February 18 Thredbo-Canberra
Waking up to sunshine….what a treat! Thredbo had been amazing and we were all sad to say goodbye to our new friends and the amazing mountian that we had all enjoyed.
On our way through to Cotter Campground we stopped to refill the food and water which we had been drained over the previous week of remote camping. It was freezing and wet when we arrived in Canberra. At this point I’m not sure why the cold is surprising us. We have kind of resigned ourselves to the fact that the cold is following us.
We were very tired when we finally pulled in to Cotter. It was busy and there was duck and roo poo everywhere and we were generally not coping with life. The set up was slower than usual and a bit cranky but eventually we were organised. While Adrian rested I prepared dinner and the kids explored yet another creek.
February 19 Parliment House & War Memorial
The next day started with four in the bed for a warm cuddle (this makes it really hard to get up in the morning but its one of my favourite parts of being on holidays).
We headed into Canberra to our first stop of that day, Parliament House. The kids were amazed by the towering flag that greeted us as we approached the car park. After our security checks we headed up the magnificent marble stairs to the cafe for a coffee and in the hope to quickly catch up the blog. I think Clarissa’s face shows all of our emotions as we frustratingly battled with the public wifi to load our photos.
With one post sorted we headed off to explore and learn more about politics. Adrian gave the kids a quick run down of the law making process but I think they were more interested in following the map to the different rooms.
We enjoyed all the rooms and views to be seen before heading off towards the Old Bus Depot markets. If you hadn’t worked it out by now we kind of love wandering around markets and the kids love it too!
The markets were on the foreshore in the old bus depot warehouse. It was really cool. Lots of food sellers and homemade wares to puruse. We couldn’t tear the kids away from a drawing game they found so we bought it. It is lots of fun!
Our next planned stop for the day was the War Memorial. It is a very somber place. So many have lost their lives so that we can live in this beautiful country.
Adrian and I had visited the memorial nearly 13 years ago on our honeymoon and the exhibits had changed quiet a lot. There was lots more interactive displays and 3D diplays. We were amazed how much better it was now (not that we hadn’t enjoyed it the first time).
There was a discovery zone designed specifically for the kids. They could touch things, try on uniforms and be emerssed into different wars and vehicles. We all enjoyed the submarine the most.
Adrian got some very poignant photos of the kids making me think about how young our soldiers really were when they left for war.
We headed out towards the National Arboretum (tree regrowth place) to find the Pod Playground for the kids to unwind while we got the photos up for the next post. You see we can type offline, but need the internet to get the photos up. So in this case we have had multiple posts ready to go but have been waiting for the range. Well the playground was really cool. It had acorn pods that were connected by a series of climbing tunnels. We were here for nearly 2 hours.
Tired and with heads full of knowledge we headed back to camp (Which did not seem anywhere near so bad now that we were lifing better)….with some yummy bread from the markets and had dinner. Adrian and I watched Down Periscope (after our submarine fun it seemed only right….if you haven’t seen it it’s a good laugh… not for kids) which was a lovely way to unwind from a busy day.
February 20 Questacon & The Royal Mint
Even colder the next morning! There was no hiding the smiles as the kids woke up and realised it was Questacon day!
After a delay fixing some wiring on the bike rack, we headed off to experience science in all its forms. We were instanting engaged as we walked up the stairs. There were robots and water towers and hypercolour pillars and so much more.
Our first stop was rocket science 101 with Dr Blashtov. It was a very fun show and we saw 11 rockets launched in 30mins!
The other rooms were broken up into different fields of science and maths. Each one was filled with hands on fun! We enjoyed an earthquake simulation room, a caged lightning strike, different animals skulls, a construction zone and so much more.
The favourite area was the last zone. It had a free fall slide, 4 way air hockey, a neon light tunnel, speed throw machine and a wall of clear tunnels that had air pushing through them. Clarissa enjoyed putting the scarves in the tubes and seeing where they came out and the boys loved the slide.
What an amazing place Questacon was!
With a bit of time left in the day we headed out to the National Mint. It was so fascinating learning about how our currency has changed and developed.over the years. We viewed the factory and the kids had a go at designing their own $1 coin.
Finally, with very weary bodies we headed back for an early night….tomorrow was going to be an exciting day!
February 21 Canberra-Sydney
The boys had planned to ride in the morning but they both woke feeling a bit bleh so decided on a movie instead. Clarissa and I had made plans to visit the National Gallery as they were hosting a Versailles exhibit. We excitedly enjoyed a cuppa before opening time and then found our way into the world of 18th century France. I love French styling! So much detail and elegance. We saw paintings, rugs, urns, fans, table settings, furniture and so many more opulent treasures.
Before the boys returned to pick us up Clarissa explored the kids play area. It was a fantasic set up for kids to enjoy the feelong of the exhibit. She posed as the king and queen, made a crown, designed a fountain and made a flower corsage. So much fun!
Back with our boys we headed off towards Sydney. I was getting very excitied now! A long 3 1/2hr drive saw us arrive at Lane Cove Tourist Park via the big merino in Goldburn.
We set up camp and then told the kids we were off for a special family tea. This meal had been 3 weeks in secret planning. We were expecting a 50min drive back to Penrith but there was an accident on the motorway which would mean our trip would be 1 1/4hr. Nooooo! Why today? Oh well we battled through the traffic (excitement building even more) and found our way to Spurs in Penrith. You see the surprise we had been keeping from the kids was that Mum (Oma) was here for a conference. It took them a while to get their heads around the fact that she was here but their smiles said it all. Such a lovely reunion!
We enjoyed a delicious meal and catch up. The kids excitedly told her every story from the last 7 weeks (even though we have had weekly phone conversations). The evening was lovely and well timed exactly half way through our trip!
Thank you Rehoboth for sending my Mummy over for a cuddle!