Melbourne Days 150 – 153

I’m not sure why … but it seems like the last stop in a country is always a bit less exciting than the first stops. This was true of Bogota in Colombia, Vancouver in BC, and we felt the same about Melbourne in Australia. I have been to Melbourne twice before (albeit 20 years ago) and loved the city, but this time it was not our favourite spot. Maybe it was because we had loved Tasmania and Sydney so much or maybe it was because we did not have a great Airbnb (understatement). Or maybe we were just excited to be going to Bali in three days and our minds were elsewhere.

Waiting outside for the place to be cleaned

Anyone who knows us is aware that we are huge advocates of Airbnb rentals. However we do recognize the downsides to them and Melbourne was a perfect example of many of them. Hard to check in. Location somewhat unclear upon booking. Ending up in a place with problems (a little leak in the shower and balcony that look nothing like the “outdoor oasis” photo in the listing). When we arrived, we received a note saying that we could check in at 2 pm instead of the 3 pm check-in, but when we arrived the place had not been cleaned (the cleaning lady arrived 15 minutes after us). Although it was not a big deal, the place never felt super clean after seeing the mess left by the people before us. The location was also not ideal. Yes, it was only a 15 minute walk to St Kilda’s beach but those 15 minutes had nothing of interest which meant that we had to walk to do anything. Overall it was a mediocre place to stay so we decided to be adventurous and spend very little time at the accommodation. Make it like old times and use the place for sleeping and nothing else!

Our first full day in Melbourne was Mike’s day to plan and he planned a long, fun day. It was a Saturday so the streets of Melbourne were hopping. We walked all day long with each of us (including Julie) accumulating over 20,000 steps. Between shopping, visiting the grounds of the Australian Open, watching rowing along the river and visiting a poorly executed Christmas village in the CBD, we also managed to buy Izzie’s running shoes and a new math workbook!

The best part of the day was the evening which started with a visit to a Chinese restaurant where our kids (who were starving) ate dumplings and half a duck. We realized then just how many more foods they eat after living 5 months on the road. Our day continued with a trip to see the Melbourne United in the Australian Basketball League. Yes, yes, we know that rugby and cricket are the sports in Australia. Why basketball? Well we love basketball and wanted to watch some. The Melbourne United were playing the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers and all four of us were captivated by the game. Tasmania’s best player was a lanky tall player wearing number 25 (just like Raptor Chris Boucher who is Julie’s favourite player) so we had someone to cheer for. The game was a nail biter with Tasmania winning in the last few seconds after trailing the entire game. It was so much fun and reminded us that sporting events are a must-do for us when visiting other places.

Day 2 was mine to plan and I wanted to visit St Kilda’s beach. We went to the famous Luna park where they have an old roller coaster that actually carries a “break person” on the ride to control it. I kind of regret that we did not ride it but $60 for the 4 of us seemed excessive at the time. We also explored the art market lining the street (Izzie bought us matching rings) and we walked along the pier. St Kilda’s is known for its cake shops so we each selected one and went home to enjoy them since the kids were still tired from the marathon day yesterday. I think that I won the cake competition with a classic raspberry vanilla custard.

The kids also discovered the Lego competition show “Brickmas” while we were in Australia. It’s a show where celebrities are paired with Lego Masters and they make themed creations. The only celebrity we recognized was Emma from the Wiggles so we cheered for her in the finals but her pirate ship didn’t win.

On our final day in Melbourne, I was adamant that we experience more Australian cafe culture. Although, I’ve had my share of flat whites and avocado toasts this month, it was only with my sister-in-law in Hobart that I really got to eat in cafes (Mike does not drink coffee). So off we went to the cafe at the end of the street where I had porridge with flowers in it. Mike had shakshuka while the kids had a croissant since they had already eaten at the Airbnb.  We talked to the owner as he had been to Bali recently and was interested in Canada.  He watched a show called “Rust Valley Restorers” which was a Canadian-made show about old cars and he seemed completely shocked that we’d never heard of it. We spent the rest of the day riding trams and seeing other parts of the city. At this point, our minds had already left Australia and we were more than ready for the plane tomorrow and the new adventures in Bali.

Where We Stayed (5 words or less):

By the Numbers:

  • Number of goats that the Brickmaster found: 1 (did you know Lego goats are exceptionally rare?)
  • Amount we spent on Melbourne Transit: Mike says $1000. It was more like $90, still a lot for three days
  • Cost for replacement Koala Beanie Boo that was lost in Sydney: $6 Australian Dollars (Mike bought it at the storewide Myer sale)
  • Woolworth’s trips: 4 visits in 3 days

2 thoughts on “Melbourne Days 150 – 153

  1. Tamara January 8, 2023 / 12:09 am

    20,000 steps for Julie – that’s incredible. She deserves a big high five! We’ll need to check out Brickmas as our house is overflowing with Lego creations post Xmas. I was all excited to check out the crappy airbnb but the link ids dead. Did your review sink them?!

    Like

    • paige m January 12, 2023 / 2:53 am

      I have a bad habit of not reviewing places I did not like as much. I worry about getting bad reviews from them. I should though. I will. I have a KL place to review. I will do it now.

      Like

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