. We tip for everything, it’s like a load of free money fairies descend every morning from the airport and dump cash wherever we go. I am no exception to the rule. I tell the driver our story and said I tip very well if we get there in time. He tells me he’ll do his best and high tails it down Pitt Street.
7:43, we’re in the bus terminal at Star City. I give the driver a $20 for the $9 cab ride and we blaze into the terminal.
And there’s no bus. No one. Not even a person from AAT Kings to console us and try to upgrade us a package of scuba diving and parasailing/kickboxing. No bus, no trip, grumpy family. Yeah, can I rewind at this point where I was blissfully unaware at pool side only fifteen minutes earlier? A frantic phone call to AAT Kings, and then to our hotel to make sure the manager told AAT we were coming and in the distance a bus pulls up smothered in adverts about “Australia, the Movie” with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman almost sucking face. And yes, that’s our bus…7:51. We went from poolside to frantic packing and taxi rides to seeing Hugh gets it on with Nicole. Not sure if this was a good thing at this point…
More about Day Four later. Sandboarding, Dolphins, and a whole slew of other crap that I’ll get into after I’m done getting ready for Day Five.