Saturday, July 11, 2015

Snakes, rats, and crocs - oh my!

My kids have been visiting, so I haven't been online much.
I'll probably post about what we've been up to later, as we've really been 'in the moment', just enjoying the time together.
While they've been home, we've been reliving old times, including looking at photos and remembering happy times and funny moments.
So we kind of did this post together, reminiscing about the time I took them to what is now the city where they spend most of their time, Darwin.
On that occasion, I was invited by Tigerair Australia to experience the airline's inaugural Brisbane-Darwin flight, and as the children's father was living in Darwin, I asked if the kids could come too.
I posted about the flight here, and a little more here.
While the kids spent most of the time with their Dad and I did my thing with Tigerair and NT Tourism, I did get an afternoon off, which I was lucky enough to spend with the kids.
We spent some time exploring my hotel, the Novotel Darwin Atrium, before heading off to Crocosaurus Cove.

At Brisbane Airport, before leaving on Tigerair's first flight from Brisbane to Darwin. I have to say a huge thank you to Tigerair for starting this service, because it has reduced the cost of flights between Brisbane and Darwin considerably. A huge bonus now the kids live there.

The kids' first time being first to board a plane! As guests of Tigerair on that occasion, we were treated as VIPs. It was very special! 

And the flight landed on time. Of all the times we have flown Tigerair - and that is often, and at our own expense -we have only ever been delayed once. In fact, occasionally, there is a tailwind, and the flight lands early. 

My king-sized bed at the Novotel Darwin Atrium. I love my pets, but it was such a treat to get a huge bed to myself. (Yep, usually I sleep with animals). The mattress and pillows were so comfy and the room temperature was perfect. And unlike many hotels, the Novotel Darwin Atrium always provides loads of pillows. With my arthritis, I need loads of cuddle pillows, and they have never been stingy about their pillows there. 

There was plenty of room to spread out, with a small lounge and another TV, and all the important workstation for laptop and internet access. (So important when you are on a work trip, and especially when you are required to write blog posts and update on social media.)

A welcome gift. I've stayed as a non-VIP, at my own expense, and didn't receive this little extra (nor such a spacious room) so I guess this isn't standard ... 


My favourite feature of the room was the window seat. I actually spent a lot of time there, watching the world go by

Every moment of every day, the scene was different. It was a great spot to practise my Mindfulness. 

Just another day in paradise 

Fitting in some work before duty called on the first morning ...

The kids loved the window seat too. Novotel and Accor hotels are very kid-friendly and usually feature a movie theme. During that stay it was a Muppet theme, and one of the other girls on the trip was lucky enough to score a Kermit toy in her room, which gave her loads of bonuses. She loaned him to us for the afternoon. 

Kermit enjoyed the view too

Chilling out

Checking out the hotel

It was tough deciding what to order for lunch ...

Fuelling up ahead of our visit to Crocosaurus Cove, which is just around the corner from the Novotel Atrium 

I started to overcome my fear of reptiles at Crocosaurus Cove

And even willingly climbed into the Cage Of Death with Chopper 

Face to face with the wildlife. Apologies for the photo quality, but it gives you an idea of how awesome the experience is

Feeding time at the zoo - kind of. A snake eating a rat! You can imagine what a hit that was with the kids. 

And seconds after I took this photo, a crocodile did a poo. Another highlight of our visit! You can't buy experiences like these ...

A glorious Darwin sunset. Taken during a walk in the park opposite my hotel.

And if you want to see it in action, here's a little video of the snake enjoying some lunch. Apologies if you are eating yours ...

Have you been to Darwin? What's your favourite feature in a hotel? And did you know that crocodiles poo?

***Tigerair flew the kids and I on their inaugural Brisbane-Darwin flight in April 2014 for social media purposes. I was put up at the Novotel Darwin Atrium on that occasion. Crocosaurus Cove gave us free entry, although it was a whistlestop tour. I am revisiting the experience for purely nostalgic reasons here and have received no compensation for this post.