Sunday, March 29, 2009

Our First Week in Melbourne

We actually have pretty fast internet at our current temp place, so I figure I should take advantage of it and get caught up on the blog. We won't be able to call home until we get settled in a house but hopefully, the blog will keep you all updated until then!

I'll start with our drive to Melbourne. We drove about 1700 km in about 20 hours or so, which we did in 2 days. Steve did most of the driving and did an awesome job getting us here safe and sound! Our GPS was also pretty awesome! Worth every penny!
We took breaks every few hours. There were lots of rest stops and bathrooms along the way. I really like the way Australia makes traveling easy, with lots of pit stop places to refresh. Jesse was absolutely fantastic in the car. He was happy to sleep in the very cramped back seat when we were driving and enjoyed his pee and treat breaks when we stopped!
Can't say I'm in a hurry to do that drive anytime soon again though. It's very flat and very boring! Luckily, I had a good book and managed to read in the car because there are no bumps and no turns! Flaaaaat.
Lots of this to look at...

Once we got closer to the city and the area where Jesse is staying at the kennel, the view was incredibly shocking. I'm sure you have all heard about the horrific forest fires that spread through Victoria, just outside Melbourne about 6 weeks ago. The fires made headlines around the world and left many homeless and even dead. The kennel where we booked Jesse to stay until we get a house that takes dogs is only about a 15 minute drive from Kinglake, one of the areas hit the hardest by the fires.
The forest around the kennel where Jesse is staying was completely burned. Steve and I chatted with the husband and wife who own the kennel about when the fire came through. They said they spent 12 hours fighting the fire using the water from their water tanks to keep their home and the building where the pets were staying wet. They had to move the cats into the same area as the dogs. They didn't evacuate because they had too many animals in their care and they didn't want to abandon them. The fire came so close that the fence in their front yard, only about 3 metres from their house was burned down and their door mat at their front door was melted. They had many animals of people who thought their pets would be safer at their kennel than at their house, because the fire was originally not believed to hit their area. Some of their neighbors' homes were lost and many of their friends died. They have lived in the area for 20 years and knew many people. They told us that it would take about 15 minutes to drive to Kinglake from their house in a car and from the time the fire reached their house to the time it reached Kinglake took only 6 minutes. They said it's the noise that the fire made that they will never be able to forget.
I can't imagine living through something like that and think that the only way to describe people who would put their own lives in danger for the care of others' pets would be heroes. They are true heroes and I think Jesse is perfectly safe there until we can get him back!

We've mostly spent our first week house hunting but we've also done some exploring and relaxing in our down time. To be honest, my first impressions of the city, as a girl moving here and not just visiting was that it was very big and very concrete. Very different from Brisbane! However, the more I get to know the city, get to know my way around and find little restaurants and shops that I really like, the more and more I start to really see myself living here! It's definitely a different vibe than Brisbane, but it's a nice change and actually feels a lot like Canada! I think getting a house and getting settled will really help it feel more like our new home. We're in the running for a house we really like, our application just needs to be approved by the landlord. We should know by tomorrow. I have my fingers crossed very tightly!

We had breakfast the other day at a beachside cafe and I swear, we could have been eating at a beach in Nova Scotia. Everything about it felt like home. The temps, the smells, the seaweed. It felt so familiar and so good!
A very big jelly fish!

It's been chilly here. Not cold, but nippy first thing in the morning and in the evenings. I am really enjoying the chill on my cheeks and it's nice to wear jeans and layers again. Even Steve said that other day that he can't believe it's possible but he thinks he was actually getting tired of the constant heat and sunshine!

We checked out the Prahran Market yesterday. I've heard it's pretty awesome and I was not disapointed! I can't wait to get a house, get settled and start a routine again. Steve and I are both craving some healthy home cooked meals (we've had enough eating out!) and I can most definitely see me doing a grocery run at this market!
The market has everything food, even a place where you can make your own fresh squeezed oj!
Lots of organic goodies!
And sweet treats!
Cheese, please?
This picture didn't come out very well but I had to post it. I thought it was just so cute...the kids at the meat counter...
Bread with faces!

The grand prix is on this weekend in Melbourne, so the city has been buzzing with excitement. You can hear the cars racing around all over the city. I'd like to go next year!

We'll be staying in another temporary accomodation tomorrow until Thursday and hopefully have a house by then! I'll be back with more updates whenever I can. Could someone please update my Mom, since I know she isn't able to check the blog?

Thanks and chat soon!:)


Clotilde said...

I hope you get the house by the market, looks yummy!

Who knew they made Ben Ten and Beauty and the Beast UGG boots?!?

Mariana & Nick said...

All those goodies look pretty good...
Hope we could have a market like that in Brissie!
Have fun and good luck with the house ;)

Kristi said...

That drive looks like Manitoba! Blech! So sad about the fires...those people are heroes for sure! Jealous of that yummy looking Market...the kids are soo cute! You're totally getting that house...I can feel it! ;)

Sarah Stokely said...

Hello and welcome to Melbourne. I came here via Kate's LJ. I love your blog name. :D