Flynn and Danni are off to China for ~7 weeks to look after Danni’s mom who was injured in a car accident a couple of months ago. I’ll be staying home and overseeing the remodeling work at the house (which is a fancy way of saying we’re re-plastering everything and putting in a new heating system).
I drove them both to the airport and Flynn and I found a great spot to watch the airplanes taxi and take off while Danni queued to check in.
We watched planes for about a half hour before we needed to meet Danni at the check-in counter. Then it was time for our misty good-byes while they boarded the flight and I made the journey home to a very quiet, empty house (at least until the construction started).
As a bit of a change of pace from all of these stunning beaches our hosts were taking us to, we instead spent a day away from the coast and high up in the hills in the Dandenong Ranges national park. Or at least I think that’s what the forest was called, Vic was doing all the driving that day while Ariana was in school. At any rate, the trip was basically like stepping onto the forest moon of Endor; none of us had ever seen trees like that before. The scale of it all blew us away, and even the adults seemed tiny in comparison.
Afterwards we swung by the tulip festival
which was taking place nearby. It was a cute tulip farm that opens to the public in the spring to allow you to tour the flowers and if you’re particularly keen (like Flynn( you can even take a tractor ride!
Finally, a proper beach day for Flynn. The weather was perfect and we brought everything we needed. Well, except for a swimsuit for the little man…
Not to worry! A quick trip to the local pharmacy and dad was back with a pack of swimsuit diapers and we were good to go!
Flynn had a fantastic time splashing in the water, building sand castles, stomping on sand castles, throwing sand and scooting around on a boogie board! Not to mention playing with Ariana and just generally looking cool in his sunglasses.
We had a quick outing to the nearby village of Sorrento and while Robert and his family were running some errands we took Flynn down to the beach. Because you’re basically only 5 minutes from a beach wherever you go it seems. It was a windy, chilly day hence the total lack of beach attire, but the little man had a great time picking up shells and chasing sea gulls.
Robert and his family have an incredible beach property just outside of Melbourne in an area called Rye. In what seems to be a recurring theme with them, this property is also only a few minutes walk from the beach as well. This particular beach (thoughtfully named “Beach #16”) was a bit more wild than the previous one so there was definitely no going into the water on this trip but we had loads of fun playing in the sand and racing the surf.
I think you’ll agree that Robert and his family are extremely fortunate to live in such an amazing part of the world, and we’re incredibly lucky to be able to visit them!
As part of Flynn’s big trip to China to visit family, we also “popped” down to Australia to visit my good friend Robert and his family in Melbourne. They live in an incredibly enviable location just a couple of minutes walk from the beach, so on one of the first days there we did that walk.
It was early spring in Australia so the evenings were a bit on the chilly side, so the little man was a bit more bundled up than you’d expect for a visit to the beach. He had an amazing time nonetheless and giggled at the shifting sand beneath his feet while laughing as it slipped between his fingers.
We couldn’t stay long as the sun was setting and the chill was starting to bite, but it certainly wouldn’t be our last visit to the beach while we were in Australia.
I suppose technically we were vising my brother & sister in law as well, but I was most excited to meet my nephew Xi Hou (pronounced she hoe, and it means Lucky Monkey) for the first time. He was born a month before Flynn and while we’d seen plenty of photos and video I had yet to get a chance to actually meet him.
So, before we flew down to Australia we spent a few days in Beijing with Danni’s brother and his lovely family. I brought my camera along for a walk around their apartment complex one day and I think you’ll agree that cute kids run in Danni’s family.
I finally caught up with Danni and Flynn back in Danni’s hometown of Anshun. They had been here for a few weeks already and were very settled in with PoPo and GongGong by the time I arrived. One of their routines was to spend time in the square dancing or just driving the cool car that GongGong bought for him. I had been sent quite a few photos of the car, but it was great to be able to see it in action. Think power wheels, but it played Chinese music on the “radio” and Flynn LOVED it.
The only downside is that Flynn had to leave the car in China when he came back home. I’m sure he would’ve forgone all the clothes in his bag if he could just fit this car in there…
We wanted to take Flynn out to the zoo or the aquarium while Grandma was here so that they could have a big day together. Instead, we decided to head to Chessington World of Adventure which is a theme park quite close to where we live. It’s full of games, shows, rides and animals but the biggest attraction of all was Flynn’s current favourite thing in the world:
It was a great day out and while Flynn did enjoy meeting the Gruffalo I think the highlight of the day was the “driving” he got to do on one of the rides. It was an old Model-T style car on a track that drove through a little forest and through a small animal village and the whole thing was over in about 4 minutes but he loved it! It was about the only time he was upset that day when we had to pry his little hands from the steering wheel once the ride had ended.
It was a really fun day out, and he’ll love it even more once he’s a bit older and can ride more rides and play on the really neat playground they had.
He likely won’t care as much about the poor Gruffalo though…
Popo took Flynn to one of her favourite venues in London for lunch, and this little guy charmed his way through, secured a great table with a stunning view for all of us!
Although Flynn didn’t get to have a single bite of what we had, he did have fun/ was busy conducting with the two mini ketchup & mayonnaise jars in hands 😉