Act I Scene I
A young couple sit down to dinner & discuss a Winter trip to Sydney and the Southern Highlands. She pictures herself wearing fur, searching through endless antique stores and sampling Sydney's finest cuisine. He envisages a relaxing time away, drinking red wine, reading books & catching up with friends.
Then they decide to take Henry & Alice.
4 bags, a pram, a bed-rail, 2 beanies, a baby carrier, 3 winter coats and 2 kids loaded onto the plane.
2 bottles, a dinosaur, sophie the giraffe, 2 packs of BBQ rice snacks, 3 dummies, 1/2 a chocolate bounty, a book about trucks, 2 car seats, a mix up with the hire car and a 2 hour drive and they arrive in Bowral.
Henry hates the antique stores. Alice's reflux flairs up. Bowral experiences it's coldest week in 23 years. Henry's beanie doesn't fit. He wears Alice's pink one. It's hard to know if Alice is crying because of the reflux or because her head is cold. The couple eat pre-made risotto from Coles as the children need to go to sleep at 7pm. He goes to bed forgetting if he even tasted the red wine. The fur remains zipped up in her suitcase. Henry & Alice are in cahoots . . they wake up every 2 hrs. Tomorrow promises to be better.
The couple arrive in Double Bay. She unzips the fur . . .it seems to be uniform in these parts. He books in a family breakfast with friends. She puts Alice in the baby carrier & does Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills Shops & Sydney Antique Centre with an old friend. He packs Henry up & they go to the Aquarium. The couple discuss a night time sleeping strategy- she sleeps in Alice's room, he sleeps in Henry's room.
The next day they all go to Taronga Zoo & have a wonderful time. Henry makes the monkey noise the whole way around, and points to the animals. Alice is happy in the baby carrier. He has a great time chasing Henry throughout the iconic harbourside Zoo. Her back hurts a bit and she feels guilty wearing fur to the zoo. The Zebras make her think of home decor projects. The sleeping strategy works.
She visits Paper D'Amour, Adrienne and the Misses Bonney, No Chintz, Sambag, Market Import, Piggtt's Store and Parterre while he goes to the Dinosaur Museum with Henry. That night, they have takeaway sushi & tell stories from the day. Everyone sleeps soundly.
They have dinner with different friends two nights in a row and lunch in the park overlooking the bay. Henry chases the impeccably groomed poodles . . or whatsadoodles.
After a weeks holiday they pack up 4 bags, a pram, a bed-rail, 1 beannie, a baby carrier, 3 winter coats and 2 kids and load them onto the plane.
2 bottles, a lion, a wild pig, 1 blueberry muffin, 2 Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 1 dummie, a stuffed dolphin and a book about the Aquarium later and they happily arrive home.
Over Sunday night dinner they talk about the week that was. He realizes he wore the same outfit everyday and didn't even open his book. She talked about the french cheese & pate they shared with friends the night before and where she would hang her newly purchased 1920's original magazine cover. Alice's reflux subsides. She can't stop smiling.
Alice & Henry, now back in their own beds, wake every 3 hours obviously thinking about Sydney. She wishes she'd read more than 10 pages of Tizzie Hall's book but instead chose 'Good Bones, Great Pieces'. They decide holidays are great but they might try to stay closer to home next time!