Thursday, April 22, 2010

Last of our holidays

For a brief moment, I ummed and ahhed about posting about the rest of our Melbourne trip. Part of me was thinking 'who cares?', but then I remembered that I wasn't really writing this blog to entertain everyone else, I'm writing it as a record of my thoughts and experiences.

I do very much like it that people are reading my blog. It makes me feel good to know people look for it (and that they're not just my parents - much as I love that they read it), and I love it when people make comments. But in the end, I am writing it for me. So I guess there will be times that no one cares about what I've written but me.

Our trip to Melbourne was bittersweet I guess. It was really great to see my Grandpa (I know some people might find it weird that I was so enthusiastic about seeing an 84 year old, but I really quite like him). I also go to see (most of) the rest of my Melbourne family, and do some touristy stuff, but it was also really hard being away from home. In the past, I've always been reluctant to leave anywhere after a week, always wanting to stay that bit longer, hold onto my holiday as long as I can. But this time I was ready to come home after about 4 days. It was mainly because I missed Anthony and wanted to be with him.
Maybe it was too soon to go for so long, and it will change over time, but I was so ready to fly home this morning when I got up. Then Anthony called to tell me about a dream he'd had (a nice one about Sam) and I burst into tears. I wanted so much at that moment to be there with my arms around him.

After that I was a bit of an emotional mess. Oliver and I dropped in and had lunch with Grandpa, then we drove out towards the airport. These days I am pretty confident when driving around Melbourne. When we arrived, I managed to drive all the way to Grandpa's, and then to Eric and Karen's without a map. I can get to my more frequently visited haunts quite easily, and with a Melway, can usually find my way anywhere. But this morning was different. I somehow managed to miss the exit and ended up on the Westgate Bridge, which as you might know, is a massive bridge that is nowhere near on the way to the airport. Because of the state I was already in, I nearly lost the plot. I had a bit of a panic attack, stopping in the shoulder while the traffic whizzed past, and just sat for a moment. (Oliver stayed calm, thankfully). Luckily, a sense of calm came over me and I managed to get myself turned back around (and had my first trip over - and back over - the bridge).
Perhaps Sam was giving me a bit of a hand? He used to be my navigator when we went to Melbourne, and had had his share of a frustrated mum going 'just read the map!', which at age 8 or 9 is a tricky prospect, especially given Melbourne's size and funky plonking down of roads.

So, the Melbourne trip. We had been doing 'touristy' stuff for the last few days. The Victorian government (in their infinite wisdom) had decided that it would be a terrible shame for Easter (or more to the point, the Easter long weekend) to be celebrated outside of school holidays, so Victorians had gone back to school just as we were starting our holidays. While it made it hard to see our family (and friends), it also meant that many of the tourist attractions were nice and quiet. And the weather was magnificent! Unseasonably warm, but lovely nonetheless.

On Tuesday Oliver, Karen and I went on Puffing Billy. It really was a lovely ride. Not too many people, and a perfect trip through the beautiful forests of the Dandenongs. It was the perfect activity for Oliver: a noisy, smoky train and a ride where he could sit and dangle his arms and legs out of the carriage. He enjoyed it a lot.
Yesterday, we went up Eureka Tower.
Now, if you know me, you'll know that I'm not real good with heights, so I was a little nervous.
Because Eureka Tower is bloody high! It's apparently the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere. It's 88 floors up and my ears popped as we hurtled upwards in the lift. At first I found it difficult to get close to the windows, but after seeing Oliver's enthusiasm (head pressed right up against the glass: "Those cars look like toys!"), I relaxed and spent a lovely couple of hours gazing off into the distance.
I think that Eureka was one of my favourite activities. Funny that something so mundane as a very high building would entertain us both for so long, but there you have it.

And then today we flew home. Apart from the Westgate debacle, it was a perfect flight, and we were both very happy to see Anthony in the baggage collection area.

I'll go again. Probably sooner rather than later. It was great to see everyone, and Oliver really was a good travel companion. I'd still like to see the west though (particularly beyond the end of the Westgate Bridge), and I am keen to 'do' the Great Ocean Road and see the 12 Apostles before they all fall into the sea. But next time, I'm going to actively lobby for Anthony to come.

So how about some interactivity? What's your favourite part of Melbourne, and have you ever gotten lost?


  1. I check here daily!!!!

    Melbs is a second home to me, so I dont tend to get lost, but I can understand why you ended up on the westgate. That whole section there coming from the tunnel to where you have to go over bolte bridge is crazy fast and busy busy, so if you're in the wrong lane its all over! Not to mention hook turns!

    my fav part of melbourne is st kilda. it makes me feel like i am some hip young thing, even though I am clearly not! When we looked into moving with daryls work I wanted to live somewhere near the city in a hip little federation style house, fully reno'ed and totally funky but i knew that was never going to happen, and we'd be out in the boonies, so it was one of the reasons why i went meh, lets stay here!

    I'm glad you had a good time. Melb is such a good city! (shits all over sydney!)

  2. I used to do a 'centre turn' at the Flinders & Swanson Street intersection when I worked in Melbourne many years ago.......I look around nowadays when I visit and wonder how I ever had the courage to drive in the city let alone do a centre turn! Driving is a lot less stressful here in Canberra. Me, my husband, our 2 best friends and their daughter are all travelling to Melbourne in June to take in a bit of footy, a bit of shopping, a cake shop crawl and to top it off hopefully a few new songs from The Living End who are doing a charity concert Sunday 27th June at The Community Cup 2010 in Elsternwick. It will be our friend's daughters 1st concert - she's 7 and a huge TLE fan. Very exciting. Love Melbourne! Sue E.

  3. You're right Deb, Melbourne shits all over Sydney! (no offence to my lovely Sydney friends and family!)

    Sue, I make it a policy never to drive in the Melbourne CBD, as the trams and the centre turns freak me out! I must say though, even though there is a lot more traffic (and strangely placed roads), the drivers in Melbourne are generally more willing to let others in, and merge etc. And I like all the roadside art (have you seen the 'hotel' on the Eastlink? It's a cracker!).
    Enjoy TLE, it's been a long time - does this mean they're touring soon??

  4. Hmm for a Sydney born gal, I have so many favourite places in good olde Melbs towne.
    I am pretty sure we will end up living there - I always promised Mick when he moved up here that I would return the favour one day.
    At the zoo I loved the butterfly enclosure - but was freaked by the aviary (my fear is birds, closely followed by heights).
    The Great Ocean Road is LOVELY!... do it, do it!! We went the week before the last one fell down.

  5. The band are in album mode at the moment with a release hopefully before the end of the year and then the touring will begin - woo hoo! I'll keep you posted. Sue E.


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