This section of my blog hasn’t existed in a few months because of my overseas travels in March and May. Anthony and I primarily spent the months of April and June house hunting (spoiler alert: we finally moved the beginning of July!), but our time was not spent without a little bit of Melbourne fun.
Sunday, June 3
A group of girlfriends and I have been brunching together since the beginning of the year when bottomless brunch became popular in the city. This month, we decided to invite the boys and indulge in chicken and waffles paired with 2 hours of bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. Since alcohol is much more expensive here than in The States (think $6AUD mimosa specials), we have found this a very cost effective way to Sunday Funday.
Queen’s Birthday Party
Sunday, June 10
Does anyone actually know when Lizzy was born? Because I’m pretty sure it’s not the second Monday in June. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, Australia celebrates this day as a public holiday every year. We all got together at Lala Land for happy hour and toasted to the Queen.
Sunday, June 17
As a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, I absolutely loved the temporary exhibition at ACMI, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Unlike a traditional museum setup, the experience felt interactive. We descended a flight of stairs to the entrance, which already made me feel like I was in Alice’s shoes. The staff then handed me and Anthony guide maps and gave us two different character identities to scout for during our adventure. He followed the Cheshire Cat while I assumed the role of the Queen of Hearts. When we discovered the mystery behind the first door, we found each section throughout the exhibit sequentially themed to match Lewis Carroll’s story line and featured a specific timeline of Alice throughout the years.
Our visit would not have been complete without a tea party. In a special room, a large group of us sat down at to a perfectly white, mismatched tea setting. Suddenly, lights twirled on the plates and cups while color illuminated the room. The magical chaos intrigued me just as it had in the book for Alice. In the next room, we designed our own playing card to join the army of dancing jesters at the Queen’s castle. A large screen projected our faces while our original designs frolicked around and painted the roses red. At least we all got out of there with our heads! Wonderland is on until October 7, and I highly recommend it.
Winter night markets
Wednesday, June 20
Just like the summer night markets at the Queen Victoria markets, the winter night markets bustle every Wednesday evening with cozy ways to enjoy the season. Throngs congregate under the sheds to taste foreign flavors from numerous international food stands, enjoy live music and chuckle when the mobile silent disco passes by. The backwards seasons are still confusing, so for me the winter night markets always seem reminiscent of Christmastime with mulled wine, fires and roasted chestnuts.
Sunday, June 24
AFL: I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully assimilate here either. Australian football, or “the footy,” is a strange combination of the likes of soccer, American football and sometimes what reminds me of volleyball into one bizarre unintriguing game, or at least an unintriguing game to me. AFL, like NFL, is so much a part of the culture here that I feel exceptionally foreign when I reject an invitation to the footy, especially living in Melbourne, the sports capital of Australia. Maybe one day AFL will interest me, but until then I’ll casually attend, drink beer and socialize like I have always done at any other sporting event.
Aside from the fact that a number of our friends would be there, I decided to attend the Community Cup because the concept alone was so interesting; the teams consisted of local radio personalities versus local musicians. In between game time, local bands played on a stage alongside the field. The atmosphere felt inviting and seeing as Anthony and I would soon be moving to the neighborhood, we were excited to be apart of such an event.
June 29 – July 1
About 2 hours south east of Melbourne, 28 friends gathered for a weekend away in Phillip Island. A popular destination to witness penguins in the wild, Phillip Island feels like a more remote getaway compared to the Mornington Peninsula. We spent the cold winter weekend rugged up in our sweat pants and Ugg boots playing games, mixing drinks, smoking a 7kg (15 ½ pound) brisket and keeping warm by the fire. Treating the weekend more like a staycation and massive catch up than an actual new destination to explore, we only ventured out for lunch on Saturday to a local brewery. We did however, detour past The Nobbies on our way back home. Even though we were not lucky in spotting a seal or catching the blowhole in action, the coastline along Australia never disappoints. Next time, I’d be happy to visit a nearby winery and another beach or two.
Shout out to the Napier Hotel in Fitzroy for providing me with a quiet place to work when the public library across the street started crawling with school children. After all, let’s get real: I do work best in front of a comfortable fire and beer by my side.