I’m back from a whirlwind trip to Melbourne where I had a well-needed break from the internet, social media, blogging, writing, networking and working with a girlfriend…I now feel more alive and rejuvenated. It was just what the doctor ordered after a bit of a rough 2010, and it was the perfect place to spend it, as I’ve meant to go there for a long time.
Carly and I spent 4 days and 3 nights in Melbourne, and got around mostly by walking, which is my preferred mode of transport as you just get to experience the places and the people so much more. The highlights of the trip were:
Coffee and breakfast at the Journal Cafe. Carly and I landed in Melbourne at about 5am and made our way on the shuttle bus to the city to try to kill some time before hopefully checking in early to our hotel (we managed to check in around 12 and then collapsed into comas). Neither of us had managed to sleep on the plane therefore we were zombie-fied and hanging out for coffee! Surprisingly, when we hit the streets with our suitcase and backpack in tow, we had trouble finding anything open. I guess it was 5.30am – but everyone had always told me that there was always something open in Melbourne!? After trekking the streets, we happened across the funky Flinders Lane, managing to spot lights on in the Journal Cafe past the rubbish trucks doing their morning run. Thankfully they welcomed us in (I think they took pity on us poor tired, bedraggled souls who needed a caffeine hit STAT!). We plonked ourselves down in a spot by the window on some ultra-comfy chairs and had some of the best coffee we’ve ever had. We spent the next few hours admiring the decor, the passers-by and the other customers. It was Friday morning so there was the mix of students, teachers, workers, early morning risers, and us. As the heavens opened on Melbourne (which ended up turning into real floods) we whiled away a few hours there, never being hassled to leave, getting great service, eating breakfast and drinking more coffee. It was a lovely experience.
Hot Chocolate at the Lindt Cafe
The Lindt Cafe.Before flying out to Melbourne a friend had recommended the Lindt Cafe to me. This was one of the places both Carly and I hadn’t been to – as Carly had once lived in Melbourne – so we were eager to try it out. Now I’m a big fan of Lindt chocolate, and the thought of a café intrigued me! We were not disappointed – we were blown away. This was one of the most decadent experiences we have had, which put smiles on our dials – or maybe it was goofy grins from all the sugar we ingested. I had a hot chocolate, which was a little jug of melted chocolate, a jug of warmed milk, and a cup. I then got to mix it myself, to my desired sweetness, and chocolatey goodness. There was enough to have two serves. Mmmmmmm Heavenly. Carly had an iced Mocha – which looked divine. We accompanied these with a vanilla eclair…shared. Every mouthful sent shivers down our spines and gave us goosebumps. I would HIGHLY recommend this for lovers of chocolate.
We weren’t sure how this experience would turn out – as it could have been really tacky and tasteless. As the cab dropped us out front, we were surprised to see a queue stretching around the corner, and were directed to the end by some day-walking vampires. As the heavens were still dumping its contents on Melbourne, we were grateful that the queue moved quickly. On entrance, we were told to sit in a ghost train, and as I prepared myself for the worst, I arrived at the end disappointed as no one had jumped out behind me and scared me silly. We were then taken to our table, which we had to share with about 18 other people. At this stage I was starting to second guess whether this would be worth the money we paid, but we ordered a cocktail and awaited our dinner and the show. What can I say. Sometimes you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. This was a fantastic night filled with dancing, music, comedy and performance – it just got better and better with every performance, and at the end I know we weren’t the only ones wanting more…The performers are such a talented and funny bunch. I would go back there for sure (be warned some of the content is rude – what would you expect at a place called Draculas?).
Hairspray the Musical at the Princess Theatre. In waiting for Hairspray to start, we had brunch at the Princess Theatre café which surprised us by the price (cheap when compared to where we live in Perth), service was quick, and it was yummy! The Princess Theatre itself was built in 1886, and is beautiful inside and out – we especially loved the chandeliers. Now, I admit I have not seen the Hairspray films, and I’ve never seen the musical. I didn’t even know much about the story line or the performers, except that Jack Chambers played one of the main characters (Link Larkin), who was a previous winner of So You Think You Can Dance Australia. Carly and I sat about 6 rows from the front, so we had prime position and what can I say. It was truly AMAZING. Fun, spunky, colourful, deep and powerful. The performers are quirky and funny, they dance, act and sing beautifully. I loved this show so much I brought the programme, and was tempted to by the soundtrack (talked myself out of it as soundtracks never capture what is on stage). Some of the songs were even stuck in my head for the remainder of the weekend. What got me most was the underlying story line of togetherness – people coming together united. IF you get to Melbourne, see this show.
I could go on and on about what we did in Melbourne, such as walking up Lygon Street and trying to decide on somewhere to eat out of 250 restaurants, or experiencing Chinese New Year festivities in Melbourne, or exploring the Queen Victoria Markets, but I will end here, as I could just go on forever!
I’m off to Melbourne tomorrow with a girlfriend for some well-needed R&R. I think it’s always important to clear away those cob webs every now and again by doing something you love. Be it meditation, going to the beach and eating ice cream, going for a drive and listening to the music REALLY loud or taking a little trip (or big trip), even if it’s only just a night away somewhere. This time I’m going away for 4 days and 3 nights, leaving the partner and the dog behind. (As a side note, it may come as a surprise that I have never actually been to Melbourne, even though it’s in the country I live. I’ve been to Asia, Europe, UK, Hawaii and Vanuatu…).
Hopefully when I get back, I will be nicely rejuvenated to start my new job next week! The massage I’ve booked myself in for tomorrow might help too – I’m up for a little spoiling myself : )