Ten years we’ve been married. Ten years have B’s dirty white and orange Brooks sneakers been walking the streets of the world along with the brown Kathmandu backpack on my back. Ten years ago we had a joyous wedding ceremony and reception, then retreated to the sanctuary of this hotel.
Surely this is worthy of another celebration! A tenth anniversary return to Europe, another stay at this hotel, the Novotel Brighton Beach, in a room overlooking Botany Bay, the city and the airport.
Much has changed since this day ten years ago. No ceremony on Observatory Hill surrounded by friends and family, only the hurried cleaning of a house and completion of work projects. No stretched Rolls Royce limousine to drive us to the hotel, only a bus, then a train, then a packed bus again dropping us a few hundred metres away. And this time we have brought our almost-three-year-old son Alex with us.
The hotel too has changed. Gone the gelato shop at the bottom, the serene Balinese pool and waterfall, the waterslide and, sadly for us this time, the children’s playground. Brighton Le Sands seems more rundown, fewer seafood restaurants. In the end it was a choice between a seafood platter at Petar’s or one at the hotel restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. We chose the former and waited too long for the privilege of eating. Alex was half asleep by the time we walked the hundred metres back.
But there are still the magnificent views across Botany Bay, watching aircraft take off across the face of Sydney city or out over the water. What better way to put you into the mood to travel?
And so tomorrow we too step on an aircraft to begin our own voyage.