That last post was already quite long (you know I can't tell the short version), so here's the rest of the week.
Wednesday was zoo day. By Wednesday, we had figured out the bus system and were happy to catch a bus to Circular Quay from a stop quite close to our apartment. From Circular Quay, there is a ferry to the Taronga Zoo.
Unlike the aquarium, the zoo cannot be overrated. It was great! It was in a gorgeous location built into a cliffside overlooking the harbour. From the ferry, you can take a bus or a cable car up to the top entrance, but why would you take the bus?! The cable car was awesome! The zoo was really cool with lots to see. We took so many pictures and some little movies there that I think I'm going to have to work up an iMovie for ya. We typically only last an hour or maybe two in a zoo before the kids are cooked, but we spent four hours there and still didn't see it all. Two big highlights were seeing the 6 week old baby elephant and sharing (unintentionally) our lunch with some assertive lorikeets. The girls had a great time and so did we!
On Thursday morning, we had reserved places to attend Babies Proms at the opera house. In honor of National Children's Book Week, they had put children's books to music with a small orchestra (14-15 pieces?) and a fantastic performer who sang and acted out the stories while the pictures from the book were projected onto a screen. It was so cool! The performer was awesome with the kids. The whole thing was targeted for kids ages 2-5, and Ellie loved it so much that afterwards she asked if we could invite the nice lady to her birthday party. She also declared she wanted a birthday cake shaped like the Sydney Opera House and the nice lady could be inside. Apparently, the Babies Proms happens on and off throughout the year and it's always different. We were so lucky to get spaces at ours. It really was fantastic! We wish they'd made a recording so we could have enjoyed it again at home.
Ellie loved riding the bus too. By Thursday, she was begging to "do it by itself", so we set her up in the front seat near the driver. She tried (unsuccessfully) to engage him in conversation and eventually accepted our explanation that he needed to focus on traffic. Stephanie wanted to sit on the seat by herself too, though she appreciated the reassurance of a hand to hold.
Later that afternoon, the kids enjoyed ice creams as Mama and Papa downed some much-needed coffee.
The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were there, and we later learned we were doubly lucky on that since it had been hideous weather back in Perth all week. Aside from all the challenges we had with sleep, it was a really nice trip overall. We're thankful we got to go!