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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ron's Great Adventure

Earlier this month we were so pleased to welcome our first visitor - Uncle Ron arrived!

We've been so busy there hasn't been anytime to blog about our adventures so I'll try to catch you up on our escapades.

After an action packed week in Sydney, Ron was eager to see as much of Melbourne and our lives here as he could in just 2 weeks.

I can't count how many days we spent in the city. There's so much to see, and eat! I swear I ate at a different sandwich vendor every day and ate almost as many doughnuts!

We did a lot of walking around the arcades and alleys giving us a chance to take in the caf├ęs and street art that Melbourne is famous for.

Another day we did a free walking tour that took us on a 3 hour tour around the city with a huge amount of information provided by a great guide from I'm Free Tours that I would recommend to anyone. I had great fun learning a few new things while walking around the city.

The end of our tour put us on the south side of the river giving us a great view of the cityscape.

On our longest day we landed in at Flinders Station, grabbed some lunch for later in the day and caught a tram up to the Shrine of Remembrance. It's fun to see some of these landmarks again, but the real fun is showing someone else around for the first time.   We piggy-backed onto a school tour at the Shrine until one of the lovely senior citizen volunteers took us on a personal tour and finished off our morning with a picnic lunch in the park. 

Next up we went up the Eureka Tour for a view of the city from the 88th floor skydeck. This was so much fun with amazing views of the city and the bay.

One of these things is not like the other...

Scott was picking up the kids from school so we finished off the day with one last stop at the Aquarium.

We hit everything in the city we could fit in including 2 visits to the Queen Victoria Market, one by day to visit the vendors and 1 at night to experience the food and music.

One Sunday afternoon while the kids were out at other houses we made a trip out to Brighton Beach to see the beach boxes and St. Kilda, because it's just a really cool part of town with yet another great view of Melbourne.

Other days we could be found hiking Mount Dandenong, visiting the zoo, swinging through the trees up in Belgrave, barracking for the Hawks at a footy game, or just having a cuppa and something yummy to eat at the Chocolaterie in the Yarra Valley. We were on the move every single day! Seriously, I'm exhausted just recounting it all!

On our second weekend together, Uncle Ron took in one of Tyler's basketball games and then we took him on a road trip to Phillip Island.

It was too cold for swimming at the beach, but we found lots of other things to do.

First up the Koala Sanctuary. The wallabies were perky and friendly, but the koalas were sleepy and antisocial.

And then the best part. We rugged up and settled in by the ocean to wait for the little penguins to come in to burrow for the night.

We've been to see these little guys before and they never disappoint. Hundreds of them emerge from the ocean and up the beach every night to burrow for the night in the sand dunes. They are seriously cute and so funny to watch waddle up the dunes and talk to each other trying to settle down for the night.

The next day we were up bright and early to go and visit the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. We know quite a few racing fans that would love this place. But the highlight was taking the kids go-karting on a track that mimics the grand prix track with actual racing in the background all alongside the ocean.

Here's a video of the one lap that the boys let the kids drive. I'm not sure I'm letting either one of them drive my car in the future!

 A couple more stops were made on the way home,

One to feed the pelicans at San Remo

 And one to feed some Roos too.

 With only 2 days left in Australia, we helped scratch one more item off of Ron's Australian bucket list, we shipped the kids off to school and headed out of the city on one of the worlds best drives - the Great Ocean Road.

There's no end to beautiful beaches, amazing landscapes and blue ocean.

 A new view for us was the fire damage at Wye River from the bush fires in December of last year. The devastation was incredible, but we were equally amazed by the amount of green regrowth already noticeable after only a couple of months.

One intriguing stop along the way is a collection of thousands of stone stacks that look an awful like inukshuks to this Canadian. Ron was so fascinated he left his own to mark his visit.

We had an absolutely amazing 2 weeks. The kids loved having him here to show off their school, their friends and all there is to their life here. He helped with school drop-off and pick-up and even came to Friday afternoon assembly.  Scott was thrilled to have a friend here to show-off and show around our city and the life we have in it. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better houseguest, and having a buddy to roam around the city and discover new places was way more fun that being on my own.

Hopefully this much longer blog post will keep you entertained for a couple of weeks until we return from our latest adventure - New Zealand and a motorhome.

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