House Sit #2 and Downtown Melbourne

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May 6th 2018
Published: May 20th 2018
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Downtown Melbourne

Back on the train for our return trip to Melbourne, headed for our second house sit. This one would be a short term stay, looking after some animals while their humans went to a weekend birthday celebration. The train ride was more crowded than the one going up to Wandiligong, people who seemed to be commuters coming into the city for business. The train rides have all been comfortable. They even have a little food kiosk where you can buy meals and drinks for your trip. We caught another train at Southern Cross Station that would take us to our final destination at Taylors Lakes.

We had met up with the homeowners the previous week while we were watching the sheep at Hoppers Crossing to discuss feeding routines and general house rules while we were at their place. Two house cats and a big friendly Golden Labrador would be our companions. We've had cats recently, but we hadn't taken care of a dog yet, so this was an exciting assignment for the both of us. We both had dogs when we were kids, and Harmonie was practically raised by them according to some accounts. We weren't disappointed either, as all
Chocolate Heart AttackChocolate Heart AttackChocolate Heart Attack

at Max Brenner's Chocolate Cafe
three animals were excellent with us. Very friendly and easy to deal with. Their sweet as punch Labrador especially was happy to hang out in the day and soak up our combined affection, and while we were warned a few times that the cats could be flighty with strangers we made fast friends and by the end of the weekend they were hopping on our laps for naps and attention.

We were only there for a few nights, and the neighborhood was heavily suburban, so we focused on taking this time to relax from our travel and focus on the animals. We went to the local open-air mall one evening, where we shared some fine chocolate in celebration of our successful travels (this far). The home we were staying at was really nice,and had all the amenities of a modern home, so we set about enjoying their recliners while our clothing was washed fresh in the laundry. Luxury. We decided the animals were entertaining enough for the both of us. It was nice to take it easy for a few days.

Next we took transit to the centre of Melbourne for a short two nights in a downtown AirBnB.

Melbourne had a lot more hustle and bustle than Taylors Lakes and it took me a few hours to get used to the crowds again. We were staying in the heart of the city, very close to Chinatown, in a flat shared by a few students. Reminded me of college. Melbourne has one of the most impressive Chinatowns I've ever seen. Stretching over 3 city blocks, this neighborhood is full of beautiful examples of different Asian architectural styles and cultures. The central street is indicated by the typical red pagod. This street has all the large restaurants, as well as upscale hotels and shops. Branching from the main street you have side streets full of food vendors, cell phone stores, and coffee shops. Lots of neon signage. If we haven't mentioned coffee shop culture yet we will have to go back to it and make it a full entry. There are so many independent coffee shops in Australia. Big cities are full of them, but even in the small towns we've been to it seems you are never too far from one. The Aussies love their coffee it seems, because melbourne is full to the brim with places to get a cup of "Long dark" or a "Flat white". Cheapest place to pick one up? That would be your local Seven-Eleven, which can be found every thirty feet in downtown Melbourne. Seriously, I'll write an article about it.

We got some dinner at a restaurant nearby "Shanghai Street" for some dinner. The place had high reviews, so we were optimistic. Honestly it exceeded our expectations. Maybe it was just that we were hungry from travelling thaat day, but the peking duck was the best I'd ever had. Superb dumplings as well. After dinner we took in some more of the neighborhood sights before heading back to our place. The building was equipped with a pool and I was feeling ready for a swim. The room we booked was simple but comfortable. We were now within a few days of beginning one of our longest house sits of our trip. A month in Adelaide taking care of a single cat. This was good news, as we were looking forward to getting somewhere for a nice long stretch of time. Time to decompress and really explore a city thoroughly. The problem was that we didn't have a clear method to travel to the city from Melbourne. We were tired of taking public transit everywhere and we wanted to see if getting their on our own steam was an option. Luckily for us Harmonie had been busy researching alternatives we might take, and we found one that would suit us just fine. We would arrange to relocate a campervan from Melbourne to Adelaide over the course of a few days. We did the math and plotted a course. In a day I would begin the drive down the Great Ocean Road.

Till then...


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