Rediscovering Melbourne

Great title, no? I’ll come up with something snappier as the days progress but for now, this will do. After arriving in Melbourne, we got to our apartment and found that it would not be available until after lunch (we landed in Melbourne around 8:30 AM), so we dropped off our bags and headed down the street to look around, and find some lunch. My first observation of being in Melbourne for just a short time. It was the same, but different.

We found a place to eat called “Alpha Cafe” which had an incredibly good Pumpkin and Pesto soup, and our first “latte” since being in Oz. Both were very pleasing. After we wandered around a little in the city, we headed back to our apartment to check in and get settled (and most importantly get a shower).

After wandering around a little more and reacquainting ourselves with some of the stores in the area, we meet up with my friend Richard for a drink over at the new Federation Square. One word describes this place for me, “Wow!” Where Federation Square is now, used to be an old railway station called “Princes Station” and as I later came to find out was where these two horrible looking buildings built in the 50’s were (the Gas buildings). Now it is a vibrant square with a totally modern look that appears to be a very popular place for people to meet and hang out.

After a couple of drinks with Richard, our friend Tony made an apppearance and we headed off to dinner and to catch up. We ate at the “Chocolate Buddah” (a noodle bar / Japanese style place), and the food was really good. The evening was getting a little cooler, but sitting out on the patio under the heaters was extremely pleasant and we had great company, so what did it matter.

At this point, I think I calculated that we’d been awake (for the most part) for approx. 48 hours and we were ready to crash, and after walking back to our apartment that is exactly what we did.

In 38 sleeps

As a kid growing up (and what kid doesn’t do this now), I used to count down the days to something really exciting by the number of sleeps I had to go. Of course, as I have gotten older, I have discovered the joy of the occasional mid-afternoon nap, which I have decided don’t count for the sleep countdown.

So in thirty-eight (38) sleeps we leave for Australia! I’m excited (hence the sleep countdown)!

The trip will be my first visit back home since 2000, so I am expecting a lot to have changed when I get there, but I’m also anticipating a lot of “some things never change” in my travels. I’ve not traveled back sinch I wanted to finish my studies, and then with the phenomenal job opportunity I got with BBBS, it was not the right time for me to return home … until this year.

What makes this trip even more special is that Chris and my best friends, Bobby and Ian, will be doing the trip with us, so I get to play tour guide, and in some cases get to experience some new places because of the “tourists” that will be with us.

The highlight of the trip (for me) will be seeing my mother and sister again, and the bonus – due to my mother visiting my brother at the time we will be in Australia – I get to see my eldest brother, Peter, as well. I’m really excited about that, and just can’t wait. This is one of the new places that we will get to experience, as my brother lives in Queensland in an exotic-sounding city called Bribie Island.

So in 38 sleeps we leave DFW, and then due to the strange happenings surrounding the International Date Line, we arrive in Melbourne, Australia on May 1. After a week in Melbourne, doing some major recovery from travel, and business related to my visa, not to mention catching up with friends that I’ve not seen in a long time (will they remember me?), we will head up to Queensland via Canberra and Sydney. It will be a quick visit, as both Chris and I have some work commitments which we both need to be here for, but it will be a full visit.

The irony of this is that in 38 sleeps, I will not be sleeping for a long time, as (1) I’ll be way too excited, and (2) I don’t sleep on planes.