A Travellerspoint blog

August 2013

Dans bday weekend!

Waking up in the morning of my birthday, which was unfortunately a work day so there was no lie in, I was serenaded by the chipmunks much to my surprise. Broomy had hidden his portable speakers and whilst in bed secretly played the chipmunks happy birthday song, surprising me so much that my morning head panicked thinking that the radio had just sprung on and would wake him up! It took me a couple seconds to realise my dopeyness and laugh it off. I had another surprise waiting as unbeknownst to me Sarah and Broomy had been plotting behind my back diverting any attention from the mailbox for weeks and subsequently a box full of cards was passed over much to my amazement!

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I have some great friends and family...thank you all for taking the time to send your well wishes.

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With work over on Thursday the 3 day weekend was about to begin. Sarah and I had just joined as members at World Bar and it was perfectly timed because you get a 2 for 1 pizza deal on your birthday so our own celebration was sorted with scrumptious gourmet pizzas and glass of wine. Beautiful! I had received more cards from friends, one of which was addressed to a certain Orc ( for those of you who don't know, The Orc reference relates to my nickname Grebloc which was adopted by me at Uni after my good mate Joe and I had a bizarre reverse your name and see what it sounds like conversation...ah Uni...you learn so much during those days! Haha). Another card from a Uni mate, Mr Seaman, had adopted a forceful message to the postie to ensure timely delivery...it paid off.

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The next day I would have a another great surprise as my brother and his wife had made the trip down to Melbourne to come and see us as they had been on their holidays down the east coast.

It was so nice to see them and catch up. We started off with a home cooked breakfast with salmon and Sarah had bought some champagne to toast the occasion. It felt as if we were back in the UK as we spoke about our trip and what's been going on in their lives since we had left. We added to the occasion a quick Skype session home to my Mam so she could see us all together.

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After breakfast we decided to take Adi and Zoe on a whistle stop tour of Melbourne as they only had a few hours to spare before needing to leave for Sydney as they were going to the Lions Final!

We took them on the Circle tram which navigates the whole CBD so they got to see as much as they could whilst being given tourist information by Sarah and I as we were well seasoned in the tales of the city. We also dropped in to a nice coffee bar down the famous Royal Block Arcade.

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With time against us we headed back but not before I got a present from Adi which would be handy for tomorrow's big game! I also picked up this fantastic book from Sarah's parents about guitar archaeology with stories of behind of how collectors had found hidden gems that today would be worth thousands. I was also able to buy some much needed work clothes with money sent by me mam. Thanks very much to all of you x

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After the farewell to Adi and Zoe, Sarah and I chilled out as tonight was going to be PAR-TAY Time! We finished off the bit of bubbly left over from this morning and I had arranged to have everyone meet up at the World Bar (it was slowly turning into our local). It was great that even though without the presence of my close mates, which I did struggle with for a while, I was given a boost by the smiles and generosity of our new found Melbourne friends. Mel, Mary, Sheree, Henry , Amy, Nelson and of course Broomy. Thanks for making my bday bash a hoot!

We drank and drank and drank! Before heading to a couple more bars and then to another rooftop bar which I forgot the name before ending up at a club called Toffs on Swanston street! The pictures I think sum up the night very well.

Civilised chat and banter with smiles......

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Someone has started early!

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Respectable after a few....

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Down right blotto'ed!

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Photobombed by a random and even a friend from travelling turned up in the same bar by chance. The stupid faces came out at this point!

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We didn't do this .....honestly wouldn't have had the dexterity!

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The next day was a write off without a doubt, big breakfast with expresso's and Spartacus TV programme was how we entertained ourselves. We had been invited to Sheree's and Henry's housewarming which was so nice of them considering we had only just met recently. As Henry was a Brit and Sheree anAussie the lions game was played during the evening which meant we didn't miss us storming the Wallabies! Hoo-rah!!

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My brother and his wife sent me their celebrations from the game which was great too. A big thank you to the Lions team for arranging a superb finale on my bday.

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WHAT A WEEKEND!!!

Now I have to list everyone who made it happen......

A big thank you again to Sarah, Broomy, Mel, Mary, Amy, Nelson, Sheree, Henry for a great night x

To you well wisher's overseas thank you Mum and Ian, Dad and Mandy, Claire, Jez and Agnes, Peter and Gail, Francis aka Nana, Kelly and Joey, Si, Liana, The Willis Family, Lynn and Sam, Smithy and Lisa, Ju and Sam, Ianthe, Jacqui, Sam ( for the most creative card) , Jude, Laurina and Micheal.

Thanks to Adi and Zoe for fitting in coming to see us x

Stay tuned for more tales

Dan

Posted by doyledan 03:12 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Our first AFL game at the famous 'G'!

Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The sport theme continued for the rest of the weekend as we were going to see our first AFL game at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground also referred to as the 'MCG' or just simply 'The G'. This stadium, which is the home of Aussie Rules Football has been a constant part of our time in Melbourne as its bright lights can be seen from our flat. Today thanks to some spare tickets from our friend Mary we would finally be watching the action under those lights ourselves, as Richmond Tigers take on St Kilda Saints!

The morning kicked off with views from our balcony of the Leukimia Speedo dash that was starting off by the river on Southbank. This sees a stoic group of fundraisers making a dash along the streets of Melbourne with nothing but their bathers and a few large sunflowers to protect their modesty to raise money for the Leukimia Foundation. Don't be fooled by the sun, its still nippy here!

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Before heading to the game in the afternoon we were able to meet up with one of the rugby fans who had come to Melbourne, my brothers good mate Will! We nursed hangovers and the disappointment of the previous nights loss over a few drinks and some great pizza at our local, The World bar. It was great to speak with someone who knows my family well and it was like having a bit of home with us.

Somehow we had all turned up colour coordinated! Thanks for lunch Will, great to see you :)

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It was a short walk along to river to get to the MCG and we joined the crowds heading to the game. An estimated 56,000 were expected to be coming to the game which was more than normal for this kind of match, undoubtably swelled by the touring rugby fans who were taking the opportunity to see what all the AFL fuss is about whilst in town.

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We met up with Mary who surprised Dan with an early bday present of a Richmond Beanie... And knowing that we lived with a West Coast Eagles supporter and that Dan risked being chucked out of the flat for wearing Richmond colours she also gave him a West Coast scarf too :)

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As Mary had season tickets she was able to take us down to pitch side for some pics before we took the stairs to the higher level to be able to get a view of all the action.

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As the drummers got the crowd going even the seagulls jostled to get the best seats.

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Mary told us that the members are at the MCG was one of the only stadiums where there is one way glass in the mens toilet so members can keep an eye on the game whilst they are visiting the little boys room!

As the players came on the pitch the Richmond supporters left no doubt who they thought would win.

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Come on TIGERS!!

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It was a fun match to watch and easier for us to follow once we had realised how the score board was tallied up, showing over all score and how the points had been achieved! At half time it was a chance for the girls to show what they were made of. So cute!

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Richmond pulled through for the fans with a convincing win. It is tradition for the winnings team to sing their team song if they win and the crowd bellowed out the Richmond lyrics...and you have to shout out the 'YELLOW & BLACK' part...

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Another fun night in Melbourne. Thanks Mary!

Sxx

Posted by doyledan 03:55 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

When the lions came to town....

You could feel the excitement rippling through the early morning mists of Melbourne...

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The British & Irish Lions had come to town to take on the Wallabies!! The second to last test was being held at the Ethiad stadium in Melbourne and everyone was swept up in Rugby fever.

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Although, this advert painted at Melbourne Airport caused quite a stir in the media (and a few complaints).

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Seemingly overnight the city had become a sea of red with the occasional dot of yellow thrown in for good measure.

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Apparently there were 30,000 fans travelling with the tour and it seemed majority of them had taken over the bars of Southbank along the Yarra river.

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We had an opportunity to get some standing tickets at the game but for 100 bucks each and no guarantee of actually being able to see any of the action we opted to gather some mates together (made of Brits, Irish, a few Aussies and a neutral Swiss???? to keep things fair).

Dan and I diligently joined the queues 4 hours before the game started to secure a table with a view of the screen, grab a burger and get some drinks in.

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I should have planned ahead and got a lion hat!

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The pub was rammed but after table hopping a few times we managed to get a decent spot... everyone had arrived...

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and it was time for the game to begin!!

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As you can probably tell from the picture it was a tense match and despite the best efforts of the fans chanting "liiiiiiiiiioooonnnnnsss! liiiiiiiiiioooonnnnnsss!" it didn't have the result we were hoping for....

But we all know how it finally ends :) (don't we Broomy!)

Sx

Posted by doyledan 03:50 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Have a drink have a drive, go out and see what you can find.

Healesville, Yarra Valley

Since we had been in Melbourne we had found out that Broomy's housemate Pauly had been waiting on a job opportunity over in New Zealand and luckily had got it. It meant that in a short time frame he had to fit in seeing some of the sights of Melbourne area. Fortunately for me his mates, which included Broomy, Scotty, Dave (Buchanan) and Andrew (Hedge) were going to take him out for a good luck drink and decided on going out to Healesville, around the Yarra Valley.

The morning was promising a good day for weather and as it was so good Hedge turned up on his motorcycle outside our flat. I really liked the look of his bike, that kind of vintage style to it. The rest of us jumped in Scotty and Broomy's cars and headed off to pick up Buchanan. When we got to Dave's we found out about his injury and it sucked for him as the surgery he would need to get meant that he would have to go back to Canada. So in a way it was almost perfect timing that he, Pauly and I got the tourist trip out to see the Yarra Valley.

Before we cruised off, Scotty pulled out his professional like camera with tripod and clicker to match and took some photos, I was glad as I didn't want to be behind the camera so that I could write the blog a bit easier and to be fair you will see he and his camera did a bloody good job of it. Broomy went for the rapper look in this one.

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After leaving the streets of Melbourne we weren't too far out before the landscape opened up and I began to see some of draws of living in Victoria.

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We stopped off to take a brief scenic view and posed for a photo. It was quite funny because each photo with Scotty in it he had his arm out trying to get the clicker working.

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We had a laugh about it, and mimicked it just so it didn't look out of place.

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Broomy working the photo poses again!

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Moving on we whisked through sweaping roads as we we passed farms and small lay-bys towards the Yarra Valley where keen weekend drivers stop for mandatory coffee or brunch, we stopped ourselves to get some bearings and Scotty captured the mood....

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Our final destination was Healesville to have lunch at Giant Steps resturant and enjoy some local brewed ales at the White Rabbit brewery. Giant Steps was kitted out in modern/rustic decor and served up delicious oven cooked pizzas and bottles of wine from its own winery.

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During lunch we toasted to Pauly's success and the guys chucked around a bit of banter as we tucked into our Pizzas! Delicious!

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Across the road we had a chill out at the White Rabbit Brewery where you can chill on sofas and drink on tap some fine ales and ciders. I opted to be the designated driver on the way back so Broomy could have another.

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Later we went back out on the road and just kept driving, the roads here are so good and with the view to match it really is easy to just drive, but we decided to turn back not before stopping off for a group shot.....with clicker arms....

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Getting caught in the act....someone forgot to go to the toilet after some beers!

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We got given a ribbing by an old bizarre british chap who owned a small cafe. He played the part of grumpy old fella very well and I think he was a little put out we weren't planning to stop and have a bite at his place.

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On the way back to Healesville we had a unexpected visitor trying to find his way to Hotham.

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We stopped off back in Healesville to have a coffee and cake at Beechworth bakery before we parted ways and headed back to Melbourne.

Cheers Pauly, Hedge, Buchanan, Broomy and Scotty for a nice day out of the city.

Stay tuned for more tales

Dan

Posted by doyledan 03:45 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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