I got in to a bit of trouble because of how much I revealed last post, so for this one all I’m going to say is that we spent the day in Melbourne. Only problem is, that kind of detail doesn’t make for a very good blog post. So, in the pursuit of a good blog post, I’m going to continue the tale of the Melbourne 9 at the risk of losing all my friends.
Since we’d had a bit of a big night the night before (but rather small on the scale of “big nights”) we had a slow start to the day. I think we slept in late, waited ages for the free tram, went too far along the street so had to take the loop all around the city (which wasn’t too bad since we hadn’t done that yet – only problem was that we were starting to get hungry) and caught the tram to St Kilda from Flinders Street. On the free tram Mel mistook something Danielle said for something else entirely and I can’t remember what it was cause I was a bit zoned out at the time. Maybe one of you would like to enlighten me?
We had to stand the whole way to St Kilda which became sort of a joke when Mel got stranded at the back of the tram and we claimed she was having some “me time”. “Me time” was something we’d discussed before we went on the trip as we thought it was something everyone would require since there were nine of us. We’d also adapted another tram method for alighting – someone (normally Vanessa) would yell out “Annerley” as an indicator to get off the tram (Annerley being the name of the soccer club most of them belong to). I’m sure it confused the normal travellers but it worked well for us.
At St Kilda Junction the Annerley call was made and we hopped off. By now the hunger of some was so great that we virtually picked the first cafe we came to and dived in. It was later that I discovered that we had lost Cat and Faye (purposefully) and that the reason we had come to St Kilda was to eat at a specific cafe because Bood really wanted to go there. It’s a shame about that because if I’d have known that beforehand I wouldn’t have ended up with the extremely dry french toast that was coated in a drizzle of raspberry coolis. At least everyone else seemed to have good meals – I just made a bad decision with mine. It was kind of funny because when we arrived they were kind enough to set up the bunch of tables and when we all sat down we proceeded to ignore each other and just read the paper and listen to the cool music in this indie cafe across the road from the community garden. I guess it’s the easy comfort that comes with spending a few days with a group of people – silence isn’t an issue.
While eating I agreed with Vanessa that our next stop would be the Sneaker exhibit at the NGV – without quite realising it was all the way back near Flinders Street Station. We left the others to walk up and down Acland Street while we headed to the tram to go back to the museum. On the ride back we were exposed to some of the lower levels of Melbourne society, a spaced out girl who reminded me of someone I’ve known for 26 years, a blind guy who liked to chat with a smelly guy who reminded me of a relatives ex-boyfriend. I was glad to get off the packed tram by the time we got to the museum. Vanessa and I had to cross the busy street but first we had to wait for a horse and cart to pass. It was pulling about 9 teenage girls singing Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” and I made the comment that that was our group 10 years ago but they were much more girly and had better hair. 🙂
The gallery has an amazing presence but seems to have a lot of wasted space for a building that is supposed to show off lots of things. It makes it very airy and light which I guess they were trying to achieve to get away from the doddery old museum image. Another way to ditch the image is to show off sneaker collections as museum pieces and it was enough to get the two of us shoe loving girls to turn up. The selection of shoes was wide and varied and it was cool to see pairs that I’d only ever seen on the internet in the flesh. There were Missy Elliott Adidas and yellow brick road nikes but I think I was most partial to the customs – especially Sekure D who is a custom sneaker creator in Melbourne. It kept Vanessa and I occupied trying to pick our favourites from each window but I wish they had had some sort of touch thing as a display. A lot of the appeal of sneakers is the material they use and the mixing and matching of things such as leather, fur and vinyl. Or maybe they should have gotten Puma to do one of their mongolian bbq shoe things there which would achieve the same thing.
On the way out Vanessa and I walked through some of the paintings section and I was blown away. I’d forgotten what it is like to see great art and some of the paintings there were so life like I thought they were photos. I actually enjoyed it more than the sneakers which was a shock but as Vanessa pointed out it was probably because I’d expected sneakers but hadn’t expected good art. We also looked at the Japanese Screens which were a disappointment. I was expecting intricate designs with red and gold but instead we got run of the mill household screens that millions of japanese peoples used in their homes. I guess the Australian equivalent would be a display of hills hoist clothing lines.
Back to the city Vanessa and I did some more shopping. She took me to Minotaur which is a cool sci-fi book store with dvds and toys where I bought a book about the BTK killer. It’s a great store for spending money and if I’d found a Seven of Nine doll Pauline would have had a new present. It was geek city as well, so if you are girl looking for a nice guy who would be devoted to you this would be a good hunting ground. I picked up some Aesop hand balm in David Jones when we accidently walked past it and Vanessa noticed. Aesop was the soap we were all so fond of when we went to Fifteen a few nights earlier so for once I was happy to talk to a shop assistant. She handed us a bunch of samples which we grabbed greedily – but only after she got a blank stare from me when she asked me about my face. I don’t have any idea if I’m a t-zone or whatever! She ended up giving me the sensitive facial stuff while Vanessa got the mandarin stuff.
We decided to visit Koko Black again for a hot chocolate in the Block Arcade but when we got there there was a line up to get a seat in the cafe, so we decided to go to the other store in Collins Street. Another tram ride (because we needed to take advantage of our tickets! and we were tired) and we found the new store. It was huge and had ample amount of seating. It also had a much bigger chocolate kitchen. Whoever makes the decisions about Koko Black cafes has an excellent sense of design. Vanessa and I shared a Belgian Spoil with an affogato hot chocolate then I made a bunch of purchases of heaven. 100g blocks of dark Koko Black chocolate for the people back home is one way to win yourself in to people’s hearts. Hyped up on chocolate happiness Vanessa and I wandered back along Exhibition Street to meet up with the others back at the room.
Swapping stories and resting a little we prepared for dinner by eating some cheese, drinking some wine and kicking back. Once it got dark we caught a tram over to Southbank to try and find a restaurant in the Southbank area. We wandered the Southgate complex looking at all the menus but none of us were really fond of any of them in terms of standing out. In the end it was the budget that decided our selection and we ended up at the Blue Train Cafe. Since we had to wait to get a table a bunch of us sat at the bar drinking and perving on the staff. I had a mojito which was pretty poor, I prefer the sweetness of raw sugar than the tartness of the one I was served. The place was manic and noisy but before I knew it we were sitting down to order. There was nothing that really took my fancy so I went for the safe pizza option. Turns out that it was the best choice because everyone else’s meal was poor. It was a bit of a let down as it was our last night in Melbourne and this is a foodie town.
After dinner a few headed home while the rest of us walked a little further down the river to the Crown Casino. We wanted to play the soccer pokie which Bood and Cat had found earlier in the week. It was here that I really noticed the fact that Melbourne hasn’t banned smoking from everywhere yet and it was really quite annoying. Like most Casinos we got bored pretty quickly so after using the loo and buying some snacks on the way out we started to head back to the hotel. The best thing I got from the Casino was a view of the Melbourne version of Rockpool – if only we’d gone there for dinner!
We waited at the Spencer Street end of the CBD for a tram amusing ourselves by listen to the recorded messages at the tram stop, laughing at girls who were wearing nothing in the freezing air and videoing the tram driver who was kind enough to wave for the camera. Back at the hotel we pretty much went to bed as soon as we got there. I went to bed with a touch of melancholy knowing that the holiday was almost over.
For more photos, check out the Day 4 Photo Gallery.