Friday, April 4, 2008

Road Trip!

Feeling extremely comfortable behind the wheel, Ben, Kaia and I headed to Phillip Island this week for a much-needed holiday. The island is a 90 minute drive southeast of Melbourne and is well-known for its famous "Penguin Parade". You can purchase tickets to enjoy the experience. The parade happens every evening after dusk when the world’s smallest penguins, the Little Penguins, emerge from the sea after a day of fishing and waddle ashore to their sand dune burrows. We weren't really sure what to think until we actually saw the CUTE and all fat and happy waddling up the shore. There were hundreds and hundreds all coming up from the waves and as they were shaking the water off their feathers you can hear the penguin babies calling for them. We were able to watch the penguins walk up the shore towards the burrows - they stop every now and then to listen for their baby. The ranger said that some penguins have walked all the way to the parking lot which was a good mile away! We were instructed to look under our cars for any stray penguins and inform a ranger so they could scoop them up before anything unfortunate happened.

An amazing experience.

We also visited the Phillip Island Wildlife Center and were able to hand-feed the kangaroos, wallabies and emus. Kaia LOVED it. The roos were extremely gentle -- the wallabies a bit more pushy (they wanted to get at the food) and the emus were definitely the bullies of the bunch. We just puffed ourselves up to make ourselves look bigger and they left us alone. Ben took that pic of the koala - isn't it ADORABLE?

During our two-night stay there was a windstorm raging across Melbourne with gale-force winds. Phillip Island was hit as well and the island power went out at 2pm and was not restored until 9pm that evening. Afternoon naps were taken by all as there was not much else to do. Tons of trees and huge branches came down but luckily no one was injured.

Kaia's next term break in late June so we are planning to go somewhere warm since it's going to be WINTER here.

How weird is that? Winter in July??

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