Sunday, April 20, 2014

Canberra Diary: Day 2

5:15am are you kidding it's not morning yet? At the first sound of Seb blinking I leap out of bed and warm up the bottle I prepared the night before. Success, I get it into his mouth before he's even really awake and the girls keep sleeping. I snuggle him close in the hopes he will drink and fall asleep.

5:45am Seb is nibbling on my ear and prompting me to say "ow" getting harder and harder until I comply. I'm awake. Husband is snoring next to me so I direct Sebs attention to his ear. Now we're both awake.

7:00am Girls are making noise about waking up so I sneak outside to the 3 degree's temps and hide eggs all over the place. I must be nuts. I hear another parent telling their kid that the Easter Bunny didn't know where to come. I throw the kid a chocolate so I don't have to feel guilty as they witness our hunt. Seb finds his first chocolate and spends the rest of the hunt with it fully wrapped in his mouth, brown dribble running down his chin.

10:00am Canberra National Zoo day! The parking lot is small, and I wonder just how many animals can possibly be inside when the expected crowds seem to be 50 families tops. Entry eats most of $100, with some silver change. I let the family know they better be entertained for hours because we are not leaving till they close. I am getting my monies worth.

10:25am Already pleasantly surprised! The animals are lively and easy to see from many vantage points. No jostling for space at the enclosures, and the staff are chatty.

10:30am Fending off Madeleine's plea's for an animal encounter. I've checked out the website and there is no way I am dropping $80 plus on one kid for this trip.

10:31am Lost that argument when the keeper announces that she can feed a Lion and get a professional photo for $15. I can live with $15.

11:15 Seb decides he's hungry and helps himself to another families grapes. He's eaten 2 before I thank them and hustle him away.

12:00 lunch time. I realise I've left the spread sandwiches at home so we'll have to buy lunch. Again. Hallelujah there's a sausage sizzle so we get off reasonably lightly for once.

12:30 Lorelei exclaims she needs to use the toilet so we leap into action. Too late, husband returns with her shaking his head and she promptly lifts her dress to show me (and everyone else) that she has no knickers on.

1:30pm Lorelei announces to a keeper supervising some craft that she saw the boobies. The keeper looks scandalised, even after I tell her Lolly meant she saw the picture of a Bilby in the enclosure earlier. We move on quickly.

2:30pm Curiously a staff member tells me they are packed today, it's their busiest weekend of the year. As I glance around at the handful of other visitors I compare it to Taronga, or even Dubbo. Favourably. I love those zoo's, but Canberra is terrific in terms of not having to bump elbows to see an animal, and having plenty of opportunity to see and be part of the scheduled animal interactions.

2:45pm We leave, having had a brilliant day with lots of animals. With time up our sleeves we head to the Australian Mint (free entry). There's a special on coins to commemorate Prince Georges first Australian visit - Two coins for the price of one! I enquire - it's $80. I personally and lovingly press a $1 for each of the kids instead. Most expensive $1 coin I ever saw at $3 EACH. Why did I press it myself? Because 2 out of 3 kids are in the car sleeping along with their father, and the other one chose to stay in the car and play Minecraft.

4:30pm Kids are napping in the hotel and I scour their website for evidence that the wifi was meant to be free. Having found it have a polite but firm conversation that eventually results in unlimited wifi for the rest of our stay. All 24 hours of it.

6:30pm Final nights dinner and we take the kids to King O'Malleys Irish pub. Foods awesome if a little long arriving. Loving that my toddlers can still split a kids meal. Makes up for the fact that Madeleine is choosing from the adults menu these days.

Part one of our Canberra Long Weekend

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