August 13th, 2016

First day of school

Last day in Sydney!

From Mom:
Wombat poo is cube-shaped. (And a group of wombats is called a "wisdom")

The Australian Museum appears to be the country's premier natural history museum, the American Museum of Natural History squeezed into three floors, so it's much closer to the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, LI, but all about Aussie creatures, as you would expect.

The highlights (aside from wombat fun facts to know and tell):
1. The platypus appears on the reverse of the 20c coin. Aside from their frequent appearances as pocket change, these creatures are very shy, so rarely seen.
2. The buzzard that invaded my personal space yesterday was really a bush turkey. That knowledge does not lead me to like these creatures any more.
3. The museum has the distinctive natural history smell, which I associate with The Catcher in the Rye.
4. The "Superb Lyrebird," Australia's largest songbird, mimics a chainsaw, car engine, and dog bark. This begs the question why it is called a "songbird."
5. A whole floor is devoted to the Aboriginal tribes and their efforts to obtain equality. The issue of the Aboriginals is clearly at the forefront of Australian politics.

Then Jodi and Alex's friend Richard picked us up and took us to a gorgeous beach for lunch, the beach where he grew up. It was a lovely afternoon and a great way to end the trip. The Saturday traffic was as impressive as the beach, which made his generosity all the more appreciated.

We rested for a bit, took a walk downtown, grabbed dinner and crashed. Flying back to the USA tomorrow!