After two years plus living the COVID life, followed by the worst autumn/winter weather NSW has ever seen, you'd be forgiven for feeling like you've not got the energy to do Vivid Sydney this year.
But the best advice I can give you, is to dust off your trainers, grab the ski jacket and a beanie and find yourself a nice little hotel so you can blow those COVID cobwebs away.
That's what we did on Sunday, with what felt like half of the Illawarra, but it was the best 24 hours we've had in a long time.
Where to stay
We'd booked into the very welcoming Skye Suites on Kent Street where our two bedroom suite felt luxurious, yet practical with a fully fitted kitchen including a large fridge, coffee machine and state of the art oven.
Not that we used any of it, we were far more interested in dining out in Sydney for the first time since lockdown in 2020.
What to eat
We headed into Barangaroo to the Lotus Restaurant, best known for its dumplings and seafood. The restaurant is all outdoor seating and as we sat under the heated lamps we felt pretty smug about the fact we'd booked ahead.
Every restaurant we passed was full to capacity, and the food vans set up at strategic locations were queued out. If you've ever tried to drag two pre-teen boys around with you, you'll know that the words "food" and "waiting" do not make for happy times.
The service at the Lotus Restaurant was super speedy and before we knew it we'd finished off a couple of rounds of oysters (with the most delicious finger lime dressing). We also enjoyed the chicken, leek and truffle spring rolls, prawn, calamari and ginger dumplings, crispy chicken with spiced soy sauce and chilli oil and wok fried king prawns with garlic butter, snowpeas, black fungus and saltbush.
What to see
We started our light walk from Barangaroo and decided to walk towards Darling Harbour, rather than follow the crowd to Circular Quay.
It was a good opportunity to show the boys some first class people dodging skills but it was not for the faint of heart. The Vivid staff did a great of job of making sure the crowds were moving and making sure everyone felt safe, but if you need to take a pram or wheelchair, prepare to be very patient.
We followed the Corpi Celesti planets along the waterside until we hit Darling Harbour just in time for the Sydney Infinity light show. It was an impressive display, and the location means everyone has the opportunity to have a great view.
From Darling Harbour we continued walking towards the Goods Line, passing through Resonance, Checkmate, Bump in the Night, Halo, We Dream the City and Frankly My Dear.
With every few metres we walked there was something new and interesting to see and before we knew it we'd racked up 10,000 steps and were at Central Station.
The boys were tired, so we decided to call it a night and walked through the city back to our hotel, soaking up an atmosphere that felt almost like COVID had never happened.
What else can you do in Sydney?
Before we headed home the next day we took advantage of the Skye Suites central location and headed down to the Maritime Museum, which is often overlooked by tourists to Sydney who favour the Sea Life Aquarium.
The museum was the perfect choice. Very few queues, a quiet cafe and the utter wonderment that sailors can live in such close quarters.
What we missed
To be honest, one night at Vivid wasn't enough. We could easily have stayed for another night so we could see the lights down at Central Quay and spend some time seeing some of the bigger installations, like Convergence which had a 45 minute wait on the night we attended.
But now we know and we'll be back for the full weekend next year.
Vivid Sydney 2022 runs until June 18.