Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Melbourne...Day 2

I woke up early on Saturday...too excited to get out and about! Here's some of what we did...

Lots of old buildings...reminded me of Montreal.
Lots of cute little alleyways with cute little stores and cafes...reminded me of Montreal.
Even Canadian trees!
And trees with no leaves! It felt like Montreal in late fall. It was chilly but not cold and it felt so good to have rosy red cheeks again!

We walked around thinking we would easily find a place for breakfast. When that didn't happen, I asked a girl on the street if she could suggest someplace good. She said she wasn't from Melbourne but that she had done exactly what we were doing and stumbled upon a little bakery place that served brekky. So, went there and it was great! They served eggs benedict just like home...warm sauce and an English muffin! Speaking of that, I'm not sure that anyone in Melbourne is actually from Melbourne. Everyone we asked anything said..."I'm not from here but...". Steve and I even got asked stuff to which we replied..."I'm not from here but..." It was actually pretty funny!
After yet another great breakfast, we hopped on another tram (the tram system is so easy and so great!) and went to an area outside the city called St. Kilda. It was beautiful and I think that if I were ever to live in Melbourne, I would want to rent or buy a house (although I'm sure it's expensive!) in St. Kilda...

I really liked the style of the houses...I like the character of Queenslanders but I think I might just like the Melbourne homes even better...
We headed to the St. Kilda Pier, which was very pretty. The walk on the way was nice too...

There were starfish everywhere! Not sure if you know this about me but I love starfish! I've never seen so many in one place just hanging out! Apparently they have no predators in the area and are producing very quickly. They also eat the good stuff that fisherman fish like mussels, so I don't think they like them as much as I do...
St. Kilda Pier...

After St. Kilda, we walked some more around the city. We did a lot of walking! It helped to make us not feel guilty about all the unhealthy food we enjoyed all weekend! There were lots of old churches and lots of shops! Did I mention that we shopped a lot?? I saved my money for awhile and was worried I would be disappointed with the shopping. I wasn't.
Walk to the tram...
Flinders Street Station
I thought these bathrooms were strange...just random underground bathrooms all over the city. I was nervous to use one but it turned out to be one of the cleanest public toilets I have ever used! Who'd a thought?? They were very convenient!
We headed out Saturday night to Southbank for a nice dinner and then went to the Casino to win, um, lose some money. I have to say, the Casino was a little disappointing. They don't have real slot machines like the ones in Canada or the States and the 1 cent, 2 cent, 10 cent, etc... machine that they do have didn't even make noise! What kind of Casino machine doesn't make addicted fun sounds?!? That, combined with not even understanding the actual machine (it wasn't like the ones at home where you get 3 hearts in a row and you win, etc...) made it not so exciting but still good to experience! We didn't get any pictures because we decided not to bring the camera since we were going to the casino...

Voila! Day 2!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Must. Sleep. So. Tired.
Day 1 and 2 still to come!:)

Melbourne...Day 3

Sunday morning we awoke with a big day planned. Seriously, we did a lot in 4 days! It never felt busy busy though, which is good. We just kind of went where we went, when we felt like it but still managed to see and do so much. It really was the perfect weekend. I feel like we got a good taste of the city and all that it has to offer. I'm sure the next time we go, there will still be lots to discover but for a 4 day trip, I feel pretty content with all that I saw and all that we did!

We went for breakfast at a Pancake Parlour called "Lovely". It was soooo yummy! We kind of stumbled upon it while we were shopping but I later saw a pamphlet for it at the airport, so I think it's a pretty old, well known place to eat. I was impressed that you could get any of their pancakes as either buttermilk or buckwheat!
And the OJ was fresh squeezed!

They had a silly mirror too!
After brekky, we went to the Melbourne aquarium. There was one section where you walked though a tunnel and the fish swam all around was pretty cool!
Jelly fish...the top ones are upside-down jelly fish! I had never heard of them!

We headed to the famous Vic Market for a little sight-seeing and shopping. I love markets, so of course, I loved this one but it was extra special because it seemed very old school. It's a huge market with everything from meat to seafood to fruit to veges to wine to cheese to retail...ok you get the point! Anyway, the butchers all scream out there prices and try to compete with each other. It was pretty cool to see and just felt like you stepped back in the olden days!
Prices seemed good and although the retail stuff is a little cheap and crappy, there is still some good stuff. I bought a cool handbag there. The market is open everyday except Monday and Wednesday. I think it would be a cool place to get your weekly groceries!
For lunch, we went to a restaurant called "Cookie". It was highly recommended by Jeff, so of course we had to check it out! It was yummy and a very cool atmosphere...I'm not exaggerating when I say I asked about 10 people where this place was and it took us until Sunday to actually find it! There was a lot of walking involved in our search for it! Luckily, it was worth the effort and the restaurants we stopped in when we were too hungry to keep looking for Cookie were good too!
I thought it was so creative that the bill came in a children's book! Of course, I had to take a picture! I had this book when I was a kid!
We went back to Southbank in the evening for a walk and to take some pictures, since we didn't take the camera with us when we were there on Saturday night. We took a stroll by the water and stopped for an amazing dessert and tea.

Just one of the many old buildings on our walk back to the hotel...

Melbourne...Day 4

On Monday, we set the alarm bright and early and headed off to the airport at 7:30 am. We arrived to see the longest line EVER at the check in. Seriously, it was INSANE. It was about a 3 hour wait and we started stressing about getting on our 9:15 am flight. We waited, ate a McDonald's breakfast in line, waited, chatted with the people around us about how insane the line was, waited some more and then finally got called by the airline staff saying that anyone going to Brisbane on the 9 am flight should come ahead to check in. We started thinking it was a little fishy that our 9:15 am flight was now a 9 am flight and it seemed extra weird that it wasn't the same flight number aaaaand strangely enough, our flight number wasn't even listed. I asked the Virgin Blue girl about it and she said that the flight number and time had probably just changed. Fair enough...except that then I checked our itinerary print out a little closer and discovered that Steve had in fact booked us on a 9:15 pm flight. Yup, a whole day until we actually left Melbourne. 12 more hours of Melbourne fun to be had! Steve felt bad, but I think it was meant to be that way. We got to explore a couple of the places that we didn't have a chance to get to and we did eventually make it back to Brisbane, safe and sound on an evening flight. The $50 cab ride to the airport that morning and the $32 bus ride back to the city and then back to the airport later that night was a bit of a bummer but hey, it happens, right? On a positive note, we were able to check our suitcase in the morning, which meant not having to lug it around all day, like we would have had to do if we knew we were on a late flight. Check out at the hotel was 11 am, so we would have had to drag it behind us for the whole day! We got a little Melbourne rain on Monday afternoon, but it didn't last long and luckily, we had kept our umbrellas on us!

We went to the an area called the Docklands, did a little walk around and then hopped on the City Circuit tram and saw parts of the city we hadn't yet seen.
Train Station...There's a lot of public transport in Melbourne.

We also went to Smith Street on the tram. I had been told that there were a lot of sports store outlets along that street and there were! Some great deals, but unfortunately limited sizes.

Our flight back was a breeze (I had the nicest girl sitting beside me!) and it was nice to be home and snuggling in our own cozy bed! Melbourne is an awesome city to visit, but I think the small town girl in me likes living in the smaller, more outdoorsy city of Brisbane. I do look forward to doing another visit there someday soon though!

We're back!

We're back in Brizzy after a fantastic weekend away in Melbourne! We have SO many pictures to sort through, organize and post, it's not even funny! So stay tuned for all the beautiful things we saw in a city that Steve and I both described as an "English Montreal"...

Friday, July 25, 2008

We're off!

Steve and I are heading off to Melbourne today!!!! I'm so excited that I'm wide awake at 6 am!!! Too bad it isn't that easy to wake up on work days! We have lots planned...we leave today and come back on Monday, so I'll be back with another update after that. The weather doesn't look too bad. I was worried it would be freezing, but not really too much colder than what we've had here. Yesterday in Brisbane, we only had a high of 14 degrees during the day with rain. I heard on the radio that it was the coldest day since last year. It was cold...I was freezing! It was only really chilly because it was raining too...I don't know how you Vancouver people do it for so long!!! It also doesn't help that my work is outside and we just hang out under a covered area when it rains. You get so damp and cold after 3 hours. I definitely need rain boots and a proper rain coat! Here's Melbourne's weather for the next few days...

FRI Sunny Sunny. Cool. 3 km/h
- 78% 3 15
SAT Mostly Sunny Mostly Sunny. Cool. 6 km/h
- 85% 5 14
SUN Light Rain Late Light Rain Late. Afternoon Clouds. Cool. 4 km/h
90% 5 12
MON Light Rain Light Rain. Mostly Cloudy. Cool. 8 km/h
90% 4 12
TUE Light Rain Light Rain. Morning Clouds. Cool. 10 km/h
88% 8 12
WED Sunny Sunny. Cool. 3 km/h
- 82% 4 15
THU Light Rain Light Rain. Overcast. Cool. 11 km/h
87% 6 12

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feelin' positive!

Ugh. I have to admit, I haven't been feeling very inspired lately. I haven't been feeling very positive overall really. I've been struggling with my energy since I started my new job, as the hours are tough (split shifts) and it makes for very long days, with not much time left over for fun and hobbies. I think feeling blah makes you less likely to do the things you enjoy and then not doing the things you enjoy makes you feel even more blah, so really it's bad either way. I haven't even been keeping up with my house the way I would like, which makes me feel even crappier. I know it's lame, but I just feel better in my space when it's clean and just the way I like it. Hence the reason why I actually enjoy cleaning! Plus, I just recently read that cleaning your house helps to decrease your stress level by like 20% or something (don't quote me on the percentage, I'm terrible at remembering the details!). Anyway, I have always found that. Cleaning your home is like cleaning your mind...they go hand and hand! So, I've decided I need to start making an effort and get back to taking the time to do the things that make me feel happy...sewing, baking, crafting (I want to start making some Christmas stuff). I started from the most obvious place, organizing and super cleaning our house! I already feel better and felt so inspired that I got Steve to take a picture of the kitchen! I even organized the cupboards...

It just makes me wanna whip up some cupcakes or bake a batch of cookies! I really like our country suits the old house...
Next on my agenda...I really want to make my sewing area a cozy little inspirational space...I have a few ideas, just need to put the plan in motion! Man, I really do feel more positive today! Here's to getting a better attitude, less complaining and more happy thoughts!