Updated: Feb 26
I will say countless times in my blogs how amazing things are and how much I love a certain experience and they are all 100% accurate to how I feel. But one of the most amazing feelings was reuniting with Ruth who had moved to Melbourne in November 2018 and who I hadn't seen since we were both in LA in October 2018. Ruth is one of my best friends in the entire world and our reunion was amazing and we had so much to catch up on. Me and Petra had caught the train from Ballarat so the 3 of us went for lunch together at a very pretentious place but delicious all the same. Then me and Ruth went to hers to drop my bags off before we had an extremely Aussie afternoon and evening. Ruth had thought and planned out most of our time together which we all know I fully appreciate and she is my Melbourne expert!
We spent my first afternoon in Melbourne having amazing cheese, bread, wine and cider at 'Milk the Cow' in St Kilda and would absolutely recommend - they have a menu laid out of different ways you can drink wine with cheeses which compliment or if you're like me and don't drink wine, you can drink cider with their corresponding cheeses AMAZING. Then we went to the pier at St Kilda, which people did say wasn't the prettiest beach and I mean, I've seen better but I saw a massive jelly fish and we were going to wait for the little penguins to come out but they weren't coming out for like 2 hours when we got there because the only come out at sunset so we couldn't be bothered to wait.
We had then booked tickets to go and watch a film at a cinema on the beach, in a bed. SO Aussie. They had a tonne of air beds, with blankets and duvets set up by the sea with a big screen and although it was January we watched the new release of Last Christmas while eating fish and chips and it was so cute. The sunset was pretty beaut (third picture below) and the film was classically predictable but enjoyable and I was with Ruth having a generally cute time!!!
The next day we booked a very touristy day but what you gonna do. We booked a little coach trip which first too us to nature reserve where, and I was VERY excited by this, I got to feed cockatoos. So they are 5th on my top 5 fav bird list and they look so beautiful in the Aussie sky but my GOD are they aggressive when they want food. I was scratched all over haha but I held my nerve and kept hold of the food tray. Can't say the same for another lady who immediately screamed and dropped it when the birds swooped in. I've got balls though and just enjoyed these crazy but great birds swopping and landing on me anywhere they could grip haha. We then went on the Puffing Billy Steam train (because ANY opportunity to go on one is a win with me) which took us through the forrests to Menzies Creek and was fab, so old school. We then went on to Healsville Sanctuary where I got to see my first ever up close Koala bears (I briefly saw one up a tree on my road trip)!!!! They are beautiful animals and possibly join tigers, dogs and rhinos and elephants with my favourite animals. We had a guided tour around the sanctuary who have animals raised there and also rescue animals who they try and send back out into the wild. A lot of their vets went to help the animals effected by the fires in other parts of Victoria as the Sanctuary was to far for the animals to be taken to. It was such a beaut day and I also got to see my first ever Platypus which I was absolutely buzzing out. I have to say I feel stupid admitting it but I didn't realise how many different animals were marsupials and also that all marsupials have a pouch of some sort - like Kangaroos on their front so for example Wombats have them above their bum!! I also learned that Kangaroos can essentially be pregnant 3 times at once - one in the womb, one ready to go into the pouch and one ready to pop out the pouch!! AND they can pause their pregnancies if they are not in a healthy situation to be pregnant - e.g. their food and water source isn't accessible for example. How amazing is that.
Anyway, after our beaut day in the sun at the zoo, we went back to Ruth's where Alex did us my first Aussie BBQ!!! We had steak, burgers, chicken, alcohol everything you could ask for and I was swinging on their hammock. Ideal!!
My final day in Melbourne started off with a trip to the Melbourne by myself as Ruth had to work - she is a nurse at the children's hospital and is amazing at it so I could handle a few hours by myself while she saved lives. It was a beautiful 30 degree day so I spent a couple of hours in the museum, it was very similar to the National History Museum in the sense that it has science and geography sections etc so I just focused on the Melbourne specific history and the Aboriginal history (there wasn't much and it was very basic). Culturally in Australia they have a lot of issues STILL with native Aboriginals and the treatment of them, racism and disrespect is rife but I wasn't there long enough to research and learn about the Aboriginals. I did learn while I was there about the stolen generation but I won't go into that here. I then took myself to Brighten Beach where I was meeting Ruth after her shift. Spend an hour or two sunbathing before we wondered over to look at the famous Brighton Beach boxes and the amazing colours and paintwork they bring to the beach. Most of them were great and I took some photos with my favourite ones because if you didn't take a photo, did you even go? Me and Ruth then went for a full on steak and prosecco dinner overlooking the pier and sea at a restaurant we absolutely were not dressed for. I looked like an actual tramp with wet hair from the sea and sand everywhere but they let us dine there and the food was very good. Although on the side of our Steak (because we got the exact same meal including the apple tart for pudding) was BONE MARROW...like no. It was literally a piece of bone with some white shit in the middle standing next to our steak. Fucking vile. But I never eat the side salad anyway so we stuck to our steaks and mash and fries which we shared of course.
I was so so so sad to leave Ruth. So much so I was like hm do I wanna work in Australia instead cos Ruth is here haha. But instead were just gonna meet again in New Zealand or Australia for a proper road trip and for longer than 3 days while we're both on this side of the world...
I left super early for Wellington the next morning to start my next scary but exciting adventure of choosing where to live and finding a job and settling in to life in New Zealand for however long I fancy...wish me luck!!!