Last week, we flew to Melbourne for my cousin’s wedding. We were lucky enough to have a day and a half in the city before we ventured out past the Dandenongs and wine country to witness their vows. It was a fantastic few days, and much needed time out. We shopped, ate, drank, walked, talked, spent time with family, and penguin spotted at the aquarium. I thought I would share a few photos of our trip – we’re already planning our next one.
A friendly turtle at the aquarium. This guy (or gal, not sure) played with us through the glass for about five minutes. It trailed our hands, opened and closed it’s mouth and really stared at us. It was such a lovely experience, and certainly not something I will forget in a hurry. I would love to swim with turtles in Hawaii – another entry for the bucket list.
We spent a lot of time with the penguins. The were nesting, so we saw day and week old babies which was very special. They’re cheeky little creatures, stealing pebbles from each others’ nests when penguins went to feed. Apparently they’re very particular about they’re pebbles – they like to make the most interesting nest, so choose different sizes and shapes. I could have watched them waddling around for hours.
Despite lots of rain, we did actually have some sun. The Yarra even sparkled! Southbank is a beautiful place to wander, with lots of restaurants to choose from. We ate near the casino one night at an Italian restaurant, which was beautiful. The second night was at an old favourite, Taco Bill. My husband and I first ate there when we visited in 2008, and by pure coincidence we had the same table this time, but with two children in tow! Frosty drinks and fantastic fajitas were the order of the night.
With the kids being dairy free, desserts can sometimes be a little bit tricky. Sorbets and fruit based gelatos are usually safe options, and they were delighted to discover this nitrogen gelato bar. They chose a pineapple and coconut flavour, which was poured into a mixer in liquid form. When the liquid nitrogen was added, the gelato solidified (in a cloud of smoke!). They loved their dessert (and the show!), and it tasted pretty great too.
While we’re on the topic of dairy free, it can often be hard to find snacks and treats while you’re out and about. We went to Koko Black for hot chocolates, and I ordered the kids babycinos on soy milk. The lady was completely on the ball, telling me they came with a chocolate teddy bear and because I’d ordered soy she would give them the dark chocolate version because they didn’t have dairy. The kids were thrilled, and I was ultra impressed that someone took the initiative to make their treat extra special with a small gesture.
We did lots of browsing the shops, and a little buying. I revelled in being half a block away from big department stores, which I normally would need to travel an hour into the city for. A Zara jumper came home with me, as did a gorgeous pair of sunglasses. I couldn’t help playing with the Marc Jacobs shoes in Myer. Look at all these reduced stickers, just begging to walk out of there with you!
Later in the week we had a trip on Puffing Billy, an old steam engine situated in Belgrave, about an hour from Melbourne. I had fond memories of riding it as a child, and couldn’t wait for our little ones to experience it as well. They had a ball, hanging their legs out the windows as is custom and having their faces filled with steam.
We had a picnic at the lake, and stretched our legs. The locals even got a treat or two (lucky they were tame – and cheeky).
I have lots of photos for the wedding, but won’t share them without the permission of the bride and groom. The ceremony and reception were held in the grounds of the bride’s grandparents’ house – picture sprawling lawns, a lily covered pond, a river and even a Hobbit house. We had a lovely afternoon with family, even though the weather wasn’t in our favour. I wore the spotted dress I shared a few weeks ago, and added a blazer for warmth. If I had my time over again I would have worn wedges – stilettos do not mix well with wet grass!
While it was only a quick trip we had a fantastic time. I’m looking forward to heading back soon and exploring more of the city and surrounds.
Have you been to Melbourne? What do you love to do there? Been to any weddings lately?