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Old 13 Jun 19, 04:21 PM  
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Join Date: Sep 13
Location: Co Galway, Ireland
Singapore & Australia, July/Aug 2019

I was last in Australia over 25 years ago and cannot quite believe that in 3 weeks time my journey back there begins. The big difference is this time I have my 3 daughters with me (aged 17, 15 and 11) and also my 85 year old Mum who was born in Adelaide. The trip is going to be very emotional for Mum as it is likely to be the last time she will see her sisters and the place where she grew up. DH isn’t come with us as he can’t get the time off work but also he finds the journey to Florida tortuous so there is no way he was going to sit on a plane to the other side of the world!

So how did this trip come about? Well firstly my cousin and her partner from Australia visited us as part of a European tour a couple of years ago. I’d forgotten how nice she was and we spent 3 lovely days together. Then last year my brother and his family were being dicks and it was affecting Mum quite badly. My sister and I tried to help as much as we could (dad died over 35 years ago) but she seemed to go into a bit of a depression so I suggested she make a trip home to see her sisters. I then impulsively suggested that we go with her! She was delighted with the idea. My eldest daughter will be going off to University next year so won’t want to be holidaying with us for much longer. Actually we just about managed to get her to come on this trip but more on that later.

So we begin our trip on 5th July with a short flight from Shannon to Heathrow. This is quite simply because the flights were far cheaper flying with Singapore Airlines Heathrow to Adelaide than any other airline flying from Dublin to Adelaide. It also gives us an excuse to catch up with my sister who lives minutes away from Heathrow.

So after 2 nights in London the real adventure begins. We leave for 4 nights in Singapore, staying at the Swissotel The Stamford. Hopefully the jet lag won’t be too bad and we hope to visit Gardens by the Bay, Bugis Street, Chinatown, Universal Studios and Adventure Cove Waterpark. We are planning on eating in hawker centres especially Lau Pa Sat. This went to the top of the list, as well as Marina Bay Sands, last weekend when the girls watched Crazy Rich Asians on Sky! I should mention that Mum is flying straight to Adelaide and not stopping with us in Singapore. She hates the heat and just wants to spend the time catching up with her sisters and their families.

After 4 nights in Singapore we then have a late night flight from Changi to Adelaide giving us plenty of opportunity to explore the Jewel @ Changi Airport which all looks rather posh and expensive!

Then its onto Adelaide. We have 6 nights here and this is all about family. I am so looking forward to seeing my lovely aunties, uncles and cousins again and I’m so excited that my children are also meeting them. This family time for me will be the highlight of the holiday but we are also planning on going to Gorge Wildlife Park to cuddle a koala, McLaren Vale where one of my cousins lives, Victor Harbour where my Mum spent many a happy childhood holiday and Barossa Valley for a little wine tasting. The Book of Mormon is also on in the Adelaide Festival Theatre so I’m taking the 2 older girls to see it (I saw it for the first time last year at the Boston Opera House and loved it).

The girls and I then fly with Virgin Australia from Adelaide to Brisbane. We have 3 nights in an apartment in Felix Street in Brisbane CBD. We have a lot to fit in here as I have two separate lots of friends whom I’m hoping to catch up with that emigrated to Brisbane years ago. As well as that Dream World & White Water World are on the agenda.

We then drive down to Broadbeach where we are staying in an apartment on Surf Parade for 6 nights. Again we have a lot to squeeze in with Movie World, Sea World, Wet N Wild and also a visit to Byron Bay for a surf lesson for the girls! We realise the weather might not be great but living in the West of Ireland we’re very used to bad weather. In fact today, even though it is winter in Australia, it is warmer than summer here in Ireland.

After Broadbeach we then drive back to Brisbane for our second Virgin Australia flight, this time to Sydney. We are staying at the Meriton Suites in Pitt Street and plan on visiting all the usual tourist attractions via ferry, train and bus. This is the only place (apart from Singapore) where we haven’t hired a car. We need to fit the iconic sights into our first full day as the following day my eldest daughter flies home by herself. She is a typical teenager and when I realized she didn’t seem as enthusiastic about the trip as her sisters it turned out that she wasn’t keen on being away from her friends for 5 weeks. So we compromised and she flies home from Sydney to Dublin via Doha with Qatar Airways. I have to say I’m slightly nervous about this but she turns 18 less than two weeks later so I’m sure she will be fine.

On a different note, I absolutely love the theatre but its not easy to get to shows living in rural Ireland. Last week I discovered by complete accident that Muriel’s Wedding The Musical is on at the Sydney Lyric Theatre so I just had to get a ticket.

After 6 nights in Sydney we fly back to Adelaide on Qantas to rejoin my Mum and extended family for a further week. Again this is family time but I’m sure we’ll manage day trips away to the likes of Hahndorf, Glenelg and another cheeky wine-tasting trip to the Barossa Valley.

So that’s it. We then face the gruelling trip home. No stopovers planned, instead flying Adelaide to Singapore, 6 hours layover in Changi then onto Heathrow for a couple of hours before our Aer Lingus flight back to Shannon.

Reading this leaves me exhausted. My feet will hardly have time to hit the ground before my daughter’s 18th birthday the day after we land. Never mind, you only live once!
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Old 13 Jun 19, 08:52 PM  
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Wow sounds like a fabulous trip for you all and how exciting for your Mum to do this at such a good age
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Old 14 Jun 19, 05:39 AM  
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What a great trip you have planned! Have fun!

Index of my trip reports
2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City - Hong Kong
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Old 14 Jun 19, 06:40 AM  
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Sounds like a packed trip but I’m sure it will be fantastic!
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Old 14 Jun 19, 07:08 AM  
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What an amazing trip. It will be such a special visit for you and your mum. I will look forward to reading as we would love to visit Australia one day. Not sure if I could cope with the flight though !
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Old 14 Jun 19, 10:43 AM  
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Looking forward to your report, we have 4 nights in Singapore later this year so especially interested in what you get up to there!
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