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Today was another fun packed adventure, which took us from Melbourne out to Phillip Head Island. Our first stop was at a chocolate factory, and to be honest I wasn’t too keen on the whole idea since usually just the smell of chocolate can nauseate me. However despite that every corner I turned some one was handing me a piece of chocolate, I still had a bunch of fun. Not only did we learn about the whole process of making chocolate, there was a whole arcade room too! I made plenty of friends with all the little children because since all the games were goal oriented with chocolate being the prize, I was giving them all the chocolate pieces I won. Also included in this factory tour were the world’s largest chocolate waterfall and a one-ton block of chocolate.

After the factory, we headed out to spend some time with nature. Even though I had seen my first koala a couple days ago, I was still fascinated by them. They look so freakin’ cuddly but I guess they can get really mean, and oh yeah they carry chlamydia. So while we didn’t get close to the koalas, I did get luckier with the wallabies. Now I don’t know why, but before today I had no idea that wallabies are actually just mini kangaroos. I’m not sure if it was their eyes penetrating my soul with their cuteness or the fact that their body’s were so disproportionate I instantly felt sorry for them, but I could just watch them for hours, completely love-struck. Throughout Phillip Head Island, there were signs everywhere that said “Wallaby Xing”, and for some reason, I think I would be able to tolerate wallabies hopping across the road or roaming into my backyard more so than the deer that choose to test my brakes every so often.

Continuing on through the tour was our lovely hour at the winery. I discovered white wines are much easier on the palate than the reds, so Devin picked up the slack where I was lacking. However, I made a huge dent in the breadbasket and cheese, so that’s where my talents shined.

Last but not least was the Penguin Parade. It sounds cheesy, but this was one of the best experiences of my life. These penguins are “Little Penguins” – that’s their official species – and they measure out at about 13 inches. Since it is winter here, these little guys go out on approximately 4 week long trips out at sea, eating their fair share of fish, to come back happy and full, if all goes well. Since these guys are so small, strength in numbers is important, so they basically do everything together. When they sleep at night out in the middle of the ocean, they form these big floating squares, and when they come ashore after their big trips, they don’t do it alone either. We had first row seats on the beach to watch these little ones fight against the surf and the seagulls to make it to their burrows on the hillside. The first penguin we saw break out from the surf faced the wrath of the seagulls, which starting pecking at him as he tried to march up the beach by himself! He then sprinted, to the best of his ability, and squealed his way back into the water, and I was almost in tears because I thought I was going to witness a Little Penguin death. Luckily though, the next time the penguin emerged from the surf, he had six of his closest friends to help back him up. And sure enough, the seagulls stayed away and they all marched up to the rocks and started to hop their way home. The whole march takes about an hour or so, and at one point, there were two little penguins coming straight towards Devin and I. I honestly thought I was going to get to take one home with me, but alas they turned a sharp left before I could have reached out and snagged one. We learned that about 90-95% of Little Penguins die within their first year because the winter is so hard for them, so the fact we got to see over hundreds of them waddle ashore blew my mind. And yes, I cried.

Tomorrow’s agenda: sleeping in, dodging rain drops, and finally getting to see The Heat. My dad also just informed me that today is National French Fry Day, so while I missed out the on the opportunity to celebrate, hopefully back in the states you’ll get to take advantage of this wonderful holiday.


 


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