What We Did:
Some days are just so action packed you wonder how these kids manage to fit it all in their heads. We barely manage ourselves. We kicked off with an early morning drive to the Monarto Zoo. Dad heard they’re now offering a lion cage experience inspired by shark cage diving, and had to check it out for himself. Raquel kept him company, carried to the car in her pyjamas. At the world’s largest open-range zoo, Raquel was fascinated with the chimpanzees, especially with a boisterous baby named Enzi who was leaping about. She checked out meerkats and giraffes, but the highlight was going into a special cage where lions climbed right above our heads! Along with a little boy celebrating his third birthday, she popped into a viewing car and a lion jumped right on the roof above them. A little terrifying, even for adults! Back in the city, Mom took Raquel for a swim at the hotel while Gali napped, and went exploring the city. We reconnected in the evening to visit the amazing Garden of Unearthly Delights – a big illuminated park and fairground with dozens of Fringe Festival shows and food trucks. Raquel played in a giant jumping castle, took her first ever Ferris wheel ride with Jaci, and laughed inside a tent during a 15 minute mime-circus act. Gali was more interested in running about, looking at the fruit bats fly across the moonlit sky, and seeing all the lights. It’s a true spectacle and a magical time for Adelaide. On the way home, we checked out the amazing light shows on the old buildings on North Terrace. A big day, with so many highlights.
What We Ate:
Lunch: Dad and Raquel ate burgers. Gali and Mom opted for fresh and fast Mexican burritos, quesidillas and enchiladas downtown.
Dinner was a real Italian treat. Rigoni’s on Leigh Street is a popular Adelaide institution, the kind of place that makes you want to stay long and eat it all. We started with a sampler of bruschetta, served with sous-vide beef and horseradish cream and marinated eggplant. Crisp fried calamari, antipasto, haloumi, fried baitfish, braised lamb triangoli, sous-vide duck, pumpkin and ricotta gnocchi, washed down with a bottle of a Church’s Block from Wirra Wirra in the McLaren Vale wine region ..mamma mia! The kids had spaghetti with tomato and olive oil and garlic. We’re full just thinking about it!
My Favourite Pictures Today
Where We Slept:
We’re in a spacious two bedroom apartment at the Embassy Oaks Hotel on North Terrace. Dad got productive in the coffee shop downstairs while Mom took the kids for a swim in the lap pool on the 4th floor. As usual, the staff have been amazing and we feel right at home.
That the region around Adelaide has a similar climate to the African bush, which is why Monarto’s breeding program for African animals has been so successful. That chimpanzees are fascinating to observe at play. That being surrounded by hungry lions is scary and amazing at the same time. That the Adelaide Fringe festival brings performers from around the world, and you can see shows for as little as $6 a ticket. That food and wine tastes better with friends. That Gali doesn’t always follow the ball, but Raquel can sit through a show.
Reflection of the Day
The Best Part:
We loved the atmosphere, climate and overall experience inside the Garden of Unearthly Delights…it was a magical summer night.
The Worst Part:
When the lion growled at Raquel and scared her pants off!
We'll Always Remember
- Name: Ben
- Favourite Place: The Flinders Ranges, SA
- I Love Travel Because: it’s the ultimate and guaranteed reset button
- My Advice for Kids: Respect the freedom that you’re given
- Name: Dylan
- Favourite Place: Nazare, Portugal
- I Love Travel Because: of the people you meet and the out of control experiences you get to have
- My Advice for Kids: Be open to explore, try new things and listen to your parents
Today's Random Thing
A Note from Mom and Dad
We’ve been pushing some late nights with the kids, but there’s so much going on. Raquel is a dynamo that won’t quit, but Gali goes full bezerker after 9pm. The result is that neither are sleeping particularly well, and Dad has been banished to the couch if he hopes on getting any sleep himself. The Lion 360 Experience activates whatever enzyme exists within us that tells us, after thousands of year of evolution, we really shouldn’t get too close to lions. While it’s perfectly safe, Raquel was definitely freaked out from the size and strength of the full grown, hungry lions (they gather around the cage because they are being fed). For the most part, as long as she’s kept busy she does really well during activities, and the sheer spectacle of the Adelaide Fringe – costumes, bright lights, festive music, weird characters – was more than enough to keep her buzzing. Gali also got swept up in the atmosphere of it all…we can only wonder how these kids are processing the sheer wonders that are playing out before their eyes.