Monday, April 28, 2014

from city to country, finally

To continue where I left off, lo these many days: the continuation of our trip to Oz. Day Three, Melbourne. One of the inducements to go on this voyage, as if we needed any additional reasons, was that I have family spending time in Australia this year. My uncle Andy and his wife Ann have been living about an hour and a half west of Melbourne while Ann is on sabbatical, and they were in Melbourne for a few days. Kevin needed to tend to business on day three, so I met Andy, Ann, and their friend Leo for lunch at the Queen Victoria Market.


Much ogling and some food consumption occurred. And then we went to the non-food part of the market to look for the best possible prices on wallets made of kangaroo netherbits because ...why not, apparently.

After lunch, they took a tourist bus around town and I was on my own. I walked up to the Melbourne Museum to take in a thought-provoking exhibition on First Peoples. I was a little burned out on photography at this point, though I did remember to get this shot of the Royal Exhibition Building, site of a World Fair or two.


Afterwards Kevin and I met up for dinner across town. I wish I’d taken pictures of the walk – the bustle, the scene, the people – it was wonderful. The next day, Kevin was officially in goof-off mode. We headed out in the morning to run some errands, and then met up with Bill, an old friend and colleague of Kevin’s. Together we wandered up to Chinatown for lunch. Ironically, Bill’s favorite restaurant is CafĂ© Post Deng, but we tried another place this time. Luckily for us, the place was nearly unoccupied, so we felt no pressure to hurry out of there. Instead, we enjoyed the kind of leisurely catch up that not seeing someone for ten or twelve years can lead to.


After having been amused by this a couple of times already, I finally snapped this on the way back to the hotel.

Late in the afternoon, we met up with Ann and Andy at our hotel – they’d booked a room in the same place – and we took the trolley – THE TROLLEY! – to a nearby suburb, St Kilda, for dinner.


Luna Park, St Kilda. This amusement park was not open.


Kev and Ann.


Mon oncle AndrĂ©. 

Eventually we settled on a restaurant and after that, a couple of different dessert spots. 


Ann is a connoisseur.

The next day – March 27th – was our last in Melbourne. Packing and last-minute trips to our favorite coffee shop ensued. Andy headed to the airport in the morning to pick up my cousin Kate, and then all five of us took the train together to Warrnambool.

Friday, March 28

Let the explorations begin. I called shotgun on all vehicular explorations due to my tendency to puke easily.


Kevin claimed not to mind, wedged in the back seat.

We started with the easy stuff – just Warrnambool itself. It’s a coastal town, so there were some beaches to check out. Along the way, we found it necessary to slobber over some beautiful livestock guardian dogs just coming off duty.


My cousin Kate hanging with one of them. Their actual job is to hang out on tiny Middle Island where Fairy Penguins (I am not making this up) nest, to protect them from the predations of fox.

Great boardwalks and paths lead to various secluded little coves.





No field guides. I called this one the...pomegranate seed bush.




We visited the carcass of a whale. Yeah. That’s what that is. Still pretty stinky after a couple of years. At this point, we all went our separate ways and entered our respective dream worlds.


Kevin went and put his feet in the water, as he is wont to do.


I went apeshit over the shells. 


And the rock erosion.






Tomorrow: Wallaby. Emu. Koala.

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