Well am not long back from a lovely mini break in Melbourne where we managed to pack in oodles and oodles. Ostensibly down there for work, I spent the first day and a half casing out the trade fairs (one was dreadful, one was so fabulous I could fly) and navigating my way through Melbourne's road trams and hook turns. As soon as that was done, the fun could begin. Of course I spent far too much money at the DFO South Wharf but consoled myself with the fact that I was really being a saver because after all where else can you buy a current season Country Road shirt for $9.95?!
After that we did the Titanic Artifact Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. Definitely worth seeing if you are in Melbourne ($24 a pop so pretty reasonable) but you may be a little disappointed if you came down specifically to see it? Depends I suppose on how hardcore a fan you are. The bits I loved the most are the recreated classes of cabins and the grand staircase (which you can have your photo taken on to buy back later for 5 gazillion dollars). Points in the exhibition are very moving, especially the laid out clothes and uniforms, too sad. The mood is very reverent as you move through and if you hear someone sharing a private joke you feel like you should go over and ask "for a little shoosh please".
The view was the best thing we could say about the first hotel we stayed in
(which shall remain nameless because that's just the kind of girl I am) and that's the
Melbourne Museum you can see in the distance behind the old exhibition building.
On the recommendation of a friend we had coffee at the Laurent, a French patisserie that didn't disappoint.
We sat at a table in the alley and did our very best to imagine we were in Paris and not just at the Paris end of Little Collins street. Coffee, food and atmosphere was so good here we came back for more at the end of our visit.
Strawberry Tart, Pear Tart & Pistachio Creme Brulee for breakfast anyone?
Then it was over to catch up with family where among many good times we enjoyed a serene joy flight over the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles. Might I add, serene I was NOT just before the flight (not the bravest of souls sometimes) but really did calm down once we were in the air. There is something so extraordinary about looking down on the majesty of everything without the chatter of everyday noise. And from the girl who "cried before she flied", I would do it again in a heartbeat.
The view out the window of our little 4-seater Cessna (gasp).
After a couple of lovely days in Warrnambool, we all decided to spend our last day/night away back in Melbourne where we got a couple of rooms at The Windsor, not too shabby. May I just say I never want to stay anywhere else in Melbourne again! If it was good enough for Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier it is good enough for me!
It wasn't embarrassing at all when five of us peeled ourselves out of our little rental and toppled onto the street with a multitude of plastic bags and mismatching luggage at this entrance. Not at all.
Yes, the doorman is wearing a top hat.
Smile fellas, ready or not.
The obligatory staircase photo
The Cricketers Bar for pre-dinner drinks.
Just so difficult to get the pre-timed shot right without someone looking like a deer in the headlights. Could someone in the room PLEASE volunteer to take the photo.
The view of Parliament House from the bar window.
The restaurant where we couldn't understand the French accents and fretted that we may have accidentally ordered the $400 bottle of Dom Perignon from the Champagne Menu.
(We hadn't, phew).
Catching up with old friends over a cuppa...
...and an eclair.
Is the 1:30am in the morning self portrait ever a good idea?
As fabulous a break as it was, there is still something comforting about pulling up in your own driveway, it's nice to be back. Home sweet home.