It's weird to think that it was 10 months ago when we first walked around in 100 degree heat to get a feel for the city. Neither of us had jobs or apartments or friends.....
and so much has changed since!
The Melbourne library was the first thing my dad listed as a must-see. He said the reading room was sure to impress even the most frequented library goers, and he was right. A high domed ceiling with balconies lining the walls, stacked with shelves upon shelves of books kind of takes your breath away. Know what else has that effect? Air conditioning and free wifi. When I first arrived in Melbourne during the heat wave, I camped out many afternoons in this library searching for a job and a home.
A lot of people write Melbournians off as coffee snobs and I'd have to agree. It took me awhile to appreciate just the right amount of foam in my latte and be okay with spending $3.50 for it. The cafe culture is a big part of Melbourne life and sitting at a sidewalk cafe and people watching is great way to appreciate the city.
Ponyfish Island is one of the New York TImes Travel Section's favorite bar to write about. Plastic stools and wooden tables line this circular bar situated in the middle of the Yarra River. In the winter they serve house mulled wine, in the summer its refreshing sangria. The best part of this bar is its situated under a busy foot traffic bridge that leads to Flinders Train station, so its often frequented by commuters popping in for a quick frothy. Yea. I said that.
For Lizzie's birthday we got all classy and elegant and attended the Royal High Tea at the WIndsor Hotel. The tea room was a beautiful parlor with high ceilings and elegant decor. There were finger sandwiches, pastries and scones, and cakes as well as your choice of any two teas. Also, unlimited sparkling wine. We left very happy.
The Yarra Valley is a famous wine region about 60 kilometers (thats right I'm all metric now) outside of Melbourne. It reminded LIzzie and I a lot of Napa Valley, with vineyard upon vineyard lining the hills as far as you can see. Its also infamous for it's dairy farms and apple orchards. The scenery is beautiful and relaxing, and the great wine doesn't hurt either. We did birthdays pretty well.