Even though we had a great time site seeing, eating, scouting out kangaroos and soaking up the sun, my all-time favorite aspect of the trip was my never-ending Melbourne family
Back in the land of Oz we boarded an early morning plane (complete with a sad, screaming baby) on Jan. 2 for a short two-hour kangaroo hop, skip and jump from Sydney to Melbourne.
This magical place called Melbourne held special meaning for me, because we would be staying with my grandfather’s fantastic Italian family. With oodles of aunts, uncles and cousins—only about 1/8 of whom I’d actually already met—to catch up with, I knew it would be another whirlwind time for us, but well worth it. With only three full days to take it all in, that would mean more late nights and crack of dawn mornings, but we were up for the challenge. More Aussie photo memories after the jump.
The Queen Victoria market in Melbourne sells everything you can possibly imagine—from clothes and souvenirs to food and even pets
Aunt Rosina's answer to home cooking is a gorgeous garden in her backyard where she grows cucumbers and zucchini and nuts and lettuce, among other things
These great row houses at St. Kilda beach are pretty to look at, but paying $250,000 (the going rate for a single one) seems a bit crazy to me
Melbourne's answer to Canberra's Parliament House
Our homemade 'Welcome to Melbourne' meal from my family
The tram takes tourists and locals around the city for free, stopping at different points of interest
Fish and chips on St. Kilda beach with the family
Farewell dinner with my cousins before boarding our plane back to Sydney in the morning. We hit up so many spots in just three days, all thanks to the determination of my family to show us everything they possibly could. Next time, I promised them a more relaxing visit, for everyone involved
Back in Sydney for our last two full days in Australia, I had a few specific requests—one more half day at a new beach, the ability to pet a koala, a walk over the Sydney Harbor bridge and lots of touristy photos in front of the Sydney Opera House.
Say hello to Shawn the kaola, who definitely made my trip to Australia one to remember by allowing me to feed and pet him
On the way through the Kaola Park we stumbled on a kangaroo feeding frenzy and joined in on the fun
A ferry ride to Darling Harbor brought us back to Sydney just as the sun was setting
The Opera House from the Sydney Harbor bridge at night
Family fun in front of the Opera House—you can't beat that
We spent a full 14 days in Australia, with two days of travel on both ends. The trip left me feeling like I wanted more. I want to see the Great Barrier Reef, and the Great Ocean Road and I’d like to make it out to Perth. But for now, the memories of Katoomba and Bathurst, Orange and Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney are still fresh in my mind, and until next year, when Chris’s brother gets married and we (hopefully) make it back, that will just have to be enough.
Till next time, bis bald my friends!