Damn it's good to be HOME!! Wait, did I just say that about Melbourne?!?
Well, I can say it really felt like home when we landed at Tullamarine Airport. Aside from that our arrival here is noteworthy as it means we've now officially traveled around the world since we technically started this trip on the rainy morning of May 24, 2011 with a departure from this very airport headed for SFO.
Our homie Oliver picked us up and whisked us to the Lord Street house where we had a raging St Patricks Day fiesta complete with green Jell-O shots fueling late night shenanigans. The Melbourne crew was there with bells on and it was really, really great to catch up with everyone. It's been 10 months since we said goodbye to most of these fine folks, but I'm happy to say that getting back together it felt as if it had only been 10 days.
We had a few gorgeous days in Melbourne based at Lizzy's apt in St Kilda. We took care of some operational stuff, banking, post office, getting back online with phone, etc. and otherwise just rolled around and enjoyed the sun shine and cruising our old haunts.
I would be lying if I said we weren't both hit with some pangs of nostalgia on the Tuesday when it was a perfect sunny and warm Melbourne afternoon and we found ourselves cruising our old neighborhood in Windsor on bikes. The old house at 15 Mary St. is intact, although the current occupants have let the front shrub go a bit. Deadbeats! We hit Duke's Cafe for coffee and Mileto's Deli for lunch. The whole time we couldn't help but think: Damn, we had it pretty good in Melbourne!!!
Aside from all the warm fuzzy aspects, I gotta be honest: it felt really good to be in a Western society again. We went for a run along the water and didn't have to dodge a single pot hole nor did we have to inhale a single lung full of the black exhaust spewing forth from a million motorbikes, tuk-tuks, or jeepneys. We could drink and brush teeth with tap water without fear of our stomach's wrath. The antibiotics worked their magic and combined with several long nights of restful sleep and several long runs along Port Phillip Bay we were feeling back to 100% in no time.
Other notable things we did in Melbourne:
A bike ride along the Yarra River to the city.
Coffee in South Melbourne at St Ali.
A jaunt with Oliver down to Torquay for the night. He had a work commitment; we just went along for the ride.
A good old fashioned Melbourne Friday night: Mountain Goat Brewery/Roysten Hotel aka 'the Oyster" to Don Mateo's on Bridge St combo. Only in Melbourne can you order a "soy White Russian" and not get punched in the face. Oh yeah, and Oli and I are still the reigning Fooseball champs on the Goat table.
Watching the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the University of Miami football program. "It's ALL ABOUT THE U!!" Awesome.
Driving Lizzy's Mars Bar car around Melbourne including a trip to the dealership for a service. We earned our keep at her place by acting as her Personal Assistants for the week.
Post Goat Session breakfast on Bridge St with the Melbourne crew.
Massive thanks to the the entire Melbourne crew for making the effort to welcome us back and for continuing to be AWESOME. Extra large shouts go to Lizzy Ryan and Oliver, Sutho and Katie at the Lord Street house for hosting us. Big thanks to Oli for driving us to and from the airport and taking us to Torquay.
Looking forward to catching up again ASAP.