Monday, 5 August 2013

Melbourne trip - Last days

Our last two days in Melbourne ended up being pretty busy!  I guess I wanted to squeeze in as many visits with people and activities at the same time as I could.

But, we "squeezed in" a sleep in first :-D

Most of the morning was unplanned so we had a sleep in and did a few domestic duties, then jumped in the car and went to find a motorbike gear shop.

See, since the Little Big Fella has started riding his motorbike by himself, my heart has often been in my throat watching him.  And while that will probably always be the case, safety gear can go a long way to making me feel a bit better about it!

We found the shop and found these funky motorbike pants (with appropriate padding) and a pair of little gloves.

We've since found some elbow pads that fit him, and decided that the gloves are actually too big for him, so found some that fit even better.  For now, we've decided that we're not getting boots.  Partly because they're ridiculously expensive and his feet are growing an an equally ridiculous pace, but mostly because he's riding pretty slowly still and there's no logs or anything where he rides, so covered shoes are okay (for now).

After the motorbike shop, we went to a camping place and found me a new winter jacket.  I'd bought the jacket I had when I first arrived for my year in America - in 1998!  Definitely time for an update.  Sorry, no pics for this one, but it was a bargain $50!!!

We got a call from the Big Fella's sister and partner and agreed to meet at a nearby shopping centre for lunch.  We ended up at a place called Outback Jack's.  There was a big crocodile hanging from the ceiling!

We had a great (BIG) lunch and a good chat then headed into the shopping centre.  While the girls were sorting some stuff out with their phones, the Little Big Fella was entertained on a car ride and by going up and down the escalators a million times.

We picked up some gorgeous pork chops to cook up for dinner then it was time to say goodbye until our next visit to Melbourne.  Obviously the adults wanted this to last just that little bit longer, but the Little Big Fella strongly believes that when we say goodbye, we're actually going.  So he headed up the stairs toward our car!

So we said our goodbyes and had one last hug.  I hate goodbyes :-(

We had a bit of time before needing to be "home", so we dropped in on Cadbury J and her kids for a last play.

You know the saying, "two's company, three's a crowd"?  There was a little bit of that going on for the first while, but thankfully (after a fair bit of frustration) it settled and they played well together again while us mums caught up some more.

Then it was time to say goodbye.  Have I mentioned that I don't like goodbyes?


Back at mum and dad's place, I made dinner, then my sister called to say she'd be coming over.  We ended up watching Origin 3 (kind of like a grand final for rugby league), which is kind of funny given that my family isn't very sporty at all and Victorians don't tend to watch rugby.  Dad totally got into it!

Just for the record, Queensland won, making it 8 years in a row :-)

Afterwards, my sister wasn't really keen on leaving and we ended up talking till pretty late.  Dad also pulled out a bunch of old letters between his parents.

I found out that they lived in a suburb of Melbourne when they first married, and we found the place on the map.  That area is now very hoity toity!

Eventually it was that time again.  Time to say goodbye.  I really hate saying goodbye.  Hanging with my sister (especially at P!nk) was really awesome.

But that's just the reality of life when you live in a different state, isn't it?  Goodbyes just become part of your life.  I guess they're a part of life anyway because even if you stay in the one place, others come and go.

Okay, time to move on again.

The following day, our last in Melbourne, was another friend day.  In the morning the Little Big Fella and I met up with my best friend to see Despicable Me 2 at the cinema.  Definitely a movie that will end up at our house!  It was very funny and entertaining.  Unfortunately, my friend hadn't seen the first movie, so some of it wasn't as fun for her.

After the movie, the Little Big Fella got excited about the games in the foyer and pretended to drive the cars, ride the motorbikes and shoot the guns.  We had a game of air hockey, which was pretty funny because he could only reach the smallest part of the table.  Obviously I tried to make it fun for him and not get the disc in the hole too many times ;-)

Again with the stinking goodbyes!!!

Then it was into the city to meet up with another friend.  K was my best friend for about a year in high school before I moved towns.  We met up last time I was in Melbourne, when the Little Big Fella was 1.

It turned out that the place we decided to meet had some snow for kids to play with/on.  The Little Big Fella would have literally spent the whole afternoon there!!!

Thankfully he got hungry so we went and had some lunch and had a really good catch up.

One thing I found difficult by the end of our time in Melbourne was being constantly in parenting mode.  At home, the Big Fella is there to take some of the weight of parenting, and the Little Big Fella has kindy so I get a break then too.

But in Melbourne I was constantly in parenting mode - thinking about distances and how far the Little Big Fella would be happy to walk, thinking about what kinds of food he'd actually eat when we were out, finding toilets in a hurry, dealing with the fact that he gets bored with stuff I like doing.  It's all part of being a parent, but it got a bit wearing by the end of our trip.

After lunch it was straight back to the snow to play, while K and I chatted some more.  I'd noticed a little earlier that the sky was starting to get quite dark, but hadn't paid that much attention.  All of a sudden it let rip!  The rain came down hard and fast and we ran to find some cover.  Thankfully it settled down a little so we made our way to K's car, because it was closer.  Then she drove us around to our car (although, I was a bit disoriented and we went the wrong way initially).

Then there was another goodbye.  Sigh.

You know, my biggest problem with goodbyes is that I'm a terrible long-distance friend.  I try to keep in touch, but I'm really just not good at it.  Life gets busy and it slips further down the to-do list.  And I'd understand if my friends felt that they weren't important to me.

But I honestly treasure each of you!  At various times in my life you've been the very reason that I love living!  Friends (and family - but they're my friends too) are my favourite thing about life.

So, I'm sorry that I'm such a terrible long-distance friend.  I will try harder to make time to call or write or text or send you a Facebook message.  Because I think you're awesome and I'm incredibly grateful to have had you in my life.

Back to the story ;-)

We managed to head home in peak hour traffic.  Woo hoo!

Okay, another side note.  I don't know how you guys stand driving that far, in those conditions, all the time!  I mean, I only drive a couple of days a week, for about 15 minutes each way, on the highway and it's plenty of car time.  But you guys drive up to an hour each way, often in the dark, with crazy people all around you!  Hats off to you!

The saving grace on this particular drive was the massive double rainbow!

Mum and dad have recently moved and now have a couple living across the road from them that they get along with really well.  So this night we had dinner at their house.

G & K are pretty cool and it was great to finally meet them in person (we would have met them when we were heading back to our old town, the day we had our little roll).  I can see why mum and dad get along with them so well - they're the same kind of crazy, as one poster I read recently put it.

We had a lovely dinner, and the Little Big Fella had a play with their dogs, then we retired to the front room and sat around the fire.  K had bought some American marshmallows and made some awesome little marshmallow toasting sticks.  So the Little Big Fella cooked them up for everyone (he only likes them uncooked) until we all felt kind of sick.

Then it was time to say goodbye and go "home" to finish packing, ready to head home the next day.

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