travel

Hooray for itty bitty dinosaur hands

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At the end of the trip, I asked Finn what his favourite thing to do in Melbourne was and he put his finger on his chin, thought real hard and said, “dinosaur stomping!”

For those unfamiliar with this particular activity, all it requires are a pair of itty bitty T-rex hands, stompy feet, and a loud, dinosaur roar. Check, check and check. Is this the cutest dinosaur you’ve ever seen or what? This just about sums up Finn’s entire adventure in Melbourne.

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In between stomping, he brought his piggy out for adventures. It’s an unlikely friendship, these 2: dinosaur and piggy.

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Sometimes, these adventures involve piggy being unceremoniously eaten. It’s unfortunate, but such is the circle of life.

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Meanwhile, the Truett and Kirsten were off engaging in a different kind of adventure: tree surfing. It’s pretty much similar to what we have here at Bedok Reservoir’s forest adventure, except with way more trees and obstacles.

(This was done at the Enchanted Adventure Garden in Mornington Peninsula, about an hour’s drive out from Melbourne city.)

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Kirsten decided at the last minute that she didn’t want to try it so Finn went up to her and gave her a big hug and said “it’s ok jie jie, you are a brave girl.”

Heart all melty and stuff.

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According to Tru (and the husband who went for the grown up version), it’s “very very very fun.”

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Besides tree surfing, the other really fun activity is tube sliding. It looks rather mild but it’s really not and Finn came off the ride looking shell-shocked and a little green, poor baby. Which is to say that Truett and Kirsten had a blast riding it twenty gazillion times.

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The rest of our time in Melbourne was spent revisiting old favourites like…

Puffing Billy. Good old Puffing Billy, what a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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Collingwood Children’s Farm, because guinea pigs. And sheep and chickens and cows.

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//Hey Melbourne, thanks for a grand time. :)

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travel

Good things happen in winter

Having been to Melbourne 5 times in the last 5 years, I like that there’s still so much to discover in the city. Each new trip, we try to mix it up with some old fan favourites and throw in a couple of new experiences into the bag.

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//But first, you guys, I just discovered the best place to stay in Melbourne CBD. I almost didn’t want to share this because it’s such a gem of a discovery but a bit of love is what makes the world go round, amirite?

The past 4 times, we’ve gone for airbnb-style apartments and stayed at some really gorgeous, artsy homes but I’m going to go ahead and say that The Wyndham Melbourne Hotel has taken top spot for best place to stay in the city. Traveling with so many kids, my accommodation checklist is as long as my grocery shopping list (and that is looooong). Location, price, cleanliness, security, laundry service, a functional kitchen, sufficient living space, kid-friendliness, overall comfort; usually, something’s gotta give.

The Wyndham checks all the boxes. We booked a spacious 1-bedroom apartment with a full kitchen, daily housekeeping and free laundry service at $130 a night. Fab location too – it was a short walk from amazing coffee, brunch and desserts. I still can’t believe what a great deal we got for the place, did I mention $130 a night?

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desserts from brunetti’s

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with my selfie buddies at chez dre for brunch

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plenty of exploring to be done

Here’s a funny story. The hotel pool was supposed to be heated so on one of the evenings, we were like, “hey, let’s take a dip in the heated outdoor pool”. Seemed like a great idea at that time.

Just so we’re clear, removing pieces of clothing out in the open in 6 degree weather is not a fun experience. Then we jumped into the pool and instant hypothermia, y’all. That never happened again, the end.

It’s funny if you were there watching it.

***

Right then, let’s get the fun started with the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market. This takes place every Wednesday in winter (see, good things do happen in winter, it’s not all white walkers and undead invasion. But I’ll take a bag of dragon glass and a valyrian steel sword just in case) and it happens to be an excellent way to spend a wintery Wednesday evening.

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How about a real crackling fireplace to get those fingers toasty and warm?

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Pretty kids things by local designers. Kirsten spotted this lovely shop and whispered to the husband: “Quick, don’t let mommy go in or she will miss baby Theo and cry!!” She was right in that I immediately started missing my baby but that made me laugh and I was able to keep it together.

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Puppets!!

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Apples, who wants some sweet, juicy apples? Oh wait, it’s apple cider. Moving along, kids! None for you.

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Popcorn. My girl Kirsten has a popcorn addiction. She can sniff out popcorn from miles away and hunts it down like a bloodhound. Very impressive talent. There are worse things to be addicted to, I guess. Like drugs. Kids, don’t ever do drugs. Here, have some more popcorn.

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Finn watching a wonderfully bizarre performance by a mime-clown looking dude who was making very strange sounds on a very strange instrument. Strangely fascinating.

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Queen Vic Winter Night Market verdict: this one is going straight to the fan favourites list.

travel

Catching up

Heyyyyyy you! Has it been 10 days since my last post? I feel like I’ve fallen off the grid. And by grid, I mean the internet. In a good way though. It’s like an internet detox. 10 whole days without facebook or instagram or blog surfing. Not even youtube.

Just time off with my babies doing non-internet things such as this.

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But I’m all detoxed out and it’s nice to be back. 10 days is about my limit to being away from the internet. I feel a withdrawal coming on.

Ok, lots of happenings and stuff.

We kicked off the June holidays with the very same thing we did last June, with frosty wintery air and coffee-snob level caffeine infusion and a whole bunch of farm animals. In Melbourne. We’ve developed a nice little love affair with Melbourne. It’s got just the right amount of laid back cobblestone charm for this city girl and the right amount of outdoorsy activities for the kids.

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Perhaps outdoorsy isn’t the best word. Outdoorsy implies a little spot at the Botanic Gardens back home, but in Melbourne, it’s endless blue sky and beautiful green grass for as far as the eyes can see. It looks like something right out of a picture book. Throw in some sheep, horses, and a handful of friendly shetland bulls. Plus a minefield of poop. By the way, did you know that sheep make a lot of poop? There’s poop everywhere on that pretty green grass. At first, I was like, “Woah so much poop! Watch where you’re going, kids, don’t step on the poop. Right there! Phew, missed a pile…and another…” After 25 steps or so, I gave up. Fine! Go ahead, step on all the poop!

Finn was most happy to oblige. “Did you say I could stomp on poop, mom?” It was like christmas morning for this kid. All the poop he stomped on got lodged in his shoe and I had to spend the entire 2-hour drive back to the city being assaulted in the nose by the foul, putrid stench of sheep poop.

I’m telling you that there’s a price to pay for being all friendly with nature. Thank God for husbands who volunteer to scrape off bits of stuck poop with their bare hands.

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But would you just look at that fluffy wuffy sheep? And that face of delight. It was such a treat for them to hang out with all the animals. I suppose all is forgiven. Poop away, cuddly sheep!

Also, horses. Having a horse eat an apple right out of your hand is one of life’s most underrated pleasures. There should be horses made available to eat apples from my hand when I get too overwhelmed with life.

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We also met the cutest, sleepiest, snoriest pig. I’m guessing this little piggy did not go to the market. This little piggy stayed home, had roast beef, some jam and bread, a few biscuits, and a large bowl of clam chowder, then lay down for a delicious nap.

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Aaaand now, it’s time for some monkey faces courtesy of Finn. He’s in a delightfully fun phase where he wants to have his picture taken all the time.

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I can’t even begin to describe how much I love this phase. Please don’t go away.

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