Mornington Peninsula, Heidelberg

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March 2nd 2009
Published: March 2nd 2009
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3 weeks down, less than one to go! I cannot believe how time has flown. I'm really looking forward to seeing Sydney, but I am truly going to miss Melbourne. This is not my last time here, I can say that with certainty.

So, week 3 was very nice, and I definitely started to settle into a routine. Work was light (surprise, surprise) but nice. I met a great Orthopaedic Surgery resident, Tanya, and she let me scrub a case with her. The Ortho Residents here train for 5 years after their 2 intern years, and they move to a new hospital every 6 MONTHS! And these hospitals can be anywhere in Victoria, which is a very, very large area. Tanya says they learn to be quite mobile.

Otherwise, just spent a lot of time in the city. Christina and I went shopping at a huge factory outlet on Wednesday, and then went to Movida, a great Spanish tapas place for dinner. We went to an Irish Pub called the Elephant and the Wheelbarrow for ONE BEER... and stayed out til 2am dancing to a terrible cover rock band at Crown Casino. This was a direct result of meeting a group of farmers from Queensland who were in Melbourne for the night to look at some new farming equipment. One thing led to another, and after trying out some karaoke at an Asian bar and having an extensive chat with 4 members of Parliament (turns out that members wore the classic white powdered wigs until just 10 years ago) we headed to Crown to dance the night away.

The rest of the week was much tamer, though we enjoyed a great Ethiopian dinner at Nyala and I spent Friday night laying low on Brunswick Street with a new roommate, Courtney, from New Zealand. As far as I can tell, the New Zealand system of medical education is the most similar to the US that I have run into. She is also in her last year.

On Saturday, Christina and I embarked on our wine tasting excursion to the Mornington Peninsula. The MP is about 2 hours southeast of Melbourne along the coastal highway. It is quite a posh area, filled with over 50 wineries, and a retirement destination for the well-to-do. We ended up being the ONLY PEOPLE ON OUR TOUR, so really it was just a
T'Gallant VineyardT'Gallant VineyardT'Gallant Vineyard

The nets are to keep the birds away
retired bloke named Jeff who picked us up in his Mercedes and drove us around and showed us the sights.

We started at a Strawberry Field where I had the ripest, sweetest strawberries of my life (Claire, I wish you could have been there!). We then headed to Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, where I had a Chardonnay that absolutely blew my mind (I don't even like white wine, much less Chardonnay) as well as some infused olive oils. We then went to T'Gallant Winemakers, Red Hill Brewery, Hickenbotham of Dromana, Dromana Estate, and the Elan Vineyard and Winery. The noteables are the above stated Chardonnay, the muscat (a brandy-infused wine) at Hickenbotham, and a Pinot at Dromana Estate. T'Gallant is probably the most popular, and although their woodfire pizzas were amazing, I wasn't really impressed by the wine. Unfortunatley, it costs more to ship the wine than does to buy a bottle, so I just have a sparkling red shiraz that I am bringing home. Christina was able to snag a bottle of muscat with a personalized label made out to the "Best Mum and Dad in the World" from Hickenbotham as well.

When we returned, we met up with Tanya and two of her friends, Ryan (originally from Portland, Oregon) and Til (from Germany). We had dinner and then met back up on Sunday and headed to Heidelberg, Christina's place of employment and residence. It is quite the one-street town, but we found the one bar that was open (I should say bar - cafe - casino - restaurant) and experienced the best that Heidelberg had to offer. I would say, quite the ending to a big week.

Note: I can categorically say that we had one "not-perfect" experience. On Sunday, we headed down to the Sydney Meyer Bowl for a free concert and festival to raise money for the bushfire relief. Upon arrival, we were graced, or better stated, assaulted, by the lyrical stylings of a very eccelectic choir on stage. I couldn't quite believe that anyone was staying for this concert, but to my astonishment, people were actually cheering and giving the choir a standing ovation. Well, come to find out after the fact, the choir is "The Choir of Hard Knocks", assembled by the previously homeless and rehabilitated criminals and addicts. Maybe if this act was not followed by 4 tone deaf radio deejays singing along to a middleaged three pieced band, I wouldn't have said the trip all was a loss....

Additional photos below
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Christina, Til and Ryan at the bar-cafe-casino-restaurant
Choir of Hard KnocksChoir of Hard Knocks
Choir of Hard Knocks

If only there were sound attached...

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