It’s been a little while since I’ve updated the blog. Sorry, all! Somehow the months just flew by while I was busy freelancing for a pretty great company and making major life decisions. Suffice to say, life has changed a bit in the last seven months. For starters, and as many of you know, we decided to stay in Australia. It certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make. As you may have notice with my last post about Canada Day, I’m a proud Canadian, through and through. But I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of moving and having to start over, yet again. For nearly three years our home, career and possessions were all temporary; it’s nice to finally have some stability.
The older I get, the more patriotic I seem to get. Sure, Canada isn’t without its problems (as many have chosen to highlight for #Canada150), but I truly believe it’s one of the best countries in the world. Living abroad has only reaffirmed that. So it make sense that Canada Day is a big deal to me. Usually spent at the Skydome watching the Blue Jays play, followed by a patio somewhere to watch the evening fireworks, I was determined to find some sort of substitute celebration in Melbourne.
I need to dispel a popular rumour – contrary to popular belief, it gets cold in Australia. Like see your breath, frost on the car window cold. Sure, it might warm up to 14 or 15 degrees Celsius by afternoon, but mornings and evening are downright frigid. It seems even Australians want to belief this rumour however, with most opting for jean jackets and thick sweaters rather than proper winter jackets on chilly days.
Just like at home though, I’ve never let a cold day keep me indoors, so my significant other and I have been choosing to spend our weekends outdoors exploring. This June, our destination of choice has been Mount Macedon. About a 30-minute drive from our home, Mount Macedon is a popular destination for its parks, reserves and outdoor BBQs.Read More »
Friday nights are usually family dinner night with my significant other’s family. We all gather at his aunt’s house at 6 pm sharp and feast on a large spread of meats, fish and vegetables. (Well, they do. I stick to the veggies). This is followed by fruit, which is then followed by coffee and cake — homemade, of course. It’s essentially Christmas dinner every Friday. No wonder I can’t seem to shed that little bit of extra weight I’ve gained since moving here.
This week his aunt, along with his dad and one of his cousins, went to Sydney to visit relatives so we were left to our own devices. Keeping the family dinner tradition alive, we made plans to meet up with his other cousin and his wife (who I’m going to refer to as D and Y from now on) for dinner in the city. We decided we’d meet up at Flinders Station and figure out where to go from there.
It’s been seven months since I moved to Melbourne (seven months already!) and I’m fairly settled now. In some ways, it was easy as Melbourne and Toronto are pretty similar cities. But there were some things I had to learn and adjust to along the way. Here’s my run-down of some of the thing I discovered that no one told me and that never gets written about in travel books.
Australia’s most underrated city also happens to be my new favourite. A victim of its nickname, perhaps, the City of Churches is often dismissed by Aussies as boring. But after a weekend getaway with my significant other to celebrate our three year anniversary, I beg to differ.
It’s no secret to both tourists and locals alike — the best parts of Melbourne are tucked away in the city’s many laneways. They can be picturesque and Instagram-worthy or downright dodgy looking, those in the know will venture down any alley to see what new hotspot might be hidden there.
It’s no surprise then that my significant other and I made our way to several laneway destinations while out celebrating a friend’s birthday last weekend. Our night began at The Whisky Den on Russell Street. Not located on a laneway, but worth mentioning because of their extensive selection of whiskies. (Note: I’ve never been sure if it’s ‘whisky’ or ‘whiskey’. After reading this guide from The Kitchn I’ll use ‘whisky’ going forward since neither Canada nor Australia have an ‘e’ in their name). Our friend, a whisky enthusiast, was thrilled to find 17 year old Springbank on the menu. An elusive Scotch whisky, he apparently hasn’t been able to find it since a trip to the United Kingdom ten years ago.