How is it possibly over a week into August already? Years lasted an eternity when I was in Primary School. Now they zoom by and are over before I’ve even gotten used to writing the new year at the top of my diary.
The Lovely Boyfriend and I moved back (for me) to (a first for him – he’s Canadian) Australia in November last year. I still feel like we just got back, even though it’s been 10 months. The internet makes Canada feel closer. We’re able to video chat with his family abut once a week (I think we talk more often now than we did when we actually lived in the same province). Facebook lets me peek in on the lives of my Canadian mates. At the moment all their pictures of beautiful Vancouver in the summer just make me jealous. And I miss my view. A comparison for you:
Of course, it’s winter here at the moment and I’m finding it so very, very mild compared to even Vancouver’s moderately (for Canada) mild winters. When I was in Canada I used to defend Melbourne’s winter’s and say they got pretty cold and windy and miserable, but having lived through one after experiencing 4 Canadian winters… well, it doesn’t even FEEL like winter here! Sure, it gets a bit chilly. But the gardens are still all beautiful and I see flowers everywhere, some days top 17, 18 degrees (I once over heard a Canadian girl at the end of Spring complain that 19 degrees was ZOMG SO HOTTTTT) and we just haven’t had the weeks and months on end of grey, grey, grey. It feels more like a Vancouver Spring here.
Our coldest days are still reaching double figures. I got used to weeks of tops in the negatives over there.
Anyway. I didn’t really set out to write about the weather.
The Lovely Boyfriend and I can be total homebodies if external factors let us. We like going out, but we also enjoy just chilling out at home, doing our own thing. Sometimes I feel like our laziness makes us miss opportunities.
Last weekend we had a visitor: one of TLB’s Canadian friends is currently living in Hobart for the year. He popped over to Melbourne for the weekend (why don’t we pop anywhere for the weekend?!). TLB had a course on during the day Saturday, so I hung out with S and a traveller friend of his, a nice British gal currently living in Fitzroy. She took us up Brunswick St; I had no freakin idea how bloody close Fitzroy is to the CBD! I can so easily walk there from uni! Made me realise I need to get to know the inner city suburbs better… I did my undergrad at Monash out in Clayton (aka middle of the suburban wasteland) and am just not used to things being so close and accessible. I’m not even sure how many weeks it took for me to realise how bloody close the Melbourne Graduate School of Education is to the Queen Vic Market! (Answer is extremely close).
Anyhoo. That night I asked if there was anything in particular that our friend wanted to see or do the next day. He mentioned something about “this Great Ocean Road thing” that he’d heard about. It hadn’t even occurred to me. I grew up NEAR the Great Ocean Road. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve been to the Twelve Apostles. It’s got to be in the hundreds by now. Whenever we had guests or visitors we went there. And sometimes we went there just coz it was a nice day. Or a stormy day. Or coz we felt like it. (It’s changed a lot from when I was a kid though – sometimes we’d go and we were the only ones there… that was back in the day when all that was there was a small gravel car park… no chance of that anymore!)
In my mind Melbourne is not near the Great Ocean Road. That’s near home. Which is not near Melbourne. But of course, it is. Last Sunday we ended up driving from Melbourne (thankfully we live in the western suburbs) to Lorne where we stopped for a break and a pint at the pub overlooking the beach, along the beautiful winding road, ocean on one side, rainforest on the other, to Apollo Bay where we had lunch. No ice-cream though. They’re shut until September :(. From there we drove to the Twelve Apostles. On the drive I realised I’d never actually done that section of the Great Ocean Road. We’ve always cut through Timboon to Port Campbell and done the Twelve Apostles/Loch Ard Gorge and then worked our way up to the Warrnambool end, or gone to visit Grandma in Colac and cut through the Otways to do Apollo Bay and Lorne. So that was something new even for me.
By the time we reached the Loch Ard Gorge, the winter sun was getting rather low on the horizon, and I made the executive decision to cut across to Mum’s house where she was expecting us with a laden table of assorted savory treats. As I made seemingly random turn, after random turn, going down even more remote roads, our guest started to wonder where the hell we were taking him. We reached my tiny blink or you’ll miss it hometown (village) just in time for the sunset. At TLB’s request I drove halfway up the resident volcano/mountain as he hoped to climb up to the crater to view the sunset. This made me question his memory as he thought it was only a few minutes walk (it’s not) and he’d seemed to forget the existence of the side of the mountain that would totally block the view! I convinced them not to climb the mountain (he also thought the path went all the way to the crater; it does not. It only goes about 200m in, then you’re on your own stumbling over cow pats and half-metre high tussocks up a rather steep 400m to the crater lookout… and then a further 500 or so metres up an even steeper side of the crater to reach the top – if we’d gotten there earlier I would have been all for it, great view from up there! But I didn’t really fancy breaking my ankle in the dark coming down…) and so I drove around to the side of the mount where we could actually see the sunset (for some reason I always forget that the sunset moves with the seasons…)
All in all we drove a bit over 550km’s that day.
You can do so much in a day. Why don’t we?
I must come up with a list of day excursions for us to do. Any suggestions?