Post(s) tagged with "Melbourne"

Lately

Silence. While I didn’t mean to leave it so long between posts, it was nice to have a little break from blogging. The kids and I recently tagged along with Johnny on his business trip to Melbourne. It was lovely to explore the city a little more and visit family.

The weather was freezing! We wore coats while dodging the rain, sampled many cups of coffee, visited our favourite little chocolatier, explored new restaurants and lounged about in our hotel suite before staying with family. And while our visit was only short, it was a lovely change of pace. 

Favourite Things to do in Melbourne:

1. Hot Chocolate at Koko Black.

2. Lunch at Gekkazan in Melbourne’s GPO — I love there bento boxes.

3. Explore the lane ways filled with street art. 

4. Visit the National Gallery of Victoria and the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne where my grandfather was one of the head gardeners. 

5. Ride the carousel at Luna Park in St Kilda, followed by coffee and cake at 95 Espresso Bar on Acland Street. 

6. Visit the beach boxes at the end of Dendy Street in Brighton — it reminds me of my own childhood trips to Melbourne. 

Melbourne

Eva isn’t even 3-year’s old and I’ve already lost count of how many air miles she has traveled —three overseas vacations and countless other flights. If you have been following this blog for a while you would already know that Johnny and I both love to travel. There is something so exciting and rewarding about exploring and experencing a new city, a new country or a new culture. Although Eva is still a little too young to travel to many of the places we want to visit, we still try to provide her with new experiences. And even with a new baby due in May, we have already talked about taking two separate overseas holidays — Japan and another trip to America at the end of the year. Are we crazy?!

Recently we spent a couple of weeks down in Melbourne —one of my favourite cities. And while we didn’t get to explore it like I would have loved to —at countless cafes and restaurants— we opted for some more kid friendly activities:

Luna Park:

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Collingwood Children’s Farm: (a farm in the middle of the city!)

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Melbourne Aquarium:

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While I am no hurry for Eva to grow up, I can’t wait until she is old enough to take and enjoy trips to Siem Reap or Kyoto or New York or Paris.

Things to do: Melbourne

I’m the first to admit that I absolutely love Melbourne. Somehow I manage to look past its unpredictable weather, horrible traffic and the general grumpiness that most Melburnians seem to have (I’ll give them a pass and blame the weather!). 

The lush, public gardens; the blue stone filled streets; lane way cafes and boutiques; never a bad cup of coffee; the juxtaposition of modern and old. Melbourne has so much character. I grew up spending many of my school holidays in Melbourne exploring the city. And now I can’t wait to show Eva all of its nooks and crannies.

The following list is by no means exhaustive; there is so much to do there.

  • Brighton Beach Boxes — My Grandpa has been living in the same house, just a short distance from the Brighton Beach Boxes, since the War. Back then, Grandpa’s neighbourhood was a satellite city and the beach boxes were just a group of sheds. Now the whole area is practically an inner suburb, and a beach box probably costs almost as much as our house! Every time we go to Melbourne, we take Eva down to Brighton Beach and take her picture in front of the kangaroo beach box. But this year, she insisted on exploring every beach box, and having her picture taken with the wave.

  • The Kids Corner at the NGV — I only recently discovered this place and its perfect for the tired toddler who’s been dragged from shop to shop. Located in Federation Square its perfectly positioned. They can run around freely (at last!), exploring tunnels and engaging with a wide variety of hands-on and engaging activities.

  • St Kilda — With Luna Park located on the shorefront, it brings back so many childhood memories and although it pales in comparison to modern theme parks, it’s the nostalgia that I love about it. Having said that, it’s really the cafes on Acland St that bring me to St Kilda. Melbourne has so many fantastic cafes, but these are just a few of my favourites: 95 Espresso Bar on Acland st St Kilda, Koko Black on Bourke St in the city and Tuccibrown on Bay St Brighton.

  • Federation Square and Flinders Street Station — For me this cross-section is the pinnacle of Melbourne. A mix of the old and the new. I have to admit that I quietly love the juxtaposition of the new modern sleek infrastructure of the National Gallery of Victoria and Federation Square against the opposing corners of the historical Flinders Street Station and St Paul’s Cathedral. I say quietly because my father thinks it is the ultimate eyesore and I want to avoid hearing the the rant, again!

  • Take a tram around the city — Again this is completely touristy, but I love it. If you get a chance jump on the free city circuit, which is bound to be one of the old Heritage listed W class trams. The wooden benches and interiors, the rackety noise they make as they move along the line — perfectly nostalgic. 

  • Bookstores — Although bookstores aren’t really a reflection of Melbourne itself, I love a good bookshop — places where you feel you could just forever browse their collection. My favourite stores include: Readings, The Paperback Bookshop, and Hill of Content Bookshop. And if you’re organised enough, check out their websites as they each have weekly story times and kids activities. 

Melbourne Street Art

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July 24 — 1:23pm

"Graffiti" 

What Eva Wore: Jacket: Janie and Jack (gifted), Dress and tights: Country Road, Shoes: Zara 

Scenes from Melbourne

Our trip to Melbourne was fleeting — just long enough to get settled before we had to leave again. We stayed at my grandfather’s house. The same one my father grew up in, where he played backyard cricket as a kid and kept score by writing on the side of the shed. The kitchen still remains in its 1970s orange laminate renovated state. With grandpa’s post-war home nestled on a quarter-acre block — apple, apricot, fig, and plum trees grow in the backyard turned orchard. 

Living in an inner-city townhouse, we have no lawn for Eva to crawl around on, so she excitedly explored the garden — ripping at the grass and pulling flowers from their beds. 

I have so many memories from my childhood of being at my grandfather’s. Numerous summers and Christmases. Waking up to fresh coffee, breakfast being made and the whistle and sounds of my grandfather singing: “Oh, it’s great to get up in the morning, but it’s better to stay in bed…” 

As my brother and I grew up in this household, so now do our children. Although, Eva will have no real memory of her Great-Grandfather, her cousins will. 

We spent our trip just hanging out as a family. No rushing around. No plans. Just spending time together. We took advantage of Melbourne’s fantastic cafe culture — having brunch and making coffee runs.

We took Eva to the Brighton Beach Boxes where she felt the sand between her toes for the first time. Unsure of the new sensation, she kept on the blanket. 

This trip has made me realise how much I miss having family close by and more importantly how much Eva is missing. With Johnny’s family in America and mine interstate, we try to have weekly iChat sessions with everyone, but you can tell that Eva is so much more responsive when she sees them in person. It is amazing to watch how much she thrives on the attention and interaction. 

Eva excitedly flailed her arms about and tapped to my father’s singing. Chased and crawled after her 4-year-old cousin, Riley. Attentively listened to her Aunty Miwa reading her books. Attacked her Uncle Jamie as he worked on his laptop — slapping at the keys. And calmly allowed her cousin Hitomi to hold her and carry her from room to room. 

With only weeks left until Eva’s first birthday, a whole host of family will be coming to visit and I’m sure at some point I’ll be glad that everyone lives so far away. But for now, I just wish we all lived in the same city.

HAPPINESS IS EVA


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