Early Saturday morning will see us winging our way down to Sydney International Airport for an adventure.

Gilbert Bear has been offered the opportunity to fly on a jumbo jet for the very first time through the generosity of Qantas, Turramurra Rotary Club and Pathfinders.

To say he is excited is an understatement. He had serious issues going to bed last night as he was too excited and anxious about the experience to go to sleep.

He was so excited, he even had a very animated conversation with his Pop (he’s not into talking on the phone usually) that went something like this,

Pop: “What are you doing tomorrow?”

Gilbert: “We’re going on a jumbo jet which is going to go high in the sky but hopefully it won’t go too far or we’d end up on the moon, but you would need space suits for that so we’d probably die and then they’d play the moon organ at our funeral.”

Pop: *laughing heartily*

Gilbert: “Bye now Pop.”

He’s a character my boy…

Anyway, he’s excited and anxious in equal measure about flying in a jumbo jet (which is completely natural) but is just plain excited about the journey we need to take to get there.

Originally, I was going to drive to the airport. Easy. But I am not a fan of Sydney traffic nor driving in the rain nor paying exorbitant fees for the privilege of parking at the airport for a few hours so we thought it might be best to drive to Hornsby and catch the train to the airport from there.

Good plan. Except there’s trackwork on the line. So we will be driving in the car to Hornsby, then hopping on a train to Central, then catching a bus to the airport, then boarding a plane for a quick flight around the city, before heading back to the terminal and following the process on the return journey home.

Yes, people, our very own version of the classic farce, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”….

But while this could be seen to be a negative, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share a genuine adventure with my son and the chance to spend some real time with him.

I’m grateful too, to the generous souls who have made this adventure possible.

Qantas, who have had a bad rap recently, are simply wonderful to donate a plane, crew and groundstaff to allow kids with special needs to experience the joy of a trip in a jumbo jet.

Turramurra Rotary Club and Pathfinders are the amazing people who have organised the adventure – their volunteers will be on hand tomorrow to make sure none of us get lost and are the heart and soul behind this extraordinary enterprise.

And finally, Vision Australia, who were invited to provide names of those who would enjoy such an experience and who have followed up with us every step of the way.

Thank you to each and every one of you.


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