Monday, 22 July 2013

Melbourne trip - Part II

Before we came on this trip, I did a bit of research online.  I wanted to make sure that the Little Big Fella would have a great time, and that the whole trip wasn't taken up with me hanging out with my family and friends while he was bored.  I also wanted to have a few ideas of things to do with other people - because sometimes having an unusual experience together is as much or more fun than just catching up.

So our first day in Melbourne included a trip to ScienceWorks with my brother and best friend.  It's a hands-on science musuem where you can learn about all kinds of science-y things by playing with them.

We picked up my brother (and met his housemate), then my friend, then drove to the other side of the city.

When we got there I realised I'd made a silly misjudgment - it was school holidays!!!  There were people everywhere!!!!  We had to park in the overflow parking lot and line up outside to get in!  The air was icy cold (although it was quite lovely in the sun).  And guess who had to use the bathroom right then!!!

Sheesh!  What a great start!!!

Thankfully all was sorted and we got inside (where it was comfortably warm) and started checking the place out.

First stop, electricity!

Then, into the house area.  This photo is where you could watch how sound waves work.

Of course, you have to take photos in wonky mirrors!

This was one of the Little Big Fella's favourite part of the "house".  It's the hose of a giant vacuum cleaner.  You could run through to the other end, where you found yourself inside the main part of a vacuum cleaner.  They had dust and bugs and coins and junk hanging all over the place to make it feel "right" ;-)

Incidentally, his other favourite part of the house was where you could make the fleas jump.  No comment!

We eventually moved from the "house" to the "sports" area.  There was a "sports" sign made of concrete and the Little Big Fella (a.k.a. Batman today) climbed all over it for ages!

Once inside the sports area, the Big Fella and my brother found this exhibit.  The idea was to press the start button (low for kids, high for adults).  The lights on the buttons would then flash and you had to press it as fast as you could.  A different button would then light up.  You had to hit as many as you could in 30 seconds.  We all had a turn, but we had to keep dragging the Little Big Fella away to look at other things!

Like this canoe.

We all tested our grip strength at one station, and how much weight we could pull sitting down with our feet against the wall.  There were a few ball-based skills test, and the Little Big Fella and I raced against Kathy Freeman (unsurprisingly, she won!).

My bro then helped the Little Big Fella have a go on a climbing wall.

We decided it was time for lunch, so we headed outside (brrrr!).  My friend saved us seats in the little amphitheater, because there was a circus show starting soon, while I got food for us and my brother took the Little Big Fella to the playground area to run off a bit more energy.

The circus performers were really good!  The show was informative, funny and very entertaining.  The girl balanced things on her chin - a juggling club, a bottle of wine, a hat stand!  The guy did most of the clown-like roles, but also walked across a bunch of wine bottles without knocking them over.  They both did juggling (together and separately) and some balancing tricks together.

I guess what I enjoyed most about it, was that they really involved the audience - not just by having a dad participate, but they got us engaged with what they were doing; laughing at their jokes, joining in, and following instructions.  Considering that the major portion of the audience were children, they were very clever!

We had a little time to kill so the Little Big Fella had a short play on the playground, then we went into the lightning show.  To be honest, I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would.  There were some great demonstrations - creating an instant cloud in a bottle, using static electricity, and making lightning inside the large cage - but it wasn't particularly entertaining and I got rather cold and uncomfortable.

It was getting late-ish in the afternoon, so we decided to skip the upstairs part of the museum (which is a pity, because I'm lead to believe there's a digger up there!).  We took a couple of goofy photos then it was time to head home.

Unfortunately, we hit peak hour traffic so it took a while to get through the city and out to our suburbs.  We were all a bit tired by then so it was great to get "home" and have dinner with my parents (gotta love the slow cooker!), before bathing the Little Big Fella and heading off to bed.

Baths at Nanna and Granddad's became a highlight of each day for the Little Big Fella... but that's a story for another post!  ;-)

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