Yesterday I went on a family outing. The first in a very long time. We all piled into the car and headed into town to visit the Melbourne Museum. My main reason for going was to buy their Museum Victoria fields guide to marine life and I figured we may as well all go and check out the museum while we were there especially as we haven't visited for years and I knew there would be lots of cool things to see. When I have to go somewhere by car I like to fit in a few things so we're not wasting petrol by taking multiple trips so we also did some grocery shopping at Terra Madre, the organic food mecca. I like to fill the car with people for the same reason.
Our first stop was the outdoor rainforest space filled plants, trees, wildlife and birds. I really like how the museum mixes indoor and outdoor spaces for its exhibits - it's a beautifully designed building. We saw heaps of birds we've never seen before and now I have the fun job of finding out what they are. We also saw fish, frogs, eastern long necked turtles, lizards and ants.
Our second stop was the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and the exhibition First Peoples. A lot of the interactive exhibits were closed due to COVID-19 but we still managed to see quite a few things. It was great hearing different languages for Australian animals. The girls had a giggle over the fire drill set up for people to have a go at starting a fire. They of course are already very good at using a fire drill to start fires, thanks to the Firekeepers' camps we have been going to for the past few years. I loved seeing all the hand made items - necklaces made from kangaroo teeth, seed pods and other organic materials; axe heads, message sticks and shields.
Within the exhibition there was the Two Strong Sisters Connected art exhibition featuring work by the indigenous artists, Aunty Rochelle Patten and Aunty Eileen Harrison. It was so good to see art again. I didn't realise how much I missed it until I saw the beautiful paintings and drawings from the two elders. I really don't know how to talk about art in a technical or fancy way but I know that the paintings spoke to something within me. Just being in that space, surrounded by all that art was amazing and uplifting.
From there we visited the Milarri garden trail before finally popping into the gift shop to buy the books. Happily they were having a 20% off sale so I snuck in a couple of field guides about Victorian moths as well as Welcome To Country by Marcia Langton.
After our museum visit we thought we'd make the most of being in the city so we walked into Carlton and grabbed drinks and ice cream on Lygon street. I had the richest, thickest, hot chocolate made with soy milk and felt a little queasy afterwards from all the sugar. If you only have one hot chocolate a year, make it a good one I say!
I'm hoping this is the first of many family day trips in and around Melbourne this summer. How are you planning on spending your summer?