It’s Easter weekend and my boss wanted to give us two days off in a row! So I got Friday and Saturday off, but that meant I had to work on Sunday and Monday. Which was fine. The fact that I had two days off in a row meant I could actually go do something! I had been in contact with my mom’s friend Connie, she lives in Melbourne. And she offered me to come visit the city and stay with her! On Friday morning, Simon dropped me off at the Lilydale Train Station. From there I took a train into Melbourne. I had never ridden a train before, but it was actually quite pleasant! And the hour train ride went by fast.
I got off the train at the Flinders Street Station, which is a big station right in the middle of the city. Walking out of the station, I was just in awe of the fact that I’m finally in Melbourne! And that there were A TON of people. I was going to meet up with Connie and her husband Doug later in the afternoon. Connie gave me some suggestions of what to do, and I went to go check out the Ian Potter Art Gallery. It’s a free galley and displays art from many different eras and from the native Aboriginal people. It was a really neat gallery and I spent about an hour walking around in there. From there I sat on a bench along the Yarra River and checked out Google maps to get my location bearings. I walked along the river for a bit and crossed a bridge to the other side of the city, around Southbank. There were some fancy muscle cars on display, watched a magician street performer, and then started walking towards the Botanical Gardens. On my way over, Connie called me and said she would be in the city soon. I went to the Melbourne Visitor’s Center and they had so much information about what to do, where to eat, and different tours of the city.
Met up with Connie and her husband and we went and ate lunch at the Riverland Bar. It’s a small bar/restaurant right on the river. I had a black bean and cashew burger! It was really good! And after lunch we went to Federation Square, which is basically a big open area and stage. They were having a Good Friday celebration. After that we just walked around a little. Good Friday is a holiday in Australia, so most shops were closed. We walked through some parks, got to see the Melbourne Cricket Arena (the biggest sports arena in Australia I think), walked through a plant conservatory, and got to see Cook’s Cottage. Captain Cook is the person who discovered Australia. This cottage was built in England and then deconstructed and rebuilt here in Australia. From there we caught the train at the Richmond station and went to Connie and Doug’s house in Brighton. Brighton is a suburb of Melbourne. Connie made some good margaritas! Which was refreshing after a long day of walking. She also cooked dinner and then we all went out to see the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. It was cute and funny, but worth waiting until it's free on Netflix haha. I went to bed ecstatic knowing I didn’t have to go to work the next day!