I was hoping to knock out this post during my flight home from Melbourne but to cut a very long story short, the flight attendant forgot to give me a meal and while all of that was going on, I got talking to the guy sitting next to me. We got so engrossed in our conversation that it would have been very rude of me to pull out my laptop and start typing. We talked about so many things and I even gave him some very worldly relationship advice. (who would have thought hey?)
He also told me about his older brother who is Autistic and I was blown away by how highly he spoke of his mother. She sounded like such an amazing woman. I was astounded at everything she had accomplished as a single mum, incuding migrating to Australia with her two young boys, completing her law degree when she got here, working as a lolly-pop lady to put food on the table and caring for her Autistic son who at 29, still lives with her to this day. Wow. This lady is yet another example of how strong the human spirit can be and that you really can achieve anything that you want to. We can do anything. Brought a tear to my eye.
Anyway, I am actually writing this so I can rave about my trip to Melbourne on the weekend. Ahhh, Melbourne. Love it. The shopping, the food, just everything is awesome. I have been there several times and this visit was the best one yet because I went to spend time with my friend Kylie to celebrate her birthday.
Kylie and I became friends 8 years ago and our friendship became cemented during the period that Andrew worked FIFO up north. While he was away, Kylie and I hung out together a lot and I now consider her to be one of my dearest friends. Kylie is a great listener, really funny and she calls it as she sees it. We laugh a lot together. Unfortunately, I have no photos of any the things we did in Melbourne. It didn’t help that Kylie doesn’t like having her photo taken but I also haven’t got into the habit of getting out my camera at crucial life moments. I will try hard to make a bigger effort from here on. I did take this photo of the beautiful tree outside her apartment though before I left… ☺
Kylie lives in a lovely apartment complex on a beautiful street in Carlton. I have never been to Carlton before. There are so many amazing old buildings and it is so central. Kylie has made an amazing life for herself over in Melbourne and I can’t help but feel a little envious.
I arrived in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon and I was so excited to see her! We went out for hot chocolate at a cute little place just near her apartment followed by a lovely Thai dinner later that evening. We intended to go out for cocktails after dinner but as my eyes started to glaze over with tiredness, I saw that Kylie’s were too and I think she was relieved when I announced that I was happy to just watch a movie and have a glass of wine at her place – but not before we stopped off to get some chocolate. This woman doesn’t own a kettle or a toaster so I didn’t expect that she would have any chocolate in her fridge either. So, on the Saturday night, we sat in our PJ’s, drank red wine, ate tim tams and chocolate and continued chatting. When the movie finished, I went to my room and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. That has not happened for a seriously long time.
On Saturday morning, we slept in til 8.30 and headed out to Atomic on Brunswick street for breakfast before returning to the city for a day of shopping. I had lots of success at Forever New (which wasn’t unusal because this is where I buy all my staples) and Zara. The clothes at Zara are just beautiful. I hope they start an online store in Australia soon. I got a really cute dress that Kylie picked out for me. Looking forward to a special occassion so I can wear it!
By 2.00pm, we were getting pretty tired and hungry so decided to stop for a glass of wine and some cheese. It was really nice to sit in a trendy bar overlooking one of the alleys in the city, sipping wine and eating cheese. This is not something I have ever combined with a day of shopping and I felt so grown up! That grown up feeling, however, lasted right up until I gave the blue cheese a try. It was so revolting, I nearly gagged and very nearly spat it out just like Emma and Chloe do when they don’t like something. I don’t think I will ever be grown up enough to like blue cheese. Yech!
We continued on to a few more shops before heading back to Kylie’s place where our friend Lorraine met us for a glass of Moet (and I ate more chocolate) and then the three of us headed out for dinner.
Kylie suggested a place in North Melbourne – Sosta Cucina. It was A M A Z I N G!! If you are ever in Melbourne and feel like quality Italian, I highly recommend it. Everything was perfect – the wine, the cocktails, the arancini I had for entree and the capretto I had for my main. Even the side dishes of spinach and fried potatos (and let’s face it, who doesn’t love fried potatos??!!) were delicious. But the highlight of the meal was the Bombolini Ripieni – three hot cinnamon sugared donuts filled with vanilla pastry cream and accompanied with melted milk Lindt chocolate. Bomb diggity!! So good!! The Semifreddo and Cannoli that we shared were nice too but we all agreed they just didn’t compare to the Bombolini. I even got to eat the last of the melted chocolate so I was pretty pleased with that! Another photo opportunity totally missed here. Sorry, but please do check out the Sosta Cucina website!
On Monday morning, Kylie left for work while I slept in and enjoyed the serenity and the knowing that I didn’t have to get up to make anyone breakfast. After meeting Kylie for a morning coffee and a late breakfast, I headed back into the city for more shopping. I spent hours going through Myer and David Jones and even bought a pretty bracelet that I saw the day before in Swarovski. I didn’t have as much luck with clothes this time around but managed to pick up some great bargains for the girls. I wish I had have had another look in Zara though. Next time.
Before I knew it, my day of independance was over and I was back at Kylie’s place trying to fit all my new purchases into my suitcase. Kylie dropped me to the airport and I felt so sad to say goodbye. I can’t wait for my next trip over. I intend on making this trip to Melbourne an annual or twice annual event. Can’t wait for the next one!
If you have read some of my other posts you will know that I do go on about how much I love my girls. I love spending my days with them but I also really love my own company too. Before I became a wife and a mum, I was just me. A lot of the time, the old me gets forgotten but she does get so excited when I make time to do things for her. And lets face it, she really deserves it! ☺
Even though I am a wife and a mum with a bucket load of responsibilities, it is so important that I occassionally take time out from reality and do something special just for me. It is very easy to become consumed with our families and all the day to day stuff and to forget about the woman behind all of that. We need to remember to make time for ourselves too. If we aren’t centred and connected from within, how can we be the great spouse and parent that we want to be?
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed every minute that I got to spend in Melbourne, I did miss Andrew and our girls. It was great to cuddle them all again and to be reminded that my reality is actually pretty good.
Have you recently taken time out to do something nice for yourself? It feels so good doesn’t it!