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A Birthday at the Melbourne Zoo

Stanley turned 11 on January 21st! Happy birthday, mate. For his special day, the Grandparents went all in and treated our young man big time. We planned the first part of our trip on the East coast between Sydney and Melbourne, so that we could be back in the city for his birthday. He never gets to spend his birthday with grandparents. Ok, we did come back to go to the Australian Open, but that is another story (to come).

Party at Grandma Georgie’s in style

It all started the night before. After a hot, sunny and head-spinning day at the Australian Open, Grandma Georgie kicked off the evening celebration in “superstar” cake fashion. Fresh from Masterchef Darren Purchese at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio. Yummy as they come, thanks Granma.

After dessert comes dinner, as we all know. Delicious Thai food it was. At Kerabu in Glen Iris. Great to see Stanley be a bit adventurous in his ordering. He was rewarded with a tasty (an appreciated) mix of flavours.

D-day kicked off with breakfast, but if you ask Stan, he probably does not remember that part… Balloons, birthday cards & wishes, hugs, and…. Yes, presents! What would an 11 yo boy want? A trick scooter to break an arm at the skatepark (thanks Granma), and a knife to end up in hospital (thanks Mum and Dad). Good thing that his sensible brother got him a Velcro ball and target game that will leave all participants unharmed (Good on ya, Miles!). As for the rest, sometimes you have to give in and pray for the best. Stan, as a good Swiss citizen, had been longing for his Swiss army k…sorry, for his Leatherman multi-tool knife. The Aussies love their Leathermann, so much so that we thought it came from Down Under. But, as we all know, it is American. Oregonian Tim Leatherman struggled during his trip in Europe in 1975. He had to constantly fix stuff, from plumbing to his iconic Fiat Cinquecento, without the proper tools. He came back to the US and decided he was fixing that problem. In 1983 the company launched its first tools. And now Stan will be able to fix our caravan during our travels!

The Melbourne Zoo with Grandpa Alistair

Next was the wildlife adventure at the zoo. Every time we make it to Melbourne, we have to go to the zoo. Such a great place to explore the animal world. The kids absolutely love it, and I must say the adults get their share of the fun and education, too.

There are multiple sections to visit: you can safari your way through the Savannah, have a chat to giraffes and zebras, roar with the lions, share the path with lemurs on “lemur island”, observe the gorillas in the rainforest, giggle at the playful movements of seals and little penguins, shiver in the reptile section, monkey around with the….monkeys, chill with the giant turtles, marvel at the butterflies, and bushbash in the Aussie Bush section. Whichever path you choose, the animal world is fascinating. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the Koalas.

Whether you marvel at the (miserable) hunting skills of the platypus or the scary camouflaging ability of the tiger, you will all end your visit negotiating at the zoo shop ;-). Stanley eventually got there, and his new pet friend is a soft and silent platypus, thanks Grandpa!

The zoo also offers multiple picnic areas, so that the epic birthday could continue with yet another cake. This time lunch came before. Grandpa and Yvonne had everything organized to a T, with plenty of goodies in the Esky. Thanks!

A birthday is a special day for all

Stanley was definitely spoilt by the love around him. Kids love their presents, for sure. Stan will enjoy his, will share them with his brother and hopefully we will not be visiting the closest emergency department soon. These two days in Melbourne were a celebration of the family bonds beyond the freshly-turned 11 big boy. Actually, his younger brother did a great job celebrating his best mate (and enemy sometimes), kudos to you, Miles.

The wrapping paper is in the bin, the balloons will eventually expire and the delicious food is gone. But what better present than the smiles on a little boy’s face, his loving grandparents, and not to forget, the proud Mum and Dad. Stanley also would like to thank all of the friends and family who sent their love, especially his Nona Lile in Croatia and his Marraine Inge back in Switzerland.

Many memories to keep and the promise of future fun with his younger brother. Happy birthday Stanley.

Take your time before the next one, and enjoy being 11 for an eternity.

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