Hear the thunder from the land down under… Part I
I know this is a very late Trip Report, for it’s been almost six months since my trip to the Land Down Under… But I am going to tell you about it and show you a few pictures anyway. We all like pictures right?!
Going to Australia was a very late 30th Birthday present to myself. Not that I needed an excuse to go abroad, but it all seems so much more justified when there is a reason to go overseas in the name of celebration. Truth is that I really just wanted to see my beautiful friend Jane, who I met in 2006 while traveling through Greece, and who had not seen since our wedding in 2007.
Jane lives in Melbourne; The visit took place during the Easter Holidays (yes Easter and not Spring because it was actually Fall in the southern hemisphere during our Spring but it is still Easter none-the-less), with a tail-end trip out to Sydney for a few days before returning to the States. Originally I was going out there alone, but some last minute changes allowed Dayton to join me for a week, making Oz our first official trip (abroad) together…and boy was I nervous! Outside of our honeymoon & a small cruise we took back in 2005, we had never really traveled together, and I have always been sort of a “loner” when it comes to going places afar… That is just how I enjoy traveling, adventuring it through like a grown-up version of Dora the explorer, on my own with no agendas or worries, much less a person to be mindful of. As it turned out, we actually had a lot of fun! Due to his schedule, he was only there for a week, but then I was joined by my friend Melissa, who captured some of the images you will see on this post.
I tell ya, D & I loved Australia SO much, we are actually considering retiring to Melbourne, that city is the best combination of suburbia, countryside, and big city living all in one. Not to mention that the people are wonderful and the dogs even seem happier there. As it stands now, when we finally make it out there, I can apparently clean house with a Mexican Food restaurant (the Aussies love them some real Mex food) or doing what I do best… Weddings, for there really isn’t a whole lotta wedding planners/coordinators around out there. Whatever the case, Melbourne officially beat out Istanbul as my choice city to retire to (which is probably a good thing since I don’t think I would have EVER convinced Dayton to move to Turkey-LOL!)
So here folks begins our photographic journey through of our trip:
Upon landing & showering, the first thing Janey did was take us to a pie shop… but not a bakery, an Australian Meat Pie Shop.
After having our meat pies, we went for a long walk (one of many long, on-foot excursions) to Brighton to see the Beach Boxes.
In the following days we explored Melbourne. What a magnificent city!! There was just enough of everything and its all accessible! Safe & calm suburbia is just a short, reliable, train ride away from the big city. Your back yard is the lush outback, beautiful nature surrounds every part of Melbourne There is enough culture & sports to balance out a fun yet intellectual lifestyle…and yes, there is even a fair amount of Bogans to keep things interesting. One of my favorite aspects of Melbourne was that it is uber dog friendly, I am not kidding when I tell you that the dogs out there just looked happier, and were pretty much allowed everywhere, on many occasions I noticed doggie water bowls outside establishments & restaurants, as well as a few places that even had leash racks, picture bike racks, but shorter, where you could just leash up your doggie while you went inside…and yes, they were dog racks, I asked! Did I mention the people were fantastic? They were! So dang friendly! Everyone greets you on the streets, when you go into their shop, on the bus, it’s so refreshing! Fellow runners & walkers cheer you on when they pass you, yes, they say “Keep at it!” “Good job!” “Almost there!”- so encouraging! For the first few days I was running with Jane I thought all the people we were passing by on the trails knew her… but then she told me that they didn’t, that’s just how fellow sportsmen are there. Nice! I know it may sound odd, but I tell ya, it makes your exercise routine that much more enjoyable!
Here are some of my favorite things in Melbourne :
Janey’s boyfriend Ben is a trainer for the Western Bulldogs, an Australian Rules Football team, which is my NEW favorite sport to watch! We went to a couple of games while we were there, and I LOVED it… so much fun, and the fans are for real (so hardcore- ALL of them) … I loved getting official gear from Ben too, I was totally decked out at the games!
As mentioned earlier, we did a lot of on-foot exploration… Jane is a marathon runner, who exercises extensively, every single day, at the crack of dawn… as it seemed MANY Aussies did… So every single day while there, we took an excursion or two on foot to run or hike in the “Bush” or National Preserves ALL over the place (did I mention I actually lost a few pounds while out there?). It was magnificent- I saw SOO MUCH wildlife that way, granted half the time I couldn’t stop long enough to take a picture (and no I didn’t have my iphone with me)- but it was an absolutely genious way to see the country in all its natural splendor. One of the days, Janey made sure I took my camera so that I could snap pictures to my hearts content of all the wild kangaroos at this particular park. We had to wake up at 6am to get to see them, but it didn’t take more than a second to spot them, and they were all within arms length… it was WILD!
Then of course we visited a wild life sanctuary where we got to feed “tame” roos & koalas too!
Ok ok… I think this is a good place to “be continued”…