It's 4:30am on a Sunday morning and I'm awake. I may be bleary eyed and fighting my body's desire for sleep, but I am as excited as a 4 year old on Christmas morning as I jump out of bed and declare, "Let's do this!" 'This' refers to 'Mission B.o.B', what Mr Ladybird and I have code named the event Breakfast on the Bridge, and we have planned for this moment with military precision.
Today was the second annual Breakfast on the Bridge as part of Crave Sydney International Food Festival. Normally a very busy freeway connecting the northern and southern parts of Sydney, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is closed for this event and converted into one extraordinary picnic spot! Mr Ladybird and I were two of around 6000 very lucky people fortunate enough to get golden tickets to this event. Tickets were allotted by ballot, thousands entered for a chance to picnic on this great Australian icon.
By 5:20am, we're dressed and ready to go, and we make our way to the train station under the cover of darkness. We arrive at Milson's Point by 6am and are greeted by friendly volunteers. We join the queue awaiting the opening of the bridge at 6:30am. There's entertainment for everyone waiting including comedic acts, characters on stilts and live music. The mood is upbeat, and in no time at all the queue starts moving forward.
We make our way around the corner of Alfred Street and there she is, the beautiful bridge is in sight!
Other punters are tucking into their breakfasts as well and enjoying the atmosphere. NSW Premier Kristina Keneally chats with us briefly before taking a photo opportunity with our neighbouring picnic-goers.
This year's Breakfast on the Bridge is also a platform for Sydney's bid for the World Cup in 2022. Just meters away from us there are enormous, 6 metre high blow up soccer balls and big balloons.
We also discover that there are Socceroos at the event in support of the bid, and Mr Ladybird gets to meet Tim Cahill, Mark Schwarzer and John Aloisi! To say that Mr Ladybird is a soccer fan is an understatement.. he had watched the Socceroos play in Sydney only the night before, so getting to meet them and take pictures with them absolutely made his day :)
It seems as though today is a special day for a lot of people, including this couple who got married at Breakfast on the Bridge! The happy couple (Mira with flowers in her hair and John standing behind her) were beaming as the media snapped away at them posing with Kristina Keneally...
So it was all going really well, and I must say that we were incredibly impressed by the organisation at this event - it was fantastic! Unfortunately though, Mother Nature had other plans.. or perhaps she wanted to water in the turf (?)... because it started to rain!
Thankfully we had all been provided with ponchos in our bag of goodies, and there was a flurry of activity, squeals and giggles as people tried to keep themselves (and their picnics) dry... But some little people like this gorgeous little girl didn't seem to mind one bit!
Some decided to brave the elements, but like many, we decided to call it a day a little earlier than expected - very wet, yes, but our spirits not dampened. This was certainly a most memorable breakfast, and we enjoyed it thoroughly!
Making our way to Circular Quay station via The Rocks we bid the bridge farewell... Now that's what I call a picnic!!!
Ladybird and Mr Ladybird attended Breakfast on the Bridge as guests of Tourism NSW