We flew down to Melbourne to see Shan and meet up with Jen's cousin Julia from Germany. It was wonderful to finally unpack my backpack, wear 'nice' clothes again - even wear makeup and not look and feel like a dirty backpacker. After over 8 months of traveling, all your stuff tends to get quite worn and acquires a special something that can only be described as a backpacker's funk. I basically just chilled out for the first couple days here - relaxed and did a lot of laundry! In Australia, it is quite luxurious and after staying in some pretty budget places throughout Asia, it is so wonderful to stay in a place that's so clean and comfortable.
We met up with Jen's cousin, who moved here in July to study. We caught up at a bar along the Yarra river and hung out with her and her flatmate, Harley down at their place in South Yarra, which is a cute neighborhood south of the city. The first weekend, we had a little barbeque at Shan's place and watched the Australian rules football (aka 'Footy') final. This was the first and perhaps the only footy game I'll ever watch,
but it was still quite interesting to see. A bunch of Julia's friends came over, and we later went out to a club in Fitroy called Night Cat.
The next week, Shan, Jen, Julia, Harley and I headed to Harley's family's vacation house along the Great Ocean road. The house was just beautiful, up on the hill, overlooking the water. It was still chilly, but sunny. We grilled out and had a lot of fun playing poker. We had a relaxing time, chilling by the ocean and walking around the little town of Lorne. That Wednesday was Julia's birthday, so we had a little birthday party over at their place in South Yarra. It was quite a lot of fun to meet all of Julia's friends. We had a very relaxing time on Jen's last day in Australia - someone had a bit too much fun at Julia's birthday party I think... The next day we took Jen to the airport to catch her flight to LA. It was so strange and a bit sad to see her leave after traveling with her for the last 8 and half months. She's on her way to Paris - via LA,
Springtime in the Yarra Valley, Victoria - View from Chandon vineyard
San Diego, Chicago, Wisconsin, New York, London...
I'm still here in Australia for a while, but it hasn't really been traveling. I suppose it's a little break - I've been catching up with Shan, organizing a lot of things that have been pretty impossible to take care of on the road, checking out the city, working out some Australia travel plans, relaxing, reading, watching movies and cooking a ton (it's so great to have a kitchen again!). I met up with my friend Christine's friend Tagan, an American who moved here a while ago to work on a project through her company. We've had lots of fun in Melbourne, and it's been great meeting all her friends here in the city.
Shan and I did get to do another little excursion to the Yarra Valley in Victoria. We had a great time doing some wine tasting at a few vineyards. We stayed at one of the little vineyards called Balgownie - it was a beautiful little hotel overlooking some lovely scenery. FINALLY - the weather's getting a bit warmer, and I'm not freezing my butt off anymore. In fact this past Sunday was hot, and we headed to
Jen, Julia and me at Southbank, Melbourne
Sunny but c-c-cold in Melbourne as we're still adjusting to the climate down under...
Melbourne's southbank for the afternoon - a little people watching and a few beers - very chill. After a relaxing 4 week break from traveling here in Melbourne, I'm getting ready for my trip down the east coast of Australia. I'm off to Cairns on Wednesday... I'll definitely pick up the pace on this blog!
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