Waking up to face the day on our last day in Melbourne was difficult. We were all groggy and tired from our long night out at Eurotrash. Regardless of this, we still had to be checked out of our rooms by ten, so we dragged ourselves out of bed, dressed and started to pack up our belongings. Lyndsay had gotten out my laptop the night before to play music while we were getting ready to go out, so I had to pull it back out and turn it off. When I did I was surprised to find that the clock on my laptop said 8:08am and not 9:08 am like my watch and my cellphone were telling me. When I brought this to the attention of the group Jordan was the first to say “O shit, daylight savings time!”
We deliriously debated this for a few minutes, but it was too wonderful a miracle for any of us to believe it was true, so we sent Jordan out to the front desk to ask what time it was. He came back and confirmed that our miracle was in fact reality. We all sat in stunned silence for about a minute before Seth announced that he was going back to bed. We all followed suit and fell back into bed, fully clothed with suitcases already packed and ready to go. It was a marvelous 50 minutes of sleep, and we all awoke feeling far less groggy than we had an hour before.
Around 10 am we checked out, placed our luggage in storage for the day and were out in the city once again. I had demanded that since we were in Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia, we needed to go to at least one museum before we left. Most of the museums are located off of federation square so we headed in that general direction. On our way there we scouted for odds and ends to make up a breakfast. Yaella had recommended that we try out this vegan/vegetarian fully kosher burger stand called Lord Of the Fries. http://www.lordofthefries.com.au/ It is just a small take away stand that looks like a regular burger stand with a sweet literary referencing name. All of the burgers are made without any dairy products and the burgers are made of meat substitute.
Generally I shy away from any sort of meat “substitute,” as this kinda sketches me out and if I want a burger I get a black bean, chick pea, or garden burger, but I had been assured by Yaella that these burgers were amazing and I was not to leave Melbourne without trying one. The boys, being hardcore carnivores, were scared off of the meat “substitute” thing, but Lyndsay and I decided we would go halfies on a burger and fries. One bite into the burger, Lyndsay, who is not a vegetarian, was mumbling praises through a full mouth. Once she had chewed properly she said that not only did it taste amazing generally, but that she had trouble telling that it was not meat. This surprised all of us, but we all sampled it and came away with the same conclusion. The fries were equally good, and the selection of sauces was extensive. I opted to go with “Aussie sauce” which was basically a variation of ketchup, but it was quite tasty. I was impressed that such a great burger could be created and be vegan and kosher and still taste amazing. Lord of the Fries is truly a burger mansion among burger huts.
The travel desk clerk at Nomads had suggested that we check out the Australian Center for the Moving Image, which offered free admission, so that was our first stop after we had all eaten. http://www.acmi.net.au/screen_worlds.aspx
The main exhibit in the museum was free, but they also had a special exhibit running called “Dreams Come True” which was all about the artistry behind Disney’s animated films which they were charging admission for. While the Disney exhibit sounded really awesome, we all agreed it wasn’t worth the $15 dollar admission price and we could do without it. As it turned out the main exhibit, called “Screen Worlds, The Story of Film, Television, and Digital Culture” was incredible. It detailed the development of the moving image and highlighted Australian contributions to the film and television industries. The whole exhibit was highly interactive and allowed museum goers to play classic and contemporary video games, view movies, tv episodes, rarely seen behind the scenes footage, and use interactive displays to understand the technology behind the special effects in movies and animation. The scope of the exhibit was ambitious but very well put together, and really gave a comprehensive look into the diversity of entertainment and creativity that makes the moving image such a dominant cultural force.
After a few hours in the museum we went out in search of more Melbourne adventures. We ran into some Melbourne city guides, who are basically cute old ladies wearing baseball caps and fannie packs filled with free fliers and maps who can answer questions about attractions and things in the city. We asked them where we could see more street art and they point us in the direction of Hoiser Lane. If street art is the premiere art form of Melbourne than Hoiser Lane would surely be the Lourve. It is a long alley way that is famous for the art put up on it.
Once we made it past the colored walls of Hoiser St we went out in search of more Melbourne adventures. Next stop: the Royal Botanical Gardens!
After a bit more city wandering the day began to wind down. We had to catch a plane out of Avalon at 8:50 and in order to do this we had to get on the bus that would put us at Avalon around 8:10. Around 6 we headed back to the hostel, grabbed our bags and walked back to southern cross station to buy our bus tickets and catch our bus. Once we got to the airport we headed in to check in, and as soon as the four of us had cleared the checkout counter a woman came over the loud speaker and said
“The check in desk is now closed”
We had made it in just the nick of time. The lady at the check in desk scolded us saying that we should have come in on the earlier bus, which was an option we had considered but it would have put us at the airport around 7, which would have given us two hours to sit in that tiny rinky dink shed of an airport, and since we had the option of a later bus we decided against it. I don’t know what would have happened if our bus had arrived any later, and I would rather not think about it.
Lyndsay and I cleared security no problem, but when Seth’s bag went through the x-ray scanner, security stopped him and said:
“Sir you have a fork in your bag, you are going to need to take that out”
Earlier in the weekend Seth had gotten take away food at an Indian restaurant and had grabbed a real fork out of the restaurant because they had neglected to include a utensil with his takeout order, or so he thought, he had later found that they had included a spoon, but never the less he had kept the fork. When security pointed this out to him he went searching for it, but it was actually inside his small day bag inside his backpack, so he had some difficulty finding it. Lyndsay and I were boarding the plane while Seth and Jordan were still caught up at security. Eventually he was able to locate the fork and security asked what they wanted him to do with it. What was he supposed to do? Check his singular fork? Yeah no. It got left behind in Avalon.
Finally we all made it onto the plane and were back in Sydney before midnight. We were all exhausted the next day, but Melbourne had been a lot of fun and even though waking up the next morning was rough, it was well worth the trip.