Sunday, March 3, 2013

Americans in Melbourne

 After being in Melbourne just two weeks, I ventured back to say my final farewells to Melbourne friends and welcome the arrival of my good friend Thea. Thea is down here on at working-holiday visa for the year with hopes of either staying longer or perhaps switching to a student visa to study .

Of all my friends to say they would come visit or want to travel and get out of the rut known as the ‘United States’, Thea has been the only one to do it so far. After a bit of procrastination I booked my Thursday flight the night before and was stuck with Tiger Airways yet again. While I don’t dislike them, because I feel domestic travel should be at it’s cheapest, the staff are typically rude, they issue receipts NOT actual boarding passes and the Tiger Airways terminal at Melbourne International is a good 10-minute walk from the main airport and another 5 minute walk just to get to the aircraft on the tarmac. Not to mention when booking, they make it seem like you HAVE to choose your seat, but if you do, you pay between $5-$20 for it. Instead, save yourself the money and ask for a window/exit row seat when you check-in. Boom $20 saved So far, my best would have to be Virgin Australia. Richard Branson knows what’s up!
I had Marc drop me off at Gold Coast airport and I arrived in beautiful cloudy and rainy Melbourne at noon. Thea had already landed and passed through customs and quarantine so we called the hostel and they came to pick us up. At first, I was sceptical of Thea’s hostel choice because it was located in St. Kilda but it proved to be an excellent location. Anyone traveling to Melbourne, I encourage you to either stay at the Space Hotel in the CBD area (where Craig and I stayed in January) or at the Habitat HQ (where I stayed with Thea). The trams were located right outside the hostel and was only a 20 minute ride to the city and was also a 5 minute ride to Chapel Street where all the nightlife can be found.

We briefly took a nap before heading out to get her a working phone number and show her the city. Overall, we were in bed about 10ish as she was jet-lagged and I barely got any sleep the night before (I never sleep well the day before a flight). Friday, we headed to China Town to meet up with Claire for some Chinese and bubble tea before saying goodbye to her and heading ANZ to get Thea a bank account. We ended up scratching that idea as the wait time was way too long, so ventured to Big W so she could get some flip flops, the river walk, Crown Casino (where I lost $20 on red, haha) and then finally Max Brenners.

We ended up back at the hostel before relaxing a bit once again (the sun takes it out of you). Ended up getting up around 10pm before heading to Electric Ladyland for a few drinks and to say goodbye to friends there. One of them, being Bridie, I will always love and cherish. There are not many women out there that I can tolerate let alone would not mind dating and Bridie is definitely one of them. Words cannot describe my love for this woman, but I’ll save my lovey-dovey Bridie blog for another day.

After quite a few gin and tonics, headed back to the hostel and up at 0930 for 1000 check-out. I said my goodbyes to Thea and headed back to Melbourne airport to fly to Brisbane in time for Future Music Festival. Overall, I love Melbourne but don’t know if I could ever live there. I think the hipster/’culture’ scene is a bit much for me. But definitely a far better place than Brisbane and of course, the Gold Coast. Next stop is Future Music Festival, final week of work and then wrapping up last minute affairs before my flight to Sydney on March 15th followed by flight back to Seattle March 17th.

Until then…



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