Sunday, July 17, 2011

melbourne weekend

/ on the city circle tram /
last weekend, reuben and i took a long weekend in melbourne to celebrate his great first semester and have some quality alone time :) we flew over on friday afternoon and met up with reuben's sister, alex, for dinner at a tapas place called pelican. we were a little tired, but it was a delish meal, tasty wine and good company.

/ frog enclosure at the melbourne museum /
we started out saturday morning by taking the free city circle tram to get ourselves oriented in the city. it wasn't long before we made it to the melbourne museum. they had an amazing indoor forest, called forest secrets, complete with frogs and fish and birds. the animal enclosures made me pretty jealous!

/ melbourne museum's animal hall /
possibly the best part of the museum was the wild exhibition with dozens and dozens of animal specimens - simple, clean and clever way of displaying these great specimens. i recommend doing the virtual walk through online in full screen.

/ feeding the wildlife /
of course i loved the dinosaurs, but right next door to those was the bugs alive exhibit which had enormous stick insects, tarantulas, orb spiders, ants and dozens more - some were a bit creepy, but mostly they were incredibly impressive. i've gotten way more into bugs since working at te manawa.

/ melbourne's chinatown /
after the museum, we decided to go wandering toward flinders street station to find a cute alleyway we passed on the tram in the morning. we (accidentally) found chinatown and then (accidentally) found the bank where alex was working. she was due a lunch break so she took us to her favourite cafe tucked in one of the many buzzing little arcades.

/ red velvet from little cupcakes /
as we continued to wander, we stumbled upon little cupcakes and just had to stop! i had a red velvet, but it was nowhere near as nice as reuben's carrot cupcake.

/ crazy shoe shopping /
of course we did a little shopping in the block arcade and centreway arcade and other great little shops on the way - so many crazy and funky shoes! i found a great pair of black work pumps, something i've been searching for for ages. i left the above pair on the shelf though, not really my style.

/ reuben looking hot in the melbourne sun /
after wandering by flinders street railway station and the national gallery, we went down to the southgate area on the southern side of the yarra river for some stunning views of the city.

/ views from southgate /
after all that wandering, we had just enough time to get back to the hotel and prep for our night at dinner and a show. first, we had the pre-theatre special at the french brasserie. but if you know us, you know that we are far too gluttonous to stick to just one glass of wine and two courses... so we ordered a few extra glasses of the delish house white and the most amazing cheese platter after dinner. all fat and happy, we went to love never dies and despite sitting next to possibly the most annoying man in all of australia, we had a great time. i wouldn't say it was as much a sequel to the phantom of the opera as it was an alternative ending. that's all i'll say so i don't spoil it for anyone.

/ one of the many cheese stalls at the melbourne markets /
on sunday, we started off back at the melbourne museum to see the king tut exhibition. it was interesting, but after you've been to the metropolitan museum of art and the british museum, it wasn't that impressive. it was great to share my geekiness with reuben, though. and yes, i wore my hieroglyph tights to the exhibition. after the exhibition we made our way to the queen victoria markets where we sampled croissants, hot chocolates, cheesy pastry and donuts. i could have eaten sooo many more things there, they all looked so yummy!

/ in the jaws of the melbourne aquarium /
after the markets, we still managed to have some room in our stomachs, so we had a quick lunch on degraves street - definitely my favourite street in melbourne because of all the shops and cafes and the great city buzzzz. after lunch was on to the aquarium for further geekiness :) unfortunately, it was school holidays so there were a million and one kids (aaaargh!), but we saw some great fishies. i tested out their iphone app while we were there, which was actually pretty fun to use since we could hardly get close enough to the tanks to read the signage.

/ alex and reuben on hardware lane /
after warming up and drying off from the aquarium (no, we didn't swim with the penguins, it was pouring buckets when we finished our visit and had to wait a while for a tram), we headed out to dinner with alex on hardware lane. on a side note, the taxi drivers in melbourne are USELESS. we, as tourists, had to tell them where to go 9 out of 10 times and for realllllly obvious tourist destinations like the museum!

/ enjoying our italian meal and too much wine /
anyway, we had a great italian meal outside, where it was actually quite busy for a sunday night. it was a long but very fun night so i'm glad i got a new comfy pair of black pumps earlier in the day.

/ my new pumps /
it was a quick trip, but luckily melbourne is just the right sized city for a long weekend! i'd go back, but probably not before i checked out sydney or brisbane first. next time!

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