Family trips. Everyone goes for them. Small groups, large groups. With children or without.
For me, I envisioned it to be paradise. With the young ones roaming free in large grasslands (why does it sound like I have lambs for children?), while I sip champagne and lie in the cool sun on a picnic mat and munch on strawberries.
We booked our Luxury river front Airbnb and boy, I was really geared up and excited!
This trip consists of my parents, my sister and her family, and mine. A total of 6 adults and 3 children (Jy: 4.5yo, Jh (aka Didi): 2.5yo, Nat: 15 months)
Two days before flying, Didi fell sick. Like, I should have guessed it would happen. It got so bad, that Ks and I prepared for the worst of leaving him at home if he doesn’t recover. Of course, God blessed us by sending His healing right at the beginning of the trip. Really, didi’s last fever was at Perth’s airport, then it vanished.
Day 1 (10 Oct 2017, Tuesday)
We booked double red-eye flights, thinking the children would sleep through both flights. What a bad idea.. haha, the kids were buzzing with anticipation ever since we picked them up from school, all the way till the gate. Even when the flight was delayed past midnight, and I was just completely knackered, Ks and my dad had to carrying both of them around at the boarding gate, playing with water coolers and phone booths, simply because they cannot keep still.
On board, they even had some energy left to watch some shows before knocking out.
Whereas for me, I felt too cold and uncomfortable to sleep, so I had a measly nap before it was time for breakfast.
We got our rental mini-bus at the airport. It was a twelve seater and fits all of us and our luggage well. This huge vehicle could just about fit the narrow slope to our Airbnb home.
We went for some groceries shopping, ate a quick meal then all of us fell asleep for a long afternoon nap.
Our huge Airbnb; already messy after 5 minutes
Woke up just in time for Ciao Italia! You’ve never been to Perth if you’ve not tried Ciao Italia.
When I was there 8 years ago, I vividly remember the queue outside the restaurant and the bustling vibe of the place with Italian music, squeezy tables and huge pizzas. Now, they have a new outlet at Nedlands where reservations are accepted. Everything remained the same without us having to rub elbows with other diners, perfect!
If you can only have one dessert in Perth, this is what you should get. The legendary Ciao Italia Tiramisu..
The weather was too cold for much and we snoozed happily till the next morning.. for the Caversham Wildlife Park.
Day 2 (11 Oct 2017, Wednesday)
If you have young children, this is really where you should go.
Start off early with the Farm show at 10am, pass by Molly’s Farm to pet the rabbits, then go to meet Wombat and Friends at 11am.
Didi surprised us by wanting to touch the lamb and the snake!
“I touch the baa baa black sheep”, he said.
Jy was not so keen, pinching her nose even (how embarrassing). At least she was alright with the Joey and Wombat.
Continue your journey to meet the Koalas at 11.30am, then proceed to Penguin feeding at 12pm.
I’ve never seen so many active Koalas in my life, considering they sleep about 22hours a day!
End off your trip with Kangaroo feeding. The feed is provided free of charge and the roos are just lounging on the ground. It’s actually quite fun and we got to feed quite a few of them.
Brave Didi fed the most number of kangaroos, even going in between them. (scared the hell out of me, honestly)
We went for lunch at Taylor’s Art and Coffee House. It was a good time for the kids to nap, while we enjoyed some sumptuous food and decadent coffee.
Sit outdoors if the weather permits. We chose to rest indoors as it was rather windy and we want a quieter place for the children.
Next up, was Margaret River Chocolate Factory!
This was my second time there. And as per the first visit, I thought there was nothing much about this place, yet it is a stop you have to make, haha.
While waiting for the others to tour the shop, help yourself to the free white, milk and dark chocolate buttons. Try a hot chocolate if you have time!
We listed 3 vineyards for our wine tasting sessions in the afternoon.
1. Ugly Duckling Wines
It is a rather young vineyard, only 6 years old. We had 4 complimentary tastings and we bought the Sweet Duck, a chilled fruity red wine. AUD 25/ btl
The lady was so nice to offer juice boxes for Jy and Jh!
Playing with the tractor at Ugly Duckling
2. Lancaster Wines
My memory of this place is that they have lovely dessert wines. And yea, they were as great as I remembered! The tasting was not limited to any number, plus cheese was offered (children’s love!).
We bought the Chenin Blanc, a white unique to Swan Valley. Best we’ve tried.
I really love the Sticky Shiraz and Reserve Liqueur Muscat but they were too pricey and heavy for casual drinking.
Nat playing near the tasting shed
3. Sandalford Wines
This was the most stylish of all the vineyards, but they weren’t too much into entertaining wine tasters. Plus you would have to pay for wine tasting, so our group decided to give it a miss.
Went back to cook our dinner to be enjoyed with our newly acquired wines. 🙂
Day 3 (12 Oct 2017, Thursday)
We’d planned to visit Penguin Island on this day, but made a decision to not to go after reading reviews that there might be nothing much to do on the island and that there’s only a slim chance of seeing a wild penguin.
That morning, our mini-bus won’t start. Turned out that the battery was too old and had to be changed. So thankful we decided not to go Penguin Island, because we would have had gotten tickets for the ferry and with the car not working, we would not be able to catch the ferry and would have to forfeit the tickets!
While waiting for the assistance, my parents, sister and I brought our kiddos for a little trek along the river.
Weather was a ‘lil sunny yet breezy
Because the car had to fixed at a workshop, we stayed at Perth City while my Dad and BIL settled it. Shopped at Target and had some sushi before they came for us.
No parking available for our large vehicle so we had lunch at Fast Eddies.
One of the most value-for-money meals we’ve had in Perth. Food was also delicious and servings generous, so everyone was pleased.
Mom and her spicy tomato soup
Jy’s colouring even made it to the wall!
We spent a lazy afternoon at King’s Park.
Remember how I envisioned this trip to be? I didn’t get too far off. The young ones did roam free on a piece of large grassland. And had my beer and chips.
According to Ks, King’s Park is the reason anyone should come to Perth.
We made a stop to Cottesloe Beach, but it was simply too cold to play.
Again, back home for dinner and bed. We were all so exhausted, everyone was in bed by 10pm.
Day 4 (13 Oct 2017, Friday)
The next morning, our delightful Airbnb host, Anton invited us over for breakfast!
He made these delicious toasted pumpkin and chia seeds pancakes stuffed with custard apples from the garden and preserved mangoes from last season, drench in home-made honey! (oh, did I mention he gifted us a bottle of honey on the first day we arrived?)
Our breakfast table at Anton’s house, overlooking ours
His house was so huge we actually went on a tour!
Our day’s activity began at Fremantle Prison. We went on a “Doing Time” tour.
It was interesting to hear stories about the inmates and how the prison stay progressed over time.
Work of art from the inmate of cell B45
Greatest stories from the 3rd Division!
We then headed over for lunch at Kaili’s. The best Fish & Chips in Ks’ opinion.
Servings were huge. But please note, there’s A LOT of fries. So I recommend adding Fish instead of getting two sets.
There was another counter for grilled fish and other seafood like oysters platters etc.. but we realised that too late. so do walk around before deciding what to get!
After the fried feast, we needed some sweets!
I can still remember my impression during the initial introduction to San Churro 8 years ago. I still think they serve the best Churros, chocolate on point as always!
We walked through Fremantle market – a rather random mish-mash place hawking accessories, snacks, tea, fruits, nuts, toys etc..
SHE LOOKS SO ADORABLE, DOESN’T SHE? But please, please, don’t get myopic so fast!
We were contemplating about dinner, when Ks suggested visiting the beach again. SO GLAD WE DID!
Weather was cool and wonderful! The children enjoyed playing in the sand and going into the freezing waters. 🙂
Dinner, again, was homecooked. We bought too much groceries and were frantically trying to finish up!!
Not shown: Wine, ice cream, cheese cake, more frozen pizzas, chips etc..
Beautiful dusk from our balcony
Day 5 (14 Oct 2017, Saturday)
One last full day before we go home. This last day, we took it easy.. Had a late breakfast, made at trip to get groceries to bring home like wines, nuts and Cole’s Chocolate Chip cookies (honestly the best cookies ever!)
I made lunch for the kids and we had it in the treehouse next to our house.
Lunch was at RoyAl’s Chicken and Burgers
It was highly raved on social media, so we thought we had to try it. Pretty good stuff, I would say. We tried a waffles with fried chicken, and that was really magic.
Then we headed to Westfield for some shopping, and also because our flight wasn’t until midnight.
So we ate some more, went to the toy store, typical shopping center stuff.. and left when they closed at 5pm.
It got colder and darker as we headed to Leederville. My nephew was hungry and so we sought Chinese food.
Finally dined at a Vietnamese restaurant. A very costly eastern meal, but everyone left happy.
Chilled out at Greens & Co before heading to the airport.
They had lots of vehicle machines that work with a coin. Of course we didn’t put in any coins because once they start moving, the kids wouldn’t want to sit in them any more. *shrugs, save me money.
We also played Connect Four and basically, just talked 🙂
Kids were gems on the trip home. Mostly sleeping throughout, starting from the check-in. Jy did wake up briefly to finish watching Baby Boss, but definitely manageable.
We’ve had our fair share of headaches and burdens, like missing naps and when we did not prepare sufficient or palatable food. Didi was ill at the beginning of the trip, Nat was running a fever in the middle of the trip, vomiting multiple times. Jy wet her bed at night because I forgot to put on her diapers.
Then there were the accidents – Nat fell down the stairs, Jh fell off a bench and Jy fell out off our bus!
But at the end of the day (trip), we all gained an experience that will be unforgettable, especially when inked (typed) here. Family bonding times are the best, because through living together and getting mad at each other but still knowing we love each other.. that’s God’s love manifesting in us!
Till the next trip!