After an extremely long journey to the beautiful sun burnt Australia, I arrived at the ever vibrant Melbourne. You’d think with a reputation for being a hot sunny destination year round, Australia would never experience freezing temperatures. Not so! 2015’s winter has been one of the coldest on record and I happened to be visiting during this time. Not that it tends to bother me, as I’m always grateful to get a break from the scorching sauna desert weather of 45+ degrees back in my current home.
I arrived into Melbourne more than a few hours late. My gorgeous best friend didn’t let this ruin her dinner arrangements, she just changed the location and the venue to one with a later closing time. I had a chance to quickly shower, pick a fabulous winter outfit and freshen up after a long journey from the desert. I was so happy to be back in Melbourne and I was excited it was winter as now I finally had a chance to show off some of my wonderful, new and colourful faux fur winter jackets I snapped up for fabulous bargain prices all around the world.
All rugged up to combat the winter chill, April arrived at my hotel with her dazzling smile, my missing hair straightener and a heavenly new blue flower skirt she gave me as a gift to wear on my traveling adventures of wanderlust around the world. After a few giant hugs, and an exchange of compliments on our equally fab outfits, we exited the hotel to brave Melbourne’s winter weather and head to the restaurant.
We were to have dinner at the famous Stalactites restaurant this night; a popular Greek restaurant open 24 hours a day. It has some of the most authentic Greek food I’ve tasted in Melbourne thus far. It’s unique in its design as the ceiling is constructed to mimic real stalactites, creating the illusion you’re eating traditional Greek delicacies inside a cave. I find this a fabulous concept.
Unfortunately, after arriving at Stalactites and getting settled we realised I didn’t have Ning our mutual friend’s number in my phone and April didn’t have her phone at all. Our mission, besides filling our starving stomachs (they were almost eating themselves we were that hungry!) was to keep an eye out for our wonderful friend. The funny thing was, during our intense people watching we ran into some other friends in the restaurant who, due to our tiredness when entering the restaurant, we hadn’t noticed earlier. We said a quick hello to the group and let them know, as they were sitting closer to the door, if you see a pretty, petite, fashionable, stylish lady with jet black mid length hair, could you please let us know – immediately! Low and behold, we returned to our table and hurrah, she walked in. Yay! Success! No search party needed in this case. (And more importantly, it was time to feast!)
We all sat down and decided to order a Greek antipasti plate to share. I had the famous lamb gyros accompanied by a beverage I haven’t had in years – Kahlua and coke. The meat was succulent, moist and oozed flavour. The antipasti plate had delectable sausage that tasted a lot like a chorizo, accompanied by a range of Middle Eastern dips. I definitely experienced a meat overload this night and was contemplating the next day if I should become a vegetarian. (Decision – no way!)
After dinner it was time to find somewhere for a night cap. We thanked the lovely staff, paid our bill and braved the weather outside to walk to the funky, unique Bomba Bar.
We sat in the open air balcony with a nice view of the city, warmed from the glow of large outdoor heaters. It was the perfect place to enjoy an appealing drink, take in the atmosphere and marvel at the picturesque views of the city.
The bartender looked like a funky hipster, sporting a rather full beard, and we were sure he was full of worldly alcohol knowledge. We were not disappointed, as he managed to convince me to try Caffe Moka, a delight similar to Kahlua but with much more heart, a smooth intense aroma and the real coffee kick you’d expect from a genuine Italian liqueur. I’m always happy to discover something new and this was no exception. Next time I’m in Italy I’ll definitely be on the hunt for this charming liqueur.
After an hour or so of catching up, reminiscing, and sharing our funny life stories with the girls, the jet lag really began to sink in.
It was time to say goodbye to my wonderful friends and make my way back to the hotel. We bid the lovely staff farewell and set off into the night, making a b-line for bed.
The next morning I was thinking of a lazy lay in under the covers, but that was not to be. My super talented bestie Kable messaged me saying he was free to have breakfast in the city and our adorable friend Sarah would meet us shortly. It was time to jump quickly into the shower, hastily throw on some winter woollies and head out the door.
The free Melbourne tram high-tailed me to the city centre to meet my best friend. During the journey the tram stopped and a lady hurried to board. Unfortunately the tram doors decided to give her a quick hug, and embraced her tightly. After making sure she was okay I proceeded to tell her of a similar hug I’d received from two sets of doors on a train in Singapore. She laughed and gave me a lovely compliment, asking if I was a model, as my outfit suggested I knew how to put things together.
She couldn’t seem to get her outfits right, she said. I wasn’t so sure of this, and said so, her gorgeously colourful and vibrant winter jacket proof of at least one stylish choice she’d made. She told me she’d bought it in New York years ago as she used to travel all over the world. She now lives in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, but visits the amazing Melbourne often as she loves the culture, the fashion, the friendly people and easy public transport system. After our quick yet worldly conversation we had come to our last stop and we parted ways at Flinders Street Station.
I crossed the street, spotting my best friend Kable standing tall and looking ever so stylish in his black leather jacket. I’m pretty sure he was being ogled before I arrived by the passers-by. It was time for us to walk to the café “Issus” tucked in behind one of Melbourne’s alluring bustling laneways. The café has a strong Middle Eastern influence in its menu. I found the name of the restaurant and the fact it sold Middle Eastern cuisine to be quite awkwardly funny, and so I asked my friend If he knew what “Issus” stood for, and commented on the fact it might not be the best name in the current political climate, albeit a different spelling to the one used by a certain middle eastern terrorist group. Naturally my intelligent, positive and wise friend explained it was actually the name of the ancient Goddess of Egypt. I had forgotten all about this, and I’ll blame that on the jet lag!
The décor in the laneway cafe was quirky and unique, matching the menu and the intriguing staff. After half an hour of perusing the menu and catching up, we were joined by our knockout friend Sarah. It turned out we may have accidentally given her the wrong directions and as a result she got a little lost, which we apologised for. (Sometimes Kable and I are not the greatest with directions, and no doubt it won’t be the last confusion, however we seldom admit it!) We were glad she finally found us and we could enjoy each other’s company. It was time for delicious lattes, Middle Eastern inspired breakfast, fresh zesty juices and crazy stories and banter with my two beauties.
Time with my best friends always passes ever so quickly, and before I knew it what I thought was an hour breakfast catch up had quickly turned into lunch time. We requested the bill and my bestie generously took care of it. We said farewell to café Issus and the bustling laneways and headed for our popular chai spot, The Melbourne City Library. The only problem was quite a few people had the same idea as us, and the place was bursting at the seams. Luckily we are a creative bunch, so we decided to commandeer some pillows and camp out on the stairs until a spot became available. Five minutes later we were being ushered over to a free table where apparently, the other patrons enjoyed staring at newcomers. We put it down to, when you get three taller than average current and former models together; people are probably going to stare.
We enjoyed deliciously creamy soy chai lattes full of cinnamon and aromatic spices, finished off with light honey, in the cosy surroundings of the library. I was so relaxed and at ease, deep in the conversation and catch ups and savouring the delectable chai, I almost forgot I still had to catch a train to visit another friend of mine. I raced to the counter to pay our bill only for the waiter to ask, where were you sitting? I pointed to my two besties, one of which had decided that now was the time to stretch before his fitness class scheduled for shortly after our meeting.
The waiter said he hadn’t seen me there, and that he would have remembered seeing me. The other waiter chimed in and said yes, she was wearing the polar bear jacket! and smiled at me. (For the record, my jacket is faux fur no polar bears were harmed in its making.) The waiters continued with their banter and compliments, and then it was time to go.
We stepped outside into the winter weather and decided it was the perfect time for a selfie or two.
After snapping a few shots, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. It really was time to hurry along now, as I was running rather late. All I could think of in my head was the little white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, hopping along the place exclaiming “I am late! I am late! I am late for a very important date!”
The train ride to the suburbs seemed to take forever, and I was all of a sudden overcome with tiredness. You can’t run from jet lag forever, and it was indeed catching up with me. But being greeted by my positive, stunningly ravishing friend Nicola at the station was just the thing I needed to bring a smile to my face again and distract me from my jet lagged feeling. We decided it would be a good idea to take a leisurely stroll, as the sun had begun to shine its beautiful rays of light down to earth, and we had a lot of catching up to do, and what better way to do it than in the winter sunshine Melbourne had managed to muster for us.
My friend wasn’t her usual happy, positive self, completely out of character for her, so I thought the perfect place to take her and fill her with positivity and healing energy was the ever vibrant crystal shop. We’d never been to this particular shop together before, but having similar interests in the spiritual world and the great divine I knew she’d benefit from the positive energy and enjoy perusing the treasures within. Our lovely walk finished and we arrived just in time, as big wet raindrops started to splatter the warm pavement as we entered the shop. We were greeted by the happily smiling, hippy, earthy styled staff with offers of free coffee or chai lattes. We explored, in awe of the varied merchandise and eclectic décor.
I decided to test out a few life questions I had in my mind. In order to do this I had to choose a tarot card deck I was drawn to. When I looked down and saw the deck I’d chosen I had to laugh, as they were the Goddess Isis Oracle tarot cards. It seemed she was following me that day on my journey, protecting me perhaps. I’ve always been fascinated by the Gods and Goddesses of Egypt, and of course the famous pyramids of Giza. They have a cloud of mystery and intrigue surrounding them which I love.
Nicola decided to do the same and choose some tarot cards. She selected a different pack and began to read them. They were scarily accurate and spoke to her current situation. I myself had a wolf symbol following me around in the crystal shop, appearing here and there, catching my eye as if a sign. I reminded myself to look up the meaning of this later, as Totem animal symbols have been very prominent throughout my life.
My friend was enjoying exploring the glowing, glistening, sparkling crystal cave of a shop. She decided she wanted to make some purchases, so, she quickly ducked outside to find an ATM and left me to my own devices. This was the perfect chance for me to quickly purchase some delightful inspiring everyday affirmation cards, her surprise present on the walk home and one I hoped would bring smiles and giggles every day for the rest of her life. I remember like it was yesterday the gift of my first pack of affirmation cards. I still to this very day try to choose one each morning and they continue to fill me with positive vibes and make me smile.
On the walk back to the station Nicola commented on how she likes my life analogies and advice. Naturally I was very flattered by such a beautiful compliment. I told her that her current situation appears to be like a turtle flipped on its back; all it needs is to find the energy within itself to flip back over the right way and continue on its life journey. Of course the famous ‘everything happens for a reason’ quote helped too. She laughed and flashed her infectious smile at me. I swear her smile could make the grumpiest person on earth happy. It truly had been so very wonderful seeing her again. She always manages to make me laugh and smile, and I am forever grateful for her positivity and friendship.
As quick as we said hello we were saying our goodbyes, as it was time for me to head back into the city centre, with just a tiny bit of time to pop by my irresistible bestie at work and bid her a final farewell. A quick tram ride back to my hotel, a rejuvenating power nap, then off on a jet plane and the long journey back home again.
I am forever grateful for my charming and gorgeous friends all around the world who take time out of there busy lives and schedules to come and see me when I’m in town.
I Love you all and Happy Weekend. May your week be filled with happiness, love, light, rainbows, smiles, sunshine and a sprinkle of fairy dust 😍