We woke up with the sun shining brightly in Perth and we busied ourselves to get ready for our flight which was around the lunch time.

The note that Golden Candy Sparkles left us!

It was pretty amazing that when the kids got up, there was an amazing discovery!  Our very much loved, and missed, Elf on the Shelf Golden Candy Sparkles was there waiting for us in the kids playthings backpack ready to get on the plane with us!

We weren’t the only ones excited and happy to see her!

Apparently, she got to our house back home and discovered that we weren’t there, and that Ian, Nan, and Erin were living there.  They had the whole house decorated up, but there were no Trenholms around to be found!  So, our house guests told them where we were and she made a trek around the world to find us!  It was spectacular!  It was stupendous!  It was, frankly, miraculous!!!

The kids were overjoyed to see her, and at that point, Christmas in Australia officially started for the Travelling Trenholms!

We jumped in our Uber and got to the airport and headed off to Sydney!

Flight number 12!

We arrived in  the middle of the afternoon, and had to rush to get to our AirBnB since the host had to get to his regular job.  We were half an hour late due to logistics at the airport, but we got there none the less and checked into the really big condo…which was nice to have a bit of space to move around in.

Lulu spray painting some local graffiti to keep up with the trendy jet setting alternative lifestyle folks in the area we were living…

We hooked up with one of Deb’s really good friends from university, Libby, for dinner as she now lives in Australia and coincidentally was in town for a conference!

Chat Thai was super good, right downtown, and close to the train station.

We went out to a Thai restaurant that was absolutely delicious and we all (well, more me) ate more than I needed to, but it was soooooo good!

Happy Santa busking for dough…

The bonus of our condo was that there was a huge pool with the closest thing to a lap pool that we have seen to date, so we took full advantage of it.

The kids and I did some American Ninja Warrior style clambering on a bridge that separated the fun pool from the exercise pool, which was awesome, and could have kept us entertained for hours on end.

Of course we had to do some of the typical tourist things while in Sydney, which meant visiting the Sydney Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

We went to the Botanical Gardens, which were quite lovely, and they had a nice exhibit on carnivorous plants!  That was pretty cool…Venus flytraps, pot flowers…it was super cool.  Those pot flowers are so huge, they can actually trap a rat inside!

Venus flytraps! They actually caught a fly while we watched!

Lulu has really taken to photography…in the typical way that she does things…”Don’t teach me dad…let me figure it out for myself!”

While we were there, Deb found out that Cinderella, the ballet version, was taking place at the Opera House!  So, she grabbed some tickets for her and Lulu.  Girls night out!

This meant that the boys could have a night out, so I bought tickets for Wilson and I to see Fantastic Beasts at a local movie theatre.

Last time we were in Sydney, there was a Star Wars exhibit as they had just release Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.  We remembered it fondly, and the rest of the Powerhouse Museum, so we looked to see if there was anything going on at the museum this time around.

Ironically, a NEW Star Wars exhibit was there!!!  How cool was that!

Lulu’s droid friends.

Story board drawing for the classic one liner…

Wilson was grounded, so he didn’t get to come to the exhibit (and so neither did Deb, but she isn’t a huge Star Wars fan like the three of us are), so it was just Lulu and I that went to see the exhibit.

Jabba the Hut’s Remote Controlled Eye

Hans Solo frozen in carbonite…

When we arrived, there were actors in full Star Wars costumes to welcome us!  How cool was that!!

Awwww Chewie!

There were all kinds of costumes, props, drawings, and activities that made it really interesting and engaging.  At the end of the tour, you get to see who “you” are as a Star Wars character based on the results obtained through a series of activities you do throughout the displays.

We had a great visit and headed back for a swim in the pool.  The next cool thing that happened in Sydney was going to a concert here.  Not just any concert though!

I went out to get a loaf of bread at the bakery around the corner from our apartment, and saw a huge concert poster advertising that Bon Jovi was playing that night!

Holy Toledo!  Get out of town!  One of our favorite 80’s rock bands playing here?  No way!

We went online and got nosebleed seats as we didn’t want to see him up close and personal, we just wanted to hear the music live…. And off we went!

The concert was playing at the Olympic Stadium where the opening ceremonies to the 2000 Summer Olympics took place, which was super cool to see in the least.  The whole olympic village was really beautiful, and could only imagine how neat it would have been during the games.

We climbed up and up and up and up and up and up to our seats and found that there were other families with the same idea, while the hard core tight black ripped up jeans and 80’s rock t-shirt wearing people were down on floor in front of the stage.

It was a cool experience to say the least to see him live and we sung our lungs out to our favorite tunes.  However we left early as we needed to get home and get ready to leave for our flight the next morning for Tasmania.

We missed a couple of trains by mere seconds so it took us a long time to get home, but we eventually did and headed to bed to get some shut eye before flight number 11!

We had a reunion of the Craigholms in Facetime for a quick pre-Christmas chat and we were off to the airport!