Well, my hand luggage and I are back – my larger suitcase however, only made it as far as Vancouver. I’m told that it has arrived in Toronto but am still waiting on the airline to call and set up a delivery. In the meantime, I’m wearing the very minimal makeup that I had in my hand luggage and my hair is a frizz ball because my straightener is in my suitcase. Oh, the joys of air travel!
Anyways, enough of my whining! How are you today, friends? Did you miss me? I certainly missed you! Nine weekdays is the longest blogging hiatus I’ve taken since starting up Eat Spin Run Repeat two years ago, and life feels very different without my daily blog writing and reading regime! I’ve got heaps of photos and things to tell you about from my trip, but there is far too much for just one post. Over the next little while, I’ll recap my Australian adventure and give you the highlights of my past 2 weeks. Let’s start at the beginning shall we?
For those of you who are fairly new to Eat Spin Run Repeat, one of my friends that I used to go to school with in Bahrain asked me last year to be a bridesmaid in her wedding this April. Although the plane ticket was certainly not cheap, there was no way I was going to say no to this opportunity to get down to Australia again. My friend, Cynthia, left Bahrain in 2004. Her family moved to Singapore, where I went to visit them in 2006 just before moving back to Canada to begin university. After she finished school there, she moved back to her hometown of Melbourne. I’m not sure if it’s possible for us to live further apart distance-wise, but both of us knew that once we met again for the first time since my Singapore trip 6 years ago, we’d pick up right where we left off.
I left home on April 20th, got a shuttle to the Toronto airport, then began my enormous journey to the land down under. The flight from Toronto to Vancouver was 5 hours, followed by about 15 hours down to Sydney. Due to poor weather conditions we had to spend an extra hour up in the sky before landing, but an hour didn’t seem like much relative to the 20 that were behind me already! From Sydney, it was just a one hour flight to Melbourne.
Since we were busy with wedding prep, I adjusted to the 14 hour time difference quite quickly. (I credit this partly to the lovely magic melatonin sleeping tablets I took on the plane!) For the first couple of days, it rained, and rained, and rained, and then rained a little bit more. Cynthia and I saw this as a good opportunity for indoor activities, so we did what any pair of long lost friends would do – headed to the mall for lunch and a bit of shopping. Cynth also bought me a spa voucher for an amazing 1-hour full-body massage, which I absolutely loved. In our shopping travels, she introduced me to the Australian equivalent (and maybe even better?!) to David’s Tea, a little shop called T2. Oh my goodness, friends. This place was amazing.
Teas and tea brewing equipment were stacked from floor to ceiling. A table in the front displayed pots of all the teas available, and they smelled divine. There was colour absolutely everywhere, and I knew right away that my wallet and I were in a very dangerous situation!
So what did I buy? Probably more than I should have, but I considered my purchases souvenirs from the trip. You’ll see them in an upcoming Try Something New Tuesday, I promise!!
The weather in Melbourne definitely was not as warm as I’d hoped, and the shorts in my suitcase were never worn. However, the sun did eventually come out and when it did, I maximized every minute! On one particularly nice afternoon, Cynthia and I headed to St. Kilda. This is an area just outside of the city center with lovely cafes and long paths along the beach, perfect for running.
A run wasn’t on the agenda at this point, but instead we grabbed snacks from one of the cafes and walked out along the pier as the sun was going down.
At the end of the pier was a cute little restaurant, and a great view of the boats in the yacht club.
In addition to spa treatments, shopping, long walks on the beach, and generally anything that is pink in colour, one thing Cynthia and I have in common is a love for Indian food. That night, we went to one of her favourite local spots for butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, steamed veggies, fresh naan, fluffy basmati rice, and salads.
Every bite was bursting with flavour, and I left absolutely nothing behind in that bowl of chicken tikka masala!! This was all just the beginning of the fun though…. more to come!