18 April 2011

The Melbourne Story

Let me take you through my 26 days in Melbourne :-)

My plane landed on Melbourne grounds at exactly 8:05 in the morning. My Tita Chona and Tito Pete fetched me from the airport.

Photo taken at the airport. I was told that whenever anyone came to Melbourne, it was sort of a tradition to take a photo with these statues.

I arrived in the morning, Auntie Pinky and Ate Bambi arrived lunch time. We spent the first day bonding at home, maxing out on gossip and taking pictures. 

Everyone came over for dinner during the first night.

The next morning, Ate Bambi colored Ate Kathy's hair and then we went to Star Nails in Brand Junction to get our nails done for the wedding. We went to Westfield for lunch, Savers in the afternoon and then straight to the church for the wedding rehearsal. We had late dinner in Ate Tin and Kuya Jeff's place.

Third day, we had dinner in Tita Susan's place.
Look at Kassie wearing a trench coat! She's such a fashionista! 

After the dinner, the three of us slept over at Mill Park Motor Inn in preparation for Ate Kathy and Kuya Kipsy's wedding the following day. We woke up at 5 to start getting ready and our aunties came over as well.

Still in the inn, after everyone had already dressed up.

The wedding was held in Saint Francis of Asissi church at 11:30 in the morning. It was a simple and beautiful autumn-themed wedding and the weather was absolutely perfect.

Pictorials outside the church with the bride and groom.

The reception was held at Golden Star.

Bouquet and garter toss by the bride and the groom.

I was so lucky to be able to go around Sydney for four days. We were fetched by Auntie Pinky's friend upon touchdown, and went straight to the famous Opera House and Harbour Bridge to take pictures. We had late breakfast at Pancakes on the Rocks.

We went to Queen Victoria Building- it was a former palace which was transformed into a mall.

We had dinner at Manmaruya- a Japanese restaurant. We were fetched afterwards by Ate Bambi's friends, and we slept over at their place at North Ryde.

First stop, the Gap Bluff. It's a cliff over looking the sea- I heard it was a suicide spot and that's the reason why they built a fence around the area. 

The famous Bondi Beach used to be a nude beach but changed its rules because a lot of people started taking pictures.

Spent the day literally walking around the city. We went back to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. 

We wanted to go to the Chinese garden but we were too late to go on a self-tour.

Next day, we went to Birkenhead Point Marina and Outlet Centre.

We had lunch at the Sydney Fish Market.

We spent our time in Top Ryde Shopping Centre on the last day, before going to the airport.

We were fetched by the newlyweds from the airport that same night- we had dinner at T.G.I.Fridays where Ate Kathy and Ate Tin first worked when they migrated to Sydney. Ate Tin joined us for dinner.

First day back, I went to the city with my cousins and new friends. We rode the train from Thomastown to Melbourne Central and then ate lunch in Yum Cha- an all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant.

We went around the city using the City Circle Tram- which is a tram specifically for tourists, which means it's free! In the photo above, you can see us posing across the street from the Princess theatre and the Parliament of Victoria.

We went shopping at Waterfront City in Docklands, posed in front of the Federation Square, Flinder's, and the State Library.

We had coffee in Azurea after having a Japanese dinner.

There are so many places to shop in Melbourne, but my favorite was Trash n Treasure. It's sort of a big garage sale where people just park their cars and dump their stuff on the floor. So many cheap finds!

One of the things I love about Melbourne (or Australia in general, I think) is that it doesn't have much proper land. I mean, okay, so it's not a very good place for night outs- malls close at around 5 in the afternoon except on Thursdays- but the fields and parks are so large, there's just so much scenery to intake. One of my lolo's favorite parks is the Yan Yean Reservoir Park and you can see in the photos above why it is. The view is just breath taking, especially because the water is so calm and serene.

Tito Pete drove Mommy Lulu and I to the Werribee Mansion and Rose Gardens one Tuesday morning. The mansion's so fantastically beautiful and fascinating. We even rented one of those radio thingies that tells you the story behind each and every room in the mansion. 

When I went to Melbourne, it was Autumn season so I consider myself lucky to have seen some flowers in the Rose Garden. The said garden contains 5000 species of roses, imagine that!

The next day, Alai and I took a trip to the city all by ourselves with just a camera and a map! I was so proud of myself for not getting lost and finding myself around the city considering how bad I am with directions! We toured around the Melbourne Museum and even wanted to go to Old Melbourne Gaol- which would have cost us AUS$22- and the Melbourne Aquarium but it was too late and too far from where we were. 

Anyway, it was a really a great experience for me to be able to use the public transportation abroad!

Last time to go out, we went to San Remo. Good thing I was able to catch the pelicans before they left. We had lunch in a gazebo and then fed the seagulls. The bridge in the picture leads to Phillip Island.

Phillip Island is like a really huge park where the animals are just free to roam around. There were some birds in cages and reptiles in aquariums but the rest are just all over the place.

Australia is very famous for their kangaroos. Luckily (or not!), there were a lot of them around when we were there. I guess it was because it was considered a good weathered day, not being hot and all. There were just too much of them and I got scared!!! My face is epic in some of the pictures! Hahahaha :-)

In the largest photo, you can see emus. I believe that these are from the ostrich family and can also only be seen in Australia (although I'm not really sure). On the bottom center photo are the dinggos or the Australian wild dogs. An electrical fence surrounds the area because they are opportunistic predators. On the bottom right photo are tasmanian devils- these creatures look like big rats / small pigs and they're really just disgusting. I was lucky enough to see three of them because I heard they don't go out that often.

Next stop was Nobbies. We walked down a really long bridge along a spectacular view. We went to the Penguin Parade in the evening but we weren't allowed to take photos of the world's smallest penguins. It was definitely one of the most memorable places / events I've been to in Australia. :-)

Look at the leaves!!! This is why I fell in love with the autumn weather in Australia. It was just wonderful :-)

To start my last week off in Australia, Ate Kathy took me and Mommy Lulu to Rivers. It's a really nice restaurant with a really nice and expensive souvenir shop. I was told Lolo Manz was a fan of their scones. I didn't really like it though, as I'm not a sweet tooth. Mommy Lulu and I went duck feeding after brunch.

The next day, it was Ate Tin and Kuya Jeff's turn to take us to lunch. We ate at the Growling Frog Golf Course and I must say their food is just superb! :-) That same day, we went to Brand Junction- it's a small Direct Factory Outlet that's really close to our place.

This photo was taken just before I last stepped out of the house. We were on the way to hear church, and then we had dinner at Hungry Jacks. I was driven to the airport at 7:45 for my 11:20 flight, Melbourne time. The flight was a little delayed and it touched down at 6:30 in the morning in Manila. :-)

The trip I had was beyond wonderful! Even though I wish I could've stayed a little bit longer, it was definitely more than I asked for. I can't wait to go back! :-)

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