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Day 17 “Aquarium” (Saturday 23rd March 2013)

I enjoyed a lie in today compared to everyone else who had been woken up early by Harry and then had a quick shower while he was napping because today we were going to the Aquarium. It would be the first real test of a family day out for Harrison because Anth, Hollie, Avril, Peter and me were taking him to see the fish and sharks! (David and Joan had slipped away early in the morning to get back to their home after their holiday)

After a bit of a drive into the city with me sitting in the back of Hollie and Anths car to occupy Harry (who is a right little man! I love him) we arrived at the aquarium. It was $35 (£22 ish) per adult to get in, with Harry going free which seemed expensive then we had some pictures taken and I couldn’t help thinking they would cost us a fortune should we buy them later. The first area we came to was a penguin enclosure where they were feeding some, this was so cool because I love penguins and watching them waddle towards the handler for food was brilliant. There were so many penguins that a few were swimming towards the back of the enclosure and seemed oblivious to the food. We stayed at the penguins for a little while before moving on to the seahorse, crabs, starfish and other smaller marine life but this was only a flying visit and Harry seemed to be racing through.

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The last section after the cafe (which we didn’t stop at because we had only been at the aquarium about 25 minutes) was the shark enclosures but we had to go down a few ramps to get there, maybe to give the effect of getting deeper. It was superb down there with walk through archways where sharks, stingrays and fish could swim over you, also there was a large bowl snapped room so you could look at everything in 360 degrees… It was the type of placed you could stay and watch for hours but a little different when with a two year old who wanted to keep moving. On the way out of the shark area I saw a huge stingray and it swam over me in the second walk through archway, there weren’t too many sharks down there but I did see a few.

The last part of the aquarium let use see a couple more fish and even a jellyfish before sending us out through the gift shop, lucky Harrison is too young to ask for a souvenir but Hollie brought the photo book (with the photos taken at the start) and info pack about the animals they keep for another $35!! All in all the aquarium was great fun but for 50 minutes entertainment was quite expensive! Next on the agenda was food so we walked to the south bank to look for a place, when we settled on a restaurant I could tell it was posh by the menu, prices and fancy set up of it. I had a chicken calzone and caramel thickshake (also know as a folded pizza and ice cream milkshake) and the food was lovely, just a shame about the service- where the waitresses seemed a little slow and unhelpful. (Apart from one English girl originally from Yorkshire but had lost the accent through a combination of going to uni and being in Australia for 3 months, originally working for 5 weeks on a yacht up at Whitsunday islands)

After the food I was told I had to see Crown casino which was right behind the restaurant hence the reason it seemed posh (that and it was next to the Yarra river!) Also inside was a shopping centre so while Peter, Woody and I went to check out the casino, Avril, Hollie and Harry checked out a couple of shops. The Casino was huge, machines and tables everywhere it just seemed to go on and on and after a quick dable on the roulette table and $90 lighter we headed back to the car with everyone.

That afternoon we went to look at a new car that would be capable of towing the new caravan coming in June, Peter test drove the Jeep with Avril and Woody in the car, while Hollie and I looked after Harry inside the showroom (It was massive and even had loads of cars filling the forecourt) when they returned Peter came in to discuss prices, Anth and I looked after Harry and the girls snuck off to look at show homes. (as Avril is thinking about moving because she feels too much work needs doing at the current place)

Then in the evening I was going round Micks for a BBQ and then heading onto a house warming party. I drove again using the satnav and felt like I was now pretty good with the automatic and the indicator on the other side of the steering wheel. Once I got there I saw Mick, Paul and Alex as well as a couple of Alex’s friends Vanessa and Natalie and we played some Pictionary needless to say Mick and I won that games too. Mick then cooked so food on the barbeque and Alex brought out some salads and we ate and drank for quite a while. After this Vanessa was going to see her sister so Alex dropped her home while the rest of us got ready for the house warming party.

Despite feeling underdressed we headed off about 9pm and picked up so booze on route (Alex was driving as she had work the next day) once there I felt a lot more at ease because the hosts Amile and Becky were so friendly, however there weren’t as many people there as I was expecting which in a way made it easier to speak to people without being excluded. Amile and Becky had gone to so much effort of making things including a beetroot and houmous dip from scratch, savoury falafels, brownies, meatballs and chocolate covered marshmallows. Some of the things they had made were knocked up using a special kind of blender come combo cooker and upon arrive they had made strawberry daiquiri in it, then throughout the night made a banana one and later planned to use mangos. Becky gave me a tour of the place which was a 3 story apartment with a study and garage access on the ground floor, then small laundry room, kitchen open plan into a lounge/ dinning area and then a balcony on the middle floor and on the top floor there are 2 big bedrooms one with a mini balcony the other with an on suite and a separate bathroom in between, a really nice property but I found out it costs $500 a week. (£320 ish)

After a couple hours and around 11:30pm Alex said she wanted to go as she had work the next morning so we all left and got an alcoholic ice lolly each to take with us. (again made in the there cool blender thing before being frozen in the freezer) Alex dropped Paul off on route home and once the remaining four of us got home around midnight we chilled for about 30 mins before Alex and then Mick another 20 mins later decided to hit the hay, but I stayed up a little while longer speaking to Natalie and went to bed around 2pm! What a really great day and thankfully I had no plans tomorrow so could sleep in and get some energy back! 🙂

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