26 June 2011

When an overnighter takes three!

We went to Melbourne on Tuesday for the night with our friends Mrs P, Mr J and the divine Ms M!  As it turned out the ash clouds weren't smiling down on us and we ended up with two extra nights.  This was great as it meant more time to take the kids around the city and show them places they hadn't been too (despite having spent most of the life so far living in Melbourne). However, the downside was that it meant I was several hundred dollars over budget.

On arrival we caught the skybus into the city and then hotfooted it to Gopals for some of their scrummy food.  This is the bestest!  Great food and soooooo cheap!

Our initial plan was to see the Tutankhamen exhibit at the Melbourne Museum.  We had been studying ancient Egypt at the start of the year and thought this would complement what we had done.  Because it wasn't an interactive type of display I think the kids grew a little bored but their knowledge of what everything was and why was astounding!  I saw many adults raise their eyebrows when they heard what the kids were talking about. :)  I find it unreal that these pieces are in such pristine condition when they are 1000's of years old, it is amazing.  I also found it a bit sad to see them uncovered and being flown around the world.  These were buried with their owners for specific reasons and spiritual beliefs, it seems that because we see it as important history respect these beliefs goes out the window and this disturbs me a little.  Until I actually saw the pieces I hadn't really given it much thought.

We had planned on heading over to Fitzroy Gardens but the weather was a bit wet so we opted for an early dinner at the infamous Shanghai Village in China Town for their awesome dumplings!  We were not disappointed and shared a fabulous banquet between the six of us.  Don't be fooled by the decor, it ain't the prettiest place on the block but they sure can cook!

With full bellies we trammed it to our hotel.  We had scored a pretty good deal at Bay view on the Park.  A nice hotel and the kids were very impressed!  My only complaint was the concierge who didn't have the required local knowledge to be a good one.

On Wednesday we headed back into town with the ash cloud hanging over our heads.  We decided to wait until after lunch to find out what the situation was.
We started with a Macca's brekky (yeah, I know) and then went to Screen worlds at ACMI.  This is the best place to entertain children!  Not only is it free but it is also awesome.  We spent a couple of hours looking at all the exhibits documenting the history of film and tv in Australia.  The kids loved that it is soooooo interactive and I must admit I am a bit of a button presser LOL
We also wandered downstairs to take a look at the Shaun Cladwell exhibit.  I have to admit I am not an artist and therefore I do not think like one but let me say two things.  1] I am glad I didn't pay to see it and 2] I hope he wasn't given a government grant!
Up the street a bit and we were at the National Gallery of Victoria, we spent an hour or so in the kidlet section then hopped it up the road to a nearby food court for a quick lunch. Well that was the plan but it took us about two hours of trying to get through to Jetstar to find out what was or as the case may be wasn't happening with our flight.  We finally were re booked for Friday afternoon and then started stalking wotif for a cheap hotel for two nights.  Of course it would have been too easy to say we booked something straight up, Mrs P couldn't book on her (not so) smart phone so we bundled up the kidlets and backs and found ourselves in the city library in Flinders lane.  Finally managed to book a mystery deal and scored a jackpot!  Two nights at Sebel at Albert Park for $200 (half price).  A quick dinner and a stroll back to Federation Square to watch the lights on the Light Hearts installation,  and a taxi to the hotel.  Talk about crash out, we were all exhausted.

On Thursday we decided to do our own thing.  We were hoping to catch up with the kid's big sister but that didn't eventuate so we went to the visitor centre in Federation Square to find out what was on and where.  This is a great centre and has loads and loads of info, I really didn't know there was so much to be done in the CBD.  The weather was unpredictable so we opted for a quick look in St Paul's Cathedral opposite fed square.  This place is huge and has such beautiful architecture and lead light windows.
The rain started again so we caught the tram up to the Melbourne Library and took a peak at the artwork  from the book, The Waterhole by Graeme Base.  His artwork is so amazing, such detail and gorgeous to see the massive originals up close.  The library has a new kids section with interactive games, books and drawing space so we chilled there for an hour or so.
For lunch the kids begged me to take them to the Pancake Parlour, wow!  talk about overpriced, crap service and mediocre food! never again I say.  I am not linking to them as I don't want to promote them.
After lunch we made an executive decision to fore go the outdoor park activities due to the weather and opted to walk up to China Town and visit the Chinese Museum.  I cannot recommend this enough folks!  Well worth the very cheap entry price and for those with primary aged kids don't forget to grab a treasure map for $3.00 so they can do the quizzes as they go along.  We all loved this place and the kids have talked about it for days so that is saying something.  I am looking forward to going back again in August to see the embroidery of Sichuan exhibit.  We decided to call it an earlyish day (5pm) and grab some sushi to take back to the hotel for dinner.  The kids met up with Mr J and Ms M at the hotel pool and swam for over an hour while Mrs P and I compared days and sat back exhausted.
Friday morning we checked out and made our way into town for breakfast then to the skybus.  We finally arrived home at 1.30pm on Friday afternoon, exhausted but content with our rushed and unexpected short holiday.

On the City Circle Tram

 Waiting to get in

 Screen Worlds

 watching the kid's short films and having a rest at Screen world

 The water wall at NGV

 Drawing at the gallery - what else would you do!

 The light installation, the frame work changed colour regularly

 some of the beautiful artwork in the cathedral

 One of the dragon heads at the Chinese Museum

Saying goodbye to the hotel


Mooloolaba Accommodation said...

This is a great post

Fieona said...

Wow! I didn't realise we were thinking the same thoughts during the visit to the Tutankhamun exhibit - it struck me in the second room that it was really sad that what we were witnessing was in actual fact a sacrilege. It left me somewhat torn, because I believe that we shouldn't climb Uluru for that very reason, but here we are dragging these 'artifacts' around the planet. It's greated a bit of a cognitive battle for me. But as artifacts they were truely amazing!