Friday we headed straight to Alison & John's place in Endeavour Hills and took Coco the dog for a walk while waiting for the rest of the family to arrive from their Queensland holiday.
Saturday we hung out with my brother Nigel, Jackie, Ali, John, and their kids - Kyle, Thalia and Mia. It was good to catch up with them all as I hadn't seen them for 2-3 years. In the evening Mick & Jan (John's Mum & Dad) came over for a traditional Aussie BBQ.
On Sunday we drove into the city and met up with Marrissa & Clint for brunch at a cafe near Albert Park that had been converted from an old tram station. After a quick whizz round Victoria Markets we headed back to Ali's where a full scale Olympic challenge was underway - on the Wii. The game of the day was ski jump. You had to stand on the Wii board and lean forward, springing upright at the perfect take-off moment to make your character jump the furthest. Amazing fun to be had in the lounge, with quite a few jumpers tumbling and rolling themselves into giant snowballs. After all the excitement we headed into Berwick for an Italian meal.
The weather was beautiful on Monday so we drove to Lysterfield Park and managed a 5.5km walk around the lake. There were quite a few burnt trees from the recent fires, but nothing too bad, although there are some badly burnt areas nearby. In the evening I helped Ali cook up a roast lamb dinner, complete with gravy AND cheese sauce, which was a first for me.
Tuesday, after breakfasting in a very languid manner, and a spot of shopping in Dandenong we said our goodbyes to the family and drove to the seaside suburb of Williamstown to stay with our friends Fi & Pete and their cats Theo and Mia. (Yes, that's a coincidence).
On Wednesday we had a lazy day, brunched, walked round the botanic gardens and then crashed at their house all afternoon reading magazines, tending to cats and listening to my ipod. My head cold was raging by this time and I'd been dosing up on Codral. Later we were guests of Fi and Pete at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club where we chatted to some interestingly strange people and wined and dined overlooking the harbour and city.
Thursday, our last day was earmarked for shopping so we headed straight to Bourke Street Mall and surrounding streets but the hunt was disappointing. A few minor purchases: Natio toiletries on special, a cheap necklace, and a polo shirt for John was all. Oh - and some yummy choccies from Koko Black. A quick stop back at Williamstown to collect out bags then we had to depart for the airport for the 7.30pm flight.
The descent into Auckland was agonizing as my right ear refused to 'pop', I guess because of the head cold. I lost my hearing temporarily and waggled my jaw around like a demented creature for about 30 minutes before it cleared. We landed at 1am this morning, got home about 2am and managed to get to bed at 3 am after some snuggling of cats, and was up at 8.30, so I am aiming for an early night.
Mugshots of the family....
Alison and Mia