Saturday dawned a sunny and warm Fall day. I bustled everyone, including Murphy, out the door mid-morning, and in spite of a garage door that wouldn't open, misplaced keys, and a forgotten jacket, we made it to St. Kilda beach by 11:00. There, we walked the beach looking for shells and starfish, stopping for lunch at The Beachcomber and for coffee on St. Kilda pier. While on the pier, we spotted a pair of Fairy Penguins nesting in the breakwater; a treat for my visiting mum. Murphy chased sticks and ambled happily in the surf.
After a couple of hours, my mum and I deposited ourselves and Murph on a bench with a view and a scent of the sea while C2 and J spent an hour on the rides at Luna Park.
That evening, C2 and I made ourselves beautiful and headed out on a date night. Our destination was the Cafe Provincial on Brunswick St. in the funky and fantastic Fitzroy section of Melbourne. An epic Boeuf Bourgignon later, we made our way to the Cinema Nova for a late viewing of the Canadian film "Incendies"; it was searing, brilliant, and calamitous; all in all, a terrific date night.
Sunday, again, we all piled into my car (minus Murphy this time) and drove into the Yarra Valley to the Healesville Animal Sanctuary. In spite of a steady downpour, we had a great time visiting and learning about the animals native to this land.
J and C2 had some special one-on-one time with a lovely pair of Dingos; while mum got up close and personal with a sleepy Koala named Benny. We learned of the medical crisis threatening the iconic Tasmanian Devil. Healesville acts as one of 4 "Arks" keeping pairs of the Devils to safeguard the future of the species.
One of the gorgeous pairs of Dingos. They clearly thought C2 was delish!
We witnessed a magestic flight show of native Australian predatory birds like Wedge-tailed Eagles, and Black-breasted Buzzards, as well as amazing parrots such as Sulfur-crested Cockatoos, and the endangered Major Mitchell's Cockatoo. We laughed at the indignant stare of the Emu, and the bored air of the Kangaroos. Florence the Wombat indulged in her usual thrilling deep sleep while Storm the Tasmanian Devil posed for pictures puffed with self-importance.
A Tasmanian Devil - looks meek and charming but ferociously hilarious
We ended the weekend with a late dinner of crepe completes, crepes with lemon and sugar, and crepes with Canadian maple syrup; a perfect ending to a perfect weekend.