We arrived in Melbourne, checked into the hotel, and then went out to meet a friend of Scotty's from his days at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. We had a good walk around downtown Melbourne, wandered through a few of the little lanes and saw some amazing street art and graffiti, and then wentto a brewpub for dinner. We finally ate some cute Aussie animals, trying both kangaroo and emu. Emu has sort of a turkey-elk flavor (too gamy for me), but the kangaroo was good... a bit more like beef. We finished the night by heading down the river to Melbourne's casino, which is the biggest one in Australia. They do a show along the river with flamethrowers, kind of like what the Bellagio does with water.
Melbourne along the Yarra River:
The next morning we took a walk to a coffee shop that we'd read about in Australian Traveller called St Ali. Their goal is to emulate StumpTown coffee in Portland, so we figured we'd be the judges of that. And holy crap did they have good coffee... absolutely worth walking through the 35 degree heat for (35 C = 95 F, for those of you back home). They had all kinds of cool coffee machines... it looked like a mad scientist's lab, except that it had really good cupcakes too. And a had a braised pear and almond muffin that was to die for.
We then headed to the airport and (thank GOD) finally turned in the car and didn't have to drive on the wrong side of the road any more. It was so covered with bug splats that there's no way they could have told if we'd damaged it, and we were let off scot-free.
Pooped at the end of our trip:
The next couple of days I took no pictures so, it's gonna be all dense text and no illustrations. Sorry kids!
Actually, Wednesday and Thursday were mostly work and errand days. I did some walking back through the botanic garden (I think it really is my favorite thing in Sydney) and also wrote my article on Ned Kelly's Last Stand for the consideration of our mates over at Australian Traveller.
Friday after work there was a tequila tasting for one of Klick's clients, and we were invited to that, which naturally turned into a night of lots and lots of drinking ("If your first stop is tequila, your second stop is going to be anywhere but home"). Scotty and I officially outdrank a big burly Aussie dude. Right on! Scotty had some terrible nachos at a bar (why do we keep trying the Mexican food down here???) and we stopped for meat pies as we stumbled the way homeward. Kim had reimbursed us for our trip expenses earlier that day, and I had made Scotty give me half the money and then told him to divide up what he had left between a couple of pockets so that if we ended up losing any of it we wouldn't lose all of it... drunk logic but it turned out to be a good thing, because somewhere on the way home we lost $200. Could have been way worse! We like to think that we supplied someone with a really fun night. It was probably some lucky bastard in the pie shop.
Saturday morning we left for the Whitsundays, and that's where teh next post will pick up.