Parents’ Visit – Wrap Up

This post is a little late. It’s been just over a week since Ben’s parents took their leave from us to explore the Western side of Australia with their friends. We had a wonderful time hosting them and getting to show them some of the areas in and around Melbourne. Ben took some time off work and a friend generously loaned us his car for a few days so we were able to drive out to see some sights.

Some highlights of their visit…

We spent a nice day having lunch at St. Kilda beach and then made our way back into the city for afternoon desserts at Hopetoun Tea Room which has been operating since the 19th century.  The next day we had breakfast at one of our favorite spots – Chez Dre done properly with dessert – and took off for Mornington Peninsula. We stopped at a couple wineries, the strawberry farm (complete with jam purchases of course!) and then headed to Phillip Island for the penguin parade. Unfortunately, I did not come home with a new pet wallaby but it wasn’t for lack of effort!

No trip is complete without a drive down Great Ocean Road to see the 12 Apostles! Along the way we spotted some koalas and drove through Otway National Park to take a tour through the Rainforrest Treetop Walk. Once we got to Port Campbell, the wind had picked up quite a bit and it had gotten cold so we decided to leave viewing the Apostles and other stack formations for the next morning.

Thankfully, the temperatures picked up a little the next day but the wind was still pretty fierce and… “the sea was angry that day my friends!” I thought the experience might be a bit spoiled without the beautiful weather we had back in December but it was still just as spectacular. The storm-like weather conveyed the sheer power of the sea crashing into the formations and it took your breath away.

The final outing was a trip to Healesville Animal Sanctuary about an hour outside of Melbourne. Here, we got to see some of the same animals we had encountered throughout our travels – just closer up – as well as others native to Australia that you may not see – and may not want to see – on your average excursion. Admittedly, all of us were most excited about seeing the duck billed platypus which did not disappoint but was much smaller than we had imagined.

Alas, it was time for the parents to depart Melbourne for adventures out west. Fortuitously, the night before their departure, the skies lit up with fireworks which we all enjoyed from our apartment balcony. Ben and I have learned that there is no shortage of fireworks in Melbourne over the summer and it’s something we’ve come to enjoy. I think these in particular were for the Moomba Festival but we’ll all just say that they were arranged special for Ben’s parents 😉

Overall, it was a lovely visit. They brought a little bit of home to us and for that we are very grateful. I’m sure they are having an amazing time exploring Aussie’s Western coast – something Ben and I hope to be able to do soon!

Parents Arrive in Melbourne (+ Foo Fighters)

This past Friday, Ben’s parents touched down in Melbourne for their Aussie holiday. Our little city is their first stop on a month long itinerary. They are spending 10 days catching up with us and then are headed to the western side of Oz to meet up with some friends and tour a slightly different landscape.

Taking jet lag into consideration, we spent the weekend showing them around the city a bit and allowing them to rest up and adjust. We took them to Queen Vic Market, Shrine of Remembrance, Royal Botanical Gardens and gave them a peek at Ben’s office. Today we even ventured out to Brighton Beach to snap a few photos of the bathing boxes. It’s 4 days into their visit and they’ve already experienced the defining Melbourne weather – everything from sunshine to a storm that blew down many a branches from trees throughout the city.

On Saturday evening, Ben and I – somewhat guiltily – left the parents on their own to attend a Foo Fighters concert. Both of us individually have been listening to the Fighters of Foo for give or take 15 years. However, neither of us had seen them in concert. Every time they played near us something would come up and we’d have to miss it. We constantly lamented over missed opportunities in our youth to attend some of their epics tours. So, FINALLY, the time had come…. and it… was… AWESOME!!!

The concert was a typical stadium show at Ethiad. We opted for 4th row seats instead of general floor standing (because I am that short and we are that old). While I’m not sure I can give it the title number one best concert I’ve ever attended – that has been held by Clapton’s last world tour – it is a very close second.

They played a little of everything including a handful of covers – The Faces, AC/DC, Rush, Queen – and they even allowed some guy to propose to his unsuspecting girlfriend on stage. Normally, I am NOT a fan of public proposals but how epic is that???? Money and time absolutely well spent and of course the parents understood 🙂

Looking forward to the rest of the week touring around with the folks! Stay tuned…