To Canberra and beyond Episode #2

DSCF1180Well what to say! We left a day late thanks to a bit of sickness in one of our daughters but that gave us a chance to be “fully” ready with an extra day of preparation with placing things in the van. Before midday Emma (supposedly sick) was running around and eating so we knew we were good to go the next day.

IMG_3256Day #1 was spent driving to a spot near the River Murray called Piangil… as you can see our camp was sweet (esp for free) and it was only the mozzies a big as the tires on the car that stopped me from fishing.

IMG_3262Day #2 was also spent driving but we stopped at Swan Hill (and sat in a big Murray Cods mouth)… then Echuca. We ended up north of Albury in a less pretty spot with trucks going past, but there were so many we all slept well as it was a consistent noise! When Naomi woke up in the morning she was quite impressed at the sight of a massive B-Double parked just behind our caravan!

IMG_3290Day #4 was the final dash for Canberra, where we did the mandatory stop at the dog on the tuckerbox at Gundagai. This is probably as good a time as ever to notice the girls all have all been given pixies by their classes from Mount Barker Primary School and so they will be popping up from time to time. So we’re almost into Canberra on Barton Highway and Felicity is looking through the brochures and says “Cockingtons Green is on Barton Highway” so befIMG_3310ore we knew it our Canberra adventure was in full swing. For those who don’t know Cockingtons Green is a miniature village of about 1/12th scale that seems to never end… Felicity (who had been there before and loved it) was in her element. She remembers seeing a streaker in the soccer game….and yep it was there! Also to the girls and Matt’s amusement even Darth Wader and Obi One were there.   We then went to Mel & Luke Hamptons house and had a quick shower before driving to Parliament House (or Parmesan House if you are Emma) for a look. IMG_3373Unfortunately Tony and his other big wigs were not there but you can’t win them all. A highlight for the girls was being to roll down the grassy hill on the roof   of parliament house!!

DSCF1194Day #5 saw us see three different places. We got up pretty early and went to the mint where we all struck our own $1 coin for $3…? But it was a great place to visit. From there we headed to The Australian Institute of Sport where Felicity was able to relive her High School Volleyball National Schools Cup glory… DSCF1228However apart from the 800 metre athlete who was our guide and showed us all the gyms and pools no other athletes were sighted L. After that was the best part of the day for me (Matt) as Mel (a war historian at the memorial) organized a tour for us through the warehouse that holds anything that cannot fit into the real War Memorial. It was insane. There was a V2 bomb rocket there, and Felicity & I had been to the concentration camp where these were made in Germany in 2004! IMG_3460There were more things there than is possible to mention (over 100,000 items from planes to bombs) and I took a lot of photos so if interested ask when I get back. Highlight for the kids (and me) was getting into a WW1 tank.

Day #6 was Questacon. Basically it is a totally hands on science place with more than a days worth of things to try or do. While we were there we met Melinda Cousins which was fun. The girls had a riot of a time (as did their parents). Naomi enjoyed the freefall the most. After Questacon we did a mercy dash to the art gallery to see “Blue Poles” and were “enlightened” for the day…

IMG_3500Day #7 was the War Memorial, and with a private war historian for a guide we were definitely blessed. The WW1 area has recently been redeveloped so had touch screens which made it easier for the girls to stay interested. There was also an education centre where the kids were told they could touch everything and they all got “trenchfoot” in the fake trench system. Emma even drew a picture of trench foot in her journal!!!

Day #8 was a travelling day, but not before Mel served up bacon & eggs (what an amazing host)… in fact she fed us so well we didn’t have lunch but snacked our way to Hallidays Point which I had planned to be a 2 day drive. Our girls were amazing today in the car, which also helped. They loved finger stitching in the back along with watching a few movies. So here we are in very rainy blustery conditions but dry and safe.

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