‘A’ is for…

I’m guilty of grumbling and complaining about not being able to go away these school holidays that have been grey, cold and dreary.  And while Archie has still had to go to uni and while Arabella is studying for her HSC Trial exams, Alfie has been completely spare and I’ve had to find things for him to do.

We’ve been to the museum and that was P for Punishing because I couldn’t get him to move from exhibit to exhibit.  He was so intrigued by it all, he could have spent eight hours in there, but it’s just we didn’t arrive until a couple of hours before closing time and for my money, I wanted to see more than just one display.  What amazed me, (needing to confess to not having been to the museum for a very long time), is that back in my day you had to be deathly quiet and have your hands tied behind your back as touching wasn’t allowed so I always found it such a boring place.  But these days you can make noise and touch so many exhibits they’re almost worn out and the whole experience is so much more tactile and therefore a lot more fun.

Australian Museum

And we’ve been to see Brave which was B for Boring and despite going on Cheap Tuesday it cost $36.00 for our two tickets and then I buckled under pressure and bought him a small soft drink and a packet of Maltesers, ‘that’s what everyone gets at the movies, mum’, and that set me back another $11.00.  Thank goodness we held off on the popcorn.  Biggest expense for the smallest return so far these holidays.

We’ve been to Taronga Zoo and that was F for Freezing because I think we went on the coldest day this year.  And Alfie gets stuck on exhibits and can’t move on and he likes to read all the signs and then ask a thousand questions like, ‘Why can’t monkeys swim?’ and ‘Why is the black bear so much smaller than the brown bear?’ and ‘How come so many marsupials are nocturnal?’ and many similar questions that give me head-spins and have me wondering if it’s wine o’clock.  I just wanted to sprint along in an attempt to keep warm.

Taronga Zoo

We’ve been back to the movies to see Ice Age IV and that was B for Better than Brave but only marginally so.  And again we went on cheap Tuesday and I thought I was in for a bargain because it was in 2D but alas, Arabella wanted a study-break so she tagged along too and she wanted not only a drink and the maltesers but the large popcorn as well.  It’s so hard to come out in front.

And we’ve caught the ferry into the city and wandered around the Sydney Opera House and that was E for Excellent because it’s a privilege to be able to visit one of the world’s most famous and most beautiful landmarks and the added benefit is, wandering is free!

Sydney Opera House

And we’ve ridden our bikes down to a local beach where there is an excellent playground and that was C for Cheap because riding your bike hasn’t yet been taxed and there is only a solitary tiny shop down at the beach and pretty much the only thing we could buy was an ice cream.

Beach Playground

So that’s how we’ve killed the time and dear little Alfie has said he’s having a wonderful holiday.  Bless him.

If you’re having a holiday at home, how have you killed the time?

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  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Money just evaporates, doesn’t it?

    I go to the movies with my adult nephew when he’s in town, especially during the summers as I’m off from substitute teaching, and am AMAZED at the amount of money he ends up spending on the food. And, of course, here in Canada and the US they have these “combos” of hugely sized popcorn, pop (soda) and a candy bar for something like $16.99. I’m told repeatedly that it’s a better DEAL to buy the larger size for only a few dollars more as you get so much more compared to the small sized combos.

    By the time you come out, you’ve paid almost $30 per person. We normally go to the Saturday 1pm shows which are empty but still cost you $9.95 per adult ticket. I only buy the ticket and NO snacks and then we go to Red Lobster for late lunch where I blow all my money on seafood. 🙂

    I cook and read the food blogs in my free time especially with the heat outside.


    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Anne, I can’t comment on your blog for some reason. I write the comment, hit publish and it won’t do anything. I’ve been trying it for a few days. Have you thought about joining wordpress? I’d love it if you would convert! Oh, and I was going to email you but couldn’t find an email address on your site! xx

  2. Sprint2theTable says:

    You are so creative in your posts – always fun to read. 🙂

    The Sydney Opera house is on my bucket list. It’s such a beauty!!

  3. What a great holiday, Charlie. My Mom was always so generous with her time, taking us to really cool places too. Movies are really expensive here too, I will ‘sneak’ in food (like raw mushrooms or cauliflower) to help avoid the cost and calories!
    I’d love to see the Opera House, it’s so beautiful. I had no idea you had to take a ferry to see it. That sounds so romantic.
    From the beach photo, it doesn’t look like your winter is very cold, the youngsters are wearing shorts!
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Eva, there are many ways for us to get to the Opera House. We could walk over the Harbour Bridge, catch the train or take a bus but like you say, the ferry is the most enjoyable option as it’s always so wonderful to be out on the water especially on a beautiful day. And re that photo. I found it on google so it’s not my image and I would say it’s definitely been taken during the warmer months. I was back down there today and it was 20C and clear blue skies and no wind – just a perfect winter’s day. We are quite spoilt for weather in Sydney and carry on if it’s not perfect but really, we have nothing to complain about. xx

  4. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    I’m with Alfie. That sounds like a wonderful holiday. A museum, a zoo, and wandering sound perfect!

  5. Ok, movies are way too expensive in there!!! We don’t even pay 6€ for a ticket!!!!


  6. Sadly, we have just about stopped going to see movies in the theatre because they cost so much and audiences are not very polite. Mostly I’d rather see it on a smaller screen at home where everything is quiet. Getting old and crochety? Perhaps. Sounds like you’ve done some fun things on holiday, too though!

  7. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Aren’t the movies ridiculous now?! If you book online, which you have to to actually get a seat, it comes to about $50 for the two of us. $50!!!!

    They claim it’s because people are illegally downloading… maybe they woudln’t if movies weren’t so expensive.

    It sounds like Alfie is having a wonderful holiday though so that’s the main thing!

  8. Cucina49 says:

    This was so much fun to read! It sounds like it’s been a crazy and slightly expensive time, but it made for a great post!

  9. Jennifer Cullen says:

    Mostly, the kids just hang around the neighborhood playing basketball and then come inside when they really smell to play Xbox and leave their cups all over the den! We only live a few miles from the beach so occasionally, they get to go there. The one day we did an “activity”, we bowled and between the 3 of us, with shoes, lane fees and of course snacks, it cost $50.

    But I do love the lazy days of summer!

  10. You didn’t like Brave? I must admit, we thought it was a bit ordinary as well. The plot was everywhere! I can’t believe it cost you $36 in tickets though – we get ours through our health fund and pay $10.50 a head (kids are even cheaper) – although you have to top up if you watch 3D. Can’t help with the Maltesers and popcorn though.. 😉

    • hotlyspiced says:

      No, I didn’t like it. I couldn’t work out where it was going. And the part where they went from humble beginnings to royalty was lost on me. Did I miss something? You’ll have to tell me what health fund you’re in. I’m sure mine doesn’t give me discount movie tickets. And normally I stop by the supermarket and pre-buy my own movie snacks so I’m not gauged at the snack bar at the cinema but alas, I didn’t have time.

  11. tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    I love this post. Love that you’re spending good quality time with the kids. I wish my parents did that with me when I was on break! Instead, I was given house chores and duties to do before the parentals came home from work….

    • hotlyspiced says:

      That’s such a shame Tina. I’m so sorry you had to do chores during your school holiday instead of doing fun things. I guess both your parents had to work and needed the help xx

  12. When my kids were small and we had holidays at home, we would try and do things everyday too. And sometimes the best fun is free, like going to the beach or an afternoon at the bike trak or a train ride into the City and much of the time we would take a picnic lunch so little expense. But the movies have got expensive and its all the add ons that add up!

  13. Choc Chip Uru says:

    Movies (though I agree, way to expensive), the zoo, bikes and the city – how can you make Alfie’s holiday any better 😀
    Argh good luck to Arabella, I can’t believe I have to do this next year! But she is gonna ace 🙂


  14. GourmetGetaway says:

    We are on our way to the Museum too! We have also been to the movies to see “Ice Age 4” but thankfully we also went away for ten days and haven’t been stuck in the house for all the rainy weather Coffs has been having :0 Great story!

  15. Vanessa Carnegie says:

    After spending two years in Adelaide where my tiny local cinema had $8 movies – any movie, any session – I was somewhat resentful upon returning to Melbourne to discover that movies actually cost $18 in the modern world. So it’s DVDs for me now. You may as well buy the darned thing for the price!

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    The cost of movie theater tickets has gotten out of control. like you, I go to the cheap showings but still pay far too much, especially given the quality that’s being shown. I don’t know how families manage to do it.
    On the other hand, I would pay to see the Sydney Opera House. It is spectacular and offers wonderful views of Sydney and the Harbor!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Yes, the walk around the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Foreshore was so much better and so much better value for money than the movie tickets xx

  17. We’ve had a great busy summer too. And I think I’ll be waiting to see brave on tv now! Looks like tons of fun though. And Alfie sounds like a sweetheart!

  18. Oh I thought Brave was gorgeous, had a bit of a tear and a few laughs! We had a day out with our daughter, lunch, ten pin bowling, movie and then she wanted to waste more money on those stupid arcade games (which we didn’t allow) very expensive day out! Yesterday we had a home day, cooking, craft activities, board games, dvd much cheaper and so nice to stay at home!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I glad you liked Brave. I was probably underwhelmed by it because I was reeling from the ticket price.

  19. yummychunklet says:

    Looks like fun times, especially the bike-riding to the beach!

  20. summer for us is mostly staycation. we just moved to our new city here in St louis so hubs and I can’t even plan for a vacation yet… looks like fun fun times for you…

  21. Bless Alfie indeed – and no wonder he’s enjoying himself as it sounds like you have had a great range of activities for a boy of his age and curiousity. Less good for you who is paying for everything and has to suffer the curiousity in cold, but definitely good for him!

  22. Reem | Simply Reem says:

    I am sure Alfie is having a great time…
    Summers get little crazy and very expensive anywhere u go…LOL
    But then kids have their own way of enjoying…

  23. So eventful…!! You are I think the thing I enjoyed most about Brave was the accent hahaha… Just so fun to listen to. You sure know how to keep the kids entertained and busy ;p

  24. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    I know what you mean about the movies. We paid $24 a ticket to see one film. I refused to buy popcorn because that would have just been crazy expensive (I think $10 for a popcorn and drink).

  25. Cheers to any holiday!

  26. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    I am simply tired just reading of your adventures. No wonder Alfiie is having a wonderful holiday. I would too if my mom took me to all of these wonderful places. He sounds like a quite inquisitive boy, which is good, quite good.

  27. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    W for Wonderful! How great that Alfie is having such a great holiday! Darling boy.
    🙂 Mandy

  28. Unfortunately, I will never get time off ever again. But isn’t it CRAZY how expensive the movies are?? It makes me never want to go again.

  29. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    I hear ya at the cost of movies Charlie. Rarely do my wife and I venture out to the cinema here in the states and long ago I gave up burning my money to buy popcorn etc. I’m patient and can wait two months for the video release. 🙂

  30. Norma Chang says:

    I would love to wander around the Sydney Opera House, ssuch a unique design. Alfie is so fortunate to have you as a Mom spending quality time with him.

  31. Juliana says:

    Yes, going to movie is very costly…we are very selective as we find that TV series are pretty entertaining 🙂
    Well, kids are very simple to please…which is to our benefit 😉
    Enjoy the rest of your week Charlie!

  32. lisaiscooking says:

    You know, we never seem to visit the museums here but only ones in other cities when we’re on trips. We should visit our own! And, if the Sydeny Opera House were nearby, I’d happily kill some time wondering around it.

  33. Glamorous Glutton says:

    How great that visiting the opera house is free. I’m not surprised Alfie’s having a wonderful holiday, all that time with you and movies and maltesers too! GG

  34. I totally agree going to the movies now are so much more expensive and hahaha and with getting movies so easy at home now 🙂 I mean legally or illegally 😛 and you can also make popcorn at home for a fraction of the cost ~ But i do understand the novelty of going to the cinemas ~

    Sounds like a great holiday! I Wish my mother would have taken me all these places with me 🙂 I remember on school holidays I use to just play at home and we’ll occasionally go to the beach hehe

  35. One of my best friends has three children.. one who is considerably younger and she is just like you. I admire you both.. so patiently going to all of these exhibits and ensuring they have the best holidays ever. (All while keeping an eye on the older two!) I bet Alfie is having the best holiday ever! xx

  36. It does sound like a wonderful holiday to me. I enjoy the things you’re doing…I could spend a whole day in one exhibit, too, so my challenge is going from place to place with my daughter and the grandchildren. One of the girls is like me, and likes to move slowly through discussing every aspect, and then the other is like her mommy, my daughter, who wants to move more quickly and cover more ground. There are some wonderful child-friendly museums and botanical gardens–the gardens having excellent water features, and we try to go as often as we can! I love the architecture on your zoo, Charlie! Wow! And of course, the Opera House…how could I not envy that tour! 🙂 Debra

  37. My Inner Chick says:

    Dear Hot, you know how to have fun, don’t you?
    & I Love how you rated your activities…You get an “H” for …
    Hell of an interesting post. Xx

  38. justonecookbook says:

    You are such a great writer Charlie. I had fun reading! My kids want to go see Brave (We recently saw Madagascar 3 which was okay), but I’ll tell my husband to go with them then. I want to see Ice Age though, yeah sounds better than Brave. 🙂

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks so much Nami. When we were at the movies we saw a preview of Madagascar 3 and I’m thinking I’ll wait for that one to go to DVD. Brave would have to be the worst Pixar movie I have ever seen and I hope it’s not because the company’s been sold. Brave is okay but not brilliant and the plot is all over the place and the characters not endearing at all – totally the opposite of Toy Story III that had me shedding tears! xx

  39. You are such an F for Fantastic mother! My girls say that I am B for Boring (and sometimes something else, though I am sure they don’t know what they mean). Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures!

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