Campbellfield by train, then Sunshine, then the CBD, then Cheltenham. Funny thing you realize when driving all over Melbourne: the charm of it doesn't dissolve in generic strip malls (like some North American cities we've been to). Rather, the city is an onion that's crying out to be peeled.
Our last day to gather the important things we need: a beautiful car from the lovely folks at Ford Australia, safe and comfy car seats from the lovely folks at Britax, sunglasses from Sunshades and rashies from Rip Curl, and, in a negotiated truce for the stroller (Gali and Raquel have been at war to take poll position in the pram), an incredibly light Snap 4 Duo stroller from kind mensches at Australia's own Valco Baby.
Today was all about a muy rico memorable feast at Mamasita's, a family-friendly Mexican join that served up share plates so good we didn't want to share them! On the table: street style corn with queso-lime and chipotle mayo, tortillas, guacamole and salsa, BBQ'd octopus with hominy puree and serrano salsa; aguachile, a ceviche-like dish comprised of rockling, avo, jalapeno, lime and herbs, braised beef tostaditas with habanero and pickled onion; spicy lamb rib chops, and for the kids, chargrilled corn, chicken and cheese quesadillas, mouth-watering fish tacos and of course, ice-cream. Ay caramba!
My Favourite Pictures Today
Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.
Oaks Southbank. Now that we have a vehicle, we also have an idea of what it is to park in downtown Melbourne. Street parking, if you can find it, is time-sensitive. Meanwhile, the hourly rate in a CBD parkade is stunningly expensive. We quickly reversed the car to prowl the streets for an open spot. With our vehicle safely absconded in an Oaks parking bay, we appreciate our central Southbank location (location! location!) more than ever.
Driving on the opposite side of the road isn't such a big deal. Figuring out Melbourne's bizarro hook turns on the other hand... We learned that Marvellous Melbourne has 4.7 million inhabitants, and they drive very calmly, mostly under the speed limit, and along wide boulevards like St Kilda Road, which reminded us of Buenos Aires. We learned the value of having light prams, since we've had to negotiate stairs wherever we go. We learned that booster seats are not as adept as restraining a meltdown as a five-point harness.
Reflection of the Day
Getting our own wheels - a shiny blue Ford Ranger - for the freedom to run about the city on our errands. Ice-cream for Raquel (sense a theme here?). Gali pulling off his diaper for the first time to run about butt-naked cackling like a hyena.
Trying to figure out a Melbourne hook turn (wait, you have to turn left to turn right? Or is it right to turn left...)
We'll Always Remember
- Name: Theresa
- : Barcelona
- : It's the best nourishment for the mind
- : Stay in your car seat until you're tall enough. It's a safety seat, not a baby seat.
- Name: Kate
- : Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
- : You get away from the hustle and bustle and see different cultures.
- : Put the screen down and eat the quesadilla!
- Name: Jeffrey
- : Bondi Beach
- : It broadens your mind and horizons, to experience things outside your comfort zone.
- : Listen to your parents. They mean well although you won't realize that until much later in life.
We popped into the offices of Affirm Press today to say hi to the folks who instigated this wild adventure. We so hoped Raquel would be in her charming mood, and not her "couldn't give a rat's fart" mood. She landed somewhere in the middle. It's an old adage in Hollywood to never work with children or animals, because neither are predictable, and can run riot over the best laid plans. Of course, the same unpredictability accounts for all the joys and delight, as well as the frustration and misery. While Gali is ready to smile and bat his lashes (all the way to the boundary) Raquel can only be cajoled, encouraged and occasionally bribed to behave. In the offices of Valco Baby, I overheard the conversation of an experienced Dad asking his son to do a chore the son clearly had no interest in doing. He was firm and direct, but calm and clear. I walked out with a fabulous pram, travel cot, and insight into effective parenting.