Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Taronga Zoo

Us girls took the kids to the Taronga Zoo one day. It was on our list because we are zoo people and we were not going to miss a chance to take our kids to an Aussie zoo to see all the Australian wildlife. 

The Taronga Zoo is beautiful. We walked from the flat to Circular Quay to catch the ferry. It drops you right off at the bottom of the Zoo. The Zoo is on a hill, so we took the bus to the top of the Zoo and made our way down the hill. No reason to push the stroller uphill the whole day. 

The kids were a bit crazy. Funniest part of the day was when William picked up a pile of kangaroo poop in the free range kangaroo exhibit. Luckily it did not get all over him. Boys, boys boys. 

Our zoo crew.
My Sun bear and she is my sunshine every day. 
These are Wandering Whistling Ducks and they make the cutest noises. They whistle and not quack. It was adorable!
We got to see a lot of Australian wildlife. The Kangaroo enclosure was pretty amazing. There were all different species of Kangaroo and Wallaby. I did not realize how many there were. Henry is looking at a Grey Kangaroo.  We also saw Wombats, an a Platypus! One of the most adorable creatures to watch swimming and such a joy to experience. 

Made it to the top!

Wild Cockatoo flying around the zoo. My favorite thing of the day. 
The giraffe's have the best view. They are lucky.
Cousin picture on animal statues. It's a tradition that is stretching through generations. I love it!
These two critters. I love them both so much.
Crocodile hunters.

Not the best picture, but Henry was so excited to see the reptiles. He loved seeing the snakes move around their enclosures and was in boy heaven. We saw a Basilisk lizard which made me really happy because it is an animal from a Wild Kratts episode. My kids are obsessed with that show. It is the only thing they will watch. I really like seeing animals from the show in real life. The kids get really excited because they know a lot about it from Wild Kratts. The Kratt Brothers, another thing stretching over generations. 
Silly heads. 
Searching for Koala Balloon. It's a Wild Kratts thing. 
We got to see all three Koalas awake and moving around. It was awesome. 


Zebra-ing around. 

Girls picture! I had the best time with Brooke at the Zoo. I'm so happy that this trip happened and we got to spend time together. 
I was happy to see the Gorillas. We do not have them at the Singapore Zoo, so it was a treat. And we got to see two baby Gorillas! Double the cuteness.
My favorite part was going on the cable car. The Zoo designers were genius and have a cable car that runs from the top to the bottom of the zoo. So genius! That meant once we got down to the bottom of the hill we could relax and ride it back up to the top. So genius! We got to ride over the the zoo and see animals from the cable car. It was really cool. We loved "flying" over the elephants. George rode with us and it was a lot of fun. He and Cosette were buddies the whole trip.
It was a successful zoo day because Henry fell asleep on a stranger on the bus. Thank goodness it was a nice stranger and she did not mind and was so so so nice about it. So grateful for people like that. Actually both people sitting on either side of the four big kids in the back of the bus were so nice. I really appreciate people who are nice about kids. All you city parents will understand. The bus driver was so chill too. We got off at the last stop and were the last ones on the bus because I had Raphael and a sleeping Henry I had to carry off. The bus driver didn't make me swipe my oyster card. So chill. Tender mercies everywhere. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Date Night to the Sydney Opera House!

I am sure I have mentioned in the last couple of posts that going to a performance at the Sydney Opera House is on my life's bucket list. Since we were going to be in Sydney we made plans to go. We don't know when or if ever we will get back there, and it was the top thing on my list. We lucked out big time because my sister in law offered to baby sit for us, and when looking up what was going to be playing during our stay, I found out My Fair Lady was showing and it was directed by Julie Andrews! We got really good prices on tickets. I had a friend from Sydney tell me that the prices we got were amazing for the Opera House, so we booked them and my dream became a reality. 

This counted as our anniversary celebration. Our plans on our actual anniversary fell through, which worked out because we went to the Sydney Opera House instead, no bid deal. 

We had just enough time before the show to grab dinner at the Opera Kitchen, which I highly recommend to anyone who is in a time crunch before a show. It is right under/next to the Opera House and they serve you super fast. Plus, the view cannot be beat. A group was leaving when we got there and we snagged their table right on the balcony over looking Circular Quay with the Harbor Bridge in the background. It was perfect, except for the seagulls trying to steal food. Lyndon swatted at them the whole dinner, haha. This trip I wanted to try some uniquely Australian cuisine, but found out that there is not really much. Friends recommended I try fish and chips while there before we left, so I did. They were delish. The giant flecks of sea salt make all the difference on those chips. 

My Fair Lady was in the second largest theatre at the Opera House, the Joan Sutherland Theatre. The catch for getting the decent prices on tickets was that we did not sit next to each other. We were separated by a few rows, and it's hard to be picky when you are on a budget and want to go see an attraction like this. We were okay with it, but it's funny. 

The performance was spectacular. I have never seen a production with such talented actors. The actress who played Eliza was absolutely spectacular. She has the most beautiful voice. I was so impressed. Her performance really blew me away. Henry Higgins was perfect. I think Lyndon was a bit more critical about the production, but I was floating. I thought it was so spectacular. I really could have danced sung all night after the performance. It was just amazing. 

Julie Andrews was there incognito apparently. Lyndon slipped out for the toilet and heard that from one of the ushers. The gentleman I was seated next to has had that seat since 1973! He was a real nice fellow and it was fun talking to him. Lyndon was jealous that another man got very little of my attention for the evening, haha. It would have been nice to sit together, but just being there and having the experience it did not matter where we would sit. It was worth it!

After the show the Opera House had a spotlight on it highlighting the Rio 2016 Paralympic games. It was beautiful. 

This was by far the highlight of the trip and I am so grateful that we were able to have this experience. My life is forever enriched. I am seriously not the same person I was before I went to the Sydney Opera House. It changes you. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but it is something that I will cherish and smile about for the rest of my life.

Thank you Brooke for watching our kiddos! They had a lot of fun. International cousin sleep over. Everyone, but Henry was asleep when we got back. Surprise, surprise. They had a great time with their cousins. Cosette is looking forward to the next cousin sleep over. And I love George and Raphael in this pic. George was really sweet with Rapha the whole trip. It was adorable to watch them interact. Yay for cousin time!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Strollering around Sydney

One day we spent walking around the city. I was expecting Sydney to feel like a different country, but it felt like being in Seattle or Chicago. All the buildings are super modern and new. I really do not know what I was expecting, but it was not that. I liked being back in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a big city. Singapore is big, but there isn't anything like the hustle and bustle there is in NYC. This was pretty close. I love city life. 

The Queen Victoria Building known as the QVB by the locals. 

Got a good look at the Sydney Tower. 
The gang at Hyde Park. I loved this place. It's beautiful, the fountain, the cathedral in the background, and....

the giant bubbles! This was a favorite part of the day because it reminded me so much of NYC. We would go all around Central Park during the summer and the bubble guys would be all around. My kids, like any ordinary kid, love the bubbles. I loved having a little piece of our NYC life in Sydney. Those bubbles brought back a lot of happy memories. Hyde Park, I really love you. 

Raphael got this bubble to all the other children's displeasure. It helps having a tall daddy. 

Raphael made his mark permanently on the New South Wales Art Gallery. There were so many things that we skipped because the kids and we did not have a lot of time in Sydney. We will just have to go back.

Taking in all the spring flowers at the Royal Botanical Gardens
Lyndon and the Wollemi pine, which is a protected tree in Australia. It has been on the Earth for at least 200 million years, which is how far back the oldest Wollemi fossil dates. Really cool to see this tree. Lyndon is the tree person so had to get a pic of him and this ancient tree.

We also walked around the Wishing Tree in the gardens. It is a Norfolk Pine. Brooke told us that you have to skip around it and make a wish. She and Cosette did it together. I got some cute footage of it that I am going to put into a video of the trip. 
Henry is the funniest kid you will ever meet. There were a lot of birds at the gardens, including wild Cockatoos. I am a animal nerd and was nerding out on seeing all the interesting birds around. Anyway, Henry decided that he was going to talk in a bird voice and follow this bird around. He followed it for a good bit and after it flew away he was pretending to be a bird with a long beak for a while. It was hilarious. 
This view. Seeing the Opera House was kind of emotional for me. I have always dreamed about going there, and later that evening we did! It is so beautiful and I love this view. I would stay in Sydney forever just for this view. 
The Royal Botanic Gardens are celebrating 200 years this year. Happy 200th Birthday Gardens!

Cosette had to get a pose with Daddy too.

"Look at me! I'm riding a horse!" She did that on every bench around Circular Qauy.
Hotties. What can I say? I am biased.
Gelatissimo saved us from a couple of meltdowns. Ice cream/gelato for the win every time. Cosette finally got her chocolate ice cream. We tried a couple of gelato places on the trip and this one was the best. 
Now I can die, actually after I have been to Vienna I can die. A professor of mine said once you go to Vienna you can die. Vienna is on the bucket list, but the Sydney Opera House is incredible! 

What a view!
My boys, on a boat, with the Harbor Bridge. 
I love him. His smile, his disposition. He is the best little buddy to hang out with.
We met up with the cousins at the Australian National Maritime Museum. The permanent galleries are free and there was a kid's play place!

                       My own personal puppet show!

Sweet William fishing.

And this was not the end of the day! This trip was so much fun for us and the kids. Our kids were in heaven hanging out with their cousins. Being with our family there is why we loved the trip so much. 
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