Sunday, 1 July 2012

Crack(ed) Heads and Enchanted Gardens

Yesterday I thought the worst I had to worry about was facing the frowning judgement of dusty old stuffed animals as I chased two over-excited young monkeys through the cold marble corridors of Auckland Museum...

And then the car kind of.. blew up.. I suppose. I mean, there was no fire (nor brimstone for that matter, much as the event seemed Hellish at the time) but once smoke starts spewing from an engine, I guess we can call that engine thoroughly blown.

Thankfully, old Aggie's final saving grace was that she managed to limp us home rather than leave us stranded on the side of the motorway. I'm not quite sure what we'll do about getting the Lily Bug to kindy when the holiday break finishes in two weeks though. Unfortunately there are tumbleweeds blowing through our savings account, so unless someone would kindly like to steal Aggie from our driveway before I cancel the car insurance this week...

On the bright side, we had a great afternoon at the Museum & Domain. Our last visit to the Museum was somewhat rushed. The place was packed to the eyeballs, and we couldn't wait to get out into the open air to visit the Winter Gardens. Yesterday we took a more leisurely pace - or as leisurely as I could convince the kids to go, being that they were desperate to see the dinosaurs and the kids area with all the cheerfully stuffed dead animals.

The kids stared disinterested at the big old fufu dresses that I oohed over, while I bit my lip and grinned as they oohed over a wall of lollipops.

 See those big ones Guy Smiley's pointing to? It was love-at-first-sight between the Lily-Bug and those lollipops when she was his age. And she talked about them for six whole months until Christmas came along, and Santa managed to track one down and pop it in her Santa Sack. She still remembers her "Big Fat Lollipop".

Flashback to Christmas 2010 and yes, the Lily Bug is wearing the same skirt in this photo as she was at the museum yesterday...

At one point I began introducing the Lily Bug to the Egyptian mummy, until I caught myself trying to explain the embalming process and, keeping in mind her tendency to wake in the middle of the night shrieking from time to time, I realised it was yet another thing a small child probably doesn't need to know.

The volcanic eruption simulator was another area I steered the kids past, as much as the Lily Bug tried to reassure me it was okay because she had her Lava Boots on.

We couldn't go to the Museum without visiting the magical Winter Gardens, which always reminds me of E. Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle, and I can never help but look at the statues out of the corners of my eyes just in case I can catch one moving...

My only complaint about the Domain was that it's just far too popular. In the Winter Gardens we bumbled into the photography session of two newly wed couples in the space of 20 minutes, and out in the Domain I spotted the perfect autumn-yellow tree for us to play beneath, except everytime we approached it, we were beaten there by someone else wanting to photograph it or stand beneath it and be photographed. In the end, I admired it from afar and gave up.

Of course we couldn't go out anywhere without finding a puddle for the kids to run through and bannisters for them to leap off...

 And although the cosmic powers of the universe dumped me with a broken down car at the end of an otherwise awesome afternoon, I did at least get to snap a shot that summed up in one frame, just how awesome the friendship is between these two monkeys:


  1. Brilliant last shot old thing!!!..hang on to that one in a folder somewhere you'll manage to find it again won't you! I love the Domain too & the Winter Gardens..I guess there's the feeling of something grander than regular life in the feeling of the place..enchanted even, you're right. Bummer about the overcrowding bit..even mid-winter? School hols I suppose & all that. Oh dear, oh dear I do hate that ghastly sinking broken car feeling. I have a feeling my old work horse is neighing for an oiling so on that note I'd better take notice & do something about it this week. Good luck in finding the next best option to take. Glad you didn't wax lyrical about embalming or we might all be having night terrors! Much love Catherine x0x0x

    1. Hahah don't tempt me Catherine, or I might share the tale of the pet dead rabbits I had as a kid! :X

      Yes the Domain is so magic - I can't wait until the weather warms up so we can take the kids there for a full day of exploration/picnic/etc. Though, I did mean to do that LAST summer and somehow never got around to it...

      Definitely go check your car's oil!! I'd only put oil in old Aggie about two months ago but there must have been a leak unfortunately. :/ I have no idea how I'm going to teach Char to drive in the big people mover we've replaced it with now!

  2. I just read the comments you left, they went to spam! :( Sorry I can't offer to steal the car, maybe if I was able to drive it :P I don't think I have ever been to the gardens when there hasn't been a wedding couple getting photos done.

    1. I'm such a spammer! :D Darn, I should have taken the opportunity to try and sell you something then! Um... a Russian Bride perhaps? Or medicine to increase uh, girth?