What’s So Great About Melbourne?


This was our first ever visit to Melbourne. For both of us. Maybe it was the fact we left all our kids in Queensland for 48 hours, but Melbourne, you are my kind of everything.

For one thing, Melbourne, your mothers would be very proud of your manners. Please, sorry and thank you were uttered with wild abandon. So very nice you haven’t gotten too big for your britches.

I have not one complaint of our time there.

The food was something I fear I’ll be thinking about for a long, long time. The people were friendly. The city was beautiful.

The only niggling gripe I could possibly come up with are the trams are frightening when you’re driving and the hook turns are not something you can work out from the signage. But we worked out how to get around them – Uber. Oh, and the other bizarre thing was the absence of Southern Comfort in nearly every restaurant and bar we went to.

But they aren’t complaints, merely observations. Personally, I wouldn’t want Melbourne to change a goram thing.

For anyone who’s interested, here’s a photo diary of our trip:

Sushi before we left. As you can see, Tracey is doing that hilarious thing she does where she snaps one off while she’s looking cute and I’m mid chew.
No excuse this time. That face is all my fault. Tracey’s eighties look fringe is hers.
We’re excited because we’ve remembered our tickets.
About to board. We assumed all the other passengers were either seasoned travelers or had a lot less children they were leaving behind because we were giggling way more than everyone else on the plane.
Proof we left on a plane. Just in case anyone who was looking after our kids thought we were just going to pull the curtains and hide out at home.
In Melbourne for half an hour and already met so many lovely people….at the different rental companies. Couldn’t remember who we booked with.
Met up with the lovely Mandy at the Melbourne Portland Hotel – a James Squire pub. Mandy and I are old friends. Turns out she’s also, bizarrely, old friends with a new friend of mine. The world is so much smaller than it looks.
These days I fancy this – a paddle of different Squires. Noice.
This place. This very awesome place. Dinner the first night and I already think it’d be worth flying to Melbourne just to go there again.
But of course when you’re that good it might take a little time to get seated. We had to wait half an hour. We ordered the ‘feed me’ option which was $70 each (I can feed the whole family for that at local Chinese) and they just keep bringing out mystery plates of food. Worth it.
By now we were famished, but Tracey remembered to take a photo of the first dish – a kingfish sushimi. It was the bomb. I want it again. And again.
Unfortunately, the kingfish just reminded our stomaches how hungry we were, so we tucked in when the next dish arrived before remembering to take a photo. This was a pork belly concoction. Delicious.
Same problem when the meal of the night – of the trip – came out. This is called Beef Pad Seuw and it looked like shit but tasted like the sort of thing the Gods have been trying to keep out of the lives of mere mortals for fear it will start riots.
Fortunately, Chin Chin has the recipe for Beef Pad Seuw in their recipe book (cost me $50 and I didn’t blink an eyelid). Now I can at least look at it.
By this salmon dish we were full. We took it home in a doggy bag. I don’t even know what it tasted like but again I assume it would have been better than it looked. Everything we had here was better than it looked and better than it was possible to taste.
On the wall opposite Chin Chins was some shadow art where silhouettes walk slowly by. It was mesmerizing.
Mesmerizing. Even with the bins.
Breakfast at Novotel. Good coffee and a buffet of all the good stuff we usually have to get us going in the morning. You know, like smoked salmon and danish pastries and….okay, even this was great. Tracey took this selfie in case you’re wondering why she’s a little cut off. As she explained, “You can’t expect me to look good enough for a selfie before my first coffee.”
Seriously, Gympie follows us everywhere. We even found a local in our hotel.
Today was about shopping. Without kids. Heaven. Having said that, DFOing in Melbourne is a lot like DFOing in Brisbane. I buy lots of stuff quickly and then sit around while Tracey doesn’t. Actually had a dickhead shoplift right beside me. Chased after him (read as, walked swiftly) but lost him at the carpark entrance. Which is lucky, because what the fark was I going to do if I caught up with him? Deliver a lecture?
Tight. Like a tiger. I really wanted this shirt but apparently I was too much man for it.
Tracey starts to find her stride. You can DFO in just about every capital city these days (guessing – haven’t looked it up) but the accompanying coffee is consistently better in Melbourne.
A couple of post-shopping drinks and a bite at Plus 5 bar on the river before gearing up for the big event tonight – John Oliver live.
But first, tapas. Here’s Tracey sampling their sardine pizza thingame which was excellent, but not as excellent as…
…this pork belly number. That green stuff was a wasabi sauce which blew my socks off. So good.
The first thing we fell in love with in Melbourne were these winter trees, but Tracey waited until now to photograph some because we’d been focusing more on not being hit by a tram until this point.
Back at our room at the Novotel with our scores. Those two handbags weren’t from Melbourne though. Tracey bought them at the Sunshine Coast airport before we boarded to fly here.
I quickly wrote up a post before we had to head out to the show.
While I did some blog work, Tracey ducked out to do some more shopping. She doesn’t know who this person singing is but says they sounded good and maybe it was someone famous so she took a snapshot. I’ve only put it up here in case someone can identify her for us.
Fashion week was about to start. I don’t know who this guy is but I found this pic on Tracey’s phone. Maybe she liked the cut of his jib?
I got a call from Tracey telling me to come find her because she’d found a tea shop (T2) and decided we needed this.
Turns out we did. Four cups and saucers, a pot and eight boxes of tea later. It was only when we got back to our room that we started to panic about how we were going to get all this extra luggage back to Queensland.
Tracey left the tea shop to race back to our room to dress for the evening while I paid for the T2 items. This is the photo she sent me saying she was farkin lost and this is where she was and could I please come find her.
Melbourne looks so good on me they made me their queen. Luna Park looks scary. I would not let my kids ride on those things. Just sayin.
We made it to the Palais Theatre, which is a landmark in Melbourne. So much so that everything is pretty much original. I tripped on a crack in a tile as we walked in. Beautiful venue, but it needs a bit of maintenance guys.
We were wondering if this was where the two old muppets,  Statler and Waldorf, would appear from to heckle John Oliver, but it didn’t happen.
Inside, pockets full of lollies and chips from the vender, and ready for the show to begin. We were so excited. Tracey even got teary when John Oliver came on stage. Odd, because he’s supposed to be a comedian.
Following a BRILLIANT show we headed back into Melbourne to have a bite to eat – Supernormal was recommended to us by the Uber driver. They had me with the dangleberries on the front window. The fact that back in Gympie there’d be nowhere serving at this time of night was not lost on us. Queue more giggling. We’re so childish.
Another kingfish sushimi dish. I’m developing a fetish.
This is a $16 lobster roll. We shared one.
Hot as hell dumplings.
This is a $70 dish. I’ve already recreated the wanbok salad since we’ve come home.
Does this count as Breakfast At Tiffanys? We decided it did. Mainly because we were running late and didn’t have time to duck across the street with a croissant for a snapshot.
Tracey takes a beautiful shot on her iPhone instead of telling me where the hell I was supposed to be going.
We both wistfully looked at this air balloon basket and wished we could follow them and go up up and away. I was lying. I hate heights.
Tracey took a pic out the window while I watched an interview with Eddie Izard because I’d remembered to download the Virgin app before we left. And I mean just before – sitting in the departure lounge.
So farking tired. But so farking happy. Thank you Melbourne. You’re great hosts. We will be back just as soon as we can convince the grannies to look after the kids again. Knowing our kids it might be a little while.

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 ~ raising a family on little more than laughs ~

this post was not sponsored in any way, shape or form – we happily paid for everything

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