Back in Melbourne: 12. Banff, Ben, Bucket, Bon Voyage

After moving our stuff to what would be our last place in Melbourne, we enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Banff. The building where it’s located has an interesting history. During WW II, the apartment portion was used as an army barracks by American and Canadian soldiers, and the restaurant portion (where Banff is located) was used as a galley to cook meals for the soldiers!

It was a hot, humid day, so later on we walked down to Chapel Street for ice cream — Ben and Jerry’s!  Mike and I had The Tonight Dough (soooo good!), and the kids had Phish Food.

Happy Cows…and Happy Kids! 🙂
Silly cow and silly kids. 🙂

Another afternoon we walked back over to the super fun wooden playground for a bit…

…and then continued on to the Albert Park Driving Range!  We did the beer & bash & driver deal — a beer for Mike and me, a bucket of 100 balls to share between the 4 of us, and clubs for us to use. Perfect!  Hitting from the top deck game me the impression that I could actually hit the ball high and far! 🙂

On the way back to our apartment, via Albert Park Lake, we spotted these beautiful black swans and another interesting bird (but we don’t know what it is).

On our last full day in Melbourne, we spent a rainy morning packing up and reorganizing our stuff for our flight to…New Zealand!!  Around 5 pm, Delia picked us up for a last dinner gathering at their house — tasty tacos and a delicious mayonnaise cake(!) that T made!  We had plenty of game time for the kids and lots of laughs and good conversation for the grownups before we had to say bon voyage and see you soon! 🙂

Back in Melbourne: 11. Albert Park Playground and Grand Prix!

We headed out from our apartment to try out the Albert Park Community playground. On the way, we got to see both an Australian Rules Football match and a cricket match!

Getting there took quite a while because of detours and closed pathways due to set up being done for the Melbourne Grand Prix. It ended up being an unusual walk, but it was kind of fun to walk through the massive area/tracks without any spectators or noisy cars.

The grandstands were missing both people and advertising!

While we weren’t in town for the Grand Prix, here are a few pictures from the official web site that show a much different version of the peaceful track and empty grandstands that we saw!

The long (and hot!) walk was totally worth it, though, as the playground was a giant version of a favorite St. Paul playground (Expo)! The kids were super excited!! It was perfect for playing capture the flag and hide-and-go-seek!

Those are the Grand Prix grandstands in the background.

On our way back, we walked down by Albert Park Lake, where we stopped to check out the temporary bridge for the Grand Prix (also without advertising yet) and stand on an impressive old tree!

Back in Melbourne: 10. St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day was a little different this year without our traditional corned beef sandwiches, baked potatoes, and plethora of green foods. 🙂  Instead, while Mike went to the car wash and searched for St. Patrick’s Day attire, the kids and I headed to a playground close to our apartment for a bit.

Here G and L model our St. Patrick’s Day party clothes. 🙂

Here’s my new green bandana headband and the shamrock I embroidered on my tank top, and L wearing the shamrock pin he made! 🙂

That evening, the kids hung out and had a movie night with M, T, and their babysitter while Mike and I went to a St. Patrick’s Day party with Jeff and Delia! Lots of fun was had by all!!


Back in Melbourne: 9. Clip and Climb

Delia included Clip ‘n Climb on her super list of things to do in Melbourne, but we didn’t make it there on our first stay.  When we got back to Melbourne, it was one of the first things G and L asked about doing. 🙂

Heading over there, we passed by “The LEGO Building.” It’s not really made of Legos, obviously, but doesn’t it look like it is?

As we walked into the warehouse where Clip ‘n Climb is located, G and L were excited to see a darling 4-month old Pomeranian puppy that belonged to the receptionist.

After a quick safety briefing, it was time to get clipped in and start climbing.

With 37 climbing challenges, plus the Leap of Faith bonus climb, one of the best things about trying them all out was not having to rely on a belay buddy because all of the climbs use auto belay.

The giant green posts were definitely the favorite of Mike, G, and L!


Face-to-Face climb.

Tornado climb.

Tree Trunk climb.

Skyscraper climb.

Dark Tower climb.

The Leap of Faith — all suited up and ready to leap!

Climbing up to the platform and then the leap!!

Speed climb — racing to the top.

Amazing climb.

Beanstalk climb.

Steelworks climb.

Hexed climb.