So why did we go to Melbourne. Well first let me fill you in on the adventure. First there was a gruelling 6 hour drive to Sydney from Dubbo.
I managed to get the Thursday off so we could drive down in daylight hours instead of driving down after work. That never works because after I get home from work the plan is always to just chuck luggage in the car and take off straight away. What normally happens is that 3 hours after I get home we are finally ready to leave, and we were to get on a plane for Melbourne on Friday morning at 7:45am. So we were both very happy to get to Sydney at 6pm instead of what would have ended up being at least midnight if we'd tried the after work trick. We got to Melbourne at just after 10am on Friday morning and we had a full day of shopping ahead of us ... yay !!!
So we found somewhere for dinner, and sorry I didn't get any photos of the shopping frenzy that followed. We had decided to just shop for normal stuff instead of checking out Elizabeth Street and the bike shops cause it was not as far to walk. Imagine our surprise when we thought we had had enough and decided to head back to the hotel only to find ourselves in Elizabeth Street. One thing I love about Melbourne is that it's nearly impossible to get lost in this city, you always end up somewhere you know when you are wandering around it's streets and alleys.
As we wandered round we also had plenty of opportunity to check out bikes and scooters of all shapes and sizes.
|The cutest little bike I've seen yet. I saw this little baby being ridden down the footpath later that night .. not sure I think that's such a great idea.|
We found a bike shop called Peter Stevens Motorcycles not far along the road and we went in to check out bikes (Brenda) and look for some new gear (Terry). Upstairs, we went ,after I pointed out a couple of bikes I liked and Terry wasn't the least bit impressed with (they weren't Shadows) and Terry found walls and walls of helmets. You have to understand .... in Dubbo the biggest bike accessory shop has maybe half a wall of helmets ... hmmm maybe 3/8th's of a wall, and the rest of the wall is taken up with motocross stuff. So this was like motorcycling utopia for us. I think I may have even let out a little squeal of delight but I'll never admit it, it was my shoes squeaking on the tile floor I told Terry.
We looked at helmets, then we went to another wall and looked at more helmets, then went into the back corner and looked at helmets. It was all getting a bit overwhelming so I checked out the neck and face warmer things I'd spotted and Terry soon followed. I was starting to think it was going to be like all the small bike shops I'd been in, the service seemed to be a non event so far. Then a nice man came up and talked to Terry, he took him off to look at helmets so I went to check out the boots, I've been dying to try on some decent boots and see if they will fit me.
In smaller shops you ask for women's riding boots and they look at you like you just started growing a new head. So I headed off towards the wall with boots on it and found about 6 different boots labelled women. Oh I was really starting to love this place, the first pair of boots I spotted was pair of Alpinestars that I'd seen online a few times and liked the look of, now to see if they fit and then buy them online. That was the plan, I headed over to the counter where Terry was looking pretty chuffed with a Arai helmet that was on sale and the man was just saying that he would send it Dubbo for us so we didn't have to try to take it on the plane as carry on. I asked to try on the boots and he was just so nice that when I found the size that fit me perfectly I bought them. They were also mailed home to us. What a great shop, I'll certainly go back!
So we then headed back to out motel room for rest before we had to get a bite to eat for dinner then head out for the night of adventure that was the real reason for our visit south. Normally when we hit Melbourne there's a stage show involved somewhere, this time it was all for Terry (although I have to admit that I did kinda start enjoying myself towards the end). This time we were in Melbourne to see Terry's football team play. Terry lived in Victoria for a while a few years before he met me and he became inevitably addicted to the game they play down that way, Aussie Rules. I grew up with Rugby league and really wasn't that keen on football because of it, it's a silly game to me with a bunch of big blokes pushing each other around to try and get a little ball. But I have to admit I kinda like Aussie Rules after watching a few games on telly. I don't watch much anymore cause when ever I watch Terry's team, it normally loses, I'm sure I'm a jinx. I was hoping they wouldn't lose if I was at the game, but was prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice and go and wait outside the stadium if it started going pear shaped.
So we bought some Geelong scarves and headed with the crowd towards the stadium in the cold drizzling rain, at least it wasn't windy too.
|Going across the train line towards the stadium, Melbourne is always well lit up.|
|Terry and I looking like proper Cat's fans.|
Some football shots .. not real good with my little point and shoot camera, I saw a guy there with a lens that had to have been at least 3 feet long .... wow I want one!! Well to make a long story short the Cats eventually won. It's fun watching them in real life and you get to see stuff you would normally miss on telly, like the fans around you yelling abuse at the ref and the half time entertainment of the little tikes under five playing their own little games. And the guy sitting next to me who started out with a chant of ' GO Saints, GO Saints' .. which was the other team of course, then cheering louder than anyone round us when the Cats scored the first goal .. everyone looked at him and he just laughed .. oh such fun :)
So I reckon Aussie Rules is heaps better than Rugby League, it seems to be so much more fun and yeah the fans get a bit wild but I didn't see any of the violence I've witnessed at other football games so it was a blast. And yes I'm now saying I'm a Cat's supporter which gets me weird looks when I say it at home.
That was day one of our whirlwind visit south, day two dawned still wet, but now it was a drizzle interspersed with the occasional downpour, cold and windy. Ahh that's the Melbourne I've come to love :) We grabbed breaky then headed to South Melbourne markets to meet with a local who is also a member of the Shadow Riders Australia and his family. We had a lovely morning sitting and chatting with them, and their kids were just gorgeous even if one of them was getting cranky cause he wasn't allowed out of his stroller to go be with Dad while he was getting coffee. We didn't get to see much of the markets, which wasn't really that bad cause I'd have had to try to work out how I could carry on everything if I was allowed to shop. To tell the truth I had such a nice time chatting I didn't mind not shopping, but next time we are in Melbourne had better be with the car so we can come back and do some serious shopping.
That was pretty well it, we wandered back to the airport after lunch and got a plane back to Sydney arriving at about 5pm. Jumped in the car and drove straight back home. We made it by about 11pm and even though we were tired I was glad to be home and to have another day of weekend left to relax and do housework with.
Riding The Wet Coast that I'd show him a pic of the pinkest bird we have .. here's one from Wikipedia Wikipedia Galah Facts