Saturday, 6 December 2008


Apologies to the complainers about the lack of Australia story. Apologies to the non complainers who are wondering why they are reading this. We didn’t really know how to blog our Australia holiday, as it wasn’t really a holiday, more just going to the other home. As we don’t blog our England home, why blog the Aussie one?

But the guilt tripping has worked. So here you go.

You can see our trip photos here (on picassa) or here and here on facebook.

We had a few plane “issues” which we’ll deal with in a bumper plane edition in the near future.

We arrived in Melbourne and saw no one at the gate so went to freshen up before collecting our bags and meeting the father and the friend. Only the father and the friend weren’t there. Perhaps they were at international arrivals, perhaps we didn’t tell them we were coming via Cairns and getting a domestic. Nope, not at international arrivals either. Now, the friend, we’ll call her Julia, had been meeting us at an airport in North Carolina a year earlier to this and hadn’t been there when we’d got off the plane either. Surely she wouldn’t have done it again?! But they were definitely nowhere to be seen.

Eventually they turned up - blaming us! They had been at the gate. Only not from the moment it had opened so must have missed us. How dare we go to the toilet?! All we know is, “Julia” is on two strikes! (We’ve also decided to stop mentioning this from now as it’ll only come back to haunt us when we’re not there to meet her some time).

So we drove to Julia’s new apartment and checked out its awesomeness, our room, more of the awesomeness, the pool and generally were just in awe of its awesomeness. Then the human’s father went back to Ballarat, the human and the friend Julia, and the friend Julia’s sister, Lucy, went to some funky Musical premier thing. We stayed at home and recuperated. The human reports there was a lot of standing and a lot of screaming and a lot of d-list Aussie celebrities who we had heard of, but perhaps not many non Aussies would, and lots more screaming, and then the stars and then so much screaming you needed ear plugs, and a security guard woman who looked like a 12 year old boy, and then Julia got an autograph (not by crushing any 10 year olds she says) from a lady called Vanessa, and they took lots of photos and had a great time. We stayed at home and rested and secretly watched Julia and Lucy’s DVDs.

The night we had pizza and pasta from Papa Gino’s (we’re on holiday – we can have both!) and snoozed some more.

The next day the humans went out and did human things whilst we relaxed around the pool. They came back from the city with lots of exciting food shopping (they even found vegetarian prawns at the local supermarket!) and a million DVDs. We settled in with them to eat amazing dinner, dessert and snacks (all of which were sorely missed when we were out of the country) and watched Horton Hears a Who and Maid of Honour. Even two masculine grown up hippos such as ourselves enjoy a girly movie night now and again. We definitely suggest everyone sees Horton Hears a Who, by the way.

Friday was the day of The Wedding. So Julia, who is very nice and very special indeed and lovely for all the driving she was to do for us this week, drove us to Geelong where the humans went for lunch with a long time family friend, we’ll call her “Irene”, and we went for a stroll on the beach. Then we all went hunting for the Russian Orthodox church somewhere in Geelong, found it with time to spare and went op shopping. [The human just mentioned that whilst op shopping she’s certain the father and the friend bought her scarf type things which she never saw again]. Then the father and Julia went for coffee and cake whilst the human went to The Wedding (of a primary school friend of her’s). Between The Wedding and The Reception a trip to TimeZone, with the father and the friend, was in order (very traditional). Then to The Reception for a couple of hours, whilst the father and Julia, again very kindly and lovelyingly, went to the movies to kill time. Then back to Ballarat and Buninyong.

After all this driving around we were exhausted and also were very happy to be back with some of our Australian family and so decided to stay around the house for the weekend, spending time with them, relaxing (someone forgot to tell Freyja that that is what holidays are for), wandering around the garden and such. Freyja decided she had to get as much done and see as many people as possible (crazy crazy humans!). Various exciting things that didn’t involve us so we won’t dwell include lunch with various friends and family (including Ian, Zoy and Ross), visiting Emily (a cousin) at Lindsey and Ian’s house, dragging Lindsey and Ian and her dad to Chat For Tea to her favourite Vegetarian Asian Tea Garden/Restaurant in Ballarat (yes it’s the only one), seeing Death Race with Zoy, having Fun with Julia, Lucy and Zoy, a big family lunch in Mt Martha (which we were sad to miss) and on the way back to Buninyong, seeing the Big Apple (which we were even sadder to miss!), dropping in on another family friend, having Fun with some primary school friends (from The Wedding) and visiting The Bride, where the human’s dad kept them there until 2am talking to The Bride’s Mother (although he’ll claim he was just waiting for the human to be ready to leave…)

Anne, who we were staying with, made us a lovely Hello/Goodbye dinner on the Sunday and then Monday morning meant it was time to leave the Ballarat/Buninyong area and return to Melbourne (first though, an early lunch with Ross, Anne and Friend Pat), via a quick stop to say hello/goodbye to more cousins, Ant and Christian, who were battling giant spiders in The Shed). We took the train to Melbourne and visited Ian and Lindsey’s flat, which was very nice. Then Zoy took the human to Karaoke with Julia and Lucy and some friends of Julia and Lucy (and on the way showed us the DVD of his performance as Gaston in Beauty and The Beast… we’ll say nothing).

The final day arrived. We diligently stayed home and packed, whilst the human went out and had more Fun with her dad. Lunching in the city with a friend, Rod, visiting the Western Bulldogs shop in Footscray, hanging with Lucy, dinnering at Ian and Lindsey’s again (although sans Ian and avec Simon and Emily), seeing some crazy 3D movie at Imax, where the friend Julia works, (which did sound far too scary for us, to be honest). Some friends came around and Bernard had a nice snooze with one of them whilst the human stayed up and waited to leave for the airport (at about 5am gulp!)

Then there was some more plane drama that, yes, will be dealt with later.

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