|Dinner at the Plaza Premium Lounge KLIA - free entry with Citibank Platinum Credit Card|
As we were boarding the plane, we were told that Joy's seat had a faulty AV screen. The MAS staff at the gate apologized profusely and on board, the chief steward again apologized. We were alright with it since it was a night flight and the kids would be sleeping. But the chief steward offered a RM100 voucher for in-flight shopping and so we bought some toys for the kids as souvenir.
The flight was delayed for 1.5 hours and we waited in the plane as it sat on the tarmac. Apparently one passenger did not board the plane and his bags had to be retrieved. There was also some damage to some cargo panel and engineers replaced it while we waited. Oh well, better late and safe. It worked out well for us because I managed to put Isabel to sleep before take off.
Once in the city, we dropped off our bags and then went looking for food and groceries. We stayed at City Edge Apartments on Elizabeth St. Located on the corner of A'Beckett St and Elizabeth St, this was a very convenient location.
We booked early and paid only AUD$85 per night. It had a queen-sized bed in the bedroom and a sofa bed out in the living room and comfortably slept all 5 of us. This tiny apartment was also very well equipped with a kitchenette (2 gas hobs, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, pots and pans, eating/cooking utensils, bread toaster, electric kettle) and a washing machine/dryer in the spacious bathroom. That was really important as I had to do laundry every day! Useful items like hair dryer, iron & ironing board (not that I used it) were also available.
|kids enjoyed the yoghurt - RM20 in Malaysia. AUD$4 in Melbourne.|
Since this was a working visit for Daaling, he spent all the weekdays at the university while I took all 3 kids to parks and playgrounds. I googled for playgrounds around the city and dare say I'm quite an expert now at getting around. It was rather challenging getting up and down trams with a 28-week belly, Isabel in one arm and stroller in another hand but people were helpful and kind.
I got around using the City Circle Tram to save cost. It's a free service that runs the perimeter of the CBD.
We spent most days eating packed lunch at playgrounds. The older 2 skipped their naps and slept early at night. Isabel slept in her stroller whenever she wanted to.
|Monday 5Aug2013 - Birrarung Marr|
Tuesday 6Aug2013 - We visited the Melbourne Museum. On the way there, the kids got distracted by some ducks in Carlton Gardens.
The Melbourne Museum is so unlike our Muzium Negara back home.
It really is a very fun place where you can spend the entire day.
Kids enter for free while it's AUD$10 for adults. I would say it's money very well-spent.
I was surprised to learn that I currently weigh more than an emperor penguin!!!
Wednesday 7Aug 2013 - We explored Docklands and Harbourtown.
Joseph remembered this Cow in the Tree structure where we took a photo 4 years ago.
After lunch and some playing, we took the City Circle Tram to the City Library. Located on Flinders Lane, this is a lending library. I registered on the spot (with photo ID i.e. passport) and was issued a membership card enabling me to borrow items.
|what I don't like about the cold - having to bundle up so many babies!|
|what I like about Melbourne - my favourite ice cream is cheap! RM34.90 in Malaysia, only AUD$5 in Melbourne!|
Thursday 8Aug2013 - Joseph woke up early and threw up! He also had a fever. I think getting caught in the rain the day before + jet lag + getting really tired finally got to him. Thank God I brought paracetamol which came in very handy. We spent Thursday and Friday resting and recovering for a busy weekend ahead.
Saturday 10 Aug 2013 - Joseph is all better and the weather forecast a sunny weekend. We visit Collingwood Children's Farm in Abbotsford. It's a short bus ride there. Normal entrance fee is AUD$16 per family but today being the second Saturday of the month, it's Farmer's Market day and kids enter free while it's only AUD$2 per adult before 1pm.
We get there in time for the cow milking at 10am.
Joy did not chicken out and kept her word with putting her hand to the cow's udder.
They also had a good time brushing the cow.
We checked out the other animals at the farm - the kids had a fun and very educational morning.
|pigs are not pink and cute!|
After lunch the kids spent their energy at the huge wooden fort-like playground.
Sunday 11Aug2013 - We visit Melbourne Zoo.
Joe and Joy were very tickled by the white gibbon....it imitated everything the lady did.
Joy overcame her fear of flying butterflies...
We also caught the penguin feeding at 3.30pm. This is so much more kid-friendly than travelling all the way to Philip Island and waiting in the freezing cold.
Lunch at the Carousel Park was followed by a run in the playground...but of course!
Monday 12Aug2013 - We visit Lake Mountain for a day in the snow.
This was our CafeBus. It's a cozy 18-seater bus with unlimited servings of coffee/tea/hot chocolate.
After a leisurely 1.5hour drive through the Yarra Valley and Marysville, we arrived at Lake Mountain Alpine Resort at about 10am.
|am I supposed to look cute like this???|
It rained hail for a while. Joy was not too adventurous for long but Joseph really enjoyed himself.
For the record, I also sewed their beanies (those things on their heads) using old teviron (special keep warm material) knee guards.
At some point, it snowed. We got lucky I guess since it doesn't snow all the time.
On the way home, we stopped at the Yarra Valley Chocolate Factory where the kids had a good time helping themselves to lots of free samples. I think Joy ate enough on behalf of the entire Tan Family.