Pumpkins, Tigers and Kangaroos

For several weeks we’ve been looking forward to an entire weekend of Alice staying with us. This was the first time she’d be coming to stay from Friday night through to Sunday evening and so we made plans.

Then we discovered that Sean’s dad would be coming to stay for the same weekend and it was then I realised we were in for some busy times. Sean’s dad and Alice have only met a few times but have become rather fond of each other. Add to that they’re both incredibly chatty and, well, you can imagine what my house has been like since Miss A arrived on Friday afternoon. Everyone has gone now and we’re back to it just being us, nice and quiet but I wanted to share a couple of highlights because, as always, Alice makes for a great photo subject.

Saturday morning kicked off with a trip to the National Zoo and Aquarium. If you’re local and have never been because when you drive past you think, as I did, that it looked like there was nothing there, don’t be fooled! It was so much better than I thought. I felt like we were discovering it with Alice and Sean’s niece, who is eleven. Big brown bears, monkeys of several varieties, white lions, a Bengal Tiger, snow leopards and a fabulous aquarium (where Alice and a Giant Grouper from Queensland engaged in a prolonged staring contest).

One of the best bits was Alice chasing a kangaroo. The zoo has a big open area where several placid kangaroos, emus and wallabies sit under the shade of trees and wait for marauding children to accost them.

alice and kangaroo

At the Bengal Tiger enclosure, it took a lot of effort to see the tiger. She paced up the back of the enormous space and only made a few appearances. Alice had the best view, perched on top of Sean’s shoulders. I think in this photo they both look like they’re on safari.

alice & Sean at zoo

As if a full day at the zoo wasn’t enough, we had dinner with friends at their house last night and then took Alice to the annual Pumpkin Festival at nearby village, Collector, today. That was a crazy idea we had – we arrived late by which time it was a lot hotter than we expected and incredibly crowded. Lining up for food was a trial we had to just endure and we forgot to pack Alice’s hat. Sean marched around with her on his shoulders for ages while I lined up (it makes spotting them in a crowd easy when you see a small blonde headed girl high above the sea of faces).

Finally fed, we went exploring the stalls and the main attraction, the giant pumpkins. I love that a local village holds this festival. It’s held when technically it would be Halloween in the southern hemisphere. It makes so much more sense, don’t you think, for the darkening of the world to be celebrated when this part of the world is actually darkening. If I was inclined towards Halloween, I’d be much happier to celebrate in in early May!

So, the giant pumpkins were a treat. We were looking forward to seeing Alice’s reaction to them. One of her current most used phrases is ‘there it is’ and she squealed that in front of every single giant pumpkin.

alice and giant pumpkin

She was so taken with them that when we bought a couple of pumpkins from a stall holder, she promptly adopted the smaller of the two. Punkin became the word of the day and on the way home she nursed the pumpkin in her lap and kissed and hugged it like a pet. Once home, I was able to get a picture of her giving her Punkin some love and affection.

alice and pumpkin

Who knew that it was possible to LOVE a pumpkin? We sent it home with her once it became clear, after Mummy and Daddy arrived, that she was so very attached to it. She’s a funny girl.

So as you can see, we had a very full weekend. I had crafty stuff planned but I don’t think I realised how long some of our outings were going to take. Each day we arrived home exhausted and in need of quiet rest time (and to recover from two year old tantrums in big, dusty paddocks).

The crafty stuff can wait. I’m gathering ideas though!



21 thoughts on “Pumpkins, Tigers and Kangaroos

  1. Pingback: Dancing (Queen) for a Cure | Bellsknits

  2. Ah yes, tiring they may be but so amazing to watch!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful, if tiring, weekend; hope you are now fully recovered.

  3. Well, kept cool and dry, a punkin will last for a long time and still be edible, that’s why hard-shelled squash are called winter squash.

    When our son was that age, he called them punk-mins.

  4. First of all, as everyone has mentioned, Alice is a beauty. Zoos are fascinating places. Our local one is famous for its elephant breeding program and home to Packy, a huge bull elephant born here in 1962 to much fanfare.
    The other thing I must mention is that while a few growers have white and other colors, most of our pumpkins are bright orange. I was surprised to see the green ones!

  5. It sounds as though you had a wonderful weekend with your niece. I think she looks adorable giving that punkin some love, how lucky is the pumpkin. Do you think she will allow it to be cut up and eaten eventually!

  6. Alice looks as though she’s hearing some whispered messages from her punkin. And yes, two year olds often befriend and mother surprising things. It’s quite endearing. My eldest decided that a translucent orange super ball was a baby, wrapped it in a tiny handkerchief, and sang lullabies to it. She named “him” Sam. That was all adorable until I discovered chunks missing from Sam and Rachel admitted she had been chewing on him. Hoping that didn’t bode ill for her future mothering experiences. ;^)

  7. How cute are two-year old girls! I can totally see mine adopting a ‘punkin’. She cried when I wouldn’t let her play with a big spider I found, but I let her adopt the milipedes and snails…

  8. In true frosty winter, we go t o Belconnen markets and get a pumpkin that we carve – very simply – and put a candle in and leave by the front door in some Narrabundah-hybrid-invented ritual. Then, when it gets pulpy from the frost we give it to the chickens. If your guests coincide again, it would be a great task for them both to share (and it is hard to talk and carve at the same time 🙂

  9. I had to chuckle because you summed up most of my days: “The crafty stuff can wait. I’m gathering ideas though!”

    Beautiful picture of Sean and Alice, it’s quite understandable that a 2yo would become enamored of a pumpkin, and yes, it makes far more sense to celebrate in tune with the seasons instead of following what was set forth in the northern hemisphere in tune with *our* seasons. Pumpkins belong in autumn!

    We’re hopefully heading to a pirate celebration today…

  10. Punkins are a very noble vegetable, Alice has chosen wisely.

    Looks like a very busy but fun weekend. No wonder you’re in need of a rest!

  11. Oh, hope no-one tells Alice where pumpkin soup comes from, she’ll be devastated! Heh heh!
    Looks like a fab weekend! The zoo is such a great place for kids, and the punkin festival sounds like fun, despite the heat and crowds (and tantrum?!)

  12. Indeed, what’s not to love about the humble pumpkin. It sounds like an exhausting weekend, and lots of fun. I bet you’re enjoying your quiet time now too.

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