Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Melbourne, the AMAZING OPEN and the AWESOME PENGUINS!!


After buying tickets in July 2012, our big day was finally here!! We got up SUPER early to catch the train and enjoy the day :) Adam put the Australian Open on his bucket list a few years ago; we were both so excited to actually be going. 

When we got to the Arena we were beyond impressed with the facilities. The many sponsors of the event have tents around the arena with free swag, samples, prizes and more. We went straight to the ANZ tent for our 360 picture we posted on Facebook! ANZ also gives you a free fan and hard copy of the pic, a wicked keepsake. We also hit up the Dove tent (where we met Ricky Ponting) and got goodie bags of free stuff. We entered a few other contests and wandered around the venue before the matches started. 
Main Court
We were there for the two days of quarterfinals and saw some amazing athletes. I wasn't sure how I would do with sitting quietly, and intently for 5-8 hours. BUT I did it! I was fascinated and loved the Open! Adam and I loved it!!

Line Up of Games: 

Day One: 
1. Na Li def Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3
2. David Ferrer def Nicolas Almagro 4-6,4-6,7-5,7-6(4), 6-2
3. Maria Sharapova def Ekaterina Makarova 6-2, 6-2

Day Two:
1. Victoria Azarenka def Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-1 (And then SHE SIGNED MY PROGRAM!)
2. Sloane Stephens def Venus Williams 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 (And VENUS BROKE HER RACKET!)
3. Andy Murray def Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-1, 6-2

Our seats for both days were AMAZING!! And REALLY HOT! A lady behind us covered us in clothes on the second day to protect us from the sun. She told us it was because our Mom was too far away and would want us taken care of. Too Cute! 

Team Vika!
Venus Williams
Us with a Rod Laver statue. 

The whole city takes in the open. This is a site downtown with lounge chairs where you can hang out and watch the games. Lots of pubs and great restaurants around.

Wandering Around Melbourne..... 

*While in Melbourne we also took in a few of the sights and then hit the aquarium. 

 The aquarium in Melbourne is pretty amazing. They have a seperate Jelly Fish room and a Seahorse room too. You can also eat lunch near the hugest tank with many different sea species in it. 

We watched the Rays FOREVER. They were MASSIVE and so beautiful. There is a walkway through this tank with tons of fish, sharks and rays.

They also had a PENGUIN EXHIBIT!!! It was fantastic :)


On our last night in Melbourne we took the trip to Phillips Island for the Penguin Parade. It was hands down one of the most amazing things either one of us has seen in our lives. Phillips Island is home to a colony of Little Penguins. The colony has 30,000 penguins currently but there was a time when there was over 200,000. Every night, the penguins who are coming into their burrows "surf" in at sunset. The glide in on the waves and then they make the journey to their homes. We paid for the Private Penguin tour and it was worth every penny. We had a private tour with a lady who toured us around the colony, and got us the best seats for each portion of the evening. She even has us hooked into a radio so we could hear her down on the beach and so she could help us move through the crowds to have the best view. We started out the night on the sand closest to the waves watching the Penguins surf in. We then moved to the part of beach where the most of them surf in and walk home. It was incredible. 

We learned tons of interesting facts..
- They are the smallest penguin species (each one is only about 30 cm)
- They only sleep for 1-3 minutes at a time
- They can hold their breath for 2-3 minutes and can dive 30m deep. 
- They dive up to 700x a day
- Some of the penguins have had a foot removed due to injury, these ones are called Stumpies. They recover well and live safely and happily after the procedure. They may be a bit slower on land but are fast and stealthy in the water still. 
- Chick's chirp is distinctive to the parents, they do not know who their parents are and so will approach any adult penguin coming up the beach in order to be fed. 
- On land the men dig a burrow and live there forever (unless their son returns one day to challenge them for it). 
- Women choose their mate based on how great their burrow is, their mating dance, and how good of a provider they are. If she feels he is not doing a good job she trades him in!

This is a stuffed little penguin. You cannot take pictures at Phillips Island as flash photography is not safe for the penguins. 

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