Melbourne: a Trip in Pictures

By Mary Beth

The family went on a trip to Australia at the end of January. It was a whirlwind trip.

The Preparation

Annie knew about Australia. Her friend Hamish was from Australia. He had visited her back in August, and now she would get to visit him.

Not long before Annie had had Australia Day at school, to raise money for the fires in Australia. The kids in her school had learned all about Australia that day, and had been encouraged to wear Australian colors to school. Annie came home brimming with information about Australia. This came down to two facts:

  1. People in Australia don’t wear shoes
  2. The colors of Australia are green, yellow, red, and blue.

The former fact made packing for the trip a little difficult. She was reluctant to bring her sandals with her, because she often wore them without socks, and so if she took them off she would be barefoot; whereas if she wore her shoes, she could wear socks, and wouldn’t be totally barefoot when she took off her shoes. She expected she would have to take them off as soon as she reached the Australian shores. But it was summertime, so her mommy was encouraging her to bring sandals. In the end, she brought both sandals and shoes.

The Journey

It was a nighttime flight. Annie wore her pajamas to the airport. Annie loved wearing pajamas.


The family’s trip coincided with Australia Day, which is similar to the Fourth of July – it is a summertime holiday celebrating the beginnings of the country, with parades and fireworks and lots of community events. They decided to go into the big city to see the sights that day. Annie was happy to find that the Australians were wearing shoes after all.

This was not the last gift Annie received that day. After the parade, there was a children’s event wherein a person in a giant pig suit representing a bank gave Annie some sunscreen. Annie cherished that sunscreen. It was one of her favorite Australian souvenirs.
While Annie was receiving sunscreen, Cora practiced climbing trees.

The next day, the family went to the zoo.

Following her traumatic lunch, Annie went to a talk about the platypus. The room was packed with children and their parents trying to see the bizarre, cute animals splashing in a tank of water. At the end of the show, bubble machines blew hundreds of bubbles. And all the children in the room recited together as a new mantra that a pledge to Blow Bubbles Not Balloons at their birthday parties. To save the adorable creatures swimming around in front of them and the beautiful innocent birds of the sky, which would all die if they were cruel enough to use helium balloons. Annie was subdued and told her mommy afterwards that she would never have balloons at her party. Even though she likes balloons.
Annie posed for pictures throughout her time at the zoo. She likes to pose for pictures, as long as it is her idea to pose in the first place.

Home Again

And so the trip came to a close. There were roads untraveled, mysteries yet to be unravelled – such as the sign in the Melbourne airport pointing down a narrow hallway stating “Tourist Refund Scheme” – but the family was anxious to be getting back to their home. There would be other days to investigate tourist schemes. They did not know if they would return to Australia again before they returned to their distant American home, but perhaps someday they would come back.

As they got closer and closer to their home, the view from the airplane window was almost magical.

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