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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wonderful Wednesday in Melbourne

I had a wonderful time on Wednesday.  I'm loving this trip!!!!  Wednesday I headed  to Mornington to visit a quilt shop and see some beach boxes.  I have been enamored with beach boxes since they were featured in an episode of Miss Fisher Mysteries.  Can I be any more obsessed about that show?

I braved the interstate for the drive down to Mornington and I was very pleased with myself.  I have this driving on the left side down pat.  Google Maps had been my constant companion on this trip and we are becoming quite good friends.  Got a little nervous when I couldn't get it to turn on before the trip but Bre channeled "The IT Crowd" and told me to turn the phone off and on.  Worked like a charm.

In the hour drive, I got out of the city and drove by horse, sheep, and llamas.  So fun.  The topography was very very flat.  The sky was huge.  I found Treehouse Textiles easily and it was very cute.  There were a number of originally designed patterns in the shop which were all scrappy.  I'm not a scrappy lover but there were some really nice patterns.  I did find a really cute needle holder kit which I bought.

Also had a lovely chat with the lady working at the shop.  There were a couple of books on making accessories that I was tempted to get but I decided I have plenty of books.  I know, I know you can never have too many books but I didn't buy them.   The shop didn't have a ton of fabric and not much of it was my taste; a lot of flowers and pastels but they had some really pretty dot fabric which I already own.  The decorations were sweet and I loved the giant sewing table in the middle of the room.  It told you so much about the store.

On the main street of Mornington were tons of little shops and they were having a street fair/farmers market.

Have to say even in winter their veggies look amazing.  Their green onions were at least 3 times the size of ours.

There were some very nice hand crafted items along side food items.  I had a wonderful veggie eggroll.  So good.  After that lovely stroll on main street, I headed down to the pier where I was hoping to see some beach boxes.  Yee Haw!!!!!

There they were in all their bright colored splendor about a quarter mile away.  The day was picture perfect, bright and sunny about 65 degrees.  I couldn't have asked for any better.  So I trekked over to take some pics of the beach boxes.  Some of these little places sell for a couple hundred thousand dollars.  What?  They are cute, but come on!!!!!!!!

After my beach visit, I headed to visit Magic Patch Quilting which was a nice shop.  They mostly had muted colors.  I thought of it as a Thimbleberry type shop.  They had some nice samples and most of their patterns were on sale for half price so I picked up a cute cupcake pincushion pattern.  This shop probably had twice the fabric as the first store but I really wasn't tempted except for something I got as a gift for Mom.

Next shop on the way home was Palm Beach Quilting.  This shop was maybe three times as big as the others and they had some really cool things I hadn't seen before.  They have this cool sort of color by number quilt.  Basically it is like a coloring book page printed on a big piece of white fabric and you applique fabric to the corresponding section of the top.  It really did look like fun.  They also had some very cute hand embroidery patterns by an Australian designer and some really beautiful quilt kits.    The only down side to the shop was the woman was on the phone practically the whole time I was there.  Not my idea of a good shop owner.

I came home and hung out for a little waiting until the evening when I was to meet Bre at Drag Queen Bingo.  What a blast!!!!!!  We met up with two of Bre's friends, Sally and Emma.  They were up for the entertainment.  The theme for the night was Cher.  Both of the drag queens lip synced to Cher songs in between calling bingo games.

It was a bawdy fun night.  To make it even better I won the second game and was called up on stage to have my numbers verified.
I was so pumped that when they asked me what famous things were in Missouri all I could think of was lakes.  Lakes???????  Banging my head on the table.  Then they asked if any famous people were born in Missouri I couldn't remember any but Bre piped in from the audience "Brad Pitt".  Oh yea, I forgot about Brad Pitt!!!!!  I won a bag of Turkish Deligh candy.  Not great but okay candy.  I had a blast.

After Bingo we drove Sally to the CBD where she lives and saw this lovely sight.  That is one of the art museums bathed in blue light for the evening.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Miss Fisher Mystery Walking Tour

Monday was a lazy day for me, I walked to lunch and took a few shots of houses on the walk back to Bre's.  I'm a little sheepish about admitting I ate lunch at the same place we had dinner the night before.  Bre berated me a little about having veggie burgers two meals in a row but the veggie burger was amazing.  I think the pickles were the thing that made it extra special.  I would compare them to bread and butter pickles but I'm not really sure I just know the burger was so good.  Oh I should probably mention the name of the place, Huxtaburger.  

My mom requested that I take more pictures of the houses around Melbourne so she could get a feel of the area.  I'm happy to take pictures for her. 

I have found it very interesting that every house I've seen, and I mean EVERY one, has a fence in the front yard.  I'm a girl from the Midwest and when I grew up most of the neighborhoods didn't have fences in the back yard (unless they had a dog) let alone the front yard.  I guess they like their privacy here.

Also of note is there are amazing older homes here with all kinds of ironwork on them right next door to a modern cube type home.  I love modern homes all sleek and concrete but I will admit they aren't nearly as charming as the older homes in this town. 

Bre picked me up after work and we went for dumplings for dinner.  Yum.  I thought I'd never had dumplings before but I was wrong.  I've gotten fried dumplings at the Asian market in Springfield.  They aren't nearly as good as what we ate last night.

Today I was so excited because I went to the CBD to take the Miss Fisher Mysteries walking tour offered by Meltours.  Doing a happy dance!!!!!!  On the tram ride to the CBD, I saw these kids having fun playing with these LARGE balls that they get inside of.  I think that would be a blast to try. 
I got to the downtown area with plenty of time to spare because I didn't want to miss the tour so I had time to get a quick lunch at a Japanese place and then go to a Diaso, the Japanese dollar store, to pick up a few things for Bre. 

 As I was waiting for the tour to begin on a bench near our meeting spot, another tour participant approached me.  I had my camera around my neck which might has well have been screaming "I'm a tourist".  She was a milliner from Canada who was a big Phryne fan and this lucky woman has a meeting with the costume designer, Marion Boyce, the next day.  How cool is that!!!!!  

Our tour guide, Kathy, was right on time and I knew I was going to like her when I saw her shoes.

Two other women from the Melbourne area joined the tour so the five of us headed into Self Preservation for afternoon tea.   I had no idea afternoon tea was a full blown lunch.   Since I'd already eaten lunch I only tasted the salad and the sandwich.  I regretted having eaten earlier since this was way better than the Japanese lunch.  In fact the bread in the sandwich was some of the best I'd ever eaten.  They also served scones with clotted cream and jam.  MMMMMMM.

Once tea was concluded we headed out for out tour.  Kathy was a plethora of information about Melbourne history and Miss Fisher Mysteries.  Did you know that Essie Davis bobbed her hair and colored it brown for the show.  I had no clue.  I thought it was a really good wig.  Apparently a wig would have been way easier since she had to get her bangs (aka fringe) cut three times a week and her hair cut about one a week.  One of the really fun features of the tour was every time we'd go to a spot where they filmed, Kathy would show us the scene on her Ipad.  Apparently last year when Melbourne had a city wide festival of Miss Fisher Mysteries, the production company asked Meltours to put together a walking tour to visit spots where the show filmed.  To make the tour better the film editor put together clips of the show featuring those locations. 

This is the Hotel Windsor where Phryne stays when she first gets to Melbourne.

Then we saw the home of a famous builder which is now the offices of the National Preservation Society and where scenes were filmed.  We went inside the Old Treasury Building where they filmed scenes from the last episode of the first season.  

We also got to go inside the building where they filmed a bank robbery scene in the first season and a theater scene in the third season.  In all, we saw 7 or 8 places they filmed but along the way we were regaled with a colorful history of the Melbourne CBD. 

At the end of the tour we stopped at a lovely bar decorated in the period style where we had a cocktail and chatted about the tour.  I had a great time, so worth the price of admission.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Strolling to the CBD on Sunday

Well we didn't exactly stroll to the CBD (Central Business District) on Sunday, we took the tram.  Bre is so lucky there is a tram stop about 2 blocks from where she lives and she had done very well in Melbourne without a car.   Hence she knows her way around town pretty well for having only lived her since Oct. but I have to say between Google Maps and the Public Transport app for Melbourne even I can find my way around town.

We went to the CBD for a couple of things; mainly to see the 200 Years of Australian Fashion exhibit at the National Gallery in Victoria (NGV) and the Victoria Market.  Both were awesome.  We hit up the Victoria Market first where I saw some trees that were yarn bombed.

So fun.  Then we immediately made our way to the doughnut truck for some jam filled doughnuts.  Delicious!!!!  We walked through a bunch of vendor stalls oooohing and ahhhing over things but not purchasing anything.  Next we hit up a food truck with Sri Lankan food where we got an order of chick peas, vegetable curry and saffron rice.  To die for!!!!!!!   Oh and lest I forget the spiral potato on a stick that we had between the doughnuts and the Sri Lankan food.  Bre described it as fair food.  Not far from the mark, but I bet the Iowa State Fair doesn't have a Sri Lankan food truck.

Then we took a free tram back to the NVG to see the fashion exhibit.  Oh gosh it was beautiful.  The dresses were gorgeous of course (not any plain every day stuff).  The displays were awesome as well and Bre got a couple of really cool time lapse photos on her iphone which is something I don't seem to have on my Samsung but then I could just take a video so I guess I won't be too jealous. 

In case you can't tell from the picture above, the hat is part of the coat.  So cool.

Next we went to this craft fair near the NVG that had all kinds of beautiful hand made crafts.  One booth had these amazing steampunk kaleidoscopes from Arcana Pursuits that had all kinds of gears and embellishments on it.  I'm sure it cost a pretty penny but there was a ton of work in it and they use found objects in their art.  Sooo pretty.

Then we headed to this Japanese store that Bre told me about and I wanted to see.  It is sort of like the Dollar Store in the U.S. but all these things are from Japan and they are $2.80.  We walked down every aisle and I got several small little things.  I just love that kind of place.

By the time we got on the tram to go home, I was exhausted.  Luckily there was a seat open on the tram so I could sit down during the ride back.  Bre's place is really nice and has the most amazing view but I cursed those three flights of stairs as I was trudging up them after our day out.

Super Saturday in Melbourne

Aren't Saturday's the best?   They are even better when you get to spend the day with your daughter!!!!!!  We had a couple of things planned that would take us through the CBD (central business district) which I didn't feel like driving through.

Bre was up for the challenge and we were off after a relaxing morning.

First stop was Tranquility Crafts in the Moonee Ponds area of Melbourne.  This place has a little bit of everything, counted cross stitch, embroidery, quilting.  It was jam packed so much so that if someone else was in the aisle you had to back up to a intersecting aisle to make way.  My kind of shop!!!!!  The best part for me was they had about a million patterns and I only slightly exaggerate.  With some help from the owner, I found the Red Brolly section and felt like I'd died and gone to heaven.  I think they had every pattern that Red Brolly had ever put out.  I bought all these plus a cute surf themed quilt pattern.  I am going to be so busy when I get home sewing my little fingers to the bone.

I had a nice chat with a couple of ladies who were Missouri Star Quilt fans.  Gotta love the internet.  I live in Missouri and am lusting after Australian patterns and these women live in Australia and are lusting after Missouri patterns.  I love that our world has gotten a bit smaller with the internet.  Bre, being the gregarious person that she is, had a nice chat with several women who were busy in the classroom.  I highly recommend the shop.

Next up we headed over to the house they used in the Miss Fisher Mysteries tv series.  I was surprised at how excited I was.  I had a touch of butterflies as we neared the place.  So silly.  I took a bunch of pictures and Bre took some of me in front of the house.

It was lovely.  I tried to picture in my head a few of the scenes from the show.  I think they might have trimmed the hedge back but not sure.  A few people were walking down the street giving us very strange looks.  I'm strange, I admit it proudly.

Next up we went for lunch at Smith and Daughters which is this vegan restaurant in Brunswick Street area we had visited last Sunday. We saw this sweet man with his little girl as we walked in. 
Bre and I ordered three things off the menu and shared them.  We had corn fritters (Bre's favorite),  Jalapeno Mac and Cheese, and a Mexican Hash (my favorite).  Oh and we had some homemade donuts for dessert.  Everything was excellent and the place was very quaint with exposed brick walls and industrial decorations.  Four stars.

After lunch we headed over to Sun Bookshop over in Yarraville.  I wanted to go there because they had the Miss Fisher Mysteries Coloring book.  I had to have one and a bookmark with Phryne and one with Jack.  No trip to Melbourne would have been complete with out some Phryne souvenirs!!!!!   I LOVE THAT SHOW!!!!!!

We checked out other shops in the little shopping area and the outdoor space as well.  These folks were out and playing and eating outside even though it is winter here.  They definitely love the outdoors.  There are tons of these little shopping areas around town.  Not strip malls, but little shops on local streets.  They really are lovely.

We headed home after that adventure and later on walked to the local Indian place and ordered take away.  Delicious of course.  Bre is such an adventurous eater now (unlike when she was living at home).  She has introduced me to some awesome foods here.