Four Bookings – We arrived in Melbourne on Friday, September 14. We had a short drive that morning from Geelong where we had camped for the night. We turned in our motorhome, grabbed an Uber and headed off to Air BNB Booking Number Three. What happened to One and Two? Well, they say that the best stories come from misfortune in travel. Let’s see if you agree!! There was a misunderstanding between us and the hostess with Booking Number One and we ended up cancelling it and got an instant refund. Booking Number Two was booked and paid for but we had received an email that morning from the hostess saying that the last guest had broken the water tap in the bathroom. She was sorry but she had to cancel in order to make the necessary repairs. Hence, Booking Number Three. We were a couple of hours early but hoped that we could at least drop off our bags until the actual check in time. The problem was that the host had not answered any of our emails up to that point. Either he didn’t know that we would be early or he hadn’t answered. He had accepted our payment however. Uber driver dropped us off in front of the house – well, actually not the right house but we did manage to find the correct house on the neighboring street. We stood outside the door, trying to pick up some wifi to let him know that we were there. We could hear someone inside but no one came to the door. After about 15 minutes, our host opened the door and made the comment “You are early, you know”. “Yes, we know. Could we drop our bags?” “Sure, but your room won’t be ready until 4:00. Just doing some repairs from a water leak in the bathroom.” “Hmm. That problem seems to be going around today. In the meantime, maybe we could get some wifi?” After 20 minutes of frustration, we determined that there was no wifi available that would help us get our blog and pictures up to date. “Sorry mate but we’ll probably have to find another place to stay.” “Sure, no worries. I’ll give you a full refund.” Thankfully, there was enough wifi to find another place and an Uber. So, off we went to Booking Number Four. 50th floor, highrise apartment, in the middle of the CBD (Central Business District for those uneducated in such matters – which I was until just a few days ago) and, lots of people on the street!! Perhaps a little more than we bargained for but we had a bedroom, a bathroom, great wifi and the company of a cat. What more could you want from a place?!?! (As of this posting, we have yet to see a refund from Booking Number Three)
Three Days – By the time we were settled into Booking Number Four, we were ready for something to eat and a drink. It had been a long day. We found a shopping mall down the street that was three or four stories and ran about two to three blocks around. Pretty big by my standards. We found that this was our go to mall for the three days we were in Melbourne. Full Day Number One was spent at the apartment catching up on blog stuff, correspondence and pictures. Day Two we ventured out to the Victoria Street market. This was a very large market with everything from fast food to fresh meat, fish, vegetables, crafts, clothing, art and anything else you could think of. With all the overwhelming choices, we had lunch at McDonalds. Then off to a little Irish pub around the corner. We rode the free tram for an hour or so, went to an outlet mall down by the wharf, saw Captain Cook and walked around the downtown area. By Day Three, we were both a little homesick and ready to move on. Thankfully, the next day we would be off to Christchurch in New Zealand.
Two Movies – So in our go to mall down the street, there was a big movie theatre. Why not catch up on a couple of movies that we have been wanting to see? On the first evening we saw “Antman and Wasp”. Very entertaining. Total cost of the evening – $41. Movie $24 and popcorn and drink $17. (not great popcorn either). Evening number two we decided to see “Crazy Rich Asians”. This movie was recommended to us by a waitress in a Thai restaurant in Honolulu. This movie was playing on an enhanced screen in our movie theatre. We loved the movie but not sure whether it was worth the admission price of $44!! No popcorn that night!!
The Water Bottle Incident – well, for those of you that have been following us, you know that we are having a tough time hanging onto water bottles. On evening number two, I decided that I would take my water bottle to the movies with us. Before the movie, we decided to go for dinner to a Mexican restaurant a few blocks from our apartment. Once there, the restaurant was not to our liking so we left and went back to the big ass mall where there was a TGIFridays. Nothing jumped off the menu at us there so we left that restaurant behind as well. Ahhh, now we’re talking – a jug of beer for $12 and a Margarita for $10 (considering the price of booze in Australia, this was a fantastic deal!!) at the Asian Beer Cafe. As Richard was up at the bar ordering drinks, I went to reach for my water bottle only to find it missing. OH NO!!! Where did I leave it this time?!?!? I pieced together our travels and realized that I had left it on the bar at the Mexican Restaurant. So, I left Richard nursing his jug of beer and I hoofed it back to the restaurant. Water bottle rescued!! I am happy to say that it is still by my side as I write this literary masterpiece on the plane.
So, New Zealand here we come. Watch for a wrap up montage of pictures, videos and commentary summarizing our experiences in Australia. Coming soon to a blog near you!!