Girl Next Door and I have decided to conquer as many different modes of transport these school holidays as we possibly can. So far: bicycles and ferries.
GND always complains that whenever she is with me, she ends up running. In my defence, I just don't see the point in wasting time. I like to run for traffic lights, trains, etc in order to make optimum use of my time. GND does not share this world view.
Anyway, since both moving to suburbs on the local ferry route, it has been a dream of ours to take the ferry into the city. On Monday, we decided 'today is the today' to realise this dream. Our first thought was to cycle to the ferry wharf, thus utilising two favourite modes of transport in one outing. Decided against cycling when we realised we were not 100% confident we knew where the local ferry terminal was. Cue a trip in Marion, the car, with me hurriedly trying to find the wharf location on my iphone.
Unless you wish to pay for parking at the ferry wharf (we did not wish to do this), you need to park a fair way away. Enter the first running opportunity for the day. With most of our lower half aching from the previous day's bike ride (including parts of our body we were not previously aware could be affected by bike-riding) the run turned into a kind of half-run, half-hobble. GND had mad spurts of running, followed by a determined "I'm walking!" slow-down, causing me to modify my speed accordingly, only for GND to decide she really ought to be running.
GND and I share a common excitement in new, local experiences. The ferry did not disappoint. The novelty of travelling on water was not lost on us. We read all the signs in the ferry, noting we could bring out bikes on, should we feel the need. We gleefully bought tickets from the roaming ticket instructor. We speculated on the prices and owners of the waterside properties. We predicted where the next stop would be, and where else we could take the ferry on one of our next, many outings. (Balmain? Yes, Balmain. Oh no, we would need to change at Birchgrove. Birchgrove. What a nice name.)
Arriving at our destination was somewhat of a disappointment, because it meant getting off the ferry.
Sometimes I am not sure why GND and I go into the city. It is crowded, and we don't really like crowds. We did however, do relatively well. I got samples of lovely skincare and GND bought a year's supply of comfortable, practical underwear. She is, obviously, a Sensible Girl too.
The next highlight of the day was the discovery of a new food court selling macaroons. GND has recently been diagnosed as needing to be gluten-free, and so we needed to make sure the coveted macaroons were suitable.
GND: "Do the macaroons contain flour?"
Salesgirl: "I don't know....but I do know they are gluten-free."
(non-specific excited noise from both of us)
Strawberry shortcake macaroon and a raspberry yoghurt macaroon carefully purchased and equally carefully placed in my bag, to be consumed later. Macaroons seemed so special, it was decided unequivocably that they should be consumed in an appropriately special location. The ferry home seemed a good choice.
Imagine our disappointment when we checked the ferry timetable and couldn't find a suitable time. Train it was. As we entered the train, I let GND go ahead and choose our seats. She chose an odd, one-and-a-half-sized seat, meant for luggage or one very fat person. I looked around the train carriage: there were plenty of seats available, yet GND had chosen this one and was giggling like crazy as we squeezed ourselves, our year's supply of sensible underwear, our skincare samples, our macaroons and our books and bags into the ridiculous seat.
It was no surprise, therefore, that the special macaroons were rather squashed by the time we found a special location (the kitchen, standing at the bench) to consume them.
An excellent day.