Coffee, Wine, & Fighting Sleep

By Blonde Bowhemian - May 22, 2016

After much insisting from family and friends, I've finally found the time (and wifi) for my second installment of my time halfway around the world. I've been super busy exploring Melbourne, hanging with John and his friends, and trying to stay awake, but so far I'm loving it over here! Melbourne itself is beautiful, extremely clean, and easy to get around by foot, which is definitely a plus. Also, all of the Aussies are friendly and go out of their way to make conversation with me, so basically they're the opposite of French people. I've done and seen a lot over the past few days but I'll do my best to give a quick recap!

Wednesday morning was rough, let's just say that. Somehow I got myself up, on the train, and into the Central Business District by myself by 10:30am. I met a group there for a 3-hour free walking tour of the CBD, which was super helpful in orienting myself and beginning to comprehend the city. We saw most of the major attractions and different neighborhoods, as well as some of the cool laneways and arcades that Melbourne is famous for. There were definitely moments where I thought I was just going to pass out from exhaustion/my body just being so out of it, but I powered through and after the tour I parked myself by the river and sat for a solid hour and a half. Afterwards, naturally, I explored some of the main shopping streets and Aussie department stores, while refraining from spending any money. Exhausted from all of my exploring and efforts in staying conscious, I took a 4:00pm train back to Hawthorn and hung out for the rest of the day with John.

just sorta pretty
made some new friends to get this pic #solo
John had lab early Thursday morning, so I took that as an opportunity to sleep in and then meet him for breakfast at a nearby cafe around 10:00am. I had my first authentic Aussie avocado toast and then died and went to heaven. So good. Could definitely eat it every day for the rest of my life. After I got over my breakfast, I headed back into the city while John went back to campus. Much to my own surprise, I went to the National Gallery of Victoria, a museum. I know, so crazy. After persevering through the 15th century European art, I made it into some more modern and contemporary exhibits, including some old Givenchy and Alexander McQueen dresses, plus a super mod exhibit with bowls floating around making music (?) It was kind of cloudy and rainy that day, so I enjoyed being warm and dry inside as well as feeling ~cultured~. After the museum, I grabbed some more coffee and did some more exploring before getting hangry and searching for the nearest food/wifi. Somehow I ended up at Starbucks for a while before John came in a met me for dinner at a funky tapas restaurant. We then attempted the bar scene, which involved walking down an alley with some guy coughing up god-knows-what disease to a bar based on an asylum, with syringes in the drinks and gurneys in the bathrooms. We decided the odds those syringes came from the guy outside were too high, so we exited asap and headed somewhere else. We ended up at a bar that looked like Barbie's garden party. Everything was pink and green and we split a pitcher of some drink that was dangerously good while looking out over the rooftop view of the city. Much more our vibe than the asylum, I'd say. 
coolest part of the museum was the museum itself
musical bowls
dranks & views

my kind of place
We continued our alcoholic efforts well into and throughout Friday. At 10:30am we entered our first of 5 wineries of that day, thanks to a Yarra Valley winery tour that we signed up for. Let's just say that we tasted 7 wines at each winery, plus one full glass at the first winery and one full glass at lunch. Soooooo 37 wines. Whatever you're thinking about how well we handled that is probably accurate. We finished the tour at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery and let's just say things are blurry, but we do have pictures of an impromptu photoshoot we decided to engage in and those pictures will never see the light of day. We then proceeded to pass out in the car, have no idea where we were when we woke up, and somehow take the train the rest of the way back without falling asleep. Not to worry though, as soon as we got back to John's room we passed out for an hour then went to meet his friends for an early birthday dinner for John at a nearby Mexican place. Post-thirty seven glasses of wine, we thought it would be a good idea to each get a frozen margarita at dinner, then to continue our efforts for the next three hours with his friends before going to John's birthday celebration at a club in the CBD. Again, whatever you're thinking about how well we handled that is probably accurate. We passed out in the Uber on the way there, got to the club and immediately called a new Uber to take us home, and slept during that ride as well. Thanks for the tours of the city, Uber drivers...if only we remembered them. 
7 tastes & 1 glass deep
we can't explain
Yarra Valley's not bad
only ice cream photoshoot pic that can be shown
Saturday morning was a little rough, so we took it slow and grabbed some breakfast around 11:30am. Then we headed into the CBD, and after many issues with public transportation, a 10 minute ride turned into an hour long one, so we got in around 2:00pm and stopped for a bite to eat and more coffee in one of the famous laneways, Degraves Street. Feeling slightly more energized, we checked out some of the famous street art laneways like Hosier Lane, ACDC Lane, and Union Lane. We snapped some pics, decided we have no talent at painting or modeling, and were off to Eureka Tower, the tallest building in Melbourne. We went up to the 88th floor skydeck at sunset and saw absolutely incredible views of Melbourne and the ocean. Sadly, the pictures don't do the view any justice, but I'm glad we got to experience it in person! The view was almost as beautiful as my avocado toast...only semi-joking, I'm still not over it. Once the sun set, we walked along the river listening to some of the street performers, and then grabbed some Japanese food before heading home and passing out embarrassingly early. 
suns out, tongues out
pls don't kill me
lookin' good, melb
we like long walks on the beach at sunset
evolution of a sunset
we tried
Today! This morning we met John's friends, Konrad & Jiny, for a double date at Muharam Cafe, home of the world's most gluttonous milkshakes. I got the Golden Gay-Time shake, and I honestly couldn't tell you what was in it besides about 4329874932 grams of sugar and syrup with a whip cream-filled cone on top, because #necessary. So, obviously it was amazing. John got the Nut-Tellin shake which was probably an entire jar of Nutella plus ice cream and who knows what else, topped off with a Nutella filled donut. Pure gluttony and we have no regrets, minus the major stomach bloating and pains we had an hour later. Still worth it. Because that wasn't enough we also got breakfast. I got the most beautiful granola with berry compote, fruit, coconut, walnuts, and a bunch of other delicious things plus a potato rosti, and John got toast with eggs, avocado, mushrooms, spinach, and a rosti. I like to think our breakfasts were kinda sorta healthy and made up for our milkshakes. Maybe? Prob not. After indulging, the two of us took the tram to St. Kilda, the beach neighborhood of Melbourne. We saw Luna Park, their famous amusement park, and explored the Esplanade Market and the various vendors. After, we walked the pier, while I held my dress down, trying to not flash all of St. Kilda in the gale-force winds. Then we strolled along the beach before sitting and enjoying the view for a while/digesting more. After, we roamed the inner neighborhood, and at around 2:30pm stopped at a bar decorated like an apartment for some nachos, because we are disgusting human beings and our stomachs are endless pits and we somehow were hungry again. Still no regrets though. Once thoroughly digested yet again, we set off back towards Melbourne and are now having a library date while I write this and answer some emails and John does homework and plans more trips. 
come to melb just for these, seriously
almost too pretty to eat
luna park
hey, melb
peep the bed and bathtub

There you have it, my summary of my time here so far in my usual, lengthy and extremely detailed, descriptions. To be honest, if you've made it this far and are still reading, I'm honored! I'll try to post more often instead of doing these ridiculously long posts, but wifi doesn't come easily here. It's good, though, I'm getting a nice technology detox and am definitely appreciative of that! Anyways, time to sign off and grab some dinner and enjoy the rest of my time here, it's already going too quickly.

Happy Sunday/Saturday!



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