Day 17


Brighton Beach



Where We Went:

What We Did:

Today was our first real beach day in a country with some of the world’s best beaches.  We were invited to enjoy one of the 82 iconic, colourful boxes that line the beach in the affluent suburb of Brighton Beach.   Built during the Victorian era when modesty was a long way from today’s string bikinis, the boxes are owned (through a licensing program) by locals and have become a major tourist attraction. Today, our box provided much-needed shade from a nuclear sun that baked Melbourne in the upper 30’s!  Box number 43 was sandwiched between two rainbow-painted boxes that attract lots of attention.  Tourists from Israel, the US, India and China said hello, while Raquel had a blast in the clear, shallow waters lapping a few metres from our tiny patio.   Dad walked Gali to the nearest supermarket, exploring the very tony neighbourhood, but the heat eventually overcame us all. We packed into the car and drove downtown for a memorable dinner, and one more chance to show Mom and the kids the Banksy and other art in AC/DC lane.

What We Ate:

A delicious picnic at the beach brought by Dad and Gali. Rotisserie chicken, deli salads and bread.

Dinner at Lucy Liu was top-tier Asian-fusion.  When your kids are chomping down fresh kingfish sashimi with hot mint, green chili and toasted coconut (spicy!) and Tuna Tataki with Apple Ponzu, you know they’re a: hungry b: been eating too much fried food c: love raw fresh seafood (being from Vancouver and all.    Mom and Dad relished the Tempura Soft Shelled Crab with hot green nam jim;  Steamed Spinach and Water Chestnut Dumplings in Szechuan Chili Oil; Green Bean and Mizuna Salad with tofu dressing and pickled ginger; Korean Fried Chicken buns with Spicy Gochujang; Peking Duck dumplings with Lucy’s Hoi San Sauce, and melt-in-the-mouth roti and sticky rice for the kids.    For dessert:   Banana fritters with toasted rice and coconut, ginger creme brûlée, and vanilla ice cream, of course.  The service was outstanding and our large table gave us plenty of space to share all the dishes.

Where We Ate:

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

Moonee Ponds. Two days ago we were wondering why the house has ceiling fans and air conditioning.  It’s the height of summer and the house was freezing. Today we cannot believe how hot the house was when we got home from the beach.  The weather in Melbourne takes pleasure in messing with you!

We Learned:

That it costs $300,000-$350,000 to own a license to have a beach box at Brighton Beach.   At 2.4m x 2m x 2m, it’s the priciest real estate in Melbourne!  They cannot be rented, have various restrictions (no sleeping over!) and will be passed on from generation to generation, or occasionally sold.   We learned that Chinese tourists love the rainbow painted boxes the most.    Dad learned that the wealthier the neighbourhood,  the higher the walls.   Raquel learned to stay still when you are boogie boarding or you are going to get wet.   We all learned that Melbourne gets pretty damn hot and three of us have fair, freckled skin not made for it.  Dad learned that the Ford Everest, which runs on diesel, is far more fuel efficient than anything he expected.    We also learned that the actress Lucy Liu is aware that there is a restaurant in Melbourne called Lucy Liu’s, but the connection is otherwise coincidence.   Finally, we learned that hungry kids will eat spicy food!

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Raquels favourite part of the day was collecting shells from the beach and digging a moat.  Gali didn’t enjoy the water that much, and the sand was too hot for him to play with (or eat).  But he had fun exploring the bathing beach box, going on a suburban stroll with Dad, and goofing out beneath the amazing street art in the city.

The Worst Part:

Raquels worst part of the day was falling off the boogie board into the sea.  Even though Dad was there to catch her, she hasn’t quite got the hang of the balance thing.    For Dad: it was choosing flip-flops instead of his trusty Keen sandals for the day.  He didn’t expect to walk 4km in a baking sun, and thinks he’s seared the bottom of his feet!

We'll Always Remember

  • Name: John
  • Favourite Place: Sitting on Brighton Beach, Melbourne
  • I Love Travel Because: of interesting places, interesting people, and new experiences
  • My Advice for Kids: Enjoy life and explore.

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

Rip Curl sent us each a UV shirt for the adventure, and today we really appreciated it.  The sun was beating down on Raquel all day and with a hat, sunblock on her legs and her UV, she was perfectly fine.   We still feel a little weird by the sheer volume of sunblock you have to go through in Australia, especially given the info about endocrine disruptors.  We haven’t been able to find any zinc/titanium oxide products in the local stores.   But if it’s a choice of mild exposure to a yucky chemical or intense exposure to a strong sun, the decision becomes pretty obvious.       After a long day at the beach, the kids started their melt down as we arrived for dinner.  We popped out our iPhones, hooked onto the free wifi network available in downtown Melbourne, and let them go crazy on Youtube Kids.   Don’t judge us until a: you know what we’re dealing with and b: you deal with it yourself and c: want a half hour of peace and quiet to enjoy a fabulous meal.    Finally, this evening, Dad gave Mom a hug and Raquel got jealous.  OMG has it been that long since she’s seen Dad and Mom having a moment?  Minutes later, we spied her giving a big hug to Gali and telling him she’ll always love him.  It was so sweet and tender it melted our hearts.


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