Week 25 – Melbourne

Currently we are in Tasmania, so I’m only about 4 days behind in keeping up with this travel blog. I’m not even sure why it’s getting harder and harder to keep up, I think I’m becoming a little lazy.

We have no Internet at the moment, so usually I go through my previous blogs and see where I’ve left off but I can’t do that at the moment so I’m using ‘Word’ (hardly ever use that anymore) and I’ll save this document and upload it to WordPress when I can get some reception.

Melbourne (Week ??)

Loved every minute of Melbourne. For a few reasons really. Firstly, my lovely cousin Sam and her husband Chris, sons Maxim and Noah live there. It was great being able to spend time with them and see where they live. Smack bang in the middle of Fitzroy, my new favourite place and not because it’s where the TV show ‘Offspring’ is filmed either. Secondly, it’s pretty easy to get around, even when you get lost. Driving in Melbourne so far has been the state where Wayne has NOT lost his cool driving through the city. If we took a wrong turn, it was very easy to do a quick u-turn, and we were back on track. Thirdly, the food, and the shops and Brunetti’s. Did I mention Brunetti’s ? Special mention to my friend Paul Probin who facebooked me late one night and told me I must go there. My hips say ‘thankyou’!

We arrived, set up the Van (a nice park this time) and figured out what it was we wanted to see and do in Melbourne. First stop Federation Square. We basically just walked around, went to the ACMI and saw ‘The Character’ by Candice Beitz (Google it, hard to explain but we loved it). We ate lunch at a nice café overlooking the city and then we went and met up with Sam and Chris for dinner. The girls were happy to play with Max and Noah (swimming and spa fun) and we met some friends of Sam’s and Chris and caught up. Good times.

The following day we went to Old Melbourne Gaol, and the watch house/courthouse. Sarah was very scared pretty much immediately as we entered the Gaol. I think because the first door she opened she was faced with a (pretend of course) sleeping male full sized prisoner. She was not happy and continued to tell me for about 30 mins. In the end, I had to forgo learning everything I could about Ned (there’s something about a bad wild colonial boy) and take her outside. Frankie, Liv and Wayne loved it though and we eventually met up and did the tour of the Watch house. This was great. The Watch house itself only closed its doors in the late 90’s. I’ve never been to a lock-up before (obviously) and they put on a little bit of a show. They pretend to arrest you, lock you up etc. Frankie was the star of this little show though, men on one side, women on the other and she kept looking for her daddy, running up and down through the middle, then coming back to me, doing high fives to everyone. She got a lot of laughs.

After this we went to the courthouse where they do a re-enactment of Ned Kelly’s court hearing. It was really well done and interesting.

Poor Ned!

Big day in the city, Frankie was cranky so time to head home and chill for a bit.

Following day my cousin Sam treated myself, Lulu and Sarah to a beautiful High Tea at the Langham Hotel. The girls got to dress up and put on lippy, they were pretty excited. We pulled up at the hotel and Olivia said ‘mummy, this is fancy’. It was really yummy, and so nice to be somewhere where we didn’t have to get the baby wipes out to clean the table and chair before we sat down! Wayne was on Frankie duty for the morning, so he took her to Richmond and had some lunch, she slept the whole time though, lucky for him.

That night Sam and Chris were minding all 3 girls so Wayne and I could have our DATE NIGHT. So exciting! Got a little dressed up, went to a great place called Rice Queen in Brunswick St for dinner, then onto Polly’s for a cocktail, a walk up Brunswick St, purchased 2 books in an old 2nd hand store, held hands, kissed in the street. You know, the things we USED to do years ago. We had such a lovely night and the girls all behaved themselves.

We were planning on going to Sovereign Hill the following day but the weather was so hot, so we had a pretty relaxed day. We went into Carlton and had the customary pizza in Lygon Street. Did a little shopping (nothing for me this time) and of course checked out Brunetti’s and had too much sugar, but gee it was good. Went back to the caravan park and swam in the afternoon.

We did make it to Sovereign hill and it was awesome. Of course we’d heard about it before, but I didn’t really know what to expect. Pretty much the first hour was spent ‘panning for gold’ and it got to the point where I did have to say ‘Wayne, we didn’t come here JUST to pan for gold’ to which he responded ‘Griffo, this shit is addictive’

They all found gold, a speck of dust sized shard of gold, which is being kept safe in tiny jars of water hidden in our van. I dare you to come looking for them! We spent all day in Sovereign hill. Saw a play of Romeo and Juliet, very child friendly and humorous for the kids. We had lunch, the girls learnt how to write with ink and also how to make candles. Sarah kept asking me ‘do these people live here’ each time she saw an ‘olden day lady or man’ walking around the make-shift town. I had to keep explaining that they work here and are playing a part. I think she understood by the end of the day. Before we left, Wayne took his girls back to the GOLD PANNING VILLAGE and they, once again, were panning for more gold. It reminded me when I was younger actually, because my dad took us ‘gold fossicking’ one weekend when I was in primary school. He told me that if we went, we would make enough gold and I would have money to buy the game DONKEY KONG and I told everyone EVERYONE at school about it. Of course, we found no gold and I went to school on Monday with no Donkey Kong. It’s funny how life can go on and something’s remain the same. Wayne could have been my Dad, he was so eager about the panning for gold process. He was very serious, had the right amount of water in the pan, shaking it slowly, searching through the rocks and mud with as much concentration as he does when looking through fingerprints. No wonder he’s such a star at his job! Although he has more success at catching crooks than finding gold.

We also managed to get to Geelong, or as my friend calls it G-Town. We picked a fantastic day too, the sun was shining and there were loads of people about. We got there about lunchtime and we found a place to have some fish and chips, then we made our way to the Eastern Beach. It was packed with every man and his dog. School holidays of course and because it was a hot day, everyone came out to play. There is a huge pool beside the beach, and also a massive playground so the kids had plenty to do. I also caught up with a boy (He’s a man now) that I went to school with years (and years) ago. We hadn’t seen each other since yr 7 but thanks to facebook we have been in contact for a few years. It was great to catch up and for Wayne to meet the boy who is called ‘Happy’.

After Geelong we drove out to Bells Beach. Lots of waves, lots of surfers and Wayne of course took a heap of pictures. It was late by the time we got back to Melbourne, so the kids had an early night. Great day!

There were loads of other things we did too. We found ‘THE BLOCK’ houses (like groupies). Wayne and I watch the Block with the kids (they love it so much) and they got a kick out of seeing the houses. The streets are so small, I can’t believe how anyone else lived there while all that construction was going on. We went to St Kilda, Brighton Beach and Port Melbourne, looking for the Spirit of Tasmania coming into port. We also caught up with a friend from Wayne’s work who lives in Melbourne on almost 10 acres. He has a fantastic property with a full sized tennis court and the biggest shed (sorry Tony, I should say ‘Hanger’) I’ve ever seen! Wayne was in awe of all the space. We played Laser Tag with our cousins where I got my Lara Croft on (for about 10 secs) and I even managed another night out, this time on my own while Wayne took the girls out to dinner in Fitzroy. I caught up with my cousin and her friends for some drinks and food.

A good time was had by all of us in Melbourne. I could live there (again I know) but only if I was in Fitzroy, Carlton or Richmond. I’m just sayin…

Until next time… The Morrells – xo

Ps. my cousin Sam and her family have just moved to Perth this past week. To say I’m excited is an understatement !! xx

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