Little Creatures

Trip Start Mar 08, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2011

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Where I stayed
Macca's House

Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Thursday, May 26, 2011

We were up bright and early and all packed up by 8am today because we were leaving Sydney for our last stop in Australia, Melbourne. When we were in China Dave and I met two great girls from Melbourne whom we've kept in touch with since then and graciously invited to host us while we were visiting Melbourne.  Anna (although we don’t call her that, her nickname is Macca which is short for McDonalds in Ozzie speak because her last name begins with an "Mc") and Tracy (although we don’t call her that, her nickname is Trash Bin because her fully name is Tracy Ashby which kind of sounds like Trash Bin – and everyone here needs a nickname obviously!) are police officers for the city of Melbourne so we were super excited for them to show us the ropes.  They also promised to take us to a Footy, an Australian Rules Football match. 

Anyway, our flight from Sydney to Melb was on Tiger Airways which is an even more discount airline than Jet Star which we’d been flying up until now.  We were worried that they’d charge us to check in (they had signs saying you had to pay to check in at the desk) but the lady was really nice and didn’t charge us and even gave us the exit row for free.  We enjoyed the free internet while waiting to board and otherwise the flight was completely uneventful and on time.  What was strange was the terminal in Melb – it was all outside and there were port-a-potty bathrooms in the outdoor luggage claim.  I guess you get what you pay for!  Macca had told us she’d be there to pick us up and shortly after we arrived she pulled up with a station wagon and her partner Phi and we were off!  We first dropped Adam and Ken off downtown at the Westin as they were staying there, and then Macca and Phi took us out to Macca’s house which is in a neighborhood about 8K from the city (although they consider that a suburb).  We dropped our things in their spare bedroom and Trash Bin met up with us and we all headed back towards downtown but first wanted lunch.  It was great to see our friends again after a few months and what was funny was that their hair and clothes had changed but Dave and I looked exactly the same (save Dave’s beard) and we were in the same clothes.  Ahh, the life of a backpacker! 

Anyway, we walked a few short blocks to the tram stop and took the tram about 15 minutes towards the city to a cute little neighborhood with shops and cafes and stopped in a brewery for lunch.  It was called Little Creatures and we enjoyed the beer and gastro-pub type food.  I had a lamb curry with flatbread and Dave had pizza (again).  We got to know Phi a bit also and since she works in the theater world she was proving to be quite the tour guide right off the bat.  We had good fun catching up. 

We then hopped back on the tram and headed downtown to meet up with Ken and Adam.  We got a brief tour of downtown and city hall and then all got back on a different tram and headed to St. Kilda beach.  It was cold and windy but you could still see sunset so we walked along the bike/running path to an area with shops and cafes and stopped in to one restaurant for a drink while watching sunset.  It was a really cute little beach area and my favorite part was that our tour was constantly focused on where the drug dealers, halfway houses and other areas of importance to police officers were located.  We weren’t hungry for dinner yet so headed up to an area with shopping and several cake shops with the most tempting window displays. 

We decided to head to the area along the river for dinner so took the tram to the nearest stop and walked through the casino on the way.  A group this size (there were 7 of us now) can’t just walk through a casino without stopping so Phi and Macca played the big wheel game a few times and Dave then got interested but then everyone lost so the game was over.  We finally managed to pull everyone together and continue along the river to a restaurant called Butter Bread that was offering 2 for 1 drink specials and had a good menu.  The drinks were good and it was a fun trendy place where we could all sit together but the service was painfully slow.  That gave us a chance to play a few rounds of Sporcle on the ipods and iphones.  For those of you who may not know, Sporcle is a trivia game so playing in a big group is fun.  Eventually our food came (I enjoyed pumpkin gnocchi and Dave enjoyed smoked chicken risotto, both excellent).  If you haven’t noticed we’ve been eating and drinking a lot in Melb which is apparently the thing to do here!  We stayed so long at the restaurant that it was late so we called it a night and all went back to our respective hotels/homes for the evening.
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