As I left the 140 degree heat in Alice Springs, I knew it would be cooler in Melbourne, but didn`t realize it would drop to 75 degrees as the high. What a difference as I wasn`t sweating anymore and had to put on my hoodie (or jumper as it`s called in Australia).
On my 2 hour flight, I knew I wasn`t well, but I didn`t realize how sick I was. My time in Melbourne wasn`t as planned. I planned to see Vanessa, spend Christmas with her family in Colac (2 hour drive south of Melbourne) and just see more of the city. Since I was so sick, I was not the life of the party at Christmas and did just enough to be social at meal times, but then was asleep trying to get better. It was not good as Vanessa`s sister was sick, her niece too, then Vanessa got it, then her brother in law too. So we were a house full of coughing and sneezing. The funny thing was Vanessa and I kept making each other laugh so much, and as we laughed, it just hurt us as we started coughing and it was a bad thing, but we love to laugh, so it was all good.
Christmas eve dinner was at Vanessa`s aunt`s house, which I later learned was a dairy farm so I got to learn a lot about cows, milk and the wave of the dairy future. They plan to invest in a robot that will train the cows to come eat at certain times, then once the cow is in, gates will close and the robot will hook up the utters to begin milking. Sounds pretty high tech, but very interesting to hear about.
Christmas day was one ongoing feast. I was warned that this is what Italian`s do, but we had a huge meal of 4 courses at 2 in the afternoon and then dinner again at 8pm. I have never seen so much yummy food nor so many people at a meal. I think there was about 20 people at dinner, which I thought was a lot, but later learned that was a small crowd for Vanessa`s family as they had to cut it down as the family has gotten so much bigger. That was a lot more than my family dinners with 4-6 people.
On Boxing Day, (December 26th), Vanessa and I returned to her house in Melbourne and had every intention of going out, seeing the city, eating and drinking at swanky places, but alas….we rented movies, got take out dinner and lived on her couches for 2 days. The way i look at it, I would rather be sick with family or friends and at least I had nice homes to relax in and not a dorm room in a hostel. So that`s my silver lining.
I managed to venture to the city on my own one day and saw St. Paul`s Cathedral, Federation Square and the main shopping areas in town, as I was on the hunt to find a dress to wear for NYE since I knew the girls I was meeting up with would be more fancy. But trying to shop when you are sick and not feeling well is not the thing to do, plus Australian sizes are different from Americans so you have to go up about 4 sizes to find something that fits, which never makes you feel good.
The one day I was feeling better, I decided to go to the Yarra Valley and take a wine tour, and that was my big adventure out. I met lots of fun people on my mini-bus, tried great wines and then finished at the Chandon champagne house, where the workers were so snooty, we couldn`t wait to leave!
So Melbourne has so little for photos as I didn`t get out as much and not much for funny stories as I can`t remember them. All the cold medicine we were taking has clouded my memory. After 8 days in Melbourne, all I can say is I had a great time with Vanessa and her family and there was no other place I`d rather be sick than with her!
THANK YOU again for a wonderful week and letting me be a sick bum!
Wine Tour by “The Australia Wine Tour Co.” at www.austwinetourco.com.au Great tour of 4 wineries for $98 AUD including fancy lunch.