Melbourne, Australia

After an unbelievable stretch of coastal road we finally got to Melbourne.  Melbourne is unique, at least unique to us, because it combines a sense of individuality, soul and artisticness with a big city backdrop, boasting 4 million people.  Melbourne also cascades itself to other regions that feel completely different due to the tranquil beaches, ethereal vineyards and charming suburbs. 

The people were also crazy friendly.  Granted we were staying at a hotel and they’re supposed to be that way, but they were genuinely cool.  People on the trolley, in cabs, at restaurants, on the street, you name it, pretty much wherever we went.  Sure we were turned away from trying to bring in our own bottle of wine, which burned a hole in Skyler, the whole night, but the Counting Crows concert we saw helped ease that pain.

Yes, that’s right ladies and gentleman, the voice and music behind such hits as Long December, Hanginaround, Round Here (which we missed) and Mr. Jones (which they didn’t play… unreal), were live and in color for us to enjoy.  Leah thought they were really good, Skyler, just average, but it was still a fun show in an intimate venue. 

Melbourne wasn’t all smiles and (no) Mr. Jones, as it had a steady overcast and rainy presence most of our six day visit.  However, we did manage to rent one of the Hotel’s SmartCars and venture to wine country in the Yarra Valley, which if the wine tasted half as good as the vineyards looked, we would literally have found nirvana for wine-o’s everywhere.  The cheese, however, was insanely good.  Just ask Leah.

Two of our favorite highlights came in the form of an AFL match, or game of ‘Footy’, as they call it, which pitted rivals Geelong vs. Hawthorne.  In one of the most lopsided scores in the last decade of their meetings, we and the other 75k enjoyed an Easter Monday bit of entertainment.  The second, was the Mornington Peninsula.  Located in southern Melbourne, this place had it all.  Awesome beaches, cute towns, appeal, and these amazing sheds full of color called bath boxes.  Located directly on some of the beaches, each individual bath box has no power, water or windows, but earns its keep by storing people’s beach gear so they don’t have to lug anything with.  While we’re told these things hardly go up for sale, when they do, all 64 colorful square feet go for $500k and up!

Melbourne, we have unfinished business.  When the weather cooperates, we’re coming back!