We'd been looking forward to the long Australia Day weekend, not only because of the three day weekend, but also because we had two special visitors in town.
On Saturday morning we headed down to Commonwealth Park on the lake where the Australia Day festivities included one of Riker's favorite characters live on stage. It was sweltering but we slathered on the sunblock and waited patiently for Peppa Pig to make her appearance. Note, Peppa and George figurines in hand.
Families came out in droves to catch the free entertainment and it was fun to be surrounded by parents and toddlers singing along to songs we've heard on the popular kid's show.
After her last performance of the morning, Peppa made a short appearance so that she could meet her fans. Given the heat, she could only be out for twenty minutes and so Brian rushed over to be one of the first in line and kindly waited in the sun for half an hour so that Riker could have his photo taken with her. Poor thing must have been dripping wet inside that costume!
After the show, I was pleased to bump into a friend I hadn't seen in over two years. Bec was in my mother's group when our babies were small, but then moved overseas for a while so it was great to see her again. Best of all, we realized that she lives diagonally across my back fence so hopefully we'll see more of her!
After the meet and greet with Peppa, we had to rush off to the airport to collect our friend Chris who was coming in from Melbourne. On the way there we glanced around our messy car and wondered where we'd put him, but not to worry, we found a spot.
We spent much of our weekend playing outside with the kids or pottering about the house and cooking up tasty food, but on Monday we decided an outing was in order. We settled on the Australian War Memorial as we thought Riker might like to see all the big airplanes. We moved through the museum very quickly but Riker really enjoyed the chance to sit in a real helicopter and push lots of buttons and then to walk through a real submarine lit up with red lights.
You can't really see the detail in the photo below but the view from the memorial is really nice - looking down ANZAC Parade onto Parliament House.
After we had lunch at the cafe, we stopped to relax by a fountain and let the boys run around a bit before heading home for Ari's nap. The kids noticed a girl's shoes that had panda bears on them and both got very excited as Riker's favorite soft toy is a small panda gifted to him by Grammy Jan and Grandpa Carl after their trip to China.
The group of girls thought this was pretty funny and took the opportunity to snap what seemed like a million photos of him!
Brian and Chris and I were trying to conceal our laughter at the situation when I realized I really needed to take photos of the Asian tourists taking photos of my blonde and silly children! Too funny!
After our outing to museum we retired back to our place to enjoy the mango sorbet we'd made the day before. Turns out adding a splash of sparkling wine to homemade sorbet is a winning combination!
Riker didn't want Chris to leave. He talked about him all the way home from the airport. "Can Chris come back? I don't want Chris to go. I want Chris to stay all the time. Mama, can you please turn around and go get Chris again?"
We always appreciate when our friends come to visit us as it still seems like a major undertaking to plan long trips with the kids. Thanks Chris for the making the journey to see us in Canberra!