Despite the strange weather we’ve had in Melbourne this month, summer was in full swing with plenty to celebrate and enjoy!
Applied for Medicare
Monday, January 8
Anthony and I lodged our de facto visa application the end of October and my bridging visa officially began on Christmas Eve. Between the holidays and our travels, I was unable to apply for Medicare until after the New Year. Considering I have been without health insurance since leaving the U.S. in September, I am very grateful to now be a part of Australia’s publically funded universal health care system. Oh, and did I mention that I didn’t have to pay anything for it? Totally beats the $263.89 USD I was paying for my monthly premium back home!
Summer Night Markets
Wednesday, January 17
Every Wednesday night throughout the summer, the Queen Victoria Markets host the Summer Night Markets. Live music, themed bars and food vendors featuring cuisines from all over the world take over the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere. I love grabbing a beer and drooling over all of the delicious food offers: Thai fried rice served in a hollowed pineapple, gigantic balls of mozzarella hanging over a fire waiting to bask in a fresh Italian dish, classic Greek souvlakis stuffed with juicy lamb meat, Sri Lankan street food, halloumi fries, and turkey legs served by people dressed as cavemen. It’s the most popular place in the city to catch up with friends and enjoy a chill evening together. If you’re lucky enough to snag a table and enough seats for all of your friends, then you’re definitely doing something right.
Monday, January 22
I returned to Laneway Learning this month to volunteer at their workshop on how to make your own silver ring. In part one of this course, participants learned how to properly size and create a ring from wax. The process seemed a bit tedious to me, but most everyone seemed pleased with their designs. After the first class, a third party would cast the rings in silver and upon returning the second week, everyone would learn how to clean and polish their new jewelry.
Thursday, January 25
Two years ago (almost to the day), I met Anthony at Glamp when The Raiders of the Lost Bars meetup group hosted an evening there. Tonight they returned to the same bar, so we found it fitting to do the same. It was a fun night for us to reminisce about the first night we met. The setting of this African themed cocktail bar mimics “glorified camping” with dramatic tented ceilings, colorful décor and a resident rhinoceros named Heavyweight. Downstairs, their restaurant Polēpolē (translated as “slow”) serves gourmet meats and innovative sharing dishes. Every time I visit, I especially enjoy their selection of African beers.
Friday, January 26
Anthony and I kicked off a very hot Australian Day this year by checking out the Australian Open festival at the Birrarung Marr along the Yarra River. We watched a bit of tennis on the large outdoor screen while enjoying a cold beer and local food trucks. By the time the UV index hit extreme, we decided to find somewhere enclosed and carry on there. We found a pop up Pimm’s Garden on a covered rooftop before catching up with a group of friends and rounding out a late night.
Sunday, January 28
One of my favorite quirks of Melbourne is the constant variety of pop up bars. This weekend, the iconic rock bar on AC/DC Lane called Cherry Bar, transformed into the Fooie Bar for a limited time only. The graffiti covered alleyway leading to the bar was covered in vintage Foo Fighters posters and on tap and in cans they served an exclusive “Foo Town” beer brewed locally by Young & Henry’s. Nobody else can do things on the same level as the Foo Fighters and it was the perfect way to get pumped for their concert on Tuesday night.
Tuesday, January 30
In my opinion, the Foo Fighters cannot get any closer to (living) rock gods. They preformed at Etihad Stadium in the most epic set I have ever seen from them. I felt overwhelmed by the size of the arena as I had never attended an indoor concert as large as this one. The seating capacity alone holds well over 50,000 people and when frontrunner Dave Grohl made his way to the end of the catwalk, even he made a comment about how big the place is! Our group of 10 secured a prime spot on the floor in the general admission section right next to the sound booth and we all made it in just in time to catch Weezer opening.
As a longtime fan, I loved that the Foo’s 3 hour set included songs off their first album and even a special request “For All the Cows” in their encore. In a mini acoustic solo set, Dave also shared with us the meaning behind “Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners.” He wrote the song after the Australian tragedy when an earthquake caused a mine to collapse, killing one miner and trapping two men inside for two weeks. Once help was able to communicate with the trapped men, they asked what they needed. Their response? “Some food, water and an ipod full of Foo Fighters music!” Other highlights of the night include watching the lead singer of Weezer rock on stage with the band and enjoying Taylos Hawkin’s impressive drum solo. But the ultimate highlight for me was getting to see Dave Grohl on the drum set. That will absolutely go down as my all time favorite concert memory.
Wednesday, January 31
The super blue blood moon rose tonight and Anthony and I enjoyed the lunar magic across the street in the park. For the first time in 35 years, a super moon, blue moon and total lunar eclipse (or blood moon) synced to form a very rare trifecta. From where we watched in the city, the moon seemed overwhelmingly bright and just before midnight, it appeared more pink than red. We both agreed it was pretty cool to witness and were grateful that the clouds held off because this combination will not occur again until 2037. What did it look like where you were?