Monday, August 19, 2013

15 Days in Melbourne - Week 2

Tuesday 13 Aug 2013 - I made a dash to Queen Victoria Market before Daaling went out to work. It's a 3-minute walk from where we are staying and opens as early as 6am! Fruits are so much cheaper here than at Coles/Woolworths! I bought 15 kiwi fruits for merely AUD$2!!!

After I got home from the market and cooked their lunch, Isabel woke up from her morning nap and I took the kids out to the Shrine of Remembrance. We took the free Visitor Shuttle Bus to get here.

Joseph was very fascinated with this eternal flame. I did a lot of explaining to him and it was like a history lesson for the kids.

We talked about war and peace, allies and soldiers. I'm glad he was very interested.

We also walked all the way up to the balcony. Yup, Isabel climbed all those stairs with Joseph and Joy while I carried the stroller.

After the Shrine of Remembrance, we walked across to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Daffodils made Joy very happy!

We were planning to sit by the lake to look at ducks while having a snack but there were three very fierce black swans. One walked up to Isabel and pecked the cookie out of her hand. So we retreated further from the lake. To my horror....the swans followed us!

So we walked further away and sat on a bench out of sight from the swans. I fed Isabel her cereal while the older 2 ate TimTams. As we were finishing, the swans found us and started to approach Isabel who was holding another piece of cookie. So we quickly packed up and walked away. 

 I think black swans like white chocolate macadamia cookies.

Wednesday 14 August 2013 - The weather forecast was a wet rainy day and I didn't want to risk getting caught in the rain and getting sick. So we stayed mostly indoors. 

Having done some homework, I knew there was going to be some storytime/playgroup at the State Library in the morning so that's where we went. It's a 5-minute walk from our apartment. (I did say our apartment is in a great location, right?)

There was some craft and sing-a-long which entertained Isabel but the older 2 found rather childish and boring. After the play time, we sat outside the library for lunch while watching the trams go by. Then we walked to Target to check out the toys. 

Thursday 15 August 2013 - I went to Queen Victoria Market again. Bought another loot of fruits....15 kiwis for AUD$2, grapes were also AUD$2 for a huge bunch, bananas were 99cents a kilo and the avocados were 50cents each.

Tim Tam was also on offer at WoolWorths at merely AUD$1.62 and we bought a lot!

After Queen Victoria Market, I came home to cook lunch and then took the kids out to the Carlton Gardens Playground.

It's located right behind the Melbourne Museum and a short walk (about 500m) from the nearest City Circle Tram stop.

 I love it that the playgrounds are all very clean and well-maintained.
 There's also always a water cooler and decently-clean public toilets within reach.
 Isabel is suddenly so independent and not at all intimidated by the huge structures. She climbed all the stairs on her own and gave me multiple heart attacks.

After the playground, I anticipated Isabel would sleep if I pushed her in the stroller and so I decided to walk back instead of taking the City Circle Tram. So I made the older 2 walk the whole way back. It wasn't a very long walk.....maybe a kilometer or slightly more. But while Joy was positive about it, Joseph whined and grumbled most of the way back while I gave him a pep talk about how he should be thankful that he has strong healthy legs to walk with. And just as I anticipated, Isabel slept soundly till long after we got back.

Friday 16 August 2013 - I found another playground just around the corner from our apartment (I love this location!!!). Flagstaff Gardens is a mere 5-minute walk from our place.

Every playground we've been to has different contraptions and structures so it's a new thing for the kids.
 It's a great way for them to spend their energy and they all sleep very soundly at night.
After lunch at the park, we came home for a good 3-hour nap because we planned to go out in the evening to see the fireworks at Docklands. Unfortunately, the fireworks were cancelled because of very very strong winds. Nevertheless, I'm thankful that the kids did not complain nor whine and in fact were very positive with response like "it's ok....we've seen fireworks in Malaysia before."

Saturday 17 August 2013 - this was our last full day in Melbourne. We met up with Daaling's cousin, his wife and his baby for a BBQ lunch at Albert Park.

The kids had a good time at the playground again.

Unfortunately, Joseph had a little misadventure. Boys will be boys....and boys love to jump! So jump he did....from a height of about 1.5m where he was supposed to slide down using the fireman pole. He must have had a bad landing on his left foot because he could not walk properly thereafter. 

After consulting a doctor-friend in Melbourne (via sms) and also our insurance agent (via Watsapp) back home and seeing that Joseph was not in excruciating pain, we decided to wait till getting home to see a doctor.

I'm thankful that this did not happen earlier and in a way, it's a lesson for Joseph to not complain when he has to walk. 

I'm very thankful for this 2-week holiday. It has been a good experience and a very educational trip for the children. While challenging, I'm glad I got to do all this city-gallivanting with 3 children (well, technically 4!). I know it's something I could never do back home because the weather and the infrastructure just doesn't permit. 

Over here, I can push the stroller everywhere because of the wide walkways. Wide walkways just do not exist in Malaysia. 

yes...we consumed a LOT of ice cream, yoghurt and milk.
But the dry weather really breaks my skin. The back of my ankles and my knuckles hurt badly. My lips were all cracked up the first couple of days. Isabel had rosy cheeks but up close they look more like a dry rash.

Holidays are good. But I'm glad to be home in my own comfy cosy bed. Indeed.....I want to give thanks to God for all his wonderful blessings.

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