Monday, October 18, 2010

Canberra ... with activity links!

I was quick to put up our snow report following our holiday, but what did we do for the rest of that week?
Here's a glimpse ...

For a few nights we stayed with my Aunty and Uncle, where the children enjoyed playing with resident terriers Snowy and Sally.  One evening we enjoyed a family dinner with my cousins.  Elijah discovered another food he likes ... caviar and smoked salmon blini (small pancakes).  This adds to his favourite foods list of bbq baby octopus and homemade sushi (Makizushi 巻寿司), a definite seafood theme which has prevailed for a couple of years.  I LOVED being in a home with central ducted heating, even if it was sometimes a little too warm ... it was ironic to be warmer in Canberra than I had been for months, the reason being that we only use the gas heater or air conditioner for a few hours a day in the middle of winter.  Frugal and enviro-conscious intentions only!

Of the outings, QUESTACON was our family favourite.  There is so much to do and see, touch, experience, learn, wonder about ... the kids had fun in Mini-Q, the 0-6 yrs play zone.  Mini-Q featured an impressive water play setup which I'd love to replicate if I had a spare sunroom.  We loved watching a very clever live science show, "Invasion from the Planet Fwah" The BOC liquid nitrogen show.  We didn't try free-fall (a vertical slide), but I did go on the earthquake simulator (it was ok) and Track Attack, a rollercoaster simulator (awesome, even if I'm biased because my Uncle built it).  Jasmine was very upset (like totally traumatised) by the pretend guilotine and the accompanying sound effect ... we saw it as we explored a sideshow exhibit, then every time she heard it operating (even from other rooms) she would shake with fear.  In the end she practically dragged me through the exit doors, but thankfully didn't mention it again once home.  How I wish we lived closer and could go to Questacon more often (though at least we've seen their traveling exhibits when they've been in town).  See what you think of Questacon online, there are lots of activities (for kids and big kids like us!) to try, at  Perception Deception and ScIslands.

We drove on the public road to a lookout inside Duntroon.  A bunch of military trainees were hauling heavy packs up the huge mountain.  I was more interested in the immediate surroundings than the view of Australia's capital city, as it gave me a glimpse of the life path I didn't commence at age 17 (of the two cadetships I applied for, I accepted the offer from BHP Information Technology, and thankfully missed out on becoming an air traffic controller with ADFA at the last stage of selection ... their wise psychs must have realised I wasn't made of tough enough stuff) ... whew!  

Cockington Green minitature village was a big hit with the kids, and we walked around for hours listening to them say, "Look at that!" as they noticed every little detail.  In the International display Elijah wanted to quiz me about every country and type of building ... I wished I was a walking encyclopedia.  If we go again I'll see if we can have a guided tour with an expert!

Our next venue was the National Dinosaur Museum, which was a bit of a fizzer.  Perhaps on it's own we would have seen it in a more exciting light.  It was kind of small, and the tired children just wanted to zoom around, buy unnecessary 'stuff' in the gift shop, and go out for icecreams.  Elijah and I preferred the Australian Museum in Sydney which we visited last year.

We saw Parliament House from various angles as we drove to other places, but will save the proper tour until the children are a bit older.  They are pretty interested in government and followed the recent election with us.  They talk about Kevin Rudd, and weave Julia Gillard into their play conversations in amusing ways (such as once, she was telling Barbie she would pass a law to allow boys to go to hairdressers ... is that a hint of discontent about MY home salon skills?)

The Australian War Memorial was the place Elijah MOST wanted to see, but we didn't get there.  Time just ran out and we decided it would best be left until next time.  Until then we can use their Kids HQ website to learn more about our history.

1 comment:

  1. The National Dinosaur Museum was pretty tired when we went there a few years ago.

    lol at Kevin & Julia being part of your every day conversations - B has been writing a story titled "Who kidnapped the Prime Minister?" featuring Julia, Kevin & Tony!

    LOOOVE Questacon and am very impressed with Elijah's tastes in food!


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