Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Birthday Boy

Since Nathan had the first birthday since moving to Australia and he was the child we were most concerned about, we decided to make this a bigger birthday for him.  We did some normal things, like letting him choose what was for dinner (banana pancakes with chocolate syrup) and picking a birthday cake.  We also decided to let him pick something "big" to do.  He wanted to go to the Torango Zoo in Sydney, so we decided to leave for Sydney on Saturday and visit the zoo on Sunday.

Friday was Nath's actual birthday.  He invited Sami over and they swam in our pool for quite a long time.  It was a beautiful day - 33 Celsius and not a cloud in the sky.  The kids had a blast and we had to force them out of the pool when it began to get cool in the evening.

After Sami went home we opened presents and had birthday cake.  As we had gotten packages to the house, I had been opening and wrapping them.  Family didn't want to send things wrapped in case they were checked by customs.  My mom even had me put several Monster Trucks together just so things would fit in a box.  Nathan later said he would rather have just opened the brown boxes.  Thanks for telling me that after I had bought several overpriced tubes of wrapping paper, son.

Sitting with his presents

He was excited to get his telescope

Yummy Mousse Cake (or Mouse, per Nathan)

Blowing out his candles

We got up the next morning and headed off to Sydney.  We stayed at the Marriott in Circular Quay this time.  We were a 2 minute walk from the harbor.  This is the lovely view we had.

Harbour Bridge at day...

and night.

We headed off to the Rocks to spend most of the day.  We had pizza at a small pizzeria - Bri and I had ours topped with Proscuttio and Rocket, while the boys had a Four Cheese.

Next we went to a museum that outlined the history of Sydney, from Aboriginals to present.  It was inter, even for the kids.  It was small enough to hold their interest.

The Rocks has a huge outdoor market on the weekend.  It had all sorts of interesting things, including key chains made from Kangaroo parts.  They actually had beautiful clothes.  Since I was with three boys I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked.

We wandered around and ended up in some green space under the Harbour Bridge.  There were several cannons from the original battery, so the boys had a great time.

With my birthday boy

How I Stopped Worrying

and Learned to Love the Bomb
It was beginning to drizzle at this point, so we walked over to Circular Quay for afternoon tea.  Nathan had a hard time choosing what sweet thing to eat.

He ended up with a ricotta filled donut that had been rolled in sugar.  It was the house special and wonderfully tasty!

We walked over a few streets and wandered through the Royal Botanical Garden, which is just beginning to bloom.  I would love to go back in a month to see it in full bloom.

We went back to the hotel after this to clean up for dinner.  Finding an affordable, kid friendly place around the harbour is not the easiest thing to do.  We settled for a 24-hour diner type place.  The food was pretty good and we headed back to the hotel to catch some sleep - and the last of the Premiership Semifinal games.

We woke up to a grey sky with heavy rain.  Nathan still wanted to go to the zoo, so we were off.  We bought ponchos and headed to catch the ferry.  I have very few pictures because it was raining so hard, which is unfortunate because it was a beautiful zoo.  I got to see a baby Platypus swimming (called a puggle), which is as adorable as one might expect.

We wandered into a wombat den.  I learned that if they feel sleep, they sleep on their backs.  I was getting ready to take a picture when Brian got my attention.  An emu had followed us in the den and began to move fairly swiftly towards us.  We quickly got the kids and moved out of that area, shutting the gate behind us and the Emu away from us.

The elephants were fun.  The two siblings were wrestling in the water, reminding me very much of two human brothers.  Adorable.

This is actually from the Sky Safari

I was able to get a picture of the Koala because there was a roof over us.  It was pouring by this point, so after several hours at the zoo we decided to head out after the Koalas.

We rode the Sky Safari from the top of the zoo down to the ferry.  I'm certain it would be beautiful on a lovely sunny day.  Here's what we got:

Brian and I found a Starbucks in Circular Quay and got coffees because even with the ponchos, jackets, and umbrellas, we were still fairly cold.  I was looking forward to having a Pumpkin Spice Latte after seeing so many people talking about it on Facebook.  Alas, it is only available in the United States.  Stop taunting me, please!

We drove home in the pouring rain, which makes for a horrible drive.  I was still cold and decided to take a nice hot bath in my lovely sunken bathtub.  Nathan had a wonderful time, which is what matters the most.  We love our favourite 7 year old!

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