melbourne: finale

suburban adelaide from above the city of adelaide from above
the view from my 25th floor window my cicada pendant
I will admit to cheating the top two photos in this post... they're not from today's trip, they're from last year... in fact I didn't get my camera out very much at all today, and I didn't take any photos on the plane.

This wasn't a photo-heavy trip though... only 526 shots taken from getting on the plane on Friday to getting off it today... which sounds like a lot, but last year I took 858... okay, even so it is a lot.

The other two shots in today's post are the view from my 25th floor hotel room that I snapped this morning and the cicada pendant I bought yesterday.

Speaking of the hotel, I was being a little bit Secret Squirrel about the hotel, but we stayed in the Citadines Apart'hotels on Bourke Street. There is definitely something to be said for a hotel that has only been open for a month... everything felt very fresh and new compared with some of the places we've stayed in.

There's also something to be said for having a giant floor to ceiling window that isn't really closely overlooked by any other buildings... you know, for being a bit of an exhibitionist...

And just on general thoughts from Melbourne... if I had to sum up the cities I've been to as personalities or types, Sydney is sexy and sophisticated, Adelaide is casual but Melbourne is indie. Still sexy, but indie and stylish. But at the same time, very impatient. And also lively.

Every time we go to Melbourne we end up frequenting certain areas over and over and over due to the location of the hotel... previously it has been Spencer Street, Swanston Walk and Collins Street, but this time it was the Bourke Street Mall... not that we stopped anywhere in the Mall really, but we did keep walking along it on our way to and from places.

After I finished writing up my blog posts last night I started to pack my suitcase... now I don't really know why, because I didn't buy that much stuff that needed to go in my suitcase, but everything seemed so much harder to get into my case when I was repacking than it did when I packed it all originally. To make it even worse, I packed everything away and then realised I hadn't packed any of the clothes I was wearing... grrrr...

Sadly because we had a reasonably early flight this morning we really didn't have the time to do anything before we had to head to the airport... originally we were going to try and go to breakfast down the street, but it all seemed like it was going to be hard work so we did our own thing in our rooms and I had the cereal they gave us on the plane on Friday.

Once I'd gone over my room half a dozen times to ensure I hadn't forgotten anything I said goodbye to the 25th floor and headed down to Ma's room. I realised last night that I hadn't actually checked us in, and when I mentioned it to Ma I pulled out my iPhone and did it there and then on the spot, which turned out to be VERY handy... then once it was getting close to the time the car was going to pick us up we headed downstairs, settled my broadband bill and went outside to wait.

Now, I KNOW that I booked the car for 8:30... I wrote it down on a little sticky note while I was in one of the meeting rooms at work and everything... but the closer it got to 8:30 the more I was getting antsy... and then it passed 8:30... 8:35... 8:40. It wasn't helped by the fact that just up the street from the hotel is the entrance to a car park, and with it being Monday morning and all, cars were streaming into the car park. So every time we thought that that next car could have been for us it would turn off.

Once it hit 8:40 I called the car company and she said that according to them the driver was due at 8:45 which I know is bullcrap... but shortly after that the driver called me and I'm still not completely sure what he said to me other than "5 minutes", which I took to mean he would be there in around 5 minutes.

Five minutes passed... 10 minutes passed... 15 minutes passed. So by this point it's coming up on 9am, and the car should have been there at 8:30. Not impressed!

Thankfully he showed up at 9, but then that meant we had a half hour drive ahead of us and I was starting to panic that maybe we wouldn't make the flight, even though it wasn't until 10:10.

But he got us to the airport by about 9:25 or so which wasn't too bad, although I think he was speeding most of the way (next time I think I'm going to ask for Carlos on both trips... he's chatty, but at least he's punctual!).

And I was incredibly thankful that I checked in online because when we got there the normal line for check in was ENORMOUS! But I told the nice lady at the end of the line that I'd checked in online and she directed us to the two counters at the end... which had almost nobody at them (score!).

In fact, I think it took longer to go through security than it did to check our bags in.

We did only have to wait about 10 minutes before the flight started boarding though... and I think I made the day of the woman checking the boarding passes, she'd never had an iPhone check-in before. I didn't mention that it was my first time too!

Did they ever used to load planes in an orderly fashion? Like letting everyone who has a window seat on first, then the next seat, then the aisle seat? It seems like it would be a faster system than what happens now... same with disembarking...

It wasn't a great flight... I'm not sure if it was because I was in an "inbetween windows" seat and ended up having to pull down the shade because the sun was making me quite warm or what, but I felt decidedly green around the gills pretty much the whole flight. I know Mythbusters disproved most of the travel sickness remedies but I may have to try some of those pills out next time, just to see if it makes any difference.

Once we landed I started to feel better though and by the time we'd collected our bags and got into the long and windy taxi line I was mostly okay.

It's always a little worrying when your taxi driver's ID photo looks like a child molester's mugshot... and he fidgets a lot...

He also ended up taking us on a bit of a ride, which I'm not overly pleased about... part of the detour was fine, there were road works on one of the roads and it was easier to go around them, but then he took the less direct route via King William Street rather than Light Square... grrr... stupid taxi driver.

It was nice to be home though... I didn't particularly miss my little house, but at least I came home to hot water, so that helps.

And all that was left to do was unpack...

minimal melbourne bootyYou know, so I could find all the interesting stuff in amongst useless bits of paper and dirty clothes... although the Chewie "voice" figure is to add to the other noise making things at work and at least one of the postcards is for one of the girls at work.

Right next to the postcards is a rock I found while we were at Southbank yesterday, and I just picked it up as a reflex... and proceeded to carry it around in my pocket all day long... in fact it's in my pocket now... don't ask...

I've pretty much spent the rest of the day making a trip to the supermarket for supplies, starting a little Tim Burton film festival and dicking around on the laptop.

And there will likely be more of the same tomorrow... as well as properly going through all the photos I took...

Oh, and for the record... here are the posts for Day One, Day Two and Day Three...

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