As anyone who follows me anywhere on the internet knows, the MB2 family went on a little holiday last weekend.
And as you would be aware, that was A BIG FREAKING DEAL, as Boo doesn’t do ‘fun’.
OK, that is a bit harsh, but I have been dying to take a trip since we bought the new car a year ago on Saturday, and Boo has been all ‘hellz to the no’ about going anywhere further than an hour down the road with a snack stop included.
So when the opportunity to go to a special sensory friendly day at Sovereign Hill arose I was all HUZZAH!
With the help of the awesome social stories on the Sovereign Hill website and a hell of a lot of planning and food stop co-ordination, we we on our way!
First stop was TGIFridays for some road trip fuelling up. Jack Daniels burgers all round.
(Boo was a tad concerned about consuming alcohol but the gorgeously lovely waitress allayed his fears. She remembered us from last time. Boo is a very memorable dude.)
After taking the scenic route and crossing the goddamnitweareallgoingtodie Westgate bridge a couple of times, we finally arrived at Sovereign Hill around 5pm.
We were greeted by the lovely staff and given our room key and tickets for the following day, along with directions to Boo’s choice of dining establishment and info on the buffet breakfast the next morning.
Teenage boys. What can I say, they are led by their appetites.
There were a LOT of stairs. In hindsight I probably should have asked for a ground floor room, but I managed it.
After procuring our dinner at the preordained Hut of Pizza…
it looked as good as it tasted
yes, that is discs of ‘hamburger’ in the crust.
… we tackled the stairs once again to settle in for the night.
Boo was pretty damn excited about sleeping on the pull out couch.
Alas, in the morning he wasn’t so enamoured. Lesson learned, 6ft4 boy mountains and sofa beds are not a good mix. Our bed was deliciously comfortable, evidenced by MPS falling asleep at 9pm and snoring through until 7.
Around 8.30 we wandered down for the buffet breakfast. This was Boo’s first experience of a buffet and he gave it a 9 out of 10 which is pretty damn high praise cause none of his birthday extravaganzas ever got a 9.
He really enjoyed the tiny little plates, and I scarfed down mine like a woman possessed, so here is a picture of MPS’s breakfast.
Not pictured: the adorable tiny pancakes covered in maple syrup and bananas that I had to fight a dude for the last one and lost but his bad luck cause a fresh batch were brought out seconds later… SUCKA!
We made our way down to the park and were greeted by staff at the gate who walked us down to the theater, explaining how the day would go and making us feel so very welcome.
Within seconds of entering the room, Boo made himself known to everyone and and by the end of the presentation every person in the room was addressing him by name.
That is just how my Boo rolls. You will never forget him 😉
During the presentation the staff explained the park to the kids and got dressed into their costumes to show that they were just actors. They were amazingly patient, especially when SOMEONE kept putting up their hand and asking questions about whether the guns were real and where were the bullets. Or when they were going to get on with it…
They put on a special sensory sensitive mine tour (no way in hell Boo would do it any way they painted it. Boo + dark confined spaces = everyone in a square mile radius with perforated eardrums) and let us know exactly when there would be loud noises, besides those we made ourselves, which was AWESOME.
There were extra activities for the kids and quiet areas set up, proving that they did their research and even though we didn’t need to use the quiet areas cause the place was fairly quiet being early Saturday morning, just knowing they were there if we did was a relief.
At the end of the presentation, Boo went down to the stage area and announced that he will be making a movie about Sovereign Hill and they can be all in it. This is the highest praise that Boo could give, and the day had barely started!
As we made our way around the park, all of the staff addressed us as Sir and Ma’am and Boo thought it was HILARIOUS.
Especially the wonderful woman in the jewellery store who kept up the act speaking in ‘olden day’ while Boo literally squealed in delight.
We wandered in and out of stores, I bought some giant freckles and I am still kicking myself I didn’t buy this sign in the printers…
Then up the hill
oh my aching Achilles…
to do some bowling.
Dunno who the chick is, but the dude was awesome and so patient with Boo.
And visit the school house where Boo tried to get the students inside to do his biding. He would have made a great olde timey school teacher.
Or a preacher. We went into the church where he conducted a sermon pronouncing ‘Blessed are the cheesemakers’.
I have never been so proud.
We stopped off for a coffee and 47 lemonades for a very hot cause he wouldn’t take his damn jacket off Boo, before making our way down to the miners huts
and panning for gold.
Unfortunately for me, cause I was SO EXCITED to pan for gold, this is where Boo hit his limit and we had to leave.
But we stayed 2 hours and that is pretty damn amazing for Boo. Especially after a night in a strange bed and so many new things.
On the way out we walked past this lady…
And she was my favourite of the day. Swigging out of her bottle, completely in character.
All up we had an awesome time. Boo felt comfortable and in turn we felt at ease and were able to have an enjoyable time knowing that he was free to wander about with no surprises. I honestly think that he wouldn’t have stayed as long as he did if it wasn’t for the support of the staff of Sovereign Hill.
Thanks guys, and I hope you make this an annual thing.
And to staff at other attractions, please take a leaf out of Sovereign Hill’s book and support those that need a little extra consideration. Small things like a heads up when there are loud noises, or setting up a quiet space make a HUGE difference to families that want to enjoy a day out.
Boo rated the entire experience: 8 out of 10 gentlemen.
I was gifted a family pass to Sovereign Hill and a nights accommodation. I was asked to write a post on my experience. In my own words. Even with swears if I wanted to.