Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Australia 10-21

In Bathurst
We got up and drove from Katoomba to Albury. We stopped in several town along the way as that is what we enjoy doing. I don't remember all the names of the towns we stopped in. We stopped in Bathurst that had several historical buildings and a park with a memorial for soldiers. There was one that had a restaurant called Rhubarb Emporium in Young, New South Wales and advertised rhubarb. I was excited as I love rhubarb, we stopped in and they didn't even have any. What a let down. When we got to Albury we had dinner at Albion Hotel.  I had a stuffed chicken breast and then for dessert had sticky date pudding. It was only the second time I have ever had it. The first was in Malaysia when a friend, from Australia, made it for a group of us. We spent the night in Albury and did some laundry.
The next morning we got up and drove from Albury to Melbourne. We got to the bed and breakfast that was recommended to us, The Georgia Court. I am not sure if it had changed since those people had been there but it was not what we expected. We decided to do something instead of sit in the small room, so we decided to drive down to Phillip's island to see the penguin parade that I had seen adverstised in one of the brochures we picked up when we stopped along the way and got a map for the Melbourne area.  We drove two hours and when we got there we were stopped and told that we were supposed to buy tickets ahead of time as it was full. So we turned around and crossed the bridge back to the mainland. We went to the beach and just enjoyed that for a little while.  Then, we had dinner in San Remo at a pizza place and drove back to our bed and breakfast about 10p.m.

At the beach since Phillip Island Penguin Parade full
The next morning we got up and decided to check out and get a different place. Dad went to have breakfast but the food was not cooked. The lady was upset because she said breakfast was over but the lady who checked us in had told us a different time.  After we got checked into another hotel that was also more conviently located we took free tram part of the way down to Federation Square.

 There we went to Ian Potter Center and the art gallery. They had an exhibit on the Aboriginal people and there art which was beautiful. Also, even more informative after our lesson in Katoomba with the owner of the art gallery that is all Aboriginal art. I really grew to appreciate it.
At Federation Square

We decided after that to go on a river cruise. It was hot and we didn't know exactly what to do next. We happen to just catch the next boat that was going so we didn't have to wait at all. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned quite a bit about Melbourne and how it developed and is still developing.

Tons of bridges cross the Melbourne River. This 1 had sculptures along way.

After that we went looking for the Theremin. It was talked about on NPR and Mom heard about it and told us we should look for it. It is this musical object where it uses sound waves created by motion of like bodies in front of it to create different sounds. It was not easy to find, but we finally found it. It had been spray painted. It also didn't seem to react as well to the motions like it did when it was first set up (I saw a video on it). It is sad that people have to ruin things.


Giant Theremin
That night we went to "Tower Heist" movie. We were going on the cruise we went by this huge casino that they talked about. So, that is where we had dinner and then watched the movie. When we came out they have these pillars that shoot flames out of them at a certain time. It was neat to watch.

New Year's Eve Day we went to Rippon Lea which is another mansion that Dad had heard about. They have volunteers that work there. We had a young man that gave us a tour. It was just Dad and I. They had this large covered area outside that had all types of plants. Kind of like a greenhouse, but it was huge and it was not made of glass. They also had a grotto, but it had water that was leaking in so we didn't go in it. The pond was this weird green color. It was some sort of algae. They still had events like weddings in the ballroom that is next to the pool. That night we went to see the movie "We Bought a Zoo." We went back to the casino to watch it. When we got done Dad wanted to hang around outside of the casino to watch the fireworks because we heard they were having early fireworks, but we apparently just missed them, so went back to hotel. Then when midnight came we had the TV on so that we could watch them both on TV and I could see them out our hotel window too. Even though the Opera House in Sydney is super famous and always on TV I would not want to be in a huge crowd like that.

Rippon Lea mansion
The next day day want to drive along the Great Ocean Road to see the 12 Apostles Rocks, The London Bridge, Loch ard Gorge rocks.  It is an all day drive, but I did not really want to spend the whole day in the car because it was New Year's Day and the next day we had to start driving back to Sydney because I had a teacher's job fair I was signed up to attend. We weren't going to be able to take our time and so we were going to spend the two following days in the car. Dad didn't know what else to do for New Year's Day, so he said we would drive at least for a few hours and see what we could see. Not too far out of Melbourne I saw a sign advertising this Werribee mansion & Rose Garden. I told Dad that I wanted to stop there. I like seeing cool architecture, whether religious buildings, mansions or just neat houses (usually older homes though). Anyway we both really liked the mansion.
Werribee mansion
 We even got a private tour to go up on the roof. We were the only two at the time that wanted to go up there. The rest we did a tour with just the little headsets they have today.  Werribee mansion also had a cool grotto. I think out of the three grottos I saw it was by far my favorite. The inside was completely covered in shells in designs on the walls. I wouldn't mind having a grotto someday. After we had been there for several hours when it was around 4 in the afternoon we went on the art walk. They had lots of sculptures set along this winding path along the property that had different sculptures. Some were very odd, but a few were cool. Then we went next door to the State Rose garden. I love roses and rose gardens with all of the variety of roses. We did not stay that long though because it was very, very hot. I was starting to get overheated. Plus, the mansion was closing, so we could still get out but could not go back in the cool building. Dad still wanted to drive down the Great Ocean Road for a ways and see the ocean, so we drove down to Torquay and ate at Growlers. Growlers is obviously a very popular place and we didn't have a reservation, but some people didn't show up for theirs, so the guy let us wait a bit but they were already 45 minutes late, he couldn't get a hold of them, and they had not called. We went across to the beach when we were done. We saw one guy on a surf board hanging on to like a parachute. Another person was on a surfboard and they were using a paddle to navigate. Next day drove from Melbourne to Wollongong- Stopped at Moss Vale Dinner at Jasmine Rice and then spent the night. We got up the next morning and drove from Wollongong to Sydney. We got back at a reasonable time so we could get checked into our hotel and I could get checked into the job fair I was there to attend. Then we went to Darling Harbor so I could get a manicure and pedicure. We had dinner at Hard Rock at Darling Harbor. The last few days I was doing the job fair and my Dad did his own things during the day.