Melbourne Travel Blog› entry 2 of 8 › view all entries
Caravan hitched and packed down, it is another six hour drive, this time to Melbourne where my youngest daughter lives. We have tickets to a concert to see Mick Thomas and the Sure Thing in the evening, so Kate talks us in by mobile phone to her work place then we follow her as she darts through the traffic, trying to be as nippy as her! She lives in a 2 bedroom unit and has a grand plan for us to park the van in a 'spare' off road parking spot. Someone's car is in it and she darts off to find the tennant who has dared to upset her plan. I meanwhile hover in the street, not an easy task with a 17'6" van attatched to the Holden Commodore. The car gets moved and I back the van in, Kate thinks the woman is miffed, we pull out a bottle of Chardonay and get Kate to take it to her with our grateful thanks.
Our bedroom is now the van, just off the street which requires bathroom trips up to the first floor through the night and we dare not raise the pop top of the van in case it is blatently obvious that there are people living on the street! Kate is now on holidays and has a friend visiting from Canberra for a few days. Next day my first visit to an Ikea store, then in the evening Kate has tickets for us to go see my (one and only) favourite Punk/Folk band The Go Set. She is slightly embarrassed that she too now likes them and I saw them first!! Five of us set out in our car and after searching for street parking for ages, give up and put it in a parking station. A cheap and tasty Chinese meal in the China Town sector and we head off to the Ding Dong Club.
We have to endure two punk bands before the band we have come to watch come on at about 11pm. They are great but it is a very different experience seeing them in a club compared to Folk Festivals. Ears ringing we head to the underground car park to go home. It is all locked up, the big steel doors and firmly shut. Now we notice the sign that says it shuts at midnight. We need a taxi but being 5 will need a maxi taxi. Freya suddenly spots one across six lanes, unloading passengers and darts off to haggle for it as both she and Kate have not been able to get through to either taxi company. It is the weekend before Christmas and everyone is out partying!
It is a happy trip home that costs us about $55 but Haddon gallantly pays for us all.
We pay the two days parking and retrieve the car and head to the St Kilda Sunday markets.
Next day a trip to the Vic Markets where we meet Kate. We are buying all the fresh produce we need to make a fantastic Christmas dinner and we will be catering on Boxing Day for a surprise 60th Birthday Dinner for one of our travelling companions, Royale.
Kate joins us for Christmas day and we exchange gifts. We have fairy lights and streamers and the next day she again comes over to the park to help with the preparations, hang balloons in silver and blue, dress up the table and cook the pork and prepare the fruit tartlets. Our friends arrive in their two vans and set up for the night with a very early departure in the morning. The surprise dinner goes well and the birthday is capped off with a fantastic decorated fruit cake complete with a photo of guest of honour aged about 19 years old! My son rings in from Austria where he is currently working the ski season, to wish Royale a Happy Birthday. At the end of the day we send Kate home with the left overs we cannot take and bid her goodbye for 3 weeks then, stow everything away in preparation for our EARLY departure.