Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Matthew 7:9

And we thought Samuel is still too young to attend the Liturgy Class....

Sure, we are not regulars (as in attending every week).
And sure Samuel is not always paying his full interest in class.

But Samuel does listen and sometimes, he remembers.

Some time back, Samuel gave us a sweet surprise when he recites the passage

If a child asks for bread, will you give him a stone?


He went on and asked us,

If Samuel asks for a toy, will Mommy and Daddy give Samuel a rock?


:O

As far as we recall, we have yet to teach him that.
He must have learnt it from the Liturgy Class when they were teaching the kids to recite the Our Father Prayer.
The teacher had divided the children in groups of four then and got each groups to recite the prayer in front of the class together with him.
Samuel couldn’t read the prayer yet but he did join the recital.

It’s either that the teaching was effective or Samuel finds the passage interesting.

He remembers it : )

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lorne on Great Ocean Road


Sigh!
We woke up to another rainy morning in Lorne.


It was still raining when we checked out later in the morning. We took a drive to the nearby Erskine Falls hoping to catch a glimpse of the waterfalls but …..


  • 80 meters to the Low Falls Lookout
  • 220 meters to the High Falls Lookout

At least 80m of walking in the rain on slippery slope together with a 4 years old…
Hmmm…… not delicious thought. So we decided that we’d be contented with only glimpse on the entrance :(
If it’s any consolation, we did see a wild wallaby hopped across the road though : )

Mommy started to get desperate when the rain still did not stop after an early lunch later. After all, we had come so far for a walk in the mighty beach right?
By hook or by crook, we should make it happen.
But how?


With 3 ponchos and one umbrella.

The fierce wind rendered our ponchos impractical though. They were blown all over the place especially on Samuel since it’s 10 a size too big.
But of course Samuel finds it thrilling rather than riling. Not a word of complain from him. Hey at least it's fun to run in the rain, right?

Our walk lasted only minutes before Mommy and Daddy both threw our hands up.

Fine, we’d head back to the city : (

But wait….
Lo and behold, by some mysterious twisted fate some one hour later (long story), we found ourselves still along the Ocean Road when the rain stopped : O
And Samuel had just wake up from his nap too.

Perfect! We finally got to step our foot on the beach. Beautiful beach, cloudy but pretty nevertheless.



Finally!

We drove back to the city one happy tourist.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Great Ocean Drive

Although it’s freezing cold in Melbourne, we have enjoyed clear weather thus far. And we were fortunate that the rain only came after we’ve got our hired car. That saved us half the headache of thinking how to go around in wet weather.

So our Australia holiday continued with the Great Ocean Drive. It did not take us long to find our way driving out of Melbourne city to the highway and to the Ocean Road. But it was a very long drive. A winding one too once we reached the Ocean Road.

It was raining throughout our drive; not heavy but enough to deter us from leaving our car. It’s a pity as it’s really scenic out there.

We stopped by a small town, Anglesea to have our lunch. The food was one of the best we’ve tried in Australia. The menu was nothing extraordinary; just sweet potatoes soup with warm bread, risotto, salmon pie and salads. But there’s something magical about the way they were prepared, kinda had a homely feel to it. We truly enjoyed our lunch. That’s the only time we wiped our plates clean, downright to the bread crumbs…..
Ok may be not! There were still stains of potatoes soup on the bowl :p

It was another 30km or so from Anglesea to Lorne; one of the popular coastal resort town along the Ocean Road. It's our intended stopover to check out the coastline before continue on to Port Campbell. But ………

Well, discouraged by the bad weather and an almost sick Mommy (motion sickness, remember?), we decided it’s best to camp at Lorne instead.
On our drive to Lorne, we passed by a few noteworthy attractions but missed the opportunity to stop by;

  • The Lighthouse which we would love to climb up to view the big horizonless ocean
  • The Memorial Arch

We or rather Mommy did however make 2 brief runs down the car to snap some sleazy photos.

Hey, don’t blame it on the photographer. The lighting was bad :p


Samuel
Bored but still well behaved in the car.

Daddy
Busy navigating

Mommy
Looked like a crazy lady after a crazy run out of the car to snap some crazy photos :D

We reached Lorne at around 3pm, checked ourselves in to Lorne Hotel and waited patiently for the rain to stop. It did not though. We were stranded in the room until night falls. And there’s nothing to be done when it’s dark outside.
Sigh…
The only upside of this episode was, we were stranded in the room…..

in a room that comes with a big spanking spa.

Daddy and Samuel love it.
It’s rare to see Samuel ever so willingly strips naked to get in to a hot tub.

Lazed by the cold weather, we did not go far for dinner.
We had steak at the restaurant, sipped wine by the fire and called it a night after that.

With our convoy of Dinosaurs


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Football in da House


Technically, it’s not a football. They are beach balls and we are glad as they’re lighter, softer and more bouncy. Makes them safer to be kicked around the house.

Samuel has been kicking ‘em randomly for the longest time until he discovers a new game with Daddy recently. Guarding the Dragon Gate a.k.a. Goalie Game.

Daddy and Samuel will each role play; one as the goalie and the other will kick the ball to score point.
And the goal?



Our faithful door :p
See how Samuel guards it

Here it comes

Kick

Here it comes again

And again

Tackling the ball

Good game, Mate!

I mean, Dad!
: )

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Philips Island Nature Park


We woke up fresh to a bright morning on our third day in Australia. That’s the day we pick-up our hired car, a small Yaris automatic. Perfect size for a small family and perfect for Mommy since she’d be the driver. Daddy took over the very important job as the navigator as Mommy is terrible with maps :p

The day itinerary was to self-drive out from Melbourne town. We had the Great Ocean Drive in mind initially but decided to reschedule it and go to Philips Island instead.

Philips Island is an Australian island nature park located some 150km from where we were. Constraint by our unfamiliarity with the road and the lower speed limit, it took us around 2.5 hours to reach the island.
We break our drive with an early lunch at Cranbourne.



By our hired car


We reached Philips Island slightly after 2 in the afternoon and headed straight to the Nobbies Center.

The center is well known for featuring the Australian Fur Seals. The nearby Seal Rocks is an important breeding ground for the seals. Unfortunately we couldn’t see any, not even with the seal camera. Perhaps it’s seasonal?

We did however see a lot of seagulls. It’s the breeding season. There’s a long boardwalk where one can stroll and enjoy the magnificent views of the coast line, nesting ground, wild flowers and the very unique blowhole.

We were truly awed by nature. So picturesque, so surreal, so pretty; it almost seems unreal : )



Taking a rest

Seagulls everywhere

End of the Boardwalk

What did we see here?

The wave hits a sea cave

The impact is mighty when the water hits the rear

Water spray is gushed out

We hung-out there for a while to watch the Blowhole.
Gasping at nature! Truly spectacular

Samuel wanted to walk a second round after we’ve finished with our walk. We were tempted to too but it was freezing cold out there. Especially when the wind blew.

We retreated to the café there and had warm coffees. They served one of the best scones we’ve ever tried : )
Samuel got to entertain himself in the indoor playground too.

The timing was just right that after our tea … or rather coffee at the Nobbies Café, it’s time for us to head to the Penguin Parade which was just a few minutes drive away.
This wildlife attraction is the home to the largest Little Penguin; aka Fairy Penguin colony in the world. We have not seen penguins swim out and emerge from the sea before. The thought of it was enough to excite us!

Daddy got us the Penguins Plus tickets; this option provides us a more exclusive viewing platform and we were told that 60% of the penguin will pass by the boardwalk. The tour did not disappoint us. The Penguin Parade was all it’s told and then some.
The wild penguins were really tiny; adorable yet grubby; magical yet very real. They emerged in batches and walked in groups. They walked as far as 2 kilometers from the beach. Visitor could walk side by side with them along the boardwalk.
All of us got to see the penguins from very close range.
It’s a very fulfilling tour. All the waiting time (although not long but seems like forever as it was very-very cold) and braving through the freezing cold wind was worth it.

Oh ya, photography is strictly not allowed outside the visitor center. The camera lights might distress the penguins. So we did not take many photos here.

Visitor Center

Mock Penguins

Painting of the Fairy Penguins

The sun had long set after we’ve finished our dinner and we still had to head back to Melbourne. Guided by the street lights and a critically ill GPS; our drive back was an adventurous one. Heart-attack-ing even.

‘Ya see, it was dark outside. Road signs and map could only help so much. We relied heavily on GPS for city routes. But Daddy’s hand phone’s battery was critically low. While the GPS was active, the screen faded in and out to save power.
We were on the verge of stopping by a convenient store to have the battery charged when we heaved a sigh of relief as we saw some familiar grounds. We were nearing our Aunty’s place.

Phew…… That was close.



Saturday, August 21, 2010

Outdone


Samuel has been imitating the penguin walk ever since we’re back from Australia. At times referring himself to a baby penguin. And the baby penguin walks very slowly.
Teasing Samuel this morning for his penguin walk, Daddy asked Samuel


What if the shark chases the penguin?


And ‘ya thought the default answer would be; “then the penguin will walk faster?
Nay…… Instead Samuel answered


Then the penguin will swim fast-fast in the water because shark only swims in the water.
Cannot walk on the ground


:O

Outdone by a 4 year old?

:O :O

Still on the penguin walk topic a while later. Daddy teased Samuel again


Daddy: What if the fish chases the Penguin?

Samuel:
Actually penguin likes to eat fish. So the penguin will eat the fish


:O
So cleverly answered


Daddy: What if Samuel chases the penguin?

Samuel:
Then the penguin will walk fast-fast


That’s the answer we’re looking for in-order to get him to walk faster


Daddy: What if Mommy chases the penguin?

Samuel:
The penguin will jump on Mommy’s head and Mommy will fall into the hole


Oops…
:p

Friday, August 20, 2010

City and the Aquarium


We didn’t have a daily fix itinerary. It’s basically a free and easy family trip. We normally leave the house after 10 every morning after breakfast at home.

On Sunday, we took the tram to the city again and then later stroll on feet to go around.

The street

We had a light lunch at the Federation Square while watching a street performance. Besides the obvious jokes telling and silly tales, the Professional Street Performer performed fire sticks juggling and dancing too. Our boy enjoyed every bit of 45 mins throughout the show; his snacks if not all the jokes : )

Federation Square

Watch me perform

Watch me perform too!

Tipping the performer

We later walked to the Melbourne Aquarium.

Enjoying our walk

By the Yarra River

Child under 4 is charged for entrance to the Melbourne Aquarium too unlike most tourist place where only guests above 6 are charged.
There was not long queue or big crowd. We went into the Aquarium promptly after Daddy got our tickets.

Flash photography is not allowed in the King and Gentoo Penguin area.


This explains the blur-ish shot.

But fret not. At AUD35, Melbourne Aquarium can take a nice shot of us and put us against nice backdrops in the Aquarium.

Can you see the camouflage here?

Crab

Glass catfish.
Can you guess how the fish got its name?

Small fishes

Through the tunnel

By the billabong

Just across the bridge in front of the aquarium is the Crown Casino Entertainment Precinct. We joined Aunty Rose for our dinner there before calling it a day.

Having skipped his nap earlier in the day, Samuel slept on the way back and slept through until the next morning :O
That’s how tired he was.