Friday, 6 June 2014


I am 30 years old this year. To celebrate my birthday, Matty took all four of us to a place that I love. I was very excited and I haven't counted down the days for a long time. Travelling with a family is exciting. It really does become about the journey and not necessarily about the destination.

We had a mid afternoon flight, so we were all packed and ready to leave our sleepy beach town by 9am. We factored in plenty of time for those mishaps that can sometimes happen when you travel with children and we ended up arriving super early with an hour and a half until check in. Cornered in a booth at the domestic terminal, we sat and watched. I sipped on peppermint tea with our daughter sitting in my lap, Matty finally got to have his cup of coffee and our son slid out the ipad and played. 
After we were able to check in, we found our gate and got front row seats to watch the planes, some were taking off, others were landing and some were welcoming new guests aboard. For my son, this was one of many flights that he has already enjoyed in his little life, but for my daughter, this was her first flight. I was a little bit anxious to see how she would go, but I felt that this was a good practice flight for her to find her wings, especially as we have bigger trips planned ahead of us. In short time we were aboard the plane and before we knew it we were taking off, soaring up into the sky at a delicate incline. My daughter lay nestled across my lap, her little face cushioned alongside my chest as she enjoyed a mid-air breastfeed.  

We had packed our heavy winter jackets ready to enjoy the bitey weather, but this time Melbourne had welcomed us with unseasonal warmth. My son loves staying in hotels, I can see him breathing it all in and peeking a short stare at the staff gliding about the lobby in their smart looking attire. I can fully appreciate his excitement and wonder at staying in such places. We all win when we stay somewhere where the beds are made fresh everyday, wet towels are neatly replaced and bins magically emptied. Our check list of things to do in Melbourne included the following:
  • Eat delicious dumplings.
  • Enjoy numerous cups of obsessively made coffee.
  • Go shopping in South Melbourne.
  • Catch up with some friends of ours.
  • Visit the museum.
  • Play in a games center.
The delicious dumpling quest began on day one and continued throughout our entire stay. Our hotel was located in close proximity to China Town, and we were all so ridiculously smitten by those tiny little steaming, soupy, meaty dumplings that we had them almost every night for dinner at several different restaurants referred to by the hotel concierge. We thoroughly enjoyed both Shanghai Street and Shanghai Village restaurants the most, and we still have a few other places tucked up our sleeves for our return trip. After dinner we strolled the city streets of Melbourne squeezing in a bit more shopping, a haircut and lots of different desserts. One night, plated in front of us were fresh hot nutella crepes with snowball scoops of vanilla ice-cream and the next night it was fresh baklava and home made cherry ripe bars and each night we walked back to our hotel room sucking on straws piping through blended iced matcha topped with creamy red bean topping and vanilla ice-cream. On the nights that we weren't eating dumplings and indulging in desserts, we were snuggled up inside of the hotel room enjoying room service and watching the t.v. from our king sized beds. 

During the day we walked the city and jumped on trams to go to South Melbourne Markets where our eyes popped open with greedy hunger at all of the fresh produce and goodies for sale. We also went to Prahan Markets and enjoyed some Mister Nice Guy pastries and shared a bowl of some deliciously fresh chilli and coconut mussles for breakfast.  After that, we shopped until my little family and I were almost kaput.

In our final days we got to play catch up with some old friends who live just outside of Melbourne and our son enjoyed a play in the park just next to the iMax and Melbourne Museum. The visit to Melbourne Museum was one of my son's highlights. I saw him aghast against the dinosaur bones and stare in wonder at the taxidermy animals. After leaving the Museum, I resigned back to the hotel room with our daughter for the afternoon and Matty took our son to the kids games centre located near the Crown Casino.
On the last day, no one wanted to leave. Our son proclaimed his love for Melbourne by stating that one day he would live in Melbourne. I smiled and asked him if I could do that too.

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These photographs were taken on an iphone 5.
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