Day 81

Location:  

Melbourne

Weather:  

Calendar:  

What We Did:

It’s our last big day in Australia before we pack up and head off to Asia.  We conclude our crazy journey across the entire nation right where we began, in Melbourne, doing some really cool stuff. First we drove to the Melbourne Museum, which had so much to look at – dinosaur bones, thousands of insects and bugs, stuffed animals, incredible crystals, and an interactive kids play area that had Raquel and Gali running, swinging, and jumping around with big smiles on their faces. From there we drove across the city to Science Works, which was full of fun and educational exhibits and games, from creating aliens to launching hydrogen rockets! The kids played with sports simulators, and tested their reflexes, tripped out in the weird upstairs exhibit about sound and shapes and galaxies (Galileo was in his element), learned about clean energy, took on a climbing wall, and designed their dream cars of the future. Speaking of which, we may have driven over 20,000 km in a Ford Everest, but we finished up our Australian adventure in a Ford Mondeo Trend Hatch, a zippy family car that scooted around a city not exactly so famous for scooting about (oh the traffic and weird streets of Melbourne!) Gali had a good nap on the way home, so we stopped into the Westfield Mall near our Air Bnb in Doncaster to pick up supplies for the big adventure ahead. Thank you so much for joining us on our ambitious, enlightening, and inspiring journey across Australia. We’ll be checking in occasionally from our next destination in Thailand and Vietnam, albeit a little less frequently. A very special thank you to our partners Ford Motors Australia, Jetstar Airways, Oaks Hotels and Resorts, Discovery Parks, Valco Baby, Britax, Move Yourself, Keen Footwear and Sunshades Eyewear. We sure went big. But don’t worry, we’re not ready to go home yet!

What We Ate:

Lunch: Spinach and feta quiche, chicken schnitzel sandwich, a meat pie and chicken nuggets and chips.
Dinner: Dad went to town, roasting beef with sweet potatoes, asparagus, red peppers and zucchini. Of course, the kids preferred to eat fruit, nuts, cereal and yoghurt.

Where We Ate:

Lunch: At the Science Works Cafe
Dinner: At our Air Bnb in Doncaster

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

Dad rejoined us after his hiking adventure in the outback, and we found a place to stay in Doncaster. It’s a newish 3-bedroom townhouse, which is comfortable if utterly lacking in soul (and bedside lamps, fitted sheets, kitchen stuff and a TV that works). Quite remarkably, the kids have slept in a total of 47 different accommodations in about 6 months of travel, an average of a new bed every 3.8 days! Gali’s Valco Baby Zephyr Porta Crib turned out to be the perfect choice, although he has finally outgrown it and we’re not taking it to Asia.

We Learned:

So much about insects and bugs and grasshoppers. So much about animals and dinosaurs and geology. We learned about space and sports, electricity and elephants. Mom and Dad even learned about Vikings! We learned that Melbourne is a reliably insane city to drive in (and that people who text when they drive should not be driving – thanks for the rear end crash, idiot!) We learned that it gets dark early in Melbourne in winter, and it gets damn cold too! We learned that Gali is officially eating less as he gets skinny and tall, and Raquel is officially eating more as she gets smarter and more independent.

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Both museums are fantastic, and well worthwhile visiting with kids on any day of the week. For Dad: Filing the finished manuscript to The Great Australian Bucket List.

The Worst Part:

Gali spewed up his breakfast after choking on a cashew; the kid loves his nuts. Dad cut his foot in the bathroom. Raquel had a great day, but got a little scared of the big dinosaur bones and the hairy insects.

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

What a journey it has been! We’re still kind of shocked how far we have come, how much we have done, how quickly it went, and what we have learned – as travellers, and especially as parents. There’s been some unexpected joys and some devastating disappointments, a rollercoaster of emotions with highs and lows and not much sleep between either. We started this daily “b-logbook”  project to help Raquel make sense of the full days she was experiencing, but after 81 days, it has become a beautiful time capsule of our family journey down under. So many people we’ve met have told us we’re crazy to be travelling at such a pace with two young kids, and we agree. Doing so much in such a short space of time (blame Dad’s travel writing schedule) has been taxing and exhausting, but stimulating and fun too. An adventure is a journey beyond your comfort zone, and a family adventure…well, that will forever inspire stories, strengthen bonds, and makes the world feel just that little more smaller.  It’s going to be interesting putting this altogether into a book, and dramatically changing our environment yet again. We’ll catch you next time from Thailand!

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