For the last 10 days Mollie and I have been in Melbourne. In 2 days we will leave our stunning accommodation and head to the even brighter lights of Sydney. Melbourne has been a mini adventure in itself. Let me see, what have we been up to.......
After arriving back on the 27th October (that seems like sooo long ago) we were made so welcome by our hosts. I quickly found myself left with a gorgeous house with pool, a car and two cats, one defo a psycho cat. If you are part of FB then that will make sense! Anyway, almost to lull us in to a false sense of security the Thursday, Friday and Saturday were gorgeous encouraging Mollie and I to head in an Aussie styleeeee to the beach. It didn't get any better! We strolled along the Mentone beach complete with Life saving huts but thankfully no David Haselhoff or Pammie! However by Sunday it quickly cooled down. In fact I think Scotland might actually have been warmer! I found myself rushing out to the shops in search of long sleeved tops or at least something resembling warmth. Nope! Not possible. Summer stock was well and truly in and shops did not possess such items. I was informed the reason Melbournians layer up is so that they can derobe or increase clothing according to the weather. I was loaned some items by the family of our hosts and Mollie was given a fleece which might actually still come in use for the time we (possibly) return to Scotland. Anyway, much to mollies disappointment she wasn't getting near the pool any time soon!
I have also navigated the train system into the centre of Melbourne which went smoothly. I will never forget the feeling of stepping out of Flinders Street station and looking up! The buildings are just awesome. And then you look down to see trams, horse drawn carriages as well as cars. It's a complete mix. I had an appointment to make at the bank but that wasn't till later so I had time to kill.......where were the shops?! SHOPS to die for. Louis V, Mont Blanc, Chanel, Tiffany drool drool. My travelling budget sadly does not include these. I still have over 5 months to go! So after Mollies exclamation of 'not more shops' we headed into the lower end of Melbourne only to catch the latter half of the Melbourne Cup Parade. Riders & owners are sat in cars and driven through the CBD. Much to Mollies delight there were acrobatics going on in between each of the cars. So, Mollie on my shoulders we took in the display. Whilst chatting to Mollie a local lady started to speak to me and ask how Mollie was enjoying the parade and where we were from. It was lovely. There was such a good atmosphere. Mind you considering that the majority of folk were off the next day on holiday I'm not surprised!
We also had the opportunity of meeting up with some friends we made in Singapore who stay literally 10mins away (except when I'm driving but more about that in a min) we were invited to a meal and a chance to quiz them about life in Melbourne which I think I did. The evening gave Mollie a chance to play with another child her age instead of shops and adults! I think she was quite relieved. Her wee eyes lit up upon seeing Emma's gorgeous Princess outfits! A good night was had by all.
The end of the week has brought warmer weather to the point where Mollie felt brave enough to get in the pool. Well going by her shallow breaths after leaping in I would say it was still on the cold side.
Friday and Saturday also meant catching up with family and memories - good memories. Just under 4 years ago Graham and I walked along an area called South Bank which is a very trendy bar/dining/socialising area. Graham and I had hired a babysitter within the hotel and had our first romantic meal and it couldn't have been in a nicer spot. This area has a buzz about it. There are street acts and entertainers, people busy on the river, usually rowers or kayakers. There are also flames which light up the place and of course there is that fantastic city backdrop. If you like people watching you would love this place. It didn't disappoint last night. With an aunt, cousins and partners in tow we enjoyed the sights and buzz that was on offer. It also happened to be final race day which means lots of gentlemen with ladies in very high heels, gorgeous dresses, and fascinators pouring into the bars. As we walked along the Yarra River in shorts and strappy tops there was a conversation about not being able to do this back in Scotland at the start of November. Well you could, but you would severely regret it the following day as you recovered from frostbite. A fantastic night.
One of the main things I have had to 'conquer' has been the driving. Now, in theory it should be a dawdle as a) we drive on the same side b) the car is an automatic c) the laws are sort of similar!!!! So why do I break out in a cold sweat heading out on to the Nepean Highway? Is it because I ended up half way to the airport the other day? No. Is it because I regularly get stuck in the middle of the road behind a truck who decides he wants to turn right and leaves me diving for the other side long after the lights have gone red? No. Is it because my daughter, upon reaching our friends address which should have been a mere 10 minutes away and turned out to be a bit longer says to me 'gosh, that was some journey?!!!!' I would say so. What she doesn't know is we are making the journey north after Sydney by car. I hate to think what her comments will be then!!!
I'm sad to be leaving here as it has been a fantastic start to our trip. But we are due to return for the whole of January. Looking forward to it. We might even get use of the pool.