Day 1 in Australia: Getting settled – and sauced – in Melbourne

5 Feb

The flight from LAX to Melbourne was about as comfortable as it could be for such an inherently grueling experience. Tailwinds cut it to a breezy 14:20 of air time. I watched two movies I’d meaning to see: “Nightcrawler” and “Nebraska.” I chatted with my seatmates — a couple of Aussie college girls who’d been over in Costa Rica doing volunteer week.

An airporter bus followed by a tram ride got me to the city’s Northcote neighborhood. I’m staying in a house via AirBnB. The host was working but had left instrux for letting myself in. Nice big house in a regentrified area now sporting “Organic Mexican” resturants and plenty of hipster dreads.

I dropped my stuff and headed out on “get to know you” walking tour of the environs. It was a lovely and virtually cloudless afternoon, with temps in the upper 70s. Will be 80s to 90 the next couple of days.

By late in the afternoon my host, Andrew, had arrived home from work. We split one of the craft beers I had picked up out on the patio, which is situated a few feet from his chooks (chickens) and a rangy pumpkin plant that looks like it’s trying to overrun the entire back yard.

Andrew then dragged me along (sarcasm) to a microbrewery in Clifton Hill and a beergarden in Carlton. Was great hearing about the history of the area from him.

We followed a couple of hours of drinking with a visit to the neighborhood “chipper” – fish and chips. I will say that although pricy, the food has been of quite high quality.

I took another walk after that, finishing up as night fell. I crashed by 9:15, but succeeded in my goal of staying up all day to get into right cycle after a crazy travel day.

Click on photos to see much larger versions.

The dining room and view out to the verdant back yard of the house I'm staying in in Melbourne's Northcote neighborhood.

The dining room and view out to the verdant back yard of the house I’m staying in in Melbourne’s Northcote neighborhood.

This is High Street, the main drag of the neighborhood I'm staying in.

This is High Street, the main drag of the neighborhood I’m staying in.

Walking up High Street, this gives you an idea how far I am from Melbourne's downtown core.

Walking up High Street, this gives you an idea how far I am from Melbourne’s downtown core.

1788 was the year the whites came ashore in Australia.

1788 was the year the whites came ashore in Australia.

My first pint in Australia - a Cavalier Brewing Pale Ale. Quite good.

My first pint in Australia – a Cavalier Brewing Pale Ale. Quite good.

My lunch of chicken parmigiana with sides. The one beer and lunch added up to $28 U.S. No doubt food and beer will end up costing me almost double what it does back home.

My lunch of chicken parmigiana with sides. The one beer and lunch added up to $28 U.S. No doubt food and beer will end up costing me almost double what it does back home.

Cat with rainbow beams shooting from eyes.

Cat with rainbow beams shooting from eyes.

Yet another sign acknowledging the original land owners.

Yet another sign acknowledging the original land owners.

Love this ornate top to a house.

Love this ornate top to a house.

These rainbow Lorikeets are all over the place, whole flocks of them.

These rainbow Lorikeets are all over the place, whole flocks of them.

Grafittii art is all the rage here, and some of it's pretty decent.

Grafittii art is all the rage here, and some of it’s pretty decent.

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2 Responses to “Day 1 in Australia: Getting settled – and sauced – in Melbourne”

  1. Paz February 5, 2015 at 9:39 AM #

    Food looks great, BP. BTW, that’s an Aussie Laser Cat!

    • Victor Ford February 5, 2015 at 10:43 AM #

      Bob, as always a truly wonderful description of your travels so far in Australia!! The pictures are precious, and create a feeling of adventure and excitement. Thanks for letting us into your world!! Vic & Vicki

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