We decided to camp out in the city again this year rather than planning a last minute trip out of town. Christian had a week and a half off work and we tried to knock off some of our “Melbourne To-Do list” in between some ups and downs with my sore back. Like last year, it’s been tough to be so far from family over the holiday, but we had opportunities to Skype and show off our shorts and t-shirts to all the Canadians. It was exciting to see our first day of cricket at the MCG (even if I paid later for sitting in that plastic chair for over 5 hrs). I definitely don’t always remember to take photos, but here are a few of the things we were up to…
We went to the Big Design Market just around the corner by the Melbourne Museum. I missed seeing the One of a Kind Show with my mom, but Christian stood in for her and bought me a nice drawing of a Kingfisher for Christmas:
Our favourite little local shop URA had a birthday party and invited the neighbourhood in for food, drinks, and live tunes. Free entry if you were wearing a Kimono:
I peeked in the Christmas windows downtown on my way to Pilates. All month there were hoards of families and school groups lining up for a look:
We went down Lygon St. to see some of the Italian Christmas Carols in the Park. Santa was there, and Befana too. Andrea Bocelli covers and big band christmas carols. Then we had some great pizza at Papa Gino’s:
I got a new pair of glasses, we tried out some amazing gelato on Lygon St., and we overindulged in some chocolate treats — Christian is the king of groupons:
There was some beautiful weather and we took the tram all over the place and walked to the park for a picnic, and my garden started to bloom:
We went to the Slow Food Market at the Abbotsford Convent, and ate some delicious doughnuts (Tim-bit style) and loaded up on fresh local eggs, bread, beers, and other Christmas treats. It’s a beautiful heritage building and gardens near the Yarra:
We developed a new appreciation for Cricket:
We saw some art at the National Gallery of Victoria to escape the heat (42 Celcius that day). Entry to the regular galleries is free, and we saw this hilarious David Shrigley exhibition and Takahiro Iwasaki’s Itsukushima Reflection Model.
Christian got some pro coffee equipment for Christmas:
It was a tough year in a lot of ways, getting back on my feet after injuring my back, being away from family and friends, and learning about a close friend dealing with cancer — but Melbourne has been an amazing place to get to know, we’ve met some wonderful people, we travelled out of the city on the wrong side of the road, we snorkelled over the Great Barrier Reef, saw a koala, braved a new kind of serious weather, got hooked on Australian birds (well I did), got a PhD and clocked almost 100 flight hours (Christian), and bought tickets for the Australian Open! This journal has helped me to keep it all in perspective, and I’ll keep documenting this upcoming year in Melbourne, to hold this place in my memory and to keep you (family and friends) up-to-date, because I miss you terribly.
I’m looking forward to the ups and downs of another Australian year, with more heat waves, bird calls, flights and Skype Chats. Here’s Christian playing me a tune to heal my back: