It might have been the last official weekend of summer but I don't think the people at Weather HQ got the memo. It didn't just bucket down with rain on Saturday, it had the cheek to also got pretty cold while it was there as well.
Preschooler SSG got to break in his new Cotton On pyjamas. I love the 'web' effect on the leggings and Spidey is even printed on the top in a kind of electric blue.
And I got to eat jaffles for lunch. We were out for a birthday part at the park on Saturday morning and we both worked up an appetite running around and climbing (or attempting to climb for some people) the play equipment. There's something about jaffles for lunch when you've been out in the rain and the cold. They're the lunch equivalent of ugg boots. Speaking of which, it looks like I'd better get mine out of storage now that autumn is officially on its way.
The Australian Museum was the place to be on Saturday afternoon. Family groups, interested older people without children, younger adults and tourists - the museum had something for all of us.
There were fancy lunches at the fourth floor cafe and a new spider themed expedition that combined traditional museum things like live spiders, models and scientific charts with lots of multi media, interactive areas that Preschooler SSG loved the most.
This floor projection of hundreds of spiders that appear to creep away whenever you get too close was the perfect way to begin the exhibition.
We had a little trouble persuading Preschooler SSG to move away from the next station. His favourite part of the touch screen was getting the toilet to 'flush' as a spider crawled into it.
There were spiders in petri dishes that you could rotate under a giant (and very sturdy) microscope.
And a ball game where each player had pincers they controlled with hand held levers.
Thoughtfully provided stools ensured that even the preschoolers got a chance to play.
There was a central lab with dozens of eerily backlit jars on display. Museum scientists were on hand at the lab to give brief presentations on all things arachnid.
A craft station offered what I thought was just a standard colouring in experience but it turns out that you scan your coloured in spider
which is then projected onto some webs in a virtual forest.
'Spiders: Alive and Deadly' is currently on at The Australian Museum. Entrance is free if you are a museum member and is only an extra $6 on your admission ticket if you aren't.
Fortunately, Sunday was positively sunny in comparison. The clouds did make for some very moody shots of Darling Harbour.
We were being tourists in our own city for the day and our first stop was the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. Tickets are priced in various bundles which see you being able to visit many attractions in the area on the one ticket. Some are day pass offers while others allow you to visit the aquarium and one or more other attractions within 30 days of your aquarium visit. We got the $60 AUD for two places ticket. Children's tickets for the same arrangement cost $36 AUD.
It was just like being on the 'Finding Dory' set.
Preschooler SSG got up close and personal with the manta rays
and saw the dugongs being fed their favourite cos lettuce. Cos is much easier to grow and obtain than their natural diet of sea lettuce. It's also pretty pricy and the dugongs will only eat leaves freshly prepared for them in special lettuce presses that get dunked into the water by aquarium staff. Who knew dugongs were so high maintenance?
Unfortunately, the glass bottomed boat ride was closed for maintenance but we got the chance to do something even more unique.. the chance to go on a penguin expedition. The 'ride' is a two minute trip through an enclosure inspired by Macquarie Island and its population of Gentoo penguins. The temperature is noticeably chilly as you enter the swing doors to wait for your ride - a kind of dinghy that bobs along on water around the penguins' living areas.
We began by watching the penguins swim
and then managed to see them skitter and dance in the snow. I managed to get the most adorable video that looked very 'Happy Feet'. It's already one of those soothing things I flick to on my phone when I need a little break from the chaos of the everyday.
Our last stop was the touch pool.
Then, would you believe it? Clear blue skies!!!!!!!
It went without saying that the second stop on our ticket would be the Sydney Tower Eye. Preschooler SSG's highlights of the visit was being allowed to press the lift buttons and reading the numbers as the lift went up and later as it went down.
For me? It was the peacefulness around me as I took in those million dollar views of this fabulous city of ours. There were quite a few of us visiting the tower but somehow, it wasn't noisy or crowded. We all had the chance to take in the views from all four points of the compass.
Some of us preferred pointing the telescopes at their mummy's head while clutching their 3D movie glasses (from the introductory movie before the ride up the tower).
Oh Sydney. It's lucky you're so captivating and entertaining because your storms and rain can be pretty hard work.