Archive for the ‘Melbourne adventures’ Category

Today we had another great adventure. We went across to the Diamond Valley Railway in Eltham for a special ‘Teddy Bear picnic’ day. It was a really great.

On this particular day the railway let kids ride free if they bring a teddy bear. We were a little unsure of how legalistic the railway authorities were going to be as Aiden took two stuffed birds (Cocky and Kookaburra) and Callum had a rainbow lorikeet as their ‘teddies’ (Aoife had a proper teddy and would be fine). Fortunately the railway authorities were happy with a broad definition of ‘teddy’ and we got on the train no problems.

Aoife with teddy Aiden with Cocky and Kookaburra Callum and Rainbow

The railway is terrific and we had a great ride around the approximately 2km circuit. The kids loved the ride.

We also had a great time playing at the park next door. There was a flying fox and swings. Even Aoife’s teddy had a swing.

Aoife and teddy swinging

Yet the real highlight for Aoife and Callum was the opportunity to go on a pony ride. It was tremendously exciting for them as you can see in these photos and video.

Aoife and Callum with ponies Aoife and Callum with ponies Callum on cart 3 Aoife on pony 2 Callum on cart2 Callum on cart Aoife on pony

So the summary for the day:

Train rides: $6

Ice creams: $14

Pony rides: $10

A great family day out at Diamond Creek: priceless

Family on the train


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Di and I moved to Melbourne at the beginning of 2010. Mum and Dad visited us for the first time in April 2010. We had a really nice couple of days with them. Some really great memories…

Friday 16th April 2010

Aoife slept well and we got up and going. We all had breakfast and Mum and Dad (Nanna and Pop) came around to much excitement from the kids, particularly Aiden.

We ate breakfast and got ready. It was a gorgeous day and we got some food from Coles and then we got a tram into the city. It was myself, Mum and Dad and Aiden. Di and Aoife had to go to a doctor’s appointment.

We got another tram down La Trobe St and we went to the State Library of Victoria. We got there at opening time and we went in and up to an exhibition on the Changing Face of Victoria. It was an interesting exhibition and they had Ned Kelly’s armour on display. That was really interesting and Mum and Dad enjoyed looking at the museum.

Ned Kelly's armour Ned Kelly's helmet

We finished up there and went across Swanston St to Melbourne City Central and we went inside and looked at the Shot Tower and the big clock inside. We had some morning tea and saw the big clock chime for 11am. 

Nanna and Pop at Melbourne Central Big Clock Melbourne Central

Di and Aoife joined us and we got a tram down Swanston St. to Federation Square.

We got out and had a quick look before walking across the Yarra and then along the Yarra and Southbank.

We went to the Eureka building and got a lift to the top – to the 88th floor. We saw the view. It was quite a remarkable view – overlooking Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne. We were a long way up (the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere!) The kids loved looking at the view, Aoife kept putting her hands on the glass and looking down we could see the city beneath us and trams, trains and people. You could see a long long way and it was a really great view. I enjoyed looking at the city and getting a bit of a perspective on how things looked.

We ate our lunch up there, which went really well. We ate looking over the MCG and beyond. It was a great place to eat lunch. A great view. We went outside on the viewing terrace and looked and soon we headed down the lift. We’d enjoyed our time on the Eureka Skydeck – a very high viewing platform.

Up the Eureka Tower Pop and Aoife on Eureka Tower Aoife and Aiden up the Eureka Tower Di and Aoife at the Eureka Tower Nanna and us up the Eureka Tower

We got to the ground and went for a bit of a walk. Walked across the Yarra and along to Federation Square. We then walked to the Cathedral (St Paul’s) and saw a statue of Matthew Flinders.

Matthew Flinders' statue Matthew Flinders with seagull

Then we got a tram to Fitzroy Gardens. We had a bit of a sit in the Gardens and the kids had a bit of a play in the playground. We then went and saw the model Tudor Village which was in the middle of the park. It was really nice and a nice place to stop and look.

Model Tudor Village Model Tudor Village with Mum

Then we walked and got another tram into the city. We went to a Brunetti cafe in Melbourne square or something and ate an ice cream. It was a lovely place to eat and nice to sit and eat ice cream.

We then had a quick look inside St Paul’s Cathedral and it was massive. It was much bigger than St Andrew’s in Sydney and it was much more ornate and decorative. We enjoyed that visit and then I bade farewell to the others. They got the train to the car at Jewell and I took some photos before catching two trams home.


It had been a really great day, done lots of different types of things. Real variety and it had been quite full. We all slept very well that night.

Saturday 17th April 2010

We all slept really well and got up and got going. We had breakfast and Nanna and Pop arrived again. We were all ready and at about 9am we got going. We went off to Brunetti in Faraday St (in Carlton). We found car parks and got some beverages and some little treats at Brunetti. It was a nice place for morning tea. We ate there and then moved the cars and went to the Melbourne museum. We parked and walked there.

It was another lovely day and it was a great place to go and visit. We went in (in the end we got in for free!) and we first went to the dinosaur walk where we got to see dinosaur bones and there was a great interactive display. We also looked at the undersea display and the bug display. They were all very well done and very interesting. The kids enjoyed going through and Mum and Dad enjoyed spending time with the kids.

We went to the children’s play area and the kids played with the blocks for a while, which was good fun. We then went to the forest section and we walked around the trees and saw some of the animals. The museum resembled a zoo at various points.

Then we were looking for the exit and we stumbled across an exhibit outlining the history of Melbourne – there was an exhibit on Phar Lap with a full sized replica and some footage of Phar Lap’s races.

The history of Melbourne museum was very interesting and the kids enjoyed it as well. Aiden liked seeing the trams and trains.

We then finally left. We left the museum, it had been thoroughly worthwhile.

Melbourne Museum Dinosaurs at Melbourne Museum Walk at Melbourne Museum Nanna and Aiden at Melbourne Museum


We ate some lunch out behind the museum on a park bench. We all enjoyed our lunch. 

Then we got ready to come home. We got in and Aoife had a sleep. Then we hung out. I had a brief lie down (as did Mum and Dad).

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We had a terrific day out today.

The weather was warm and pleasant. First we went to Elsternwick Park. We enjoyed some lunch there and the kids had a great time playing in the park. The park was very impressive, it had a lake and an enclosed play area. IMG_8000 IMG_8004

 Although poor Aoife didn’t always stay on the swing!


After that we went to the Caulfield Racecourse for the Australian Model Railway Exhibition. It was fantastic. We really enjoyed it. There were over 70 exhibitions with a variety of different types of model railways. I (Rob) have always enjoyed my railways and it brought up many memories of playing with trains as a kid. The kids particularly liked the Lego exhibits. I was particularly impressed with the model of Maryborough.

IMG_8010 IMG_8011 IMG_8016 IMG_8017 IMG_8022 IMG_8027

The only thing missing from the day was Pop, who would have really enjoyed the trains.

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It’s been a while since we shared some life stories on our blog, but we had a great day today and I thought it might be nice to share with the world.

We had a lovely family day up at Emerald Lake Park today. We really enjoyed the cool but clear and sunny weather. We had a ride on the aqua-bikes on the lake. The kids enjoyed that, particularly Aiden.

We also found simple pleasures in making a huge pile of fallen leaves and running into them and throwing them.

We also enjoyed seeing the Puffing Billy train.

Callum also enjoyed the model railway there. We all enjoyed the gym equipment and we enjoyed playing in the park.

The whole thing was capped off with an unexpected visit to the Winter Solstice in Belgrave. We were hoping to find a quick bite to eat in Belgrave on the way home, instead we stumbled upon a quite magical winter festival. There were hundreds of people crammed into the main street of Belgrave to watch people walk carrying various lanterns. My favourite was this one:

Yes, that was a dalek lantern! It was a great family day out.

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A little while back I wrote about how I wondered if my office was haunted. We had some strange happenings in our office with hand dryers going off unexpectedly and taps running hard. Anyway, recently a slightly bizarre incident occurred which was, well, strange.

I’ll recount the story…

A couple of weeks back my colleague (Mark) and I were the only ones on our floor. Mark headed off to the toilets and I thought I’d play a little practical joke to try to simulate our ‘ghost’. As Mark was in one of the cubicles (sorry that this is a little personal) I silently went up to the toilet area and set the hand dryer off – just as what happened on that earlier night when we first suspected a ‘ghost’.

To reinforce the validity of my ‘story’ and to demonstrate to Mark that it couldn’t have been me that set off the hand dryer, when Mark returned to our office, I announced loudly that I needed to go to the toilet. So I left Mark in the office and walked down to the toilets.

I went into the cubicle and was preparing to return to ‘spook’ Mark and question him about the hand dryer going off ‘inexplicably’. Yet as I was in the toilet, the hand dryer went off all again – this time completely by itself. The hair dryer was on only for the duration I was in the toilet cubicle. As soon as I exited, the hand dryer went off.

I returned to the office and confirmed with Mark that he hadn’t set it off. It was a mystery – that was the only time that day (and indeed since that time) that the hand dryer has gone off by itself.

I’m not saying that there is definitely a ghost in our office, but if there is, he/she/it does have a good sense of humour!

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Today was a special day because Aoife started school. She has been very excited about it for quite some time. Now it is time for her to join her older brother at school. Here are a couple of photos of her (and Aiden) this morning.

Aoife first day of school Aiden and Aoife Aiden and Aoife 2

I also took a very special little video of Aoife.

I asked her what she learned today and she said, ‘where the toilets are’.

She had a great time doing art and meeting new people. We celebrated this afternoon by having a special treat: we went to the shops and got some juice. She was pretty tired by the end, but she was very happy she was now at school.

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A quick post to ask if you’d like to consider supporting a new initiative surrounding Rob’s work with the City Bible Forum. It’s called ‘Logos Live’ and we’d like to raise some money to help pay for the first series. You can check out the details below.

Logos Live crowdfunding

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