Friday, July 20, 2012

The July Holiday with added NASA

It's that time of the year when Dad on the Go and family pack up for a week or so and travel the country side. It's the school holidays and in order to get the minions out from behind their video games we get out of the house. So we pack ourselves up and get ready for Family time !
Along the way we remember why it may not be possible to spend long periods of time in confined spaces together , get over this and an hour later start all over again.

The trip to our nations capital now becoming an annual ritual we wanted to ensure we didn't do the same attractions (can you even use that term in Canberra ? ) over and over and so turned our attention to to the other possibilities.

Before that however, as per usual we split up to get to the final destination of Canberra. The eldest and I took the direct traditional politicians route - Flying. So off we went via Virgin Airlines and Canberra International airport, the title of which is a chuckle in itself.

Side note -Big tip to all you traveling dads - you can not put two slices of bread together with cheese in the middle and put it through those big toasters with the conveyor belt system. It will catch on fire.

The Beloved and the youngest decide to go via Rutherglen and a number of side attractions golf courses.

Once in the sunny but freezing suburb of Quanbeyan we had to start to make the hard decisions. The attraction (still not sure about that word) we eventually chose was the deep space communication complex. Its hidden deep in a mobile phone free area about 50km's outside Canberra.
The second you drive through the gates with the NASA logos and the mobiles and electronic equipment warning sign , you know it's going to be cool. They have a model of the Mars Rover vehicles and a complete video walk through of the upcoming Mars landing by the Rover " Curiosity" on the 6th of August. Just standing near these giant structures it is difficult to explain the immense size yet intricate workings that go into each array.

The volunteer inside took the time to explain the whole Mars rover landing process to us and gave us wads of info on how to download the space software the kids were using in the exhibits. The links are here because they are just unbelievable.

 I give this two thumbs up. It's got something for the whole family.

 Then back to our hosts house for a side of lamb and some chickens cooked on the spit and UNO and Red wine. We went via a National park that boasted koala feeding sessions and plenty of wildlife. The Koala wasn't there and I do not consider a lake full of pelicans wildlife. This gets half a thumbs up, mainly because the kids had to walk a long way which is a good thing.

As we drove out of Canberra the next the warning lights flashed on the dash that icy roads were likely. With the outside temp at -3 Celsius, it was spot on. As we climbed through the Snowy mountains the temp rose and the sun peeked through the clouds. But our passengers were too busy digesting a lamb.

Arriving at the Gippsland lakes the weather turned on it's charm and tempted us to go fishing. No fish were evident but the views more than made up for this and it turns out you can really enjoy wine if you have a great view and some peace and quiet. Getting this peace and quiet involved sitting 500 meters away from the kids but you get my point.

Once again another great little break provided by this great nation and some great friends. I even managed to learn something along the way.

So I know what I'll be doing on the 6th of August. I'll be watching the landing on Mars and hoping that all goes well for them.

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