Kerrianne and Janice had tea and lots of toast and goodies for us, and we probably lingered a bit long over our brekky...at any rate, we ended up RACING to catch the Queenscliff ferry! You would have thought someone was in labor or something. Complicating matters was the fact that we were in two cars, since Kerrianne would be coming back home after dinner and Shelley, Rex, and I would be staying at Janice's. Kerrianne and Shelley led the way, and Janice kept them in her sights and we made it on to the ferry, by the skin of our chinny-chin-chins!
From here we drove past the house that Shelley's family used to rent on holiday, and then we walked down to the very beach box that was her grandmother's! I loved the beach box concept - they are little wooden houses (sort of like cabanas) that people could change in and/or store beach toys and equipment. Shelley told us her grandmother's even had an outhouse next to it (highly illegal, but nontheless handy!)
By now it was sunny and warm out, and we had fun picking out our favorite beach boxes and posing in front of them. We even saw our dolphin! As we were leaving, there was a wonderful older gentleman sitting on the stoop of one of the boxes watching some children playing. He wore a straw hat, rakishly tilted, and he just made me smile.
We slowly made our way (because we kept stopping to take pictures!) to the tram that would take us on a quickie tour of the city, and we paid attention to the signs warning us from hopping the tracks. Seems at least one of our group has had first-hand experience with some of the consequences of breaking that rule (it wasn't me!) Soon, the red tram car pulled up and we piled on for our free tour. We made a large rectanglular loop of the CBD and here are some of the fun buildings and sculptures we saw:
Now we were RUNNING back to the car, getting a teensy bit turned around in the maze of hallways and lights and glass of the Crown Centre, and since we had not passed any restrooms along the way, we opted to change clothes in the cars! Sorry, no photos...oh, and I might mention that Janice just changed in between some cars!! It was pretty hysterical! So we fluffed and primped and soon we were respectible enough to go to dinner. By now, Janice and Kerrianne were PULLING and DRAGGING us along so we wouldn't miss the big show. Just in time, we found ourselves looking up at giant fire-breathing structures. Now are these cool, or what?
When not in the middle of a drought, there is water running down the sides of these tall chimneys, and there must have been at least a dozen of them lining the walkway next to the river! Best of all, once we made it into the restaurant, we were seated at a window right in front of one! Every hour they erupted in a ball of light and heat and fire! So fun - much better than dancing buildings!
Dinner at the Conservatory was entertaining all on its own! It was a HUGE buffet - sushi, appetizers, salads, main courses, side dishes, pasta and rice dishes made to order, soups, and of course, dessert... We just ate and ate and ate! And I had the good fortune to snag a Chocolate Dome, which was by far one of THE BEST desserts I've ever had. Oh. My. Gosh! I wasn't good at sharing, but everyone got a kick out of me and my "O" face! And then, out came the iphones, and Kerrianne and I shared our new toys from the night before with Rex and Janice. Shelley managed to stay on good behaviour.
Once we were so stuffed that we could barely move, we waddled through the hotel, past the tanks of rock lobsters, through the mirrors that made us skinny (we loved them!) and into our cars. We bid sad goodbyes to Kerrianne as she headed home for the night, and Janice delivered us safely to her wonderful home where we fell into bed - it would be another early morning as we were flying back to Sydney. Our wonderful trip was drawing to a close...
Visions of sugarplums (well, chocolate domes, anyway) dancing in my head,