Category Archives: melbourne

Melbourne, the last time.

I arrived, fresh on the inaugural Tiger flight from Alice to Melbourne, to find Jackie and Shannon waiting for me at the airport. I hopped in the car and we were off to the house, my final destination in Australia.

I’ve probably talked about this before on this blog, but I feel its my duty to finally suss out my feelings about Melbourne and Sydney. Melburnians and Sydneysiders have serious issues with each other. There’s a level of pride there I haven’t seen many other places in the world. So let me say this. I love Melbourne. It is a city full of alternative, cool people, with many alternative, cool places. The music scene is thriving. The parks are beautiful, the downtown is spotless and its many laneways and secret passages invoke a real sense of adventure. I love the city’s tenacity for sports. Aussie Rules baby, all the way. The thing with Melbourne is that it is difficult. Its surface does not reveal its true personality. It is a city that takes time to discover, and I think that is the appeal for so many Melburnians. However, I didn’t have enough time — I took places for what they were on the surface, as many travelers have to. I got a taste — it was amazing — but if I were to go back, I’d have to choose Sydney. (But I love you Jackie!!!!)

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One of Melbourne’s many laneways. 

As a New Yorker, the concept of Sydney is just astounding. There’s not one beach to frequent, there are many, many, many. There’s posh Manly, the uber-relaxing golden-brown Northern Beaches, laid-back Coogee, teeny Tamarama, surf-heaven Bronte and of course party-town Bondi. And more. You can hop on a bus or a ferry (a gorgeous, gorgeous $6 ferry ride) and in 15-20 minutes reach all  of these places. City to paradise in 20 minutes or less.

I loved that Sydney was on the surface. Bustling George street packed with backpacker bars, posh pubs at the Rocks, hipsters in Paddington & Bourke Street, beach party at Bondi, yuppie restaurants and swanky bars in Surry Hills and total chaos dance party mayhem in the Cross. You knew to go to the Cross after the pubs closed. You knew to go to Harbour Bridge and Bondi for New Years. You just knew. You didn’t have to be “in the know” of the latest secret bar opening on an unmarked street. It was easy to learn. And the Harbour. Every time I saw the Opera House I felt Australia. I felt the distance from home and I loved it.

All this makes me think I’d like San Francisco/Oakland. Maybe someday. Everytime you see that big red bridge, right?

But still, Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne. I tried my best that last week to penetrate the city’s outer shell, and I feel like I did. We went for amazing cocktails at Polly, a seemingly divey bar on the outside, really red, plush and fabulous on the inside. We went to a dance show at the casino and had an amazing last dinner there as well, and Jax and I got cocktails with Shannon at a secret-y garden roof patio bar.

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Jax and I at the cocktail bar. 

George and I went on runs around the park every day and I watched A LOT of So You Can Think You Can Dance Australia. I bought a lot of souvenirs. I yearned for these shoes every day.

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$250. Anyone want to buy for me?

And the Victorian beaches. Sydney may have beautiful beaches, but drive an hour or so outside Melbourne and you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Pure blue ocean. Not a person in site. Sheer, natural beauty.

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Portsea 

I left Australia with that vision in my head. Clear, blue clean Australia. I tried to sleep. I couldn’t. Not when I was going to the exact opposite.

L.A.

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Ready to GO

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And we’re off…almost! I set up my new World Nomads journal today here, so everyone can follow on the new blog. I do believe it’s accessible from my FaceBook account as well, so check in! I’ll do a wall post just in case, of course.

It’s been an intersting view days, to say the least. Leaving Sydney was bittersweet – I had a job, I had a house, I had stability, I had the ability to see Aussie Idol Matt Corby (Fri night, OMG! Pix TK) – and I left for the unknown. After traveling for so long, it was nice to be in one spot for a while. Checking into my third Base hostel (Sydney, Magnetic!) Saturday night in Melbourne felt foreign, to say the least. Come on now, I’m a local! Except not, anymore, in Melbourne. Even though I spent three weeks here, after spending a month-plus in Sydney, I had no idea what was going on. This did not help when my brother and his girlfriend, Crystal, were indifferent to how we spent our two days here. Eventually, after wandering around the CBD and St. Kilda Day 1, we decided we’d get out of here and do a Yarra Valley wine tour today. Perfect – learn how to drive the van, see the country, stay our last night in Melbourne, then head out on the Great Ocean Road.

Except not.

We dragged ourselves out of bed at the ridiculous hour of 8:30 a.m., only to arrive at Travellers Auto Barn and have them tell us the van would not be ready until 2 p.m. It needed parts. Fine. 2 p.m. became 3 p.m., 3 p.m. became 4 p.m., 4 p.m. became tomorrow morning. And so it goes. What can you do. So we walked the other neighborhoods, went out for dinner, watched old episodes of Friends at the hostel, and waited. The wineries would have to wait – we’d be setting off on the Great Ocean Road first thing tomorrow.

*This was in no way Traveller’s Auto Barn’s fault. Darren and Sven were as sweet and helpful as can be. It’s a car, cars need service, what can you do! They didn’t even have my phone #, so there was no way they could have even called that morning. Anyways, these things happen! Nothing but love for TAB – they’ve been fabulous through and through.

So L&Gs, we will off tomorrow. First blog post on the newbie, hopefully, comes tomorrow night or the following, when we find some internet access.

Camping. I am camping.

As my new blog motto states, this should be interesting.

Koalas and Kangaroos and Dingoes and Wallabies and Platypuses and —

Yesterday Shannon and I journeyed to Healesville Animal Sanctuary in, you guessed it… Continue reading

I’ve already posted twice, but:

I’ve got to get my latest underage crush (sorry Zac) on here.

I’m completely into Australian Idol and even though I’m on a pre-paid phone plan, I’m seriously doubting my ability to withhold voting for my new love, Matt Corby.

Officially part of the Matt Pack!

Grand Final Feeeeevaaaaahhh

Holy Geelong!

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Hottie Geelonga Jimmy Bartel.

As you all know by know, I’m an avid Kangaroos supporter (Go Shannon!), but I couldn’t help but get excited about the Grand Final this Saturday. Continue reading

Aside in Melbourne — or — Mission Statement: Revised

Ok, it’s been a few days, I’ve had a little time to disappear, and I think that’s a good thing. I know I said one of my goals was to write every day, but now I think sometimes you can’t really realize what your goals are until you attempt them. Continue reading

Yum, apple salad for $12!

I ordered a $12 “Waldorf” salad last night. Apparently, that meant a bowl of sliced apple and some raisins.

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Wow. At least it tasted good! Continue reading