ga Oscar's Adventures: Catching Up

March 22, 2009

Catching Up

Apologies for not posting in a couple of days but my laptop has finally shuffled off its mortal coil and is now in silicon heaven with all the pocket calculators. Be happy for it because it had a long and good life. RIP Toshiba Satellite Pro M15, you will be remembered (until I get to Singapore to replace you).

With the sad news told it's time to get on to the good news: Rachel and Jason got married without a hitch. Pardon the pun. Thirty guests, plus the spirit's of the Wurundjeri people, attended the civil wedding at the bandstand in Melbourne's Fitzroy Gardens. Hip, hip hoorah!

As you'll have guessed Rae, Oscar and I are ensconsed in Melbourne - St Kilda, a townlet/suburb, on Port Phillip Bay. It's not quite a holiday resort but more a bohemian district that reminds me of Cambden Lock in London (and probably Greenwich Village in New York if I'd eveer been there). The pavements are full of outdoor restaurants, and the backpacker hostels are full of British and Irish layabouts.

In getting to St Kilda we drove from Mallacoota (the site of our last blog) to Lake Tyers Beach, a sleepy little sea-side town on 90 Mile Beach in East Gippsland where we overnighted at a nice little campsite that had a pool much loved by Oscar, and then on to Phillip Island.

Phillip Island is famous for two things - the motorbike grand prix track and the fairy penguin parade. We were there to see the latter of course. This involved sitting on a beach for an hour while the sun set, waiting for the smallest penguins in the world to wade ashore and head to their burrows. Oscar was more fascinated by the lady sat behind us who kept sneaking him chips!

Leaving Phillip Island we caught the Bass Highway which was the first dual carriage way I'd driven on since leaving Sydney. I was quite sad to turn off it to cut through the outer east suburbs in order to reach the house used for the TV show Kath & Kim, but the ten seconds we spent parked outside 4 Lagoon Place, Patterson Lakes was worth it. Then we strolled up the Nepean Highway to the Westfield mall used for Kath & Kim's "Fountain Lakes" shopping trips - we think we found the kitchenware store used by Trude and Pru. A little further up the Nepean we found the Buckingham Hotel, also of Kath & Kim fame. Then we turned towards the sea and drove along the esplanade that lines the bay, watching the kite boards and windsurfers streak across the water, until we reached St Kilda.

After catching up with Jason we dropped off the campervan with much relief because it was getting smaller and smaller by the day. Jason saw me back to the city centre where we went our different ways: he to finish off the wedding arrangements and me on my first tram ride ever. Back in St Kilda, Rae, Oscar and I went for a tram ride down to Luna Park (rubbish) and ate icecream (expensive) by the bay (dirty). We had a lovely walk while the sunset and then caught the tram back tothe hotel where Mr Pickle was put to bed.

The day after (i.e. the wedding day) the three of us trammed in to the CBD and visited the Immigration Museum, which should be on everyone's to do list when visiting Melbourne. I was engrossed for 2 hours learning about over 150 years of immigrants stories. Then we took ourselves on a walking tour of Melbourne - the so-called (because it is much longer than a mile) "Melbourne's Golden Mile" - which conveniently ended at Fitzroy Gardens. This left us enough time to have a cheeky peek into Captain Cook's cottage before attending the nuptials.

Again, congratulations to the happy couple!


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