DOWN UNDER PART II

Read about our first few days in Australia here.


Day 5, 12/26/14 – Melbourne

On our first full day in Melbourne we explored the Botanical gardens. It was summer and I remember this being really nice day. We had a picnic by a little pond and walked around for a bit. Then, on a whim, we went to a soccer match. By this time it had cooled off a bit and it didn’t help that we were sitting in the shade.

After the game we went to one of Wendy’s friend’s house for a BBQ or “shrimp on the barbie” as we kept joking. When in Rome, right?

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A picnic in the botanical gardens
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Soccer!

Day 6, 12/27/14

I’m pretty sure this is the day we went to brunch (which Melbourne is well known for!) and I got this amazing bruschetta with poached eggs. I also got a green juice here and fun fact, everything is more expensive in Australia except the green juices and smoothies. A pleasant surprise for a California health nut.

After brunch we took a 3 hour free walking tour of Melbourne which was interesting and fun. Plus, I’m always game for a good, long, walk. There are these hidden alleyways in Melbourne with hole in the wall bars and restaurants. We didn’t go to any of them so, another reason to go back! Most of these alleys are also filled with graffiti.

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Alleyway graffiti
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An afternoon spent lawn bowling

Next up was lawn bowling, something I was hesitant to try but turned out to be fun. It is similar to bocce ball but the balls are weighted, which makes it a bit harder in my opinion. After lawn bowling we went across the street for dinner and I remember getting a huge burger, fries, and a salad.

Day 7, 12/28/14

This day was gorgeous – all sunny skies and warmth – and after a lazy morning, we went to the conservatory for afternoon high tea. At tea, there was an all you can eat buffet with mini sandwiches and …other stuff that I wish I could remember! We each had 2 pots of tea and then it was time for drinks and an outing to go see little mini penguins at St Kilda pier.

I have to say the wildlife sightings on this trip remains one of my favorite things! Little penguins live in the rocks at this pier and at night people gather around to watch them come in from the ocean. We were lucky to see a few and they are still some of the cutest things I’ve seen in my life.

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Green juice sippin’
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High tea #pinkiesup
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Little penguin at St. Kilda pier

Day 8, 12/29/14

On our last full day in Melbourne we rented a car to do some final exploring, that included both wine tasting and enjoying hot springs – two of my  very favorite things! I remember we stopped for lunch at this cute little Greek restaurant and I was able to get my falafel, hummus, and pita fix while everyone else noshed on delicious pizzas. We also saw wild kangaroos which was crazy for me since I’ve only seen them in the zoo.

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Wild kangaroos

We went to this place called Peninsula Hot Springs in the evening and it was my favorite part of the trip! This place is gorgeous, with all of these natural hot springs scattered throughout the grounds, a Turkish bath, small pools to do cold plunges in (more on that later) and a cute little cafe to eat at.

We started our hot spring escape at that cafe. I ordered a roasted vegetable and quinoa salad with an earl gray tea. I remember feeling totally in my element at this place. It was so relaxing and clam. After eating, we started to try out the different hot springs which ranged from really hot ones to lukewarm pools that you could do light stretching in.

There was a reflexology walk that Mike and I loved and did at least five times. There were also these deep but relatively small in diameter pools of cold water that you could jump in between hot springs called “cold plunges.” These were supposed to help with circulation among other things and, while it was freezing(!), it was also invigorating.

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Peninsula Hot Springs
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Bliss.

To be continued…


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