Saturday, May 30, 2009

Harbourtown, Docklands and the last dinner

We drove out to the city this morning. Actually, I drove out. Edwin took the bus because there's 6 of us and the car can only sit 5 (legally). First stop was Harbourtown at the Docklands area. It's a huge brand outlet mall. J and j were so happy to see a huge toy shop. Plenty of stuff to buy if you have money to burn. But we couldn't carry anymore stuff so no more shopping.

We took a walk around the Docklands area. Joe wanted me to take a photo of him with the boats.


It was pretty cold.





We met up with some friends at PapaGino's for lunch and then went to QVM for some last minute souvenirs.

but why can't I drive?


Then to the Pumpkin Patch outlet (again!!!) on Smith St.



We came home to have dinner with the very nice people who have been lending us their car.

Now I've got to go pack, weigh, pack again, weigh again.... good night!

Last Friday...a good one

Yesterday morning we went to Box Hill Centro for the last time to get some last minute stuff. A certain someone said he would clean our house only if he got paid with chocolates. So we went to buy chocolates.

you think I'd make a cool mat rempit?



So anyway, shopping took longer than expected because the kids got stuck at Target.




Joy-Anne fell asleep on the way home, still holding her half-eaten cheese stick.


At night, we had a dinner appointment with Uncle K.

Guess where we ate....


Joe loved the cake.


Mmmm.....so sinfully delicious.


And he now loves smiling for the camera.

He will run to the camera, pose and say, "Hey...don't forget to take my picture....because...I am very handsome!"

Goodbye Melbourne....and Goodbye Sofia's!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

our last Sofia's...?

Last night a friend took us out for dinner. It was a last minute decision.

Ah Ku.... mama bought these for you. The red nose squeaks!


We ended up at Sofia's. Heh heh.... I've lost count of the number of times we've been to Sofia's in this past 8 weeks. They should give us some loyalty incentive!
Having had enough of pasta, we tried some different things this time.
Chargrilled Chicken Salad and a dozen fresh oysters (naturale) (AUD17). The oysters were very fresh and very good!

Fritto Mista (AUD20.90)...


Vegetarian Lasagne.... this was very good too.


Joy-Anne used the calamari as a bangle....yummy bangle!


I've come to realise the the prices are different at each location. For example, the Pasta Mista is AUD32.50 at Burwood Highway, AUD29.50 at Camberwell and only AUD25 at Frankston. We've also been told that the Camberwell one is the original location whereas all the others were opened later following their huge success. And some people say that the portions are bigger at Camberwell, smaller in Burwood Highway and even smaller at Wheeler's Hill.


Cakes are more or less the same price but the Burwood Highway one has a promo for coffee+cake for AUD8.90. Cake alone is AUD7.90.
our half-eaten Tam Tam Cheesecake


I'm gonna miss Sofia's - the home of good, cheap and abundant portions! Even Joe knows that Camberwell is the train station where we get off for yummy pasta!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So young, so vain... so smart.

Joy-Anne continues to amaze me with each passing day.

This morning, she climbed into her stroller and said, "kai kai. Go!"

This evening, she grabbed the Women's Weekly mag I borrowed from the library.

She turned the page and said, "aunty"

Turned to another page and said, "shoe ....shoe"

There was another day when she was with me flipping through the newspaper and we came across a car ad and she said, "buy buy buy..... money money!"
My mum has been singing to her Sunday School songs and just now, she said "Oh Anne....obey....Lord". She can complete the end of each line of several songs now.
'mai' is her current favourite word.
Go to sleep.... mai.
Eat.... mai.
Drink milk.... mai.
She can also carry out a conversation with Joe :
Joe : Cow say?
Joy : moooooo...
Joe : Chicken say?
Joy : koh koh keh
Joe : little lamb say?
Joy : mehhhh
Joe : Donkey say?
Joy : hee haw
Joe : Joy-Anne can say?
Joy : har lohhh

When we spell out several words, she can say the word e.g.
Mama, Papa, Nana, Ha Ha, LaLa, Milk, Bus and Jesus.
I've got to try get this on video. But it depends if she cooperates.

Joe can 'read'

One thing that I'll miss when we get leave Melbourne is the Box Hill library. We stumbled upon it while checking out the playground next to it. So we registered and got ourselves a membership card.

Every few days we visit to borrow dozens of books. It's a wonderful place!

Joe loved this book - "Whales - the Gentle Giants".

video

He got his papa to read it to him again and again. After a few times, I was surprised to find he could 'read' it from cover to cover. All 48 pages!

video



I managed to video him reading the entire book but this connection is way too slow to upload it all.

Since he was so fascinated with whales, we then looked up videos of whales on youtube. He was very amused with a video of an orca eating a hamburger (It was a Burger King ad).

I guess it's back to DUMC's library when we get home. It's a much smaller selection and he's only allowed 2 items each time. :-(

Sunday, May 24, 2009

our last busy weekend

After 2 full days of touring Dandenong and Mornington, we continued our marathon-kai kai with a full day out in the city on Saturday.

ready and waiting for the adults

We took the train to Melbourne Central and intended to visit the Old Melbourne Gaol. But we changed our minds at the last minute.
We went to Koorong instead. It's a christian bookshop. Joe and Joy were entertained in the play area and watching Veggietales so we could look around in peace.


For lunch, we went to PapaGino's on Lygon St.



Joe was so fascinated with the chef that he obliged Joe with some fancy pizza-twirling and Joy wanted to mess the pizza.

We had lunch with Uncle K a.k.a Joy's Godfather. :-)


After lunch, Edwin took Joe to the playground while we went to Queen Victoria Market. The fruits and vege are really cheap if you go at closing time which is about 3pm. We bought plums at $1/kg, avocados at 50cents each and apples at 50cents/kg.
Joy-Anne was happily in Uncle K's arms the whole time we were in QVM. In fact she was out of our sight and happy. When we finally saw her again, she had a new toy in her hand.
When she was settled into her stroller for her nap (at a record late time of 4pm!!!), we walked back to Lygon St to look for the famous gelato shop. I couldn't quite remember which one so I picked the shop that had a lot of customers.

Il Docce Freddo. It was good. The gelato was very smooth and creamy.


Joe enjoyed his strawberry gelato while I had tiramisu, nutella and roche.


By then, it was about 5pm and the sun was setting. We made our way through the city....


...down Swanston St...


....and took a walk along the Yarra River ...


...to see the fire at Crown Casino. It comes on every hour, on the hour.
Watching it from the north bank of the river is certainly a better view. You can see the whole stretch of pillars without feeling the heat (which kind scared the kids).


On Sunday, we went to church at Crossway Baptist Church. It was really cool to bump into a friend whom I've not met for at least 10 years.
After church, we drove down to Kingston Heath Reserve on Centre Dandenong Road. I found this playground googling.

The kids loved it!

Joe was so happy to find this digger which was also at the Frankston playground (but that's so far away).

And he was very happy with this fire engine.


Joy said, "wah...!!!" the moment we got out of the car.



The men walked across the road to the huge DFO mall to buy Subway sandwiches and we had a picnic lunch in the park.

the last picnic


It's a really nice playground. The toilets are clean and strategically placed (that green structure in the background).

We took some family photos, wearing our new 'Australia' t-shirts.
I bought the same design in 4 sizes from Queen Victoria Market. AUD5 each.

hello hello.... (Joy's new toy from Uncle K)
The kids loved this merry-go-round.








After that Edwin stayed with Joe for more fun in the playground while we took Joy to the DFO mall across the road. She napped in her stroller while we shopped.
We got back to the playground at about 3pm to find Joe's battery drained.


Joy woke up by then and said, "wahh!!!" when she saw the playground. She refused to get into the car so we let her have a spin while waiting for Joe to wake up.

It was a long tiring weekend. Joe was really tired when he got back. He went to bed by 6.30pm and slept till the next morning.
We have only a few more days till we have to go home. I'm gonna miss the beautiful parks and the lovely weather.