Melbourne Travel Blog

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Survival of the fittest took on a whole new meaning the day of my farewell drinks (28 June). It was one of the last ‘getting ready to leave’ days and I had hoped I would have plenty of time to rest but there was still packing and moving boxes to ‘do’.

It was a bleak Melbourne day and Deb and myself had opted to walk to the Prahran Hotel so that we would not be inhibited by the ‘drink driving’ issue. We rugged up in coats, scarves, woolly hats and off we went, arriving right on 5.00pm. Clayton was there to meet us and we settled in by the roaring fire with a bottle of Pinot Gris and a bull fighting poster I had ‘borrowed’ from a shop window while walking the Camino last yearn. Not long after, friends started to arrive and it was a steady stream of my gorgeous friends coming and going until the last of us were bundled out at 10.00pm by the zealous staff thinking only of being at home tucked up in their warm beds.

By this time I was struggling to stay awake, and the ‘cold and flu’ tablets had long ago worn off. My head was spinning and I shivered all the way home; thankfully we were given a lift most of the way by the Tsourekis girls. I had a premonition that the next morning was not going to be pretty!
Correcta mundo! I woke during the night with a pounding headache, achy bones, heavy chest and itchy throat. Sign of the week ahead. No matter how I battled, every day I woke feeling as miserable as the one before. I still had to soldier on and get the tasks ticked off but departure day (6th July) was looming. As much as I knew that a day or two in bed would really help, I just could not allow myself that luxury.

Amidst all of this I had a wonderful 2-day visit from my brother, Ross. It was so special to spend some special time with him. As a treat I decided I would take Paul and Ross to Kyle’s restaurant in the city ‘Gills Diner’.

I knew we would all have a great time and the food would be the central topic of conversation. Kyle is such a passionate chef that you as soon as the food hits the table, your senses are awake. It is a visual, scent-ual and oral wake-up call . Although seriously restaurant quality, when you have finished eating, it seems like Grandma has spent several days preparing this meal just for you! It is not only a meal, it is an experience.
He is a special man and should be proud knowing the effect his food has on those who eat it. I will remember my last ‘big’ meal in Melbourne forever. Thank you for sharing your love with us all, Kyle. Thank you for being in my world.

So that was Thursday night. We were not too late getting home but Ross and I were up at 3.30am for the airport and I had yet another breakfast appointment at 7.00am. Soldiering on through another day, by the afternoon I knew that with only 3 days left, that was cutting it too fine to recover for the flight.

I unzipped my pack, removed my medical kit and with some ceremony I opened the Tamilflu I was taking with me ‘just in case’. With the ‘Swine Flu Pandemic’ now relinquished to about page 14 in the newspaper, the heat was off (pun intended) at the airport but I still wanted to fly without the flu symptoms I was experiencing.

Down the hatch! Path to re-enlightenment. (i.e. feeling like me again)

Friday night I spent at Katie’s place with her sister, brother and Paul. She had gone to so much trouble to create an Aussie themed farewell for me. We started with a lovely bubbly teamed with pumpkin and beetroot dips (very Aussie). Cheezels and Twisties followed. A selection of quiches, sausage rolls and party pies were washed down with a Victorian Pinot Gris. The piece de resistance was a display of TimTams, Lamingtons and Custard Squares from Williamsons cake shop in Chapel St! Can’t be beaten!

Thanks Katie - A night to remember, topped off with the timely Michael Jackson Number One Hits DVD.

By this stage, I was in a ‘Tami-what’ state as Paul and I wobbled home through the park for (my) last time.
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photo by: jendara