When the allconsuming tribe leaves the house we make it worthwhile

The Berry's Excellent Adventure
So which one has special needs?

On Sunday the allconsuming clan, Team Berry, had a big adventure involving multiple public tranpsort options (hello Sunday $2.50 bus, train, ferry ticket!), steam trains AND yum cha. Team Berry doesn’t leave the house as a unit for many activities other than sport because well, it’s hard and I’m tired so when we do it is a very.big.deal.


By the time we got from our place to Sydney Central we’d had multiple changes in bus seating (Grover: it smells like vomit back there. Me: welcome to public transport) and avoided treading in a pile of human excrement in the Central Station tunnel. Good times!

We were meeting Chef’s parents for a steam train ride as part of the Sydney Great Train Expo.¬†As the mother to four boys I long ago accepted such things as steam trains would be a part of my life as much as lego, cars and Star Wars. Gender stereotyping? All the fucking way. It was actually great fun with lots of different trains open for you to wander through and plenty of train enthusiasts to look at and internally ridicule.

The Berry's Excellent Adventure - steam engine
My boys keep their emotions in check whatever they're doing
The Berry's Excellent Adventure - something something steam
Time for a Polar Express reference perhaps
The Berry's Excellent Adventure - Jasper
Soot protection, fashion forward
The Berry's Excellent Adventure - Felix and Grover
Like these two aren't related

After choofing out to Homebush and back while consuming the elventy gagillion snacks we (and Nana) had packed all the while tootling on the wooden whistles I bought them (what? I got caught up in the moment. They’ve since been torched.) much to the sheer joy and delight of all the passengers it was phase three of Team Berry’s Excellent Adventure.

The Berry's Excellent Adventure - more train

We don’t have trains on the Northern Beaches so CityRail is quite a mind trip for my children. I know. It’s amazing we have running water and electricity.

The weather was also pretty average so I believe we deserve extra points for that aspect of the day. Phase four, THE FERRY!

The Berry's Excellent Adventure - ferry
Wet but not rough. Let's be grateful.

I love the ferry. Never tire of the ferry. It is as synonymous with Sydney as the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Manly, Bondi, drive-by shootings in Merrylands and traffic chaos on the M5.

And then, the piece de resistance:

The Berry's Excellent Adventure - yum cha

YUM CHA. Seriously. Yum Cha is this family’s go to happy place. Something for everyone, fast, tasty, noise tolerant. It ticks so many boxes.

I can’t remember if it was Felix or Jasper, I’m thinking the latter, who said to me quietly as we were making our way to the bus stop to come home, ‘this is one of the best days of my whole life.’



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  • Thanks to the Sydney Writer’s Centre and my new creative expression as a blogger (erm, obsession?) I have just started following your blog. My family was asking me what I was cackling about as I was resding this. I just said it was some poor woman going out for the day with her 4 sons. hahaha! It could have been so awful, but it wasn’t. well done!

    • Well hello and welcome to the crew! And yes, no one got hurt, lost or trod in the poo. WINNING!

  • Mary J

    How did I not know about the Sydney Great Train Expo?? That sounds right down our alley!! I have to say though that little girls can be just as excited about trains as little boys – we have one of each! We had our own steam fun on the weekend – a trip up to Valley Heights for a ride on the steam tram, and a look at some engines!
    Yay to a fun day out – sounds like you had a great one!

    • I hadn’t heard a word about it either – my MIL saw it mentioned in a ‘what’s on’ column in the paper.

  • Megan

    Well, that is an EPIC day. I am one of four kids and we hardly went anywhere together either unless it was school, supermarket or sport. Hats off to you all for really squeezing the most out of those tickets. The bus is the worst isn’t it, but getting off the beaches is so good for everyone once in a while. It really does look like one of the best days ever. Well blogged!

    • It was epic. The boys were fabulous. We had fun AS A FAMILY. Unheard of quite frankly.

  • You ought to remind yourself that no one was in a stroller (pram) or needed to do a poo at an inconvenient moment. You ought.
    Remember those days?
    Nearly all of my boys can have a beer when we reach the destination nowadays.
    THAT, my friend, is a very great thing!
    blackbird recently posted..so, I’m sitting here

    • OH YES.
      I did think – several times – during the day and most definitely when we walked home from the bus stop at the end of the day with NO ONE whinging that we were on a whole new playing field.
      No pram.
      No missed naps.
      No tantrums.
      No kids tearing off ahead of you without the capacity to turn around and run right back.

      It really is quite lovely.

      I’m thinking a trip to the museum may be next.

      And is it bad I am hanging for the day Felix has his licence so he can pick me up from places if I’ve had one too many vinos?

  • Oh man, my melting heart. One of the best days in his whole life? Motherhood WIN!

    But now you’re in trouble. Yum cha, trains, AND a ferry? All on one day? How the hell are you going to top that? Disneyland, here come the Berrys!
    The Accidental Housewife recently posted..Uninterruptable

    • No dude, you just do it infrequently enough they forget and love you for it all over again.

      Disneyland is on my never ever ever list.

  • It sounds FABULOUS. Even though I would have puked on the ferry. And maybe also the bus.
    Kathy recently posted..‘Twas brillig

  • Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist

    Glad I finally got here. What a great day out. How fantastic are those boys of yours! Loved how it “can” happen for the wonderful sum of $2.50 door to door. Oh, you are seriously behind the times on the Northern Beaches..even us Hills-ites have trains. NO, Wait. Barry OF said maybe shmaybe something like a train but doesn’t go Toot Toot
    D x

  • What an excellent adventure. You have 4 boys!!! I knew there were a few but I was losing track. They are all so very cute. I have 3 girls, but one is still at the stage of eating a corner of a dumpling before bolting to the fish tanks to bang on the glass and then climbing over ferry rails for a swim in the harbour. I look forward to the day I can wrangle a kids day out without the fear of death (and also to being picked up by my kids from a night out).
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted..Helping your kids handle social pressure

    • It has arrived without me really realising it. And it truly is lovely. I thought it would NEVER happen.