Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… yup! I’ve got to repack and head back to the airport!
Jim has relinquished the reins on our Weekly Edition this week so I can tell you all about my (semi-)solo time down in the beautiful city of Melbourne.
We haven’t been back in the country long, and perhaps that’s a good thing. If I had time to stop and relax, I might not have been able to make it to the airport at all! Instead, Mum and I are hopping on a plane and heading south for some work, some family time and to celebrate the imminent arrival of some new nieces and/or nephews!
I hope you enjoy this Weekly Edition, coming to you all the way from Melbourne, VIC!
It’s our first week back in Sydney, but not for long for me.
After living out of the suitcase together for what feels like the last six months, Jim and I are finally spending a long weekend apart. It feels strange to be apart but we think it’s a good idea because absence does make the heart grow fonder.
Jim’s staying in Sydney while I’m flying down to Melbourne. It’s part work trip, but I’ve asked my mum to come with me so we can see family too.
Lucky for my mum, I’ve managed to cash in some frequent flyer points and we’re flying down Business Class. Now we’re ruined for flying again, as they treat you so differently when you sit at the front of the plane.
It’s been a while since I’ve flown Virgin Australia Business Class for domestic flights and their services actually are pretty good. I’m impressed with the meals, the drinks available and the service is fantastic. Shout out to Rochelle for getting Mum an extra champagne, which she’s very happy about!
With priority luggage, we make a swift transfer to pick up a car and drive down to the Victorian Surf Coast. Our first stop is Torquay to visit my cousins’ beach house.
I also discovered Peach’s, one of the prettiest grocers, just up the road. I swear whoever does their merchandising has an incredible eye for detail.
While we’re in Torquay, I have to tell you about a cool competition that we’re working on with Amex for #ShopSmallAU. Check out our Instagram here to find out how to enter to win 2 $5000 travel vouchers – one for you and one for your favourite small shop.
While we’ve driven the Great Ocean Road before, we did it too quickly and didn’t realise how charming these coastal towns are. They’re like country towns by the sea, and have some gorgeous historic buildings.
My cousin takes us on a mini-tour stopping at Geelong, Queenscliff and Barwon Heads. The baths at Geelong have an almost British / European feel with the boardwalks and jetty.
We stop by Rolling Pin pies to try some of their awarding winning pies (sorry Jim – I promise to bring you back here!) and I can say their breakfast pie is pretty tasty. If you’re feeling adventurous, they have a crocodile pie too.
We wander through cute local stores and antique shops that are dotted through town. This place is very dangerous for me to be exploring… it’s just a good job my sister isn’t here with me. Together, Mary and I would spend all our money and buy everything!
And I find the fluffiest dog I have ever seen (his name is Jedi btw!)
And in the afternoon we take in the views from At The Heads restaurant. It’s really sheltered here from the winds and the sun comes out in full force. Apparently this is where they filmed the TV show “Seachange”.
I can see why my cousins are planning to retire here, this part of Australia is just gorgeous.
Next stop for us on our Melbourne trip is right across the other side of the bay at Mentone. Baby fever has hit my friends group and I’m celebrating a baby shower for two of my good mates, Jessica and Amy.
Jessica has built the suspense by waiting until today to reveal if she’s having a boy or a girl with this gorgeous cake. I loved seeing her mum’s face when she cut the cake to reveal she’s expecting a boy! It’s still a surprise for Amy and as she’s due close to my birthday, I couldn’t help but suggest ‘Christina’ or ‘Christopher’ as great names.
Fun fact: I was actually supposed to be called Christopher because they thought they were expecting a boy! My name was also inspired by being born so close to Christmas.
From the coast we drive north to visit with my sweet Auntie Nora. She has not been too well lately, so we’re trying to get to see her as much as possible this trip. I love that Italian food is always at the centre of our catch-ups and she can’t stop feeding us.
She even makes fritole, which are a kind of Venetian donut. I honestly cannot stop myself eating these delicious bites. I should ask her to teach me the recipe, but I know when it won’t taste the same when it’s not cooked by her and with so much love.
Between work, I make time to catch up with my bestie whose little boy now is almost two. She suggests we meet up in Collingwood at Stomping Ground Brewery.
It’s a cool, family-friendly brewery in inner-city Melbourne. They do brewery tours at midday on weekends and they also make a mean Aperol Spritz if you’re not into beer. I know this is a spot Jim will love and we will be back next time we’re in Melbourne.
Before heading to the airport, I’m supposed to have lunch with the fantastic Smaggle, but unfortunately she’s not feeling well. She can’t make it out of the house, but we take the party to her. And just before we left she remembered to catch a photo together.
She is expecting a baby in December too (close to my birthday and I did suggest ‘Christina’ would be great for her baby girl). I’m super excited for all the new babies that will be arriving around Christmas this year.
Back in Sydney Jim’s been finally decompressing back home. He’s been hard at work editing videos (which you’ve seen in our latest posts here and here) and also managed to catch up with one of his besties who came to stay and keep him in company. They enjoyed cigars and whisky by the harbour, so don’t feel too bad; he was having a pretty good time while I was away.
I’ve managed fewer than four nights at home since we’ve flown back from London so this coming week is going to be quiet. We probably won’t have too much to report in our next Weekly Edition – I’m just looking forward to catching up on some sleep.
But I’ll probably spend the weekend searching for flights back to Melbs, it’s so good for the soul to visit our friends and family there.