After breakfast, we walked along leafy St Kilda Road to the Shrine of Remembrance inside a place called King's Domain, which is a huge park area. The Shrine one of the largest war memorials in Australia, and it says "Let All Men Know That This Is Holy Ground." All women too? It was very impressive, but too much to understand for tired little travellers. Jetlag ensured Raquel hijacked Gali's sweet Valco Baby pram for a nap, and Gali discovered that falling on his knees on asphalt in short pants is not like falling on grass in long pants. Ouch. We wondered over to the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne, where Gali had more success on the grass, playing with friendly dogs, and an elephant statue in the children's park. By the time Raquel woke up, we had wandered into the imposing National Gallery of Victoria. Hot-seating the stroller, Dad took Gali back to the Oaks for his nap, and Raquel hung out with Mom, trying a Vegemite sandwich for the first time, and staying well clear of a giant leaning Buddha statue. Later, we walked over to Federation Square during an African Festival, played at a cool little urban playground called ArtPlay, and caught the free inner-city tram to pick up some supplies and pies along Swanston Street.
- A Vegemite Sandwich. Raquel liked it at first. Then she tasted the actual Vegemite. Em, no.
- Lamb and rosemary roll and mince meat pies.
- A delicious smoothie.
My Favourite Pictures Today
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Oaks Southbank. Given the jetlag, we all did surprisingly well for our first night. Gali was a little restless in the entrance hallway, where we placed his travel cot. The place looks a little less like a tornado hit it, and we are in love with the coffee machine downstairs in the foyer, which is caffeinated nectar for appreciative guests. We also realized just how central our location is to so many wonderful Melbourne attractions.
Says a guy to us at the African Festival in Federation Square: "You have sun in Canada. But we have sun sun." It was a little chilly and overcast this morning when we set out for a walk. No sunblock. No hats. Then we checked the UV Index ("Extreme High!") and spoke to some parents at the Botanical Gardens who educated us about being sun smart in Australia. "11 to 3, under a tree!" Gali knew better, because his long mid-day nap ensured we were out of the sun during those times (and Dad could get some work done!) We learned that Melbourne is friendly and incredibly vibrant. And when you tell someone they dropped their purse, they insist on giving you money! Art, music, fashion, culture...it's everywhere around us. We learned that we need a double stroller for this adventure, because Raquel has embraced the Snap 4 and a sibling war is almost under way (right now there's just espionage).
Reflection of the Day
When we opened the curtains this morning, Raquel saw a half dozen hot air balloons in the city's northern sky. It was magical. She also loved going on the tram, and cracked up when Gali tried to speak to Siri.
The full blown double hangry meltdown on Swanston Street outside Pie Face. Also: getting walloped by sneaky jetlag.
Kids are usually grumpy when they're hungry or tired or both. Adults, at least most of them, know how to regulate, but young kids can quickly descend into the pit of terror, the kind that has strangers on the street either smiling in sympathy or glaring in judgement. Raquel and Gali have no concept of jet lag, and so the level of frustration is heightened even further. Gali had his moments today, but Raquel was in fine shitty toddler form. There is optimism that she'll turn into her fun self again just as soon as her body clock is once again on time. We also learned the sun in Australia must be taken seriously. Travelling with kids is a lot slower than we're used to, and you can't do the things you normally do.