#4 / Winter Wanderings: Melbourne, puppies & conventions /
April – July 2019
Relief! The heatwaves and harsh sun finally moved on up to taunt the Northern Hemisphere for a while. Yay for winter!
A few things I got up to over the past four months are: I finally got to experience Melbourne, my parents came to visit the country of kangaroos and killer spiders and… we got a puppy!
First off though…
Campbelltown Challenge Walk, Sun 10/05:
A bit of exercise on the weekend, especially when it’s in your area – for once – is definitely a challenge you should give a go. The course was two laps in and around the Australian Botanical Gardens, but turned out though that we had to complete the 11km course in under 2 hours to qualify for a medal. The catch? Running is forbidden. So it was basically 11km of uncomfortably fast-paced walking for 2 hours flat. We got the medal… just. But next year we’ll definitely be opting for the 6km route rather, unless they decide to let us run.
Art show adventures:
Oh, there are some really great art fairs happening? Want to go, but they’re mid-week? No problem when you’re a freelancer! It’s called research and inspirational trips, ok. Jokes aside, these two events (below) were fantastic. I particularly left The Other Art Fair feeling really inspired and impressed by the selection of art on show and the artists were all super friendly and keen to chat.
Grow With Google – Western Sydney, Fri 15/05:
Another weekday adventure to be inspired by and to learn stuff from! The #growwithgoogle seminars were focused on analytics and search engine marketing (SEM). It was even fully catered for and we were given a personalised lanyard and branded notebook and pen to keep notes with. Oh, and a giant Google sculpture thing to take selfies with.
The parents come to Sydney, 11/04 – 17/04:
When you live on the other side of the world it definitely becomes a whole other level of difficult to just visit, and particularly be visited by your parents. However, mine were able to make their Sydney debut in April.
I don’t think they were entirely prepared for the amount of walking to be endured when I said, “Bring comfy walking shoes.” Add jet lag into the equation and it’s next level. Our first big outdoor adventure was a day trip to the Blue Mountains, where we marvelled at the views and rode on all the cable car rides at Scenic World. Next, when in Sydney, you obviously need to do the whole “pose-in-front-of-the-Opera House, explore Circular Quay/The Rocks, walk the Harbour Bridge and catch the ferry back” package. Note: when in doubt, always wear takkies/ sneakers to do so!
– Opera House / the Harbour – ✓.
– Mountains / the great outdoors – ✓.
– Coastal experience? Another must when in Aus! So we did the Grand Pacific Drive, through the forests and along the coast, stopping off to watch the paragliders at Bald Hill. We ended with a little picnic at one of the many beaches after walking along the winding Sea Cliff Bridge.
There was also some retail therapy and relaxing involved, so a pretty good itinerary for just 6 days before they headed off to Perth.
Easter in Bendigo + Melbourne adventure, 19/04 – 26/04:
Melbourne has always been on top of my Australian bucket list and we were able to cross it off over the long Easter break this year. First though, we spent a few days in Bendigo with friends for the Easter weekend where we got to climb Hanging Rock and eat way too many Easter eggs and Lindt bunnies. I also got to see kangaroos in the ‘wild’ for the first time. They seem to roam freely on private properties there, before I’d only seen kangaroos in the zoo or dead on the open roads – delightful.
In Melbourne, we stayed in the city centre, right in the action and coincidentally also in the Asian restaurant area. Even better for us was that this included Korean spots too! I highly recommend Buza Chicken for serious real deal chimaek (deep fried chicken – the best and worst life choice!), Cass beer (and/or soju if you’re feeling festive) with the complimentary (and oh-so-missed) sides of kimchi, coleslaw and pickled radish. Obviously eaten with chopsticks and with the trusty service bell button on the table.
Throughout our stay, we also found alleyways with cafes, bars and restaurants tucked away, a roof top bar, a basement bar and best of all, a pinball bar. The architecture is really beautiful (as with Sydney’s CBD) but with more magic and vibe, also thanks to the novelty of trams everywhere, a new experience for me.
So basically I can sum up our Melbourne experience as “food, beer and buildings”. It did not disappoint, we shall be back!
New addition to the family, Sat 27/04:
We’d been on the search for the perfect pup for a few months but were holding off until after Easter for when things would settle down. We definitely didn’t expect to find said pup on the way back from Melbourne. We’d developed a bit of a French Bulldog obsession, and living in an apartment we needed a breed that is small and lower energy but with huge character. So when we saw this little thing online: a Frenchie, female and fawn coloured, we were sure it’d be sold already, but nope! We booked to meet/buy her the next day, and just like that we were three. The cutest ball of brown fluff, pooping and peeing everywhere. Her name? Pippa – named after the parodical character of Pippa Middleton in The Windsors, kind of…
1st race in Australia, Sun 02/06:
It’s a long trek to go all the way to the city on a cold Sunday morning to make yourself run for over an hour. But I did it, my first race in Sydney, and Australia! The course was lovely though, starting in the Royal Botanical Gardens, along the water’s edge with a great view of the Opera House at a few points. It does make it a bit harder when you have to do two laps because then you know what you’re in for on round two…
The queen gave us a day off to drink beer, 08/06:
No work on the queen’s birthday? Not something you get in South Africa, but no one ever says no to a long weekend, or beer!
CHAPTER #5 to follow some time in the future, soonish.
Follow me on Instagram @shmaymee in the meanwhile!