Monday, April 14, 2014

a bucket list moment.

One of the goals on my bucketlist, one I never thought I’d actually accomplish, was to visit all seven continents. Enter countless years of singlehood, life paths I never began to imagine and cheap tickets and that equals two continents in one blow. Asia and Thailand made number six so it only made sense to start planning that trip to number seven; Australia. Turns out since it’s on the same side of the planet as number six that flights there are relatively cheap and easy. The vacation itself was on the spendy side but it only cost me $200 to get there. How on earth could I pass that up? Answer: I couldn’t! And of course, seeing as how I was that close, it really just made sense to add New Zealand to the itinerary. I was all set to go it alone but did some pretty decent persuading and ended up having a friend from Virginia join me which only sweetened the deal. A week in Australia and a week in New Zealand were just what this girl needed to ease her back into the realities of paying more than a dollar for a meal, driving a car (though still on the left-hand side of the road), and coping with the phenomenon of understanding what the people around me.

First off was a stop in Melbourne. There was an enthusiastic and somewhat tearful reunion at the airport Sunday after a series of flights from Udon Thani to Bangkok to Malaysia and finally Australia on my part, DC to LAX to Melbourne on Jenny’s part. We were both a tad jetlagged but after taking the train to our hotel and getting settled we ventured out to Queen Victoria Market to wander among the stalls and eating some fabulous lunch. The rest of the afternoon we wandered through Kings Domain and the surrounding parks and gardens, past the Memorial Shrine where we heard an orchestral performance, and then all the way down to the St Kilda pier. Here we watched the finishers of the Iron Man celebrate, walked along the beach, ate an amazing dinner on the water, spied a few of the elusive blue fairy penguins that nest on the pier, witnessed a fabulous sunset and then made the long walk back to the hotel.  

Part two tomorrow!

the city of Melbourne as seen from St Kilda pier

look closely, there's a penguin in there!

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