Our recent media trip to the Newcastle Legendary Pacific Pro Surfest allowed us to take Kalyra with us. We were really excited about this as all of our hard work travel blogging comes from our desire to travel more as a family.
We had a brilliant time together, but when it came time to do the work during the contest it was a little bit of a struggle.
Australia is not the best place to be a travel mommy blogger. The Internet and telecommunication service is embarrassingly appalling, almost on par with developing nations such as Vietnam and Africa. For our infrastructure and wealth this is totally unacceptable, especially when they don’t mind charging you first world prices.
Part of our responsibility for the day was to send out regular tweets and facebook status updates of the surfing event. I love to do my job properly and there is nothing more frustrating then to not be able to do it because of inefficiencies out of your control. During the first couple of hours I managed to send three tweets out, each tweet taking about 2o mins for me to finally find the spot, to get the right amount of service bars to send it through.
We moved up to the viewing deck of the surf club, for better views, and for what we hoped would be better phone service. Kalyra was awake now and ready to play. A toasted cheese sandwich kept her entertained for awhile as did the real surfer girl action in the ocean. But once the novelty wore off she was determined to wreak havoc on the veranda.
Of course we were in the corporate section, so the people milling around were here for some good food and wine and a lovely relaxing day watching some surfing at gorgeous beach location. They didn’t expect to have a balloon yielding, beach ball bouncing 3 year old running around between their feet.
“Kalyra, Mummy and Daddy are here for work. We were allowed to bring you with us, but we really need you to sit still while we just watch the rest of the surfing.”
“I’ll just catch the balloon right here. Just softly. I won’t throw it.”
“Sweetie, you have to throw it to catch it. Please sit down.”
It is really hard to be firm with your daughter when you are in between several tasks. Craig had spent the last 10 minutes wandering around the surf club room trying to find a pocket of space that would give him bar service, frustrated and ready to kill Optus he moved downstairs to try one more time and get the damn update through.
This left me upstairs to tweet, watch the surf action and chase Kalyra around to stop her from poking someone in the eye with the stick on the end of the balloon. When my attention turned to the wave that was finally caught by a surfer, she quickly put down the balloon and picked up her new beach ball to bounce around the deck. This was right at the moment where I was simultaneously taking a photo while holding up my phone in the perfect service spot to send a tweet. I now had to drop the camera and the phone to chase after the ball that was bouncing around the feet of the Burton Toyota major sponsor toffs.
And of course I then did that which I swore when I became a parent I’d never do.
“Honey, if you can sit still on the chair for five minutes and watch the surfer girls, Mummy will bring you a treat.”
The eyes lit up “Okay Mummy, I’m sitting still for five minutes okay.”
I knew I didn’t have to do much to track down the chocolate cake as I had already spied the waitress walking around with the tempting slices 5 minutes ago and had this planned as my back up.
True to her word, Kalyra stayed still for five minutes while she relished the cake and I tried to unsuccessfully send out the latest tweet update. Thankfully, the action at a surfing contest is few and far between. Surfers spend most of the time hanging out the back waiting for the perfect wave to roll through, so I wasn’t missing any snatches, lip rides, or tube runs.
After the cake came the orange juice which bought me another five minutes, except now I had to juggle the glass cup she was drinkng it from. The last thing I needed was shattered glass.
My blood pressure began to rise and I questioned my sanity. What was I thinking, bring Kalyra to my work event. I don’t think I’ll be able to next time. It’s not her fault she’s only three and doesn’t understand.
Daddy returned unsuccessfully to do his update, Kalyra got hold of the balloon and with her attempts to only catch it, it landed right on top of the very expensive TV camera and almost in the frame.
“Okay, let’s go inside for 5 minutes and have something to eat.”
Calm restored for the remainder of the surf event, and we watched it from our table on the TV screen. It was soon over and we raced downstairs with our pram and two bulky bags of “stuff” to see the presentation.
Kalyra had her photo with the real surfer girl champion, which made the whole travel mommy blogging challenge of the day worthwhile. I decided that next time, I would try to make sure Kalyra could come and just do my best to work around the challenges like this . After all, this is what I signed up for.