We arrived back in Melbourne at about 7am, the journey across bass straight was good and we managed to sleep in our ocean view recliners (reclining seats)! We said goodbye to Scott and Kelly, who were heading off towards Canberra and Sydney. We made our way to the travel agent to collect our homeward bound tickets, we have decided to go via, New Zealand, Hawaii and the USA. We spent the evening with my family down in Chelsea and spent the night at the caravan park up the road.
Early on Saturday morning we made the drive towards the City and the seaside suburb of St Kilda, here we met a lady who showed us in to the apartment that was going to be home for a week. Compared to our van it was luxury a nice two bed apartment with a kitchen, bathroom, balcony and all the luxuries like a washing machine. We were opposite a busy French bakery so we decided that after we had emptied our van to clean it and wash our clothes etc that we would get some bacon and have lovely fresh bread bacon sarnie, it was delicious. We stayed in all day enjoying the comfort but getting all of our stuff sorted out. We had internet so we updated our blog and caught up with our emails. Wayne even decided to have a haircut. As we had full cooking facilities we decided to have pork chops and spent the evening watching TV.
On Sunday we woke up after having a great nights sleep. We put more washing on and then headed on the tram to the CIty, it only took about 15 minutes. Once in the City we headed straight to Victoria Market, where I managed to get a lovely woolly hat for the weather in New Zealand. We then went in for the food. Mum and Dad were arriving that night so we wanted to give them a good meal and it was great to be able to cook whatever we wanted, as we were not restricted to a 2 burner portable gas stove. We choose garlic lamb, with pumpkin and feta salad. We arrived back in St Kilda and walked along the Esplanade which was housing the weekly Sunday art and craft market.
We got back to the apartment and finished out washing etc, we also made a sign to take to the airport for Mum and Dad in case they forgot who we were! Wayne spent a good couple of hours colouring the lettering in with a biro, later that week we found our marker pen, whoops! We put the dinner on and started watching biggest loser while waiting to leave. We were both itching to get going as it felt like we were just hanging around so we decided to head towards the airport as we needed to stop for fuel and find our way. It was an easy drive and we made it in about 45 minutes, we decided to park up and go inside for a coffee and wait. We were so excited we'd got there before the plane had even landed. We sat and had a drink and then stood by the gates watching as all the passengers came through we kept checking the luggage labels so we could try and suss out how long they'd be. There were 3 doors in front of us and we were positioned in the middle. The fist class passengers started to come through and not long after mum and dad appeared, but at the other end of the gate! So we had to run up to the waving our sign! There we a few tears but it was lovely to see them it was not long and we were on our way towards St Kilda, we got lost and ended up on the toll way and Wayne jumped out and I drove we found our way in no time at all! Mum and Dad liked the apartment and the food and we spent a good couple of hours catching up, but the trip had made them tired so we all decided to try and get a good nights sleep!
The following day we took a walk along the pier, it was lovely and sunny which was what we had been hoping for. We saw some fairy penguins at the end and lots of fish. We then walked to the shops and back to the apartment. The jet lag had set in and Dad was a bit wobbly from being on the plane, so we spent a couple of hours resting after we had a big breakfast sandwich in Turkish Pide bread it was lovely and set us up for the rest of the day! After the rest we took a walk towards the Port of Melbourne and ended up finding Albert park, which was huge so we decided to have a walk around the lake and gardens, which is near to the Melbourne aquatic centre built for the commonwealth games. The park has a rowing club and a golf course which is right nex to the main road which cuts through the centre of the park. After the walk we were really tired and headed back to the apartment where we had a homemade Prawn red thai curry and an early night.
On the Tuesday we got up early and made our way down to the pier, where we met the small boat, crew and other passengers that would join us on a fishing tour of Port Phillip bay. As we sat in the boat and had coffee a seal was rolling in the water right next to us. We set off and anchored just down the coast by Brighton, where we had crumpets with maple syrup for breakfast and our first chance to cast our lines. It was bright but very cold and we were all wrapped up with hats and coats. We were lucky and all caught fish at the first place, some pinkies and trevally. We stayed for about an hour and then moved on to the next spot which was further out in to the bay. Straight away people were catching but all the fish were under sized and had to be thrown back in. Wayne was the first to catch one that could be kept and it was a flathead, which looked a bit like a type of catfish. We all caught fish at the second spot two although we only had a few between the 10 of us on the trip that were of an edible size. We then went in search of Gummy Shark as the Scottish skipper had taken a couple of groups to the same spot a couple of days before and they had caught good sized gummys. We hardly had a bite between us, then Dad had another good sized flat head and Wayne caught a starfish! Only he could manage that. As we made it back in accross the bay 3 dolphins followed us and swam alongside the boat, it was lovely. We then headed back and everyone on the boat kindly let us have their fish so we came away with a good catch. We went straight to the bar and had a couple of beers before we headed back and still not over the jet lag we all ended up sleeping. Wayne cooked our fish for dinner which we had with chips and tartare sauce it was lovely.
We picked up a small hire car and drove out to the Yarra Valley, but it was a little hazy because of the burning off that was taking place to regenerate the area. We stopped at Warburton and had a walk along the river after stopping for a scone and coffee to keep us going. As it was still hazy we changed our plans and instead of going up through the mountains we headed straight to Healesville, where we did some wine tasting at Giant Steps. We ended up coming away with 5 bottles between us and then we had a light lunch, cheese board and salmon sandwich. We then stopped at Lilydale lake and drove back towards the City, but the traffic was horrendous and it tok about and hour and a half. We spent the evening at Pauline's, she had cooked a traditional Venezuelan meal for us which was lovely.
Thursday was a lazy day. We got the tram to the market where we brought some meats for a BBQ we were going to have the following day at the Mornington Peninsular. We also brought 1/2 a cow for dinner in the form of Rib-Eye steaks. In the afternoon Mum, Dad and I walked down to St Kilda beach and sat on the boardwalk. The area was fairly busy, even on the bay there were lots of jet skis and boats. We then got Wayne and took the car down to the beach at Brighton, a couple that had just got married were coming back from the beach, where they must have just had some photos taken. We walked along looking at all of the brightly coloured beach huts, which the beach is famous for. The best one was painted in the Australian flag. It was also a nice evening, which made the sunset very colourful. We then went back for our mammoth steak and salad, surprisingly we all ate the whole lot.
Our last full day in St Kilda was ANZAC day, commemorating the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a national holiday. We drove to Pauline's and then followed in convoy to the Mornington Peninsular a short drive down the bay. We made our way up to Arthur's Seat state park, which used to have a chairlift from the bottom to the top of the hill, but apparently it once got tuck and people had to be cut down, so it has since been stopped, mainly cars in mid air! At the top of the hill is a lookout over the bay and the rest of the peninsular, a pretty good view. As it was a nice sunny bank holiday, there were lots of motorbike riders at the lookout it must have been a meeting point, it was packed but they did manage to take time to take a photograph of us. We then moved on to the picnic and BBQ area, which was also busy. We set ourselves us at one of the benches and started of with some cheese and crackers. Wayne then went on to the BBQ. we had homemade burgers, marinated pork and sausages as well as salads, a proper lunch! After finishing the food, the teapot and billy came out so we could have a cup of tea. We took a walk along one of the walking tracks which had ponds, ducks and gardens. Before packing the cars we had another cup of tea and cake, before we tried to see a waterfall but the road was too bad to take the cars down. We instead headed back along the Mornington coast to the City. It was a very pretty area and would be nice to have a walk around the towns, on a non public holiday day.