Sunday, February 3, 2013

One week in...

Even in Australia, we have "make it work" moments.

 Getting a couple things adjusted on our new bike.

Watch out Melbourne, I think he's born to ride. (And no PED's needed here.)

This little guy is going to be trouble. He's already found the garbage can (or should I say rubbish bin). 

My little musician.

Who says big boys don't wear eat pink ice cream...

Or share it with their (almost) 7 month old kids.

Took our first day trip on Saturday. Here is a map of Phillip Island. It's about an hour and a half southeast of Melbourne. 

Walking the beach and dipping our toes in the cold water of the Bass Strait.

Our first kangaroo spotting and my crazy husband who decided to get out of the car and go face the thing head-on. I was secretly hoping it would start bouncing towards him and send him running like a little scared kid.

 On the boardwalk along The Nobbies.

Keller's first (kind-of) sip of cappuccino. He was not a fan.

They don't allow pictures down near the penguin. I secretly took this one with my phone from where we were sitting. The penguin wait for the sun to set and for their predators (birds, fox, dogs) to go home for the night. They group together in "rafts" 30-50 feet out from the shore line and "hack" to attract other penguin in the area. Once the feel they have enough in their "raft" (power in numbers) they come ashore and make a mad waddling dash for the bushes. These dunes are filled with their burrows. Some walk over half a mile to get to their burrow. Keep in mind that these little guys are only about a foot tall! Half a mile is a freaking long way for them to waddle! In the pic below I circled where they would come ashore and the path they took up the beach. Last night 974 little penguin made their march.

I pulled these pictures off the web to show you what the little penguin look like. They are the smallest penguin in the world. 

An adult emperor penguin (far left) can stand as tall as 51 inches. A little penguin (with good posture) is only 12-13 inches tall.

A few things I have learned/experienced:

  • Drove my first car, very weird... particularly on roundabouts. And did you know the lever to turn on your turn signal is on the opposite side too? Needless to say, the windshield wipers come on pretty much every time I "signal" a turn. 
  • You don't pass a car on the road. You overtake them. (And since I drive like a snail, lots of people overtake me!)
  • The libraries in Melbourne are packed! Could not believe how many people, spanning all kinds of age and socioeconomic profiles, were (productively) hanging out in the library downtown. It was quite impressive.
  • Have yet to find a bottle of wine that uses cork. Even the ridiculously expensive bottle Mike's boss ordered at dinner the other night was a screw top!
  • You don't tip in Australia... not in restaurants, not in cabs, etc. It's fabulous!!! 
  • A lot of the restaurants are BYOB. Love this too. 
  • I have eaten more Indian food here in the past week than I probably have in my entire life.