A Zoo Kinda Week

I guess my previous post told a fib…it wasn’t about the weekend, it topped out at the wedding! So to start with Sunday.  We didn’t get much of a sleep in, Earl and I were on puppy duties so we’d returned to Boronia for the night and Marybrooke Manor was the place for breakfast.  So we toddled back up the hill and caught up with the sore heads that partied on.  Not a bad breakfast but American style coffee, terrible! Seeing as we were already up the hill we did a little driven tour of the mountain. We popped down to the Falls and even had a scone at Churinga!

The Falls; the scones have shrunk and not as good.

Funny story:  I think it was Thursday night, maybe Wednesday, Leanne was asking me to be in the bouquet toss because she was struggling to have a reasonable number of single women in the whole affair.  I told her I would, under duress, if she promised to not throw it right at me.  Her response was “Like at Dodgers wedding?”  Eeeek, I had totally forgotten that!  At Dodger and Tans wedding all those many years ago, I guess at least ten years ago, the bouquet was thrown and bounced off a set of hands right into essentially my lap (if I’d been sitting down).  I guess that theory isn’t quite so valid, I didn’t manage to be the next married.

So after breakfast it was home for a highly necessary nanna nap and a super relaxing afternoon to prepare for a final few days of full exploration.  Monday we went to the zoo!  We first took Ben and Leanne to the airport and dropped off the little black corolla I’d rented.  THEN the zoo!  Yay!  We walked in the railway gate and went straight to the giant tortoises, Wilbur was at the fence so I sat there and gave him a good scratch while Earl reviewed the map and decided a plan of attack.  There are a few new things since I’ve been there last, the walkway above the lions is gone (fail), and the seal enclosure is open and fancy (win), and the monkeys are now in areas double the size, awesome!  At some stage we went back by Wilbur because Earl loved giving him a scratch and hadn’t got a photo of him.  When we got there Wilbur was a good 10m away having a munch on the bamboo.  I started talking to him, letting him know that if he came over we’d give him a scratch, and lo and behold, he put his head up and walked – slowly as a ~100 year old giant tortoise is wont to do – he headed back over to the fence.  So super awesome!  I like to think that he remembers me and came over because I know how to give him just the right scratch 🙂

Wilbur loves a good ol’ scratch!

As we were watching the elephants I overheard some lady with a name tag chatting.  They were talking about how the enclosure is set up, sounded like she was showing the enclosure to someone who hadn’t seen it in person and had a professional interest.  They were saying that there is one elephant keeper killed by an enraged elephant each year, that’s about one in one thousand per year.  Evidently Melbourne Zoo is well set up to have interaction with the elephants while keeping out of the enclosure and keeping relatively safe.

We then toddled off in the vague direction of the Melbourne Museum.  I was running low on energy and Earl decided an afternoon at home together would be nice.  So the plans were ever so slightly changed and we headed back to Nunawading to pick up Leanne’s car.  And Tuesday night went just as planned, we relaxed, walked Kenzi, and had Chinese for dinner.  Okay, not quite as planned – we’d wanted Indian for dinner but it was closed.  Tuesday we had another big day planned, but nothing that couldn’t wait until after a nice little sleep in!  We headed off to Healesville Sanctuary for some more animals.  First stop, a close up encounter with the Koala.  Apparently you’re not allowed to touch Koalas in Victoria, so we just had to stand quite close to him, of course we had to kick the darned Asian tourists out of the way first…

He was asleep; Until he woke up.

Earl didn’t get as close as others, but he loved it; still snoozing.

After that good fun we adventured in the direction of the birds area, looking at the reptiles and parrots on the way.  The birds were playing with people, which was great, its awesome to see the cockatoos up that close, they’re super big!

This beautiful green lad enjoyed a chat; and even Sophia isn’t super pleased with kids near by.

Then the highlight for me, the birds of prey flight show thing.  I continue to be super impressed by how successful the training is with the birds, they’re amazingly well trained!  All of the birds were really impressive, of course the crowd favourite, the wedge tailed eagle, was super impressive.

Trained to open the emu egg; Beautiful big wedge tailed eagle, stunning!

Then we finished our laps of the sanctuary.  The platypus turned into a firm favourite.  The first one was just pottering about, quite active but not particularly interesting.  The second one was positively frolicking, she was scratching he back on a log and having a whale of a time.  Her story was that she was stranded in a storm, took her six transfers of volunteers to get her to the sanctuary, where she was struggling to put on weight.  Then someone waded in and was interacting with her and she loved it, then she started to flourish.  She looked like she was having a great time and was in awesome health.

The echidna were pottering about; the lovely lady scratching her back.

After having a good gander at all the animals we headed over to Grans for a spot of arvo tea.  Gran apparently always feels bad when she serves us boring old pikelets ever time, but thats what I remember as a kid, so I love it!  We had some plain with home made jam and some of the honeybears honey (thanks Pa!), and chocolate ones too – Freds favourite.  It was good to have a chatter with Fred too, and a play with Dusta!  Little tyke.  Having stuffed myself silly we headed home for some really delicious Indian dinner (like we needed more food)…

He loved looking at us upside down! ; this message is quite abundant in both zoos, use recycled toilet paper, new kills good trees.

Wednesday was a big day.  We had to actually drag our butts out of bed at a reasonable hour to give Kenzi a little walk before I took Earl to the airport.  Then I popped back home for another little walk (two twenty minute walks for a day is about right me thinks) and back into the city…yep, a whole lot of driving but worth it to have the walks.  There I had this wonderful view for six hours.  Lying on my side with a needle shoving into my ribs for six hours sure wasn’t a barrel of laughs, but it was totally worth it.  I am so super happy that Brodie at The Leisure Bandit Tattoo happened to be in Melbourne (he’s Perth based) and had time to see me!  I’ll not post any photos until the whole thing is healed, it never looks so great until its healed.

My view for six hours.

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I was stoked to see Alf, super 80s!

It was a big long day for me, mostly stressful with all that needling and all.  So when I got home I ate some left over Indian food and crashed out.  Thursday I’d planned as little as possible, a morning of relaxation followed by a catch up with Al.  My relaxing was mildly interrupted when Gran popped over to see me and drop off some cake.  It was good to have a natter.  Her review of the cupcakes from the wedding was that the buttercream was just like her mum used to make.  Now I’m not sure about you, but there is no cooking like the old days, seriously, none.  So that seems like high praise to me.  After that chatter I had a shower and headed into Nunawading to catch up with Al.  He then decided he would come back to Boronia and take Kenzi for a walk with me.  We got in and I headed to the loo, by the time I’d pee’d, this is what I found… If was awesome to see him, super awesome.

Friday started much the same as Thursday but with no Gran visit.  I spent the morning snuggled on the couch with Kenzi watching Black Mirror – messed up but great show!  Really makes you think.  Then it was off to Albert Park for a cuppa with Polly before picking up the newlyweds.  Polly is doing okay, poor girl has been going through some heavy stuff, but she’ll get through it, she’s a strong lass.  Then up to the airport to get Ben and Leanne – note it is facebook official now.  When we got home we ordered some dinner and Dave came for a beer and icecream.  Dear old Dave, only he would find a way to hang upside down in the photo booth, not much has changed with him, though his gardening business seems to be going super well, he gets to dictate his hours and he is outside all the time, win!

Al won Kenzi over super easily.

Saturday was an early ish morning…okay…it was only early because all the other mornings had been so late.  But we left at 0730 to head to the airport, a much easier ride in than the last two trips!  Heck, this week I did four trips to Melbourne airport, only returned from three, but I vote it totally counts.  Ben kindly parked up and helped me take my huge bag in, the fruit cake tipped the scales on the 23kg so I had to take that carry on.  Then we had breakfast and parted ways.  It was awesome to see the whole family, and at such a happy occasion.
I found this article while cruising fb at the airport (I swear it knows way too much). Interestingly I don’t feel like I have no home, I feel like I have many homes. Melbourne, Perth, Denver, home could be anywhere I am or have been for a while.

I got on the plane and I have to say it was not the most pleasant flight.  There were two children and a mother in the row in front of me, those kids were quite noisy, rattling all about the place.  That was outdone by the two kids and mother behind me…one of the kids had his feet in my back most of the time and when he didn’t his sister was crawling about knocking the seats, and to add to the fun, the mother was vomiting most of the way.  Poor lady for sure, but that was not at all pleasant.  There was not much sleeping on the flight at all, I struggled to stay awake between the flights at LAX.  Until a lovely lady called Cecy started chatting with me.  She is a new grandmother, with four kids, three of them with bright blue eyes and blonde hair like their father, and one like her, she is Puerto Rican, so he’s dark skinned and brunette.  She told me just how lovely and single her son is, working on setting us up while we were serenaded by a TSA group of singers (they were really quite awesome).  Cecy was popping home for a few days just to talk to some guys about building a stone castle somewhere near Alamosa.  The second flight was much more restful, by which I mean I practically passed out before the plane set back from the gate.

Earl was a nice friendly face who picked me up at the airport and even took me to the Moonlight Diner for a really very good breakfast burrito with green chilli.  Oh boy that was yummy!  And was yummy again for dinner on Sunday.

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Saturday night 2000 was the time for crashing to sleep, for all of three hours.  Then there was more tossing and turning than I can remember, both of us being plagued by the fun of jet lag.  Eventually I woke at 0930, with a swift need to get up and get Earl to the airport for his trip to Florida.  Poor lad returns to Denver on Wednesday…I say poor lad because he’ll be coming from Florida and returning to snow and a maximum of 17 degrees – Fahrenheit!  My goodness that is cold.  Heck, Tuesday is expected to be below freezing with snow, and Thursday below freezing with sun.  Oh my goodness, I’m not sure I’m cut out for this madness.  The rest of Sunday included groceries, chores, and a lovely chat with Jaclyn, thanks for coming to visit Jac!

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