Sunday, July 29, 2012

Road Trip No. 2: Busselton and Margaret River

Everyone has been telling me that I have to make it down to Margaret River, so while Rissie was in town we packed the boys in the car along with food, sunscreen, water bottles, diapers, toys, a roll of toilet paper, extra clothes for the boys, buckets for sea shells, etc. and made a day of it.

On the way we stopped in Busselton to check out the jetty.  It is the longest wood pile jetty in the southern hemisphere and has an observatory at the end where you can catch a glimpse of all the marine life that congregates beneath the jetty.

Peter loved stretching his legs after the long drive.

Fascinated by the gulls.

Eliot helped us search for sea shells.

Peter tried to help too but got distracted by the rocks.

Walking out to the end of the jetty was quite a hike, especially when you're in a hurry to get there in time for your observatory tour.

Eliot taking a closer look at the sinks where people clean their catch.

Peter enjoying a ride in Aunt Rissie's arms, and clutching a sea shell.

Checking out all the marine life in the observatory.

Peter thought the whole thing was just hilarious.

Eliot and Rissie on the sea floor.

Eliot taking a little piggy-back break.

Waiting for the train to take us back to shore.  (Future reference: ride the train out to the observatory and walk back, not the other way around.)

Continuing on to Margaret River, we stopped in at a chocolate shop and sampled their wares before heading over to a little place that sells all things olive oil, including olive oil soap.

Peter took a little nap in the car on the way down to Margaret River.  He dozed off right in the middle of his peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Olive trees outside the olive oil soap factory.

Eliot enjoyed trying out the olive oil scrubs with Aunt Rissie.  

Eliot was pretty impressed with the olive oil soap and held it all the way home.

As darkness fell, the back seat became silent.  It was too dark to see if the boys were asleep so Rissie pulled out her camera and snapped a picture with the flash.  There was Peter, subdued but very much awake, using up the last moments of the day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back to reality

Late last night I put Rissie on her red eye flight to Sydney.  As she put it, the whole trip is a red eye so it really doesn't matter when it starts.  I'm going to miss having her around.  Obviously it's been great having her here because she's my sister and we enjoy hanging out.  But it's also been great having an extra pair of hands and eyes throughout the day.  It's been nice to be able to dash off a couple of errands while the boys were napping.  It was also wonderful to step outside our usual routine and see Perth through fresh eyes again.  Like netball, for example.
Not far from where we live there is a huge series of courts where hundreds of girls, with coaches and parents in tow, show up on Saturdays for netball tournaments.  Netball is a British sport, popular in Commonwealth nations, and is primarily a women's sport.  Its flow reminds me of basketball, with the most visibly obvious difference (to me) being the lack of backboards above the nets.

We took the boys out one Saturday to get a closer look at the game and though we couldn't follow everything that we going on, it was pretty entertaining.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Road Trip No. 1: The Pinnacles

Rissie and I have taken the boys on a couple of road trips while Spencer has been out of town.  The first was up north to see some limestone formations known as the Pinnacles.  How exactly they were formed is apparently a matter of controversy (among certain circles, I imagine) but that didn't diminish the enjoyment we had hiking through them and taking in the view of the ocean in the distance.

The joy of jumping

Peter looked very comfortable, sunning his toes while enjoying the breezy shade of his canopy.



On our way back we wanted to get a little closer to the beach, so we turned off at a promising spot.  We parked the car and unloaded the boys.  As we climbed up over a sandy bank, in the direction of the beach, we stumbled upon a large grouping of shacks.  There wasn't a sound in the place, other than the crashing of waves, which gave it a creepy sort of ghost-town feel.  A couple on a motorcycle had preceded us and they were much farther ahead, climbing up a large sandy embankment over-looking the ocean.  We climbed up after them and I asked if they knew what this place was (I more than half expected it to turn out to be some kind of nudist colony).  They explained that the shacks had been built by squatters and treated as weekend cottages--hence the deserted feeling, all of the squatters were away at their day jobs.  We stopped there for a while and looked for sea shells before turning back.  On our way out we ran into one of the squatters, a nice fellow who politely offered us a tour of his shack, which we politely declined.  I'm sure he was just being friendly, but I have a policy about not accepting tours from squatters previously unknown to me on remote, wind swept shores with a sign above the door referencing Elvis.  Maybe ten years and two little boys ago, but probably not.

Shadow play

Monday, July 9, 2012

King's Park Revisited

Having Rissie here has been a great reason to get out and discover new things here in Perth, even places we thought we were pretty familiar with. King's Park is one such place. We had taken the boys a few times to the tree top walk in the botanical gardens but hadn't seen much else in the park. In our defence, King's Park is enormous and there are all sorts of things to discover. Recently we stumbled upon an area of the park with everything you could want; climbing equipment and slides, wide swaths of grass for picnicking, a pond with a fountain in the middle, and a cafe. The boys love it and we've gone there a number of times to enjoy a sunny afternoon.
Feeling the bark of a small boab tree.

Queensland bottle tree

Rose mallee

Grevillea leucoclada

 Climbing on the dinosaurs.

Eliot loves the 'twisty' slide.
Peter's not about to be left behind.