Monday, November 2, 2015

Flamingo (+2) in Melbourne

 25th May - 1st June

This year, I got to do something I never thought could do with my best friends. I have to say that it is definitely one of the most spontaneous and most amazing trip I've ever had (yet). We literally came up with this idea, bought the ticket and plan it all out in only 2 weeks. I really thank God for making all of these happen.

I was actually really excited to be able to fly to Melbourne with my adventure buddy, Su Vien. She's the kind of friend that would walk all over KLIA 2 (literally) with you just to find the most comfortable chair when you have 2 hours to spare before flight. Yes, thank you and I'm sorry about that but I'm very sure our butts were very grateful.

One of the most unforgettable moment during the flight was when I was up in the air around midnight, I couldn't believe my eyes! The sky was full of stars and I felt so close to them. It was so breathtaking and truly mesmerizing!

Honestly, it was a rough 8 hours in the flight. Su Vien and I couldn't get any sleep but once we landed, all our tiredness left our bodies. We were super excited for our first day in Melbourne. Until today, it still feels surreal that the trip actually happened!

After Ai-Vee, Ben and Khang picked us up from the airport, we went to Brighton Beach! It was so good being able to spend time with all my favourite people again and being in another country together was just another plus point.

Reunited with my flamingos!

 Love love love these people. So extremely thankful they took out so much time and energy to bring us around.

After Brighton Beach, we drove to St. Kilda! We walked to the end of the pier and found out that a colony of penguin calls that place home. We managed to spot a few of them and there weren't any cover charges! You have no idea how happy I was. It felt as though my life was finally complete after seeing the penguins up close.

 The sunset at St. Kilda


Melbourne is so beautiful. Even the sunset is on point!

We spent our first day walking around St. Kilda and Brighton Beach. After the sun set, we went for dinner. Don't remember what we had or did after, but I'm sure it was good.

Day two

Su Vien and I went to the city by tram in the morning. We were quite terrified as it was both of our first time and we weren't familiar with the city at all. But, yay we managed to arrive at the State Library safely (even though we were a little late). Met up with Khang and Ben and started on our day 2 adventures!

Our plan for the day was to visit the State Library, DFO and Crown Casino. Ai-Vee had classes that day so it was only 4 of us. But, I think she didn't want to miss out the fun so she went for one class and decided to join us for the rest of the day.

 Art Gallery in the State Library

Hardware Societe for brunch, yum!

We wanted to remake the photo of Beatle's Abbey Road crossing, but we kind of failed at it. #atleastwetried

 I forgot where this is, but it is sooooo pretty!

This city is ♥

 Walking to DFO :)

Thank God for Ai-Vee! The boys actually wanted to leave Su Vien and I alone to go to DFO for the casino. I think we wouldn't be able to know our directions. We didn't manage to buy anything from DFO- except for Ai-Vee, so we decided to join the boys at the Crown. Su Vien and I weren't planning on playing or betting in the casino but they were giving out free membership cards with points inside. So, we used the points to play the machine and to my surprise, I won 20AUD! It honestly made my night because it was my first time in a casino and I got to take home free money yay!

After the Crown, we went for Korean Barbecue and crepe back in the city. The food was soooooo gooooood! The combination of barbecue and the cold weather outside was so perfect :)

We ended out night with crepe and walking around the city before making our way back to Vee's place.

Day 3

The morning of day 3! Definitely not the morning, cause Vee takes forever to wake up (no matter how hard I try) and to get ready. So, yeah, we went met up with Khang and went for brunch/lunch at Tanks. I kind of feel bad how Khang have to wait for us because he is always so punctual haha :P

Su Vien and her best friend, Snowball! Snowball is such a beauty!

Autumn leaves! 

I've always loved trees and branches and leaves and how they blend with the sky. Ohmygosh I love nature. Daddy God made everything including the tiniest details so beautiful!

This quote perfectly describe how and what I feel: "I feel my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery- air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy" And for me, it always just bring me to awe of how amazing our God is. My love and wonder for Him will only continue grow to unmeasurable height. I don't think I can ever stop marveling at His creations.

Okay, back to topic: Brunch.

Brunch was so good! We went to Tanks and had a really scrumptious meal. Everything on the table was delicious :)

Buddies! Minus Ben, cause he had class in the morning.

Snowball and her new found friend.

After brunch, Vee dropped Snowball to her dog-sitter since we'll be out the whole day and couldn't leave Snowball to herself in the apartment. After that, we drove down to the city and parked the car.

We took the tram down to the Shrine of Remembrance. Tram rides are so fun. I remember during the ride, the police stopped the tram and blocked the road. They called out a man that was inside to question him. Not sure what really happened but a few school girls were with the police, crying. Well, it wasn't technically 'fun' but it definitely felt like a movie scene or something.

Asian eyes at its best.

Loving the details! 

This shrine is already so beautiful by itself, and I cannot imagine how much more amazing Pantheon, Parthenon or the Acropolis will be! Someone bring me to Athens or Rome pleaseeeee. So much history and architecture to be brained!

I remembered just being so immersed in the shrine that they abandoned me and left me alone inside. Thanks for being such true friends, hehe. Even though there weren't a lot inside the shrine, but, I really enjoyed reading about it and learning the history of the shrine (I have forgotten most of what I read, but I remembered it being very interesting)

Thank you, self-timer, for group pictures.

The city of Melbourne from the Shrine. Taken with the film.

After the Shrine of Remembrance, Ben drove us down to Prince's Pier. It was so windy and cold throughout the day! But, I love every moment in it. Melbourne's air is so crisps and fresh, the sky is always so blue and I love the fluffiness of the cloud.

Prince's Pier is such a gem!
So satisfying to look at!

The hues of blue is so pretty!!!

Went to Ben's house for dinner. So blessed for home cooked food by his mum. Spent the night hanging out at his place playing monopoly deal and just talking. It was a good night.

Day 4

The day we've all been waiting for is finally here! We went for a day trip to Mornington! Before we started our journey, we went to Top Paddock for brunch. Top Paddock was hands down, my favourite brunch place we went to in Melbourne. It was soooooooooo gooooooooooooood. Yes, that's how good it was.

The best!

 Outside of Top Paddock while waiting for the guys to pay the bill :)

It took us a few hours to reach to Mornington. It was a very fun car ride! Car bonding times are the best :) We sang along to songs and had so many heart-to-heart talks. Managed to arrive at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse in the afternoon, around 1pm if I'm not mistaken. Walked around and took many many pictures! Cape Schanck is sooooo scenic!

Such posers. On a side note, I love the colours in this picture.

Khang in his 'natural habitat'

The light house!

I was actually quite sad that we couldn't go up the light house. But we still managed to explore the whole vicinity and found a few hidden gems. Read a lot on the history of the place (which I cannot remember) and the weather was so good! Melbourne is known for their unpredictable weather, but the weather on that day was perfect! Thank you, Jesus!

Us and the light house! Love this picture.

 I have no idea what they were trying to do.

 Ahhhhhh <3

After Cape Schanck, we went to Enchanted Garden. Enchanted Garden was so much fun! I love it! There were so many mazes and games to play, my ideal playground. Haha :P But yeah, it was amazing! I have many more pictures in my film (which I haven't develop) I promised myself that I will get it develop by this week. Yes, I will.

One of the funniest moments in Enchanted Garden was the in the mirror maze and kid's maze. The mirror maze was so confusing. We all thought it will be easy but, nope! It was so confusing but we managed to solve the maze. Yay!

The closest I'll be in seeing Koalas.

We left about 6pm and decided to drive back to the city. While driving back, we stumbled on this place, Arthurs Seat. So, we stopped the car and got out to enjoy the view and watch the sunset. It was so unreal! I never imagined that I would be able to experience something like this. It was literally, a dream come true. We sat on the car while just taking in the beautiful view and sunset. Although it was freeeeezing, but it was seriously, the best moment in my life. I don't think that exact moment can be ever be topped.

 Ended the day overlooking this beautiful view.

We drove back down to the city about 8pm and went to hunt for dinner. Decided to get Mr. Burger (if I'm not mistaken) for dinner and bought it back to Vee's place to eat. Such a perfect day.

Day 5

Flamingos day out! It was just a day for us to explore and really just be in the city. One of the must-visit place for me was NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) and I'm so glad that we were able to find time for it. I can't remember the timeline but I recall going back to Victoria Market again for the doughnuts, churros and souvenirs.

Blue themed!

Outside the gallery with my girls. Bought a few postcard from a really talented illustrator by the street, he sketches and draw buildings around the world. He is such an interesting person to talk to. Got to know what he does and hear stories of places he has been to. It started to drizzle so we said our goodbyes and went into the gallery.

The gallery was hugeeeee! Didn't have enough time to look through it all, so we only managed to visit a few of the exhibitions. The gallery's interior was amazing; the water wall at the entrance, stained glass ceiling and everything else. Definitely need to revisit if I'm ever in Melbourne again.

I remember taking this picture for the trees. Hehe, my love for trees in autumn.

After the gallery, we went to a few lanes for the street art. Our challenge was to go to as many as possible before meeting up with the guys. I really liked the lanes and how different and quirky each artwork is.

Met up with the boys later to have tea and scones, like some rich housewives. Hehe. Decided to go to Luna Park at St. Kilda. I actually wanted to rent a bicycle by St. Kilda and cycle along the beach but we didn't because; 1) it was really cold and windy, 2) Ai-Vee can't cycle and 3) it was really expensive. So instead, we just brace ourselves through the strong, merciless wind and walked around Luna Park. Didn't go on any rides since we didn't want to spend on it and it was just too cold to be out. Tried to wait till the lights in the entrance to light up but...

We obviously gave up. It was wayyyy too cold and the sun was setting. After that, we met up with Vee's mum and sister for dinner at Crown. Her mum bought us dinner and we had steak, and creme brûlée yum yum. Thanks, aunty :)

Day 6

Nothing much on the last day. Walked around Melbourne Central while Su Vien met up with her relatives. We decided to plan a surprise for Su Vien since her birthday is near and they won't be able to celebrate. It was also kind of a farewell for her as well. After that, we went for a dart game nearby QV. It was really fun and I found out that I'm not gifted for darts at all that it became funny. Had pho for dinner and then went back to Vee's place. When we went back, we realized we forgot the most important thing to celebrate Su's birthday- the cake. But we were innovative enough to use what we have and out a straw through an apple as a cake. We managed to successfully surprise Su Vien and had a fleece pants sleepover in the living room since it's our last night.

So thankful for these people who made my 6 days in Melbourne so unforgettable. I'm so glad that I managed to fulfill the promise I made to Vee about visiting her in Melbourne :P

Can't wait for our next adventure, my Flamingos (+2) :)