So I last left you after Friday evening in which we got dressed up, went out to dinner and then to the casino. All that can be said now is 'And onwards!'.
The plan for Saturday had been to spend the day in Fremantle, have dinner at Cicerellos (famous fish and chips) and then go and do the Prison Tour that night.
Let's just say that things didn't go quite as we'd planned...
We discovered before we left home that the tour of Freo Prison only ran on Wednesday and Friday evenings and so that part of our plan had to be scrapped before the day had even begun. We hadn't planned anything for the last Friday night of the trip and so we slotted it in there since we wanted to be sure that Smerk would be able to make it.
After a late start to the morning we headed out to Smerk's place and ended up finding yet another dog to fall in love with. Holly is just adorable and we all had lots of fun playing. But soon it was time for us to head off and after a quick stop in at Hillaries Boat Harbour to look around the shops, we made our way into Fremantle.
By this stage it was mid-afternoon and we were all hungry for some lunch. We decided to head down to Cicerellos at that point since we now didn't have plans to stay in Freo for the evening. We ordered our lunch and then sat outside on the jetty to eat. Let me be the first to say that lunch was somewhat of a disappointment, it was way too greasy to be enjoyable and so it wasn't the best experience with Freo's famous fish and chips!
This being us, we of course got photos.
This is actually a photo that boo took of Mouse, Smerk and I.
Boo and Matt with the killer calamari.
Smerk, looking lovely as ever.
Chris and Mouse (notice the fantastic shirt Mouse is wearing. Someone with great taste got that for her for Christmas...)
After lunch we headed off for a looksie around the Round House, Freo's original prison. When we got up there we found out it had closed for the day so we had went up to the lookout and climbed all over the cannon up there and had a bit of a gander at a wedding party having photos done. We stopped in at Into Camelot, a medieval store where I got my wedding dress from and then headed over to the markets. They were of course just closing but we did get to watch the last part of the Bad Piper's performance. The Scots seemed to enjoy this which was a surprise given that he plays the bagpipes but I guess it was a different spin on a traditional instrument.
It was at about this time that Smerk looked down and discovered that the tail of her dragon brooch had fallen off somewhere along our travels. Since this piece is very dear to her, we all volunteered to retrace our steps and see if we could find it.
Unfortunately we had no luck and so we bid her a sad farewell for the day and crammed into my car for the return trip home.
The ever fateful Sunday. The day my heart almost stopped. The day we all will never forget.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
The day started off well for me since it saw the return of the prodigal hubby, Christian. Yay! He had returned from Adeleiade with good news. His Nonno was getting much better and looked like he would be released from hospital soon and also Christian had caught up with his older half brother. It wasn't until recently that Christian learned of the existance of Ben, and had not had the opportunity to meet him and so he jumped at the chance. Ben is apparently very nice and they got on very well and there will hopefully be a visit from him soon :)
The plan for the day was to head down to the Bayswater Bird Sanctuary to have a bbq and meet up with some of my friends. In the end it was only Mike out of my mates who managed to make it but Smerk came down after Tai Chi and Barb, Mikey and the kids also came down.
Apart from being a tad windy, it was a wonderful sunny day and we had fun kicking around the soccer ball and throwing the votex around.
Christian took control of the awfully slow bbq but acknowledged that the meat probably would have cooked faster if we'd just left it in the sun.
Did I mention it was windy? Christian looks like a sumo-wrestler!
Boo assesses the soccer ball.
Mouse and Chris enjoy the sunshine.
It was about this time that things started to go wrong. One minute Wil, my youngest nephew was standing next to a nearby tree, looking at the bark, the next he was gone.
The reserve is basically an oval and we were to one side of it backed up against the bird sanctuary (a large pond surrounded by trees separated from the oval by a canal) and a couple of hundred metres away from the river. On the far side of the oval is a toilet block and a little past that is more grass and a new playground. We all took a few minutes to scan the area since he really couldn't have gotten very far (he'd been there a second ago!). We couldn't see him and so we all separated, heading in different directions. I headed down to the river since there's a gazebo there where birds nest that we take the kids to occasionally that I thought he might have headed towards. Mikey headed over to the water tanks, Boo went to check out a kids party over near the playground and Mike, Mouse and pretty much everyone else checked out the playground on their search.
I couldn't see Wil anywhere near the water and no one I asked had seen him so after a good look I headed back to where we'd been sitting, confident that he would have shown up by now.
A lady from the group sitting next to us was on the phone to the police requesting a search party and Barb was in a full panic. Matt and I headed down the footpath that led along the canal towards a carpark and behind us came Barb, screaming for Wil. Every hysterical scream tore at my heart and our search grew more and more frantic. Everyone who passed us we stopped and they immediately helped us look. I headed right round the top end of the sanctuary, thinking he might have gone to the lookout while all the while behind me Barb was screaming and screaming out to Wil.
After having no luck there and asking everyone I found if they'd seen Wil, I headed back to Barb. I tried to assure her we'd find him but she said to me 'It's been half an hour. If he made it to the water, he's surely dead. I'll never see my baby again'.
Barb started wading through the water of the canal and I thought I'd head back down to the river's edge, hoping I wouldn't find what we were all starting to fear we would. As I crossed the grass I saw Christian's lean frame coming towards me, Caleb in one hand, Wil in the other.
We called to Barb that he'd been found and she and Mikey just hugged the life out of Wil, just so relieved while everyone cheered. After a while she handed Wil to me, turned to Mikey and just started howling. She cried so much she made herself sick.
I don't think anyone there had dry eyes. We were all so relieved.
Everyone wanted to know where he's been found and Christian explained that he'd found him in the playground (even though six other people had already looked there), standing by himself in the middle telling everyone who walked past that he'd done poos.
The police arrived shortly afterwards and advised us that they'd called off the summoning of the search party and told Wil that he was never to scare his mummy like that again.
After a day like that there was only one thing any of us really wanted to do. We went back to our place and got drunk.
Mikey looked after the kids while Barb, Boo and Mouse started doing vodka shots and after we'd gotten our initial does of alcohol we sat down and watched Hairspray. After that the kids had fun dressing up in Boo's jewellery and when High School Musical was put on the dvd player, I made a hasty retreat.
This is Wil, all dressed up.
Mouse and I.
I think it was somewhere towards midnight that Mikey rounded up his brood and took them home and Smerk followed soon after.
Christian and I have played Supa Golf for years but in the past few we just haven't had a chance to play anywhere near as often as we'd like to. Basically it's like normal golf but there's no handicaps or anything, there are only four clubs (A Bigboy, Jigger, Striker and Putter) and the fairways are shorter (much shorter now since there was evidence they had moved the greens on most holes). Oh, and did I mention the balls are bigger and are fluro coloured?
We had planned to play Supa Golf on the Monday but when we got there we realised that it was actually still school holidays. The place was packed. We still got to play but instead of doing 18 holes we had to settle with nine and we had to play the back nine, aka the Valley of Death. We've dubbed it thus due to the fact that it's played on the side of a hill that runs down to the river. It makes things rather interesting...
As you can only have five players per hole we split into two teams, girls vs guys. It was so busy we often had a long wait until the teams in front had finished so even though we girls teed off first we'd be able to watch the guys play through.
This is the guys perfecting their golf strutt.
Ahhhhh, we found a drop bear on hole 12!
Getting into the swing of things.
Everyone really enjoyed playing but Matt seemed obsessed with it. He kept nagging to play again and we had to promise to let him play again at some point on the trip to stop him from abandoning us and gatecrashing the game of some random players.
Caversham Wildlife Park had been next on the agenda but due to the fact that it was still school holidays it found itself yet again rescheduled. There was no way we were going anywhere near furry animals when kids were also on the loose!
We ended up stopping in at the Margaret River Chocolate company to have a taste test. It's way too expensive to actually buy anything there and I much prefer the taste of Cadbury's but free chocolate is free chocolate and that about sums it up.
Pinnacles day! Hooray!
We were up early and after stopping by to pick up Barb and Wil who were coming along, we were on the road. It's about a three hour drive up to the Pinnacles and I had with me Boo, Matt and Wil while Mouse, Chris and Barb joined Christian. Now I'll admit that the scenery on the way isn't very exciting so I didn't expect a lot of exclaiming over it or anything but after a while I was thinking it had gotten rather quite.
Everyone in my car bar me was asleep!
Doesn't that make for a fun drive? We stopped of at a roadhouse for a pee break and then continued on, finally arriving about elevenish if I remember correctly. Wil needed the potty and Boo volunteered to take him. They only have bush toilets there and if he fell in the hole I didn't want to be responsible for that ;-)
Christian and co arrived shortly afterwards and drove straight past us! I was so sure that when I waved to Mouse she waved back but obviously not! Wil survived and we continued on, driving most of the way through the park until we found everyone else.
I won't post photos from while we were there, one because I didn't take many and two I've posted them before (see link above) and really, they haven't changed much. The only one I will post is this one of Christian which I really like. I think he looks a bit like a model but he gets rather annoyed when I suggest that to him. That hasn't stopped me from getting two big copies done of it, one for me and one for his mum for Christmas!
We only stayed around for about half an hour because the flies were terrible! If it weren't for flies I'd like summer a whole lot better. Before I go on I must say now just how impressed I was with how the guys handled the heat. Granted it wasn't that hot for us but we're used to temps getting well over 40C. It was about 33C that day which was a good 10C hotter than it had been all summer in Scotland I was told. The guys were real troopers and didn't even complain about it (unlike me who whinged the entire bloody trip to Edinburgh about how cold it was!).
Our next stop was Cervantes so we could have some lunch at the beach and maybe go for a swim. As we were leaving the Pinnacles Wil made sure he said goodbye to everything. 'Bye rocks!', 'Bye sand!', 'Bye flies' and so on and with a little egging on from Matt he said goodbu=ye to everything he thought had been there too. 'Bye Dinosaurs' (he thought the rocks were dinosaur fossils), 'Bye tigers!', 'Bye lions!'.
It was all very cute.
We got to the beach and I found it waaaaaay too cold to even consider going for a swim. The water was quite calm for the beach so if it had been hotter I might have considered going for a dip but I didn't want to freeze. I'll share this photo with you that I stole from Boo even though I don't like it much. I only have photos of Scots in bikinis and I'm not going to put those on here without their permission but I feel like I have to post at least one photo of the beach (I posted a short video of the beach on my last Pinnacles post so you can see what it looks like there).
Christian and I walked up and down the beach collecting shells and we found some real pretty ones. Christian went and found me a bag which I quickly filled with shells and coral and commented at one point that 'You can't take the whole bloody beach home with you' to which I replied 'I can bloody well try!'. He seemed to get caught up in that compulsion that you get when shell collecting ('Oh, just one more - oooh that one's pretty! Oh, so is that one! And that one! Oh, just one or two more...') and went and got another bag so in the end we had two shopping bags full of shells. I cleaned them up when I got home and lay them out to dry and they filled almost every gap on a large bath towel.
It was quite late by the time we headed back home and I was exhausted. Barb offered to drive my car home for me and so I joined Chris in the back of Christian's car and settled down for a nap. I knew already that sleeping in a two door Japanese coupe is not comfortable but I revisited that lesson. I was folded almost double with my knees against Christian's chair and a towel against the window as a pillow and my back in agony. Didn't stop me from falling asleep though.
We got home and discovered that the fridge that my uncle had given us was tripping our clipsal switch. Dammit! We transferred everything back into our little fridge and regrettfully turned the big one off :( Of course I forgot to take my bulbs out of the freezer and discovered them about a week later and they bloody stank!
The guys played the Wii again that night and I managed to capture this photo of Christian and Matt playing nicely together. Cute but manly!
Wednesday was the day we were supposed to go to Rottnest Island but it didn't quite work out. Christian hates Rotto with a passion and was only going to go as a gracious favour to me but I knew he would have been miserable. I had only just gone in July but I love it there so that wouldn't have bothered me too much. The kicker was it costs fifty bucks for the ferry ride over and by this stage we were just running out of money and the same was going for Boo and Matt. Holidaying is nice and all but dammit, touristy things cost the earth and I still had a trip to Canada to get through. Mouse and Chris were still keen on going and in the end I think they had a nice time. I've been away before with a group and it's hard after a while when you don't get to spend any quality time alone with your better half so I'm glad they got a chance.
Matt got his wish about golfing as he and Christian headed off for a round while Boo and I headed up the hill to have another visit with my Mum. It was a nice relaxing day and after all the 'go, go, go' of the past week it was nice to just slow down a bit.
Zoo day! Yay! I love the zoo!
Our plan for the day was to head to the zoo after lunch, go and watch Christian play soccer and then go up to King's Park for dinner.
The zoo was great, as it always is. We got lots of photos of us around the zoo and also of the animals so I'll post my favourite ones. Christian takes much better photos than me so the really good ones are his.
This is a pretty little temple type thing with animals all over it. I have no idea why but we took this photo with us looking into the sun. So please excuse the squints.
And here we have one of the most exotic displays at Perth Zoo - the Smoker's Enclosure. Notice how these wonderful creatures bond into a pack as they keep a wary eye on observers...
Don't even ask...
Ahhhh, we're on a collision course!
I don't like the apes/monkey/gorilla enclosures but this guy reminded me of how my nephews sulk.
Tiger!!! We love the tiger. He was asleep when we got there but almost immediately woke up and watched us. He did look awfully sad that day though. Poor guy. I'm sure he'd much rather be outside eating us than inside watching us.
Dingo! The dingoes are cool and they act almost exactly like dogs. I've seen the keepers in there before playing ball with them. It's hard to remember that they're wild animals that will eat your baby the moment your back is turned.
Painted dogs. This is one of Christian's photos. They were a long way away.
Another of Christian's pics. Sleeping lions. Awwww, how cute!
The Meer cats snuggle up. The one on top was on lookout but apparently keeping an eye out while getting cuddled is ok.
We left the zoo just on closing time and headed up to Loftus where Christian plays soccer. The guys play outdoor rebound soccer and so while they played and got all hot and sweaty the rest of us sat there rather cold. It was that time of the year where the days can be quite warm but the nights are rather cool especially if your dressed for warmer weather.
After the game (it was a draw 1-1) we decided it was too cold to have dinner at King's Park and besides it was too dark so we settled for a drive by just to see the lights.
They weren't on!
Bastards. The main driveway into King's Park is lined with this towering gum trees and they each have a different coloured light at the bottom of them that lights them up and can be seen from the city. It's beautiful and enchanting and unavailable! Dammit.
So we headed home, to have dinner and watch the lights of the tv as we watched more episodes of The Middleman. And so it ends for another day.