Kerrilyn Miller

Joined March 2018
  • Day24

    Home Sweet Home

    April 29, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    Well we have arrived back on home territory again and it’s good to be home. Going through the airport in Croatia was a breeze compared to Russia. We shot through check in, security, customs etc in about half an hour max and had plenty of time to sit down to breakfast. Our cases were all a bit fatter with the extra souvenirs, cheese etc we had brought back with us.

    Heidi was still excited to be going on another plane! Eli managed to score an empty row which he and Heidi sat in as it was the front row so they had more room. I enjoyed the luxury of being able to sit and read or sleep without having to entertain a toddler! This flight to Qatar was 5 1/2 hours or thereabouts so not too bad.

    In Qatar we had some lunch and then took Heidi to the playground to wear off some of her abounding energy! She spent the next hour and a half playing there while we took turns to go walking.

    The next flight was the big one - 12 hours or so. We again managed to get a row for me and Heidi and Eli had a spare row this time so he could sleep. I had a couple of people try and sit in my row (it wasn’t their assigned seat) and had to politely tell them we had requested a spare row (they had actually changed our seat tickets to accommodate).

    Heidi wet herself again 🤦‍♀️ she had done it on the last flight when sitting with Eli and we had changed her into the only spare clothes I had packed. We’ve had no accidents the entire holiday until now! She was watching something both times and we think she wasn’t concentrating or something. So I had to hope her jeans would dry by the end of the flight - ugh!

    We had a few things to declare when we arrived in Adelaide - cheese, wooden articles, honey. We lost the honey cos it was creamed (it needs to be runny so they can see any debris apparently) and one of the cheeses we had opened while we were away and wrapped in alfoil and we lost that too. Then as we had been walking around fresh water lakes and wilderness areas they washed the shoes we had been wearing. They were all so nice and friendly though - it was a nice change!

    Grandpa, Grandma and Mum came to pick us up at the airport. We gave Heidi a quick bath back at their place and then hit the road back to Mildura. Heidi was excited at the prospect of seeing kangaroos again as she would ask when we were away - ‘where are the roos?’ 😂

    It was a great holiday and we made lots of fun memories!
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  • Day22

    Museum of Illusions

    April 27, 2018 in Croatia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Eli and Heidi had a nap, I put my feet up on the couch and Mike and Kyria went out to do more walking - crazy people. Kyria brought me back some awesome socks 😁

    Once Heidi and Eli woke up, we went down for ice creams and then visited the Museum of Illusions which reminded me a little bit of the one Eli and I did in NZ a few years ago but a much smaller version. They had little puzzles around and optical illusions. There were only a few rooms. I managed to do one of the puzzles - fit all the pieces in the egg shape but didn’t have much success with the others. They require a lot of patience 😂

    From here we walked about 1km the other way and found somewhere for dinner. It was a nice area with eating places all along and tables and chairs lining the walkway.

    Then Mike and Kyria went walking about while we took Heidi back for a bath, bed and to pack our suitcases and we went for a last walk when they came back before hitting the sack ourselves. Being a Friday night there were lots of people out and about.

    So endeth our last official day. The next two days are basically travelling home so nothing very interesting! Croatia has been great - it would be nice to come back and visit the coast which looks beautiful.
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  • Day22

    Hiking to Puntijarka - Medvednica

    April 27, 2018 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Today we were heading out of town to a National Park to do a bit of a hike. We had breakfast at the same cafe as yesterday and all ordered basically the same thing.

    Then we caught a taxi out to the start of the walks - there were an few different walks. There weren’t really any maps or information about which walks went where so the first trail we found going up we took. It was beautiful in the forest with the cool air, birds chirping and lush green of the trees. It was hard work at times and quite steep. I think Kyria was wishing we had just taken the taxi to the top 😂 There were no indications as to where we were walking or how far we had to go - which made it hard. We arrived at a shelter and there were a couple of guys there who explained where the hike went. Apparently there was a restaurant at the end with a playground for kids and we were about half way - it was about a 5km walk all up. This doesn’t seem far but when it’s mostly uphill - phew!

    We decided to keep going after a bit of a break and slowly made our way onwards. Mike and Eli were swapping the backpack with Heidi between them. I don’t envy them having to carry that - it would have been nearly an extra 20kg to lug 😅 I was quite chuffed that I was the first one up the top!!! I didn’t think that was a bad effort for 24 weeks pregnant.

    It was more of a canteen than a restaurant at the top and the playground only amounted to a couple of swings, turntable and ladder so that was a bit disappointing. We had also exhausted most of the cash we had left (which wasnt much) paying the taxi driver and the canteen only took cash! Luckily Kyria had some money and we were able to get a few drinks.

    We were a bit disappointed there wasn’t really a view or anything from here - I guess we should have picked a different walk - but we’d just had to take pot luck and guess!

    We arranged for our taxi driver to meet us at the top and drive us back down. Kyria and I wanted to walk back down but Eli wanted to get Heidi down for a nap. As it was, our taxi driver ended up taking us for a bit of a tour! He stopped at a couple of points on the way down for us to get a picture of the view, which was lovely, and also took us past the cemetery which is humongous. It’s called Mirogoj and looked amazing. There was an older section and a newer section. The taxi driver reckoned it was 2km long and had about 4 million people buried in it which is the same number as the current population of Croatia!

    We were dropped back at the same place we were picked up, luckily there was an ATM there so we could pay our taxi driver!
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  • Day21

    Escape Room

    April 26, 2018 in Croatia ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    We played a few rounds of code names with Mike and Kyria and nibbled on bread, cheese (they have amazing creamy Gouda cheese here!) and salami whilst waiting for Heidi to wake up.

    Mike had booked us in to do an escape room this afternoon - which is where you have to find clues in the room to get out - work out codes for padlocks to cupboards with more clues or the key inside. It was so much fun! We had an hour to get through three rooms and we did it with 2 and a half minutes to spare! Apparently the record time was 40 minutes with no hints. We had a few hints provided to get us through. They have cameras in the room and a microphone to help if they see you’re struggling. We worked pretty well as a team I think! So much fun!

    We did a bit more shopping in the afternoon - got a few souvenirs and lots of cheese to bring home. Lucky we have 30kg on the way back!!

    Then we went out for dinner before heading back to bed. It was a bit cooler this evening and not so many people were out and about. None of us felt like going out to walk around either.
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  • Day21

    Meandering

    April 26, 2018 in Croatia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Heidi has still been blessing us with her early morning rising - I guess at least it makes us get going at a good time instead of wasting the morning!

    The lady at the cafe we had breakfast at this morning was one of the first people we came across who didn’t speak great English. Eli gave up trying to explain how he wanted his eggs cooked and Kyria and I just accepted that we weren’t allowed to swap the coffee for a hot chocolate in the breakfast meal deal - even though it cost basically the same 🙄 it was an awesome breakfast nonetheless! I think breakfast is my favourite meal of the day!

    We went for a wander round the streets today - making our way towards the lookout over the town. We split up when Eli and I stopped to check out the Museum of Broken Relationships and Mike and Kyria went on with their walking. It was a strange museum - as you can gather from the title! It was only small and had various articles people had donated which for them represented their former love and a synopsis about their relationship and how it had fallen apart!

    We walked on up to the lookout and then walked back down and met Mike and Kyria back at the apartment. We decided it might be easier to split up for a bit and go shopping. Eli and I checked out their theatre building, found a chocolate shop and bought a few to try then had a baguette for lunch whilst Heidi had a play on the playground before putting her down for a sleep at the apartment.
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  • Day20

    Arrival in Croatia

    April 25, 2018 in Croatia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    We had another early morning pick up by the taxi this morning which thankfully arrived right on the dot. Heidi was again excited to be going on another plane - it doesn’t seem to grow old for her! Thankfully it is only a relatively short flight to Croatia - Zagreb.

    We arrived at the airport with a couple of hours to spare which we thought would mean we had a good amount of time to have a decent breakfast as we were all hungry by now (it took about an hour to get to the airport due to traffic. However it took ages to check in, go through security and customs. At a couple of points the computers broke down so they had to move us to another one. At customs I ended up sitting on the floor cos it was taking so long and I’d been standing for ages by that point!

    Mike had bought some breakfast for us while they were waiting which was very thoughtful of him so we had some hot croissants to munch on. The others did some last minute shopping to try and get rid of some of their Russian currency - any excuse 😜

    We were flying with a different airline - a little bit classier than the last so we were actually sitting together and we even got served food! It was only a relatively short flight so not too uncomfortable.

    We had to wait ages for our luggage at the other end and we thought it had been lost as everyone else seemed to have their bags and there were only a couple going round. We went to file a claim and Kyria and I thought we’d just take another look and they’d finally put our bags on! We had ordered a taxi and he wasn’t waiting there - Mike rang him and let him know we had come out.

    Eli had about 2000 rubles left over (the lady at the previous apartment had held 5000 as a bond so we didn’t get it back until the day we left) and he tried to exchange them at the airport for Croatian Kuna but they wouldn’t take it! Hopefully he can exchange it when we get home cos it amounts to about $40.

    The taxi man was very chatty and spoke English well - I don’t think we’ll have much trouble communicating here! Mike had booked a nice apartment in the centre of town. Everything was so green and warm - it almost felt like a balm to the eyes after the cold and wintry landscapes of Russia.

    Heidi fell asleep for about 15 mins on the way to the apartment and of course, she wasn’t going to go back down for a sleep after that! So we settled in to the apartment which is really nice - I should have taken photos before we made it all untidy with our luggage. Then we headed out to stroll around and explore the city. It was so warm outside - it was so nice to be in just a skirt and t-shirt again! We started off with an ice cream from the ice cream shop over the road recommended by our taxi driver!

    There was a sort of Mediterranean feel to the city. Pretty flowers were everywhere and we found a lovely park to sit and rest our legs for a few minutes. We popped into a Cathedral and were lucky enough to hear a choir of young people rehearsing for something. They sang beautifully, of course the acoustics helped!

    Heidi was petted and smiled at and given lollies to by random people. I can’t say she was appreciative of people invading her space though - she would shout ‘No!’ at them or push their hands away - embarrassing child. It’s nice how they love kids though. You don’t really get that back home.

    We found markets and souvenir shops, cafes and bakeries, tried a bit of this and that. We had a quick dinner and then Kyria and I had a wander round the streets while the boys took Heidi back to bed. We met them back home and then they headed out to watch a soccer game at one of the eatery joints.
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  • Day19

    Final Dinner in Russia

    April 24, 2018 in Russia ⋅ 🌙 8 °C

    Mike and Kyria went out to look at patchwork quilts they had seen in one of the walkways under the road and also to go inside St Basil’s. When they returned the boys went out to do some last minute souvenir shopping.

    It was nearly 5 by the time Heidi woke up. I had wanted take her to a department store that was totally dedicated to children’s toys but we weren’t going to have a lot of time before dinner. So we decided to go to dinner early and see how we felt afterwards.

    Dinner was quite fancy - they had people whose only job was to open the door for you! Eli was quite chuffed that one of the doormen understood French. He thought the Russians should know French because they used to speak it or something but he had had no luck so far.

    There was some Russian wine on the menu which the others decided to try and then spent 5-10 minutes talking about how it felt in their mouth 😂 I don’t think they thought much of it.

    It was a nice dinner and we ended up all going back to the apartment and packing our stuff up ready for leaving tomorrow. Starting to get over living out a suitcase!

    We hadn’t managed to do everything I had planned for Moscow but we didn’t have a lot of time and it was tricky with Heidi at times. Hopefully everyone enjoyed something.

    Eli had been reading a bit about the Gulag camps in Russia established under the Soviet Union which were like the concentration camps established by the Germans. At lot of the things that happened there were just as bad. Stalin made a forced famine by selling people’s produce and cattle to fund his utopia causing the death of 11 million people. In some ways it seems ludicrous that they have all these statutes of Lenin everywhere and the communism symbols considering what happened under that regime - it would be like going to Germany and seeing Hitler’s face and the Swastika plastered everywhere still.

    Anyway, that was a last little bit about Russia before we move on! We all had a great time there. I think I liked St Petersburg over Moscow though.
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  • Day19

    Moscow Zoo

    April 24, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    Today is our last day in Russia! We had a sumptuous breakfast - Kyria and I had about 3 things on the menu that we wanted to try so we decided to share so we could try them all! Greedy much 😂

    We then walked to Cafe Pushkin and made a reservation for dinner as it was supposed to quite the restaurant and we thought it might be nice for our last dinner in Russia. The metro we needed was not far from here - we only needed to go one stop and the zoo was a hundred metres or so from here.

    I love going to zoos - I think I enjoyed it as much as Heidi did. Although with all the exotic animals we saw, later at the apartment all she talked about wanting to see again were the horses!! Yes, they had horses and ponies in the zoo 🤷‍♀️ in two different areas! All Kyria had wanted to see was a Russian bear...and its enclosure was empty which she was most disappointed about. We found the seals at a good time - they were being fed and doing tricks with the trainers - balancing balls and raising flippers etc. My favourite were the orangutans. There were two younger ones who were wrestling and rolling all over the place - so much fun to watch and they have such cute faces. I could have sat and watched them for ages.

    It was cool to see some of the animals from the colder areas too - Arctic Fox, tundra wolf, polar bear etc.

    We were there for a few hours before heading back. We decided to go home and put Heidi down for a sleep. The others grabbed a shwarma on the way back to the metro and I had a crunchy baguette from a place near our apartment.
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  • Day18

    Red Square

    April 23, 2018 in Russia ⋅ 🌙 4 °C

    We mooched around in the apartment for a bit and then decided to head out and reacquaint ourselves with The Red Square. The wind seemed to have died down a bit which made walking more pleasant.

    There was lots of activity in the Red Square from both tourists and also workmen. They were setting up seats and looked like they were cleaning the Kremlin walls and tidying up the place. Lenin’s mausoleum was ensconced bu scaffolding and stuff! At first we thought it was for the world cup but we found out later it was preparation for Victory Day parade and celebrations which is when they parade their military and weapons through the street. We just wandered around and enjoyed the atmosphere - went for a wander over the bridge and then crossed the road to check out some filming that was going on. A lady who seemed to be with the film group said it was a Mexican TV series.

    We decided it was time to look for dinner so we roamed the streets for an appropriate eating place. The few on the Red Square has exorbitant prices so we decided to walk down the mall there instead. Again they had pretty fairy lights and butterflies - this is another mall, not the one I have referred to before.

    We eventually settled on a restaurant which specialised in steaks. It was only after we’d ordered drinks though that the menu was explained more clearly - most cuts of meat had a minimum weight to be ordered. It was about $20 for 100g of the cheapest cut and you had to order a minimum of 400 - 800g. This seemed a very strange way to run a menu and quite expensive! So we just had drinks here and ended up going to a cafe we’d previously had breakfast at and ordering something light as it was getting late and Heidi was tired.

    Eli walked home with Heidi and I walked for a bit with Mike and Kyria enjoying the night lights before heading home with a nice hot cup of cocoa.

    We looked outside our apartment windows before we went to bed and they had blocked off the main road and soldiers were lining the road - spaced out, they seemed to be doing measurements and stuff. I guess in preparation for their victory day.
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  • Day18

    Parque Gorki

    April 23, 2018 in Russia ⋅ 🌬 5 °C

    From Danilovsky Market we caught the metro to Parque Gorki as I think it’s correctly called. It was a bit of a walk to the park entrance and the road we were walking down seemed to be a wind tunnel - it was freezing!!

    The park was quite massive with lots of different areas. We first made our way to the pier as we were interested to book a boat cruise along the river. The guy in the hire office was apparently quite rude. When Mike and Eli walked in there he didn’t even acknowledge them until they spoke to him and when they asked about the cruise he gave a monosyllabic answer and returned to playing games on his phone. So they walked out in disgust. The other pier the boats went from was a bit of a walk away so we gave up on the idea.

    Eli was ready to go back to the apartment and Heidi was getting tired so we split up and Eli and I headed back with Heidi while Mike and Kyria stayed.

    We put Heidi down for a sleep and Eli ended up snoozing with her too! When she woke up we took her down to the playground for a bit. They were painting it so she was only able to play in the sandpit but she was fine with that.

    Mike and Kyria returned having had a nice jaunt around the place - at least they’d had a good day so far.
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