We just enjoyed the best weekend together as a family! The weather was lovely, everyone was happy, and times were good! There's nothing like Papa being sick for 2+ weeks to make us appreciate how good we have it when we're all well. Over the weekend, we didn't do anything big or complicated, which is probably what made it so great. Saturday morning we kicked off our day with breakfast at Choux, the French patisserie in Swanbourne. Yes, the owners and chefs are actually French, so it's about as authentic as you can get in WA! The girls are huge fans of their pain au chocolat and Parisian-style macarons. Markus enjoys the chocolate-almond croissant when he can, but usually baby Stephanie mooches it before he can finish. Afterwards, I snuck away for a much-needed haircut while Markus did his best at home to outshine me at my job: he tidied, organized, played with the girls...he's ready! For what, you ask? Sneak down to the last paragraph for more info on this one.
Late Saturday afternoon, we made a trip to the zoo. We have discovered that the last hour the zoo is open is the best hour to visit. The animals are all very active, and the zoo is fairly empty of people. We can really enjoy each animal we visit. Ellie has recently discovered a profound enjoyment of the nocturnal house, which is best when there are no other people to scare the animals into hiding.
We kicked off Sunday morning with my grandma's sweet potato biscuits. Oh my yum. They are oh-so-good and really start the day off right! After breakfast, it was on to King's Park to run and play. Ellie carefully disheveled Papa's hair and served him tea of grass while Stephanie gamboled about and I poked around in the gallery shop. Sunday afternoon, Markus went on his weekly kayaking/sailing excursion (man, does that burn his work stress and replace it with boyish glee!) while we girls caught the train to Fremantle so Ellie could walk in the Fremantle Festival parade with her school.
The theme was "Original Inhabitants of Freo", and Ellie's class was aquatic life. The kids made their own costumes and instruments with parental help during school hours (I made 55 felt jellyfish for this). Though I question the wisdom of asking 3-5 year olds to walk the entire length of a parade, everyone seemed to have a great time. Ellie was very proud, and she loves her costume. She wore it all afternoon and again this morning until it was time to go to school.
This Friday (early early), I'll board a plane for Sydney and then on to LA and DC, where I'll visit my family for 9 days and celebrate my mom's birthday, Thanksgiving, and my grandfather's 90th birthday extravaganza! This is my first trip stateside in 18 months, and I'm really excited! It just seemed too darn far to drag the girls this time. The Sydney trip taught us that although they are good travelers, we should only ask so much. 30 hours from Perth to DC is a bit too much right now, so I'll be going solo. Markus will be stay-at-home dad while I'm gone, and I'm sure the girls will enjoy having him all to themselves!