Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's the Fuss about?

Kimi was only 3 months when he left Geelong for Sydney and was only back to Geelong a couple of weeks ago. He has taken the CityRail numerous times on his Sydney escapades but it was only last Sunday that he took the V/Line train to join in the Melbourne Open House. The train's set-up was different with seats fixed and facing with another row of seats. There was not much space to move around compared to the city rail with an area reserved for passengers with prams.

During the first 5 minutes of the train ride, Kimi was silent than usual. It was like he was still assessing the new environment. His eyes were wide open, observing everyone around him and the scenery outside. Two friends who joined us for this trip, sitting next to the window, facing each other, took turns of putting Kimi on their lap to tell him things on the road, from the birds, the dogs, the grass, the people, the hills of the You Yangs, the buildings, to the ferris wheel. The explorer in him was not satisfied with what he saw outside. In between, he was clutching my hand to walk towards the middle of the carriage which joins two cars together. Eventhough I needed to hold on the railings to make sure we would not fall over, Kimi was not even scared a bit. In fact, he seemed to be excited standing on the adjoining portion for a few minutes before heading back to our seat.

Upon arrival in Southern Cross Station, we transferred to the suburban train to get to Flinders Station, which is nearest to Federation Square where we can get a map of the MOH. We arrived early than the official opening time of the participating buildings so we decided to take photos of the facade of St. Paul Cathedral, an Anglican Church and have breakfast at Hungry Jacks (Aussie's version of Burger King). We had burger and Kimi had hash brown. Not healthy, I know, but he doesn't fancy the banana I brought for him.

Capitol Theatre in Swanston St was our first stop. We walked past a long queue of teenagers, waiting for a concert at a nearby building, everyone having a chit-chat. I felt like we were lost in their midst. It was good though that there were a lot of tourist information volunteers roaming around the area, always ready to assist and smile at you. The accommodating lady directed us to a second shorter queue for those going to Capitol Theatre. It was still a long wait that Kimi already started to be fussy even after a bottle of milk. I knew he was already sleepy but we couldn't put him to sleep with all the distractions around him. He wanted to ran around and go up the stairs in the foyer leading to the insides of the theatre. I was always running after him to make sure he would not bump his head. Since it's dark inside the theatre, I held him in my arms and he screamed in a loud high pitch disturbing everyone listening to the guide. I quickly brought him out to the foyer and waited for hubby and our friends. Thus, I was not able to carefully observe the design and architecture of the theatre. But, hubby, eventhough agitated with Kimi's screaming, was still able to take a few photos that I can look at.
We went to our next stop, the Melbourne Town Hall, since it is only across the street. I managed to put Kimi back on to his pram. I pushed him to the Council Chamber at the second level. Kimi behaved for a few minutes so I was able to look around in awe of the grand and intricate designs of the Chamber. It's small but it looks like a miniature council hall of kings and queens in movies, with all the wood sculpture and the chandeliers. To my mind, it has a distinct feel of the Gold Rush period. Other rooms were also open for viewing but I was not able to enjoy them as much since Kimi started to be fussy again. One security lady guard even talked to him to appease him. To my surprise, he held his hand up to the lady guard and the lady guard carried him in her arms for a couple of minutes. There were many other visitors so we stayed in one area to wait for hubby and friends, wandering around and taking photos. Since Kimi is already restless and sleepy and the wind was blowing chills to our spine, we decided to go to the Direct Factory Outlet in Spencer St instead of continuing with the MOH visits. Kimi was not be able to sleep much but at least, we could take a seat while taking turns in looking after Kimi and at the same time doing a bit of window shopping. We took the tram to DFO and stopped at Rialto Hotel Intercontinental. The hotel is also one of the buildings open for viewing so we went in to have look. I am not big on architecture and art, but, I thought it was not as grand as I imagined it would be. There was no intricate designs and chandeliers of old times. But, it shows a contrast of past and modern designs with the steel and glass railings against the brick archs and walls.
At the end of day, when Kimi and I are exhausted and tired, hubby and I made a realisation. It is no longer an easy day to be out and about tugging our little one with us. A lost sleep and a disrupted routine for our toddler can mess up his day and ours. To prevent future frustrations, we will now consider Kimi's rest time in our trips.

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