So after being beach bums in Coffs for 2 months Leigh and I got jobs in a ski resort in the Snowy Mountains for the winter season. When we got our start dates we figured we would take The Silver Fox (our newly acquired car) on a bit of a spin before we started, and drive down to Melbourne to visit some friends of ours from home. As we figured we would do a proper road trip after we finished the season out we decided we’d maximise the time with our friends in Melbourne by driving straight there as quickly as possible. So we drove the 1,400 Kilometres in 2 days!
On day one we drove straight to Canberra, the capital city. I’m afraid to say on this visit to the capital we literally checked into the YHA hostel, watched an episode of True Blood, and tried (and failed) to get some sleep in the same room as THE LOUDEST SNORER IN THE WORLD. I literally had to shake the bunk bed about 10 times to get him to move positions and encourage the snoring to stop. This was particularly hard on Leigh who had done the majority of the driving.
|Leigh did a lot of this...|
|...while I did a lot of this!|
I started driving very late in life, at twenty four and just a few months before we left on our trip. With the amazing patience of dear old Dad I managed to pass my driving test TWO DAYS before we left! Phew! All my hard work paid off and I got my licence for this exact reason so we would have the freedom to drive around the insanely large country that is Australia. So I was excited to head out on our first road trip I was extremely nervous as I’m not an experienced or confident driver. Poor Leigh understood and took on the brunt of the driving; I only did about 4 of the 16 hours. But hey, baby steps!
The next morning, after a bad night’s sleep, we hit the road and began the drive from Canberra to Melbourne. The two days driving were fairly uneventful (thank God!), and involved many McDonald stops, copious coffees, endless games of Twenty Questions and blasting the radio.
When we got to St Kilda, the suburb of Melbourne that our friends live in, it was pretty late and they had work in the morning so we didn’t meet up. We checked into our hostel (Habitat HQ in St Kilda – I would totally recommend to anyone looking for a place to stay here) and walked up to Acland Street (that we learned from our hostel receptionist is the bar/ restaurant hub of St Kilda) to get some much needed dinner. We stumbled across an amazing place, Le Roche Cafe, where we ended up going back to a bunch of times. We got delicious food and beers and had our first taste of the St Kilda eat-drink culture. I could, and did, easily get used to this!
The next day we had an amazing lie-in and strolled up to Acland Street in the early afternoon. We popped into Woolworths before heading for lunch and as I turned around one of the aisles who did I see like three feet ahead of me….Steph! It was pure fluke and hilarious! We just screeched and hugged in the middle of the supermarket and then went in search of Sandra and nearly gave her a heart attack in the aisle when I jumped up on her! It turned out they were both suffering with a cold and had called in sick to work. So we made the obligatory trip to the off licence and then headed off to lunch. It was so so nice to be having lunch with two of my best friends from home and to catch up on what they’ve been up to for the last seven months. It had been so long since we’d seen each other and we’d all done so much but it felt like no time had passed at all, and once we were all caught up it was back to ridiculous jokes and hearing the girls’ latest catch phrases. (‘Boom Dog’ anyone?)
After lunch we took our bottles of wine and walked to the pier for the sunset and to try and catch a glimpse of the penguins that live there and are known to swim on shore at sunset. The penguins never made an appearance, but we had a great laugh all the same. Then we met up with Stephen and headed back to the guys apartment for some more drinking and hanging out.
The rest of the week was spent like this. As the guys were working most days Leigh and I would have a lie in, walk up to Acland street, have brunch and coffees or beers, walk around, do a bit of shopping and meet the guys and hang out for the night, usually with wine and some tv. It was so nice to be relaxed and chilling out with my friends like we would at home. No fuss or stress, just lazing around together like you can only do with real friends. The three of them, and their lovely roommate Ais, were so welcoming and we straight away were made to feel at home and were making ourselves cups of tea straight away.
|This was my kind of museum - The Australian Centre for the Moving Image|
|Home and Away and Neighbours feature in the ACMI|
Of course a few days we did head in to Melbourne CBD and had a great walk about, did some shopping and visited a museum, but for the most part of our trip here we hung out in St Kilda, and I have to say I’m really taken with the place. It’s so relaxed and young, and I love the eat-drink culture of going out for dinner and a few drinks and seeing some live music on a random Wednesday evening. Apparently it’s even lovelier in the summer, and it’s definitely the sort of place I could see myself living, so who knows maybe we’ll do a few months there before we head home?