Wednesday 19 February 2014 60 °F
Today we split forces. Henry didn't want to go to the boring zoo, and Pearl didn't want to go on a boring bird trip, so we matched each child with their preferred activity.
Henry and Sue jumped on a suburban commuter train out of the city to the Dandenong Range. Thanks to Gabby Webster for recommending Grant Picnic Ground and the surrounding national park. When we first arrived at the picnic ground, a large Chinese tourist group was in the bird area, feeding aggressive Cockatoos. Lots of bloody fingers. We decided that hiking the beautiful fern-tree shaded trails was more to our liking, and while we tramped, Henry spotted the elusive Superb Lyrebird, a gorgeous grey peacock-like bird.
Upon our return the picnic ground, the tourist group had relocated to the nearby cafe, so Henry was able to enjoy feeding parrots and cockatoos in a much calmer setting.
Pearl and Daddy spent 4.5 hours at the wonderful Melbourne Zoo. Part of the fun was riding the #55 tram from the city center along with the smartly attired Melbournians during morning rush hour. The trams here are punctual and clean. The floors were spotless: no piles of discarded sunflower seeds, rolling pop cans, or used nappies like any day on Chicago's green line. Sorry, got sidetracked there. The Melbourne Zoo has a smaller footprint than the excellent Brookfield Zoo, but packs in so much that our time there flew by.
On the way back to the condo, we stopped by a playground at Flagstaff Gardens that Pearl spotted earlier in the day with her acute sense of playground-dar.
Continuing with today's theme of splitting forces, Henry and Pearl are outside now playing tag. Later today, we'll leave Henry in charge of a sleeping Pearl and go out for a walk as we say goodbye to beautiful Melbourne...