Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The coffee, cake and culture tour....

We had been planning a visit to Melbourne to see the Tim Burton exhibition which has been on tour from the MOMA. The long weekend seemed the perfect opportunity as it was also within the school holidays. What we didn't anticipate was that the AFL grand final that was a drawn game on the last weekend in September was to be replayed the weekend we were travelling to Melbourne. We're not fans of either team particularly, although Joe subscribes to the A.B.C. principle.....Anything But Collingwood which then meant we had a leaning towards the Saints for the duration. However, our support wasn't enough for the poor old Sainters.
Things started out OK, we left home only 1/2 an hour after we'd planned. Joe commented that the car was driving really well after its service. I wish he hadn't!
Three hours into the trip we pulled into the bakery at Bordertown when an alarm sounded on the dash, telling us to check the alternator. OMG! Even I know that's not good! I called our local Holden dealer and they gave us the number for the dealer in Bordertown, the Farmers Centre. What champions. They were happy to look at the car straight away. (We were thanking our lucky stars that it was a Friday and not the following public holiday Monday!) The mechanic confirmed that the alternator was putting out a massive charge to the battery....even though we had our lights on, were running the air conditioner and the iPod! We needed a new regulator and thankfully they had one in stock. If they hadn't, the alternative would have been to drive an hour and a 1/2 to the next major centre at Horsham with the dash alarm beeping the whole way and everything on!
They had it fixed in an hour which gave L the chance to have a sit on the quad bike on display which he lovingly referred to as his 'baby'!
The enforced layover in Bordertown put us about 2 hours behind schedule and this meant I didn't have a chance to pop into Ballarat Patchwork. Oh well, things could have been worse, like not even making it to Ballarat!
It also put us well behind and had us arriving in Melbourne in peak hour traffic, the night before a grand final! We made it just in time to check into our apartment 5 minutes before reception closed at 7pm. All good.
This is a section of tiled floor at the Tribeca apartments just up the road from where we stayed. It's in the old Victoria Brewery that's been converted to restaurants, shops and apartments. It reminds me of a quilt!
Our tickets to the Tim Burton exhibition were pre-paid and for a scheduled entry so we had just enough time the next morning to visit the Victoria Markets.
The first of the Melbourne coffee and cake stops! The kids got into the grand final spirit and had a Saints cup cake.
Onto the exhibition and marvel at Tim Burton's cleverness and quirkiness. L was particularly impressed with the Batmobil in the foyer.
Heading out through Federation Square and the crowd was starting to build to watch the game on the big screen.After lunch we dropped Joe off at some random hotel broadcasting the game in Richmond whilst we hit the shops on Bridge Road which I must say was a little underwhelming. I really think there are more bargains and variety to be had in the 'regular' shops rather than the so called outlet shops. But I also know that I get bored trawling through racks of disperate garments. I like a range. Give me a tidy department store with a fashion story any day!
We picked up Joe and he decided he needed a coffee. So we headed back into town for Little Cupcakes in Degraves. But alas, they are football fans and had closed up shop early. So we made our way to Laurent. Heaven in a french patisserie!

We'd actually purchased a combined gallery ticket which also gave us entry into the European Masters from the Stadel Gallery, Germany which was on at the NGV. So the plan was to head out early, morning tea at Little Cupcakes and then the gallery. I can't show you the cakes from Little Cupcakes because they put up such a fuss when I tried to take a photo. Serious dummy spit stuff. I felt like telling them to shove their cake....but the family would have been less than impressed with me. And to think, we go there every visit to Melbourne and were making a return visit seeing as they had closed the day before. Haven't they heard of negative word of mouth! I'll be thinking twice about visiting the next time!
After the exhibition and a play in the water that forms the main entrance to the NGV a tram ride down to Lygon Street for lunch at Brunettis.
Another tram ride followed out to Fitzroy for a wander down the eclectic Brunswick St and afternoon tea and a refreshing ale at Little Creatures. This is a great stop for a boutique beer, a glass of wine and reasonably priced food.It was the first day of daylight saving, so even though we'd lost an hour of our day, the day was beautiful and sunny even into the early evening so L made a shadow bird on the wall.Home again the next day. First stop Ballarat Patchwork.
Guess what?
They're not open on Monday's. The fabric gods were really conspiring against me!
Oh about some coffee and cake?

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