14.03.2016 - 14.03.2016 72 °F
The last day in Melbourne has come. Has it been five days?
Tomorrow we pick up a rental car and head out on the Great Ocean Highway for a short road trip to see the Twelve Apostles, one of Australia's most scenic and iconic drives.
On our last day here we had big plans for Des.
Des would be going to his first aquarium. Yep. A moment I've dreamt about for him for two years now. I love the ocean--and aquariums, unlike zoos, are not depressing opportunities to view wildlife.
I was so proud of Des when we asked if he wanted to go see fish and he said "and sharks!"
My heart grew ten sizes.
We strolled on down to the aquarium, which is a short walk from where we are staying. Once there Des did me proud. He immediately ran into the aquarium screeching and screaming with excitement. In fact, he didn't stop running or screaming until one of us scooped him up to calm him down. He ran so fast that he fell and skidded head first into a wall, not to mention the countless times he ran into actual people. He was an utter terror, but he seems to have my enthusiasm for ocean life and for that I refuse to squash his excitement.
He was *that* kid, the one other parents see and secretly thank gods their child isn't that wild. There was another of *that* kid there, and ultimately they ran into one another. Zac and the kid's dad commiserated for half a second before our little maniacs demanded attention and scooping up again.
Des loved each exhibit. Tunnels were especially popular in his opinion, and even better when experienced with company.
As free spirited as Des can be, it was such a blast to see him having what seemed to be the most fun he's had the entire trip. Am I projecting? Maybe, but no doubt he has yet to run anywhere else with as much glee. How could you not with these beauties?
By the time we reached the penguins Des was running on empty. It didn't stop him from following them along the exhibit while running as they waddled, but he certainly didn't protest when we took him away to his stroller so we could leave.
Justin headed off on his own afterward while Zac and I continued out on a walk along the river. Des quietly ate lunch in his stroller and didn't ask to get out until we were back in the apartment elevator. He simply had to push the buttons!
There were no arguments for a nap.
Our final evening was spent playing in a park near the Yarra before eating take away in our room and packing up for the start of our coastal drive tomorrow morning. We will be staying in a very secluded cabin with no wifi or cell reception. Wish us luck.
Ultimately I'm happy to be heading out and do wish we had given ourselves more time for the coast and less time in Melbourne. Melbourne is a lovely city, but ultimately it's just that--a city. Great for a few days, but beyond that I want something unique and different. I live in a city. Shops, restaurants, and parks are easily available to me. Quiet cabin retreat? Not so much. And while there seems to be a hot debate as to whether Sydney or Melbourne is the place to be, I have to throw my weight behind Sydney. Yes, it's also a city, but a far more unique and naturally beautiful one than Melbourne. Should I add "in my opinion?" Probably, but I'm pretty hard pressed to believe otherwise.
I'm glad we visited Melbourne. Five days (six if you count our stop and stay on the way back from the coast) felt plenty--more than enough, actually. Would I come back to visit? Possibly. If I had a reason. Otherwise I'd prefer to see other Australian cities. Still, it's been a lovely visit--it's just time to move on.