8.10am flight ex ChCh & landed bang on 10am 'Stralian time.
We managed to blag our way out of queuing in either of the monstrous two que options at Arrivals & took advantage of the Melbourne public transport system with a quick bus janut to Broadway before jumping on a train into Central.
We googled 'best pizza CBD' before we got into town and decided on Heartbreakers (Connie's) because of the flavors on offer.
We weren't disappointed - fucking delicious (pepperoni for me, loaded mushroom for Chez on thin, crispy & cheesy and the mother fuckers packed in bags of flavour.
Strolled up Collins Street and checked into the Intercontinental around 1pm.
The Atrium is impressive - two old red brick buildings joined together with modern glass/steel.
The central atrium used to be a street and now fancy cunts eat their breakfasts where horses used to casually shit while strolling along on their daily bidness. Very cool.
Dropped our bags, checked out the room & strolled back into town, down to Southbank and followed the Yarra all along the waterfront as far as the Goliath shipping cranes before turning back, retracing our steps and visiting a couple of riverside bars to take advantage of happy hour.
As the afternoon sun was getting less intense we jumped on the #16 tram & cruised out to St. Kilda. We got off the tram early so we could walk along the waterfront and enjoy the beautiful views all along the esplanade.
St Kilda's gorgeous BTW. It's almost a snapshot of what luxury used to look like in Melbourne from days gone by, but still has that mid-century indulgent feel (even if some of the luster & shine has worn off) (just adds character).
We ended up in this little bar/garden called Lona for a jug of Jamaica's finest and some nachos to share. Guac was SOOOOOOO fucking good!
Strolled down the strip after to retrace old steps, heard a fucking million & one Irish accents and decided to leave 'little Eire' and head back into the CBD.
We hit a few cool little bars in the evening (Lustre just off Flinders being the best of the bunch) and grabbed a bottle of bubbles on route back to the Intercontinental to have a few sneaky ones while we decided on where for dinner.
After an extensive Google search we opted for Gami Chicken & Beer - a very non-descript basement establishment which must have once been an office because there were still phone jacks dotted on very poorly painted walls. But decor aside - the food was INSANELY good!
Chicken stir fry, sweet chilli wings, spicy wings, kimchee & cabbage slaw with some nummy Korean beer - SOOOOOOOO good. Worth flying back to Melbourne alone just for this chicken 🙌
After we left we gave our leftovers to a nice smiley homeless dude, made our way back to base - had a quick nightcap before turning in and watching the Super Rugby highlights in bed. 30,478 steps and a perfect first day of our Melbourbe weekend 👌
We'd breakfast at the hotel the next morning (great sunny side up eggs) and booked cheap ass tickets for the ferry to Williamstown on bookit.com for $16AUD each ... 50% off, fuck I love a bargain 👍
Got the 10.30am ferry and stood on the back end of 'The Yarra Queen' outside the seated area so we wouldn't have to listen to the wanky commentary for the 1hr ride to Williamstown.
The sailboats, yachts, super yachts, shipping yards, monstrous containers ships, etc. are worth the trip alone. The amount of wealth on that river is fucking mind blowing!
We pulled into Willamstown port around 11.40 and it was hot - very hot.
We headed down towards the Titanic Museum first and then looped back & forth through the residential streets admiring all the old period style villas that have been lovingly restored. You can pretty much smelly the money in Williamstown.
Once we wandered back into the little township, we grabbed a beer/some water to quench the thirst before getting a gelato and strolling to the beach.
The sea front ended up being windy as fuck so we didn't stay (plus it ain't the nicest looking beach in the world ...) and we strolled back through the compact but pretty Botanic Gardens stopping for a beer on route to the ferry.
The last boat was delayed so we just chilled on the pier with feet soaking in the nice chilly water and admired the full city view & it's a view worth the ferry ride for.
We went back to the hotel to freshen up before meeting friends who recently moved to Melbourne for drinks and dinner. After seeing Tonka on Masterchef (& being under the influence at the time) we booked a table 6 months in advance.
We weren't sure what to expect but fuck me - the food!
The crispy soft shell crab with curry sauce was a party in my mouth and the hits kept coming in the bite sized entrees. The crusted lamb cutlet and the calamari were so fucking good. The mains - butter chicken & Avani lamb curry with jasmine rice, roti, poppadoms and chutney 🙌
And the restaurant itself was just cool - dimly lit interior after coming through a very non-descript entrance that seemed more like an illegal underground cock fighting venue than a fine dining establishment.
But never judge a book by its cover - this place is outstanding & even though it's a little pricey - it's up there in the top 5 best meals I've ever had. And all four of us were in agreement on that score.
Once we'd finished our 17 courses we strolled back down the graffiti filled lane ways and ended up in Lustre again sipping coronas & arguing over the ethical values of the GAA under the we hours. 22,678 steps and bed for 2am.
After a sleep in to let the head piece itself back together we hit the hotel lobby for breakfast (again - fucking yum yum YUM) before jumping on a train out to Windsor to meet up with Emer, Ciaran & Ellen.
Windsors a cool little spot - very funky and a bit quirky. We liked it. A lot.
We grabbed an iced mocha at 7 bells (34 degrees at 11am) & met a nice Kiwi couple and their even nicer dog - she was awesome. Old girl with a big ol personality, quality full on tail swing (not wag) and friendly as fuck.
We walked down through Windsor to get to Emer/Ciaran's new place - a gorgeous little white villa with a red brick paved courtyard - wary noice 👌
After the tour we headed up to Leonard's House of Love for some beers in the sun and some fucking DELICIOUS pub food (tex mex fries, chips with cheese/gravy, chicken tenders, onion rings & XXX wings) (& they were fucking scorching hot - my arse was on fire after, still was for a few days after ... but oh so worth the pain).
Our flight was also canceled while we were there but Air NZ booked us onto a Quantas flight leaving at the same time, so we said our goodbyes and jumped on a tram back to Flinders. But wait, then we get another confirmation from Air NZ telling us we're flying home via Auckland tomorrow morning. Confusing? Yes 👍
After multiple phone calls and speaking to many different 'not so helpful' people we landed on Fiona who sorted us out a direct flight home the following day AND got us an accommodation credit for the night.
So we ended up at The Sheraton right next to Parliament House, had a dip in their stunning rooftop pool to chill the fuck out after a few stressful hours and we watched the sun set over the surrounding rooftops while we soaked our aching feet.
We decided to make a positive out of a negative and went to The Oriental Spoon for late night Korean BBQ and neither of us thought LA Korean BBQ in K'town could ever be beaten, but this shit was better. Seven thumbs up 👍
After a great meal and a couple of Hites we strolled back to The Sheraton through a Greek festival and turned in for an early(ish) night. Thanks to our amazing babysitter's we could relax and enjoy the fact we got to spend another day in this brilliant city. Total steps: 22,458.
Day 4 started like the one before. Up, shower, backed our bags, checked out and left our bags with the Concierge for the day. We headed out to Fitzroy and strolled up and down Brunswick Street soaking in the atmosphere and admiring the many MANY street art examples (good grimy shit too, not polished wankyness) before grabbing a coffee at Addaboy Roy.
Decent flat white & funky spot.
We decided to walk back into town and just strolled towards the spire off in the distance that we knew was close to our hotel. It didn't take long and we ended up just continuing on with our leisurely stroll into the CBD in the baking sun (we kept crossing over & back across the street to get the shade).
We jumped on a tram out to The Botanic Gardens, had a little look around and when we couldn't bear the heat anymore we went back to Central, got some pressies for the kids before grabbing our checked luggage and heading back to the airport.
And after a non-eventful mission through Aussie security we hit the Air NZ Lounge and relaxed, sipped a beer and waited for our flight.
All in all a bloody amazing weekend had with my favorite travel companion Cheryl 👌
Highlights: the food (BEST eating weekend EVER), catching up with friends, the ferry ride to Williamstown, both hotels & Southbank strolls.