At the chocolate factory, Raquel was allowed to pick one item. Mom is really trying to teach her some self control. Raquel chose the shiniest truffle on display, a strawberry and white chocolate little ball of heaven. Mom got a dark chocolate truffle, can't go wrong with a classic. A one metre-tall chocolate was exactly the same size as Raquel, which made for a fun photo. Dad had a lot of writing to catch up on, so Mom took the kids on a stroll around the Melbourne CBD. We ended up at the Block Arcade retail precinct, with its interesting floors and more interesting stores. The Dr. Seuss Art Gallery blew Raquel's mind ("like a Faffel-Fafflefind?" - Dad).
For lunch: Grilled sausages (which the Aussies call snags) and delicious fresh salads (mango and avocado together at last). For dinner: : a pesto served with crunchy oven whitefish.
We had a good old fashioned barbie on the patio at our wonderful publishers, Affirm Press. They're the reason we're on this grand adventure and we couldn't be more thrilled to work with such a wonderful team. For dinner, we enjoyed our last meal at the hotel.
My Favourite Pictures Today
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Oaks Southbank. Our final night in our first Melbourne home. A glass box high in the sky with amazing views of the city, we loved being so central (Flinders St station is just a five minute walk away), close to the buskers and buzz of the riverbank, the National Gallery of Victoria, and the botanical gardens. The staff were amazing, we relished our morning coffee from the lobby, and will never forget our first experience with a car elevator. Thanks for being such wonderful hosts!
Drivers in Melbourne don't stop for strollers. We learned that summer storms in Melbourne mean serious business! Thunder, lightning, sheets of rain, strong wind...it was thrilling to see it from our 25th floor apartment. We learned that Australians can have very different regional accents; some sound more British, while others we can barely decipher! We learned there is no such a thing as Carpal Stroller Syndrome, but there is something called Mommy Thumb (seriously). We learned that we'll take meeting people face-t0-face over email any day. We learned that Costco do not keep a universal database of their members (and that we forgot to bring our Costco card). Gali is rocking through a growth spurt, practicing jumping and walking up and down stairs. We learned to enjoy the pleasures from such small moments of victory.
Reflection of the Day
Seeing Gali and Raquel light up beneath the Dr Seuss pictures. Recognizing something familiar in such strange surroundings clearly gave them comfort. Gali conquering stairs by himself. Raquel not melting down at the chocolate factory. Meeting inspiring friends who also believe in the power of books.
Mom had to run up hill to get the stroller and kids out of the storm. She hurt her wrist, but on the plus side she got a good work out. Every time Dad has to navigate Melbourne rush hour traffic, he feels like he needs to lock himself up in a quiet, dark room to decompress.
We'll Always Remember
- Name: Graeme
- : Wilson’s Promontory, the national park has the most pristine beaches in Victoria.
- : I want to see the world.
- : Respect your mother and father.
- Name: Ingrid
- : Walking to the lighthouse in Byron Bay.
- : I get concentrated time with my family, and get out of my home base.
- : Good manners goes a long way in every country.
- Name: Joy
- : Bondi Beach
- : In my time, the thought of international travel wasn’t even in our spectrum. When worked allowed us to finally travel, we discovered a new universe. And travel became an obsession.
- : See the funny side and laugh a lot. Don’t take life too seriously. When you cross the road by day or night, look to the left and look to the right.
- Name: Keiran
- : Bendoc, on the NSW/Victoria border. It's big sky country.
- : of people, places, but mainly fish.
- : Enjoy being who you are.
- Name: Sheridan
- : Bondi Beach, it’s the one I’ve stopped at.
- : of the binary nature of the decision-making. Will I stop here, or will I go?
- : Only you are qualified to be you.
- Name: Simon
- : The Canadian Rockies.
- : We learn so much. It's amazing how different cultures might cook with the same ingredients in such different ways.
- : Keep an open mind.
There should be a rule: A 30-minute nap is not worth 45-minutes trying to make it happen. Gali was a routine kid before we embarked on our journey, but like his Dad, he doesn't want to miss a second of the action. The poor guy is bombed out by the early evening. Kids are incredibly adaptable, although sometimes they just need some down time, a hug, a chapter or two a Geronimo Stilton adventure, or to dance in the living room to a newly discovered song (today it was Holiday, by Madonna).