Meeting Santa

Thursday was the last day of school for both Andy and me. Six weeks of sleeping past 5:45am, no horrible commute, and of course spending lots of time as a family to look forward to. Ella must have known that Friday was the first day of our holidays, as she slept in until 8am! This is on the back of two weeks of terrible sleep (we think it may have been the dreaded 18-month sleep regression) so it felt pretty good to have a full night's sleep and a lie in on the same day. That almost never happens!

Feeling refreshed we headed out early to Birdie Num Nums in Carlton North. We last visited this café in August when my mom was visiting. My mom and I weren't super impressed with our cake that time, but on this visit Andy and I ordered full brunch items and we were both pretty happy with them. Mine was the special of the day: avo on toast with poached eggs, bacon, asparagus, ricotta cheese and strawberries... kind of sounds like they just threw everything they had extra of together in one breakfast, but they were all things I like, so it worked for me. Ella also enjoyed her ham and cheese toastie (and my strawberries), which is our "go-to" item to order for her when we are out at the moment. 

We enjoyed a leisurely brunch while Ella checked out the play area, favouring the "walker" type toys that she could push around. After that we hopped on the tram, aiming to check out some of the Christmas displays around the city. Ella loves trams and waves "bye" every time she sees one go past. It is super cute. 

We took a detour through the Emporium, which has an excellent parent's room that Ella and I have frequented often during our trips into the city over the past 18 months. Andy and I took turns watching Ella run around in there while the other went shopping at Uniqlo, which is currently my favourite store. After lunch in the Emporium food court Ella had a nap in her pram while Andy and I did a bit more Christmas shopping, and then walked along South Bank to Crown Casino. 

Birdie Num Nums
There is a really good Christmas display every year at Crown. The main attraction are these giant Fabergé eggs lined up a wide staircase near the main entrance. Every half hour there is a light and music show, where the eggs open to show a scene from a Christmas carol as the song plays. The main huge Christmas tree also lights up in time to the music. It's pretty cool and ever though Ella is still too young to really understand Christmas, she was completely mesmerised by the lights and the scenes inside the eggs. 

Checking out a Christmas tree

Fabergé eggs at Crown Casino

Christmas tree at Crown Casino

Santa inside the Fabergé egg
You can take a picture with Santa for free (using your own phone or camera), so we thought we'd see what Ella thought of that. Last year when we got her Santa photo she was only six months old, so she happily snuggled into Santa while she had her picture taken. This year was a different story, she cried immediately after Andy sat her on Santa's lap, so we ended up taking a family shot with Santa, with Andy holding her. She was still not super happy with this. I did get a shot of her crying, as I'm sure every parent has of their child, but I won't post it here as I'm trying not to post things of Ella that she might find embarrassing when she is older. 

We then walked a bit further down South Bank and came across two traveller/buskers making giant bubbles. Ella pretty much thought this was the best thing ever and we spent some time watching her happily chase the bubbles across the grass. 


SO happy to be chasing bubbles
We headed home after that for a nice quiet family evening at home. The rest of the weekend has been spent preparing for our flight to California tomorrow and listening to Christmas carols. I am definitely getting into the Christmas spirit now! I am so excited to be spending Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere (I can never get into Christmas properly in the hot weather), and more importantly, with family. Tomorrow can't come soon enough!


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