melbourne whotrip - day two

rooftop reaper nerve system
Whoever said that holidays were all about laying back and relaxing and never doing anything would have no place on holiday with Ma and me.

It's go, go, go... with the exception of our usual little rest before dinner. And even evenings are taken up with hammering out these posts.

But that comes later... first we must begin at the beginning.

I didn't sleep too badly, except I think that I may have woken up every time the air-conditioner started up again overnight... but not enough so that I really remember it, I just know that I did wake up a few times.

Now, if you had to guess, when do you think a really bad time for unloading scaffolding from the back of a truck in a laneway under a set of hotel room windows would be? I'm suggesting that 6am on a Saturday morning isn't particularly optimal (although it could have been worse).

urban lurker... i see you door to nowhere
Actually, there have been portions of today that have been like that... not exactly a comedy of errors, because none of them were actually funny... but things just generally not going our way.

Anyway, we were good to go and headed out of the hotel at about 8am, give or take, and set off for Trunk Diner, a cute little place that I'd found online, for breakfast. It was in the general direction we were planning on heading afterwards anyway (the north east corner of the city), so it seemed like the right idea.

Except when we got there.

Because Trunk (well, the diner part anyway) wasn't open. We discovered later that they were having a private function... but you would think that they would put a sign up about that the night before so that people arriving for breakfast would no. But no.

granola with rhubarb porridge with honey
So we dithered around nearby, discovered a bit of street art and eventually gave up and headed back over to Collins Street to a place we noticed on our way to Trunk.

And Grossi Florentino was actually open. And helpful, and nice. And the food wasn't too bad either.

I ummed and ahhed about the menu actually, there were a bunch of things that sounded okay, but nothing that was really exactly what I was after. In the end I decided against the big fry-up breakfast kind of idea and went with porridge instead. Low GI and all that.

After that we headed north eastwards again to the Exhibition Centre and Museum.

While the outside of the Exhibition Centre is fairly impressive, from what I've seen on TV shows it’s the inside that's really amazing, but we didn't get to see that bit.

melbourne museum hochgurtel fountain
However the Museum has an amazing building, both inside and out as well as being a really great museum... and luckily we got there right as they were opening for the day.

Part of me thinks that museums in general really should give up with the whole stuffed animal thing though... they never look right. Of course the things in jars and preserved bits of whatever don't look a whole heap better.

dinosaur skull natrolite
One of the really impressive bits (especially since we no longer have any in the SA Museum as far as I remember) was the Dinosaur Walk. Well put together, fantastically displayed. In fact, the whole minerals/Planet Earth/insects area was pretty impressive.

There was lots of "press this button" and "turn this wheel" and "watch this video" and all that great interactive stuff... even more so once you got upstairs to the Body & Mind sections.

every had a dream like this? xray chest
Just on the topic of the Body section for a moment... while I didn't take a photo of it (it seemed a little pervy, even for me), there were some naked photos up in the Reproductive section and one of them, I'm pretty sure, is some sort of Melbourne "C Lister"... he's either something to do with one of the cooking shows, or he's something to do with football... I don't know, but I've now seen him naked. Which is probably more than I really needed to see.

The mind stuff was fun too... again lots of things to try and test and whatnot.

By that point it was just about lunch time so we headed back into the city to find somewhere to eat. We did stop off at Victim on the way though... which I'm blaming Ma for... but then there was more vinyl... just a couple, honest.

And in between trying to avoid the fact that they’ve started digging the whole of Swanston Walk up (damn but that's noisy, not to mention disruptive), we stopped off at the Swatch store.

The Swatch story is something of a long and convoluted one... but it boils down to this. Ma wanted Watch A, Guy thought they had one Watch A in the cupboard, it turned out to be broken. I wanted Watch B... after watching the whole 15 or so minute rigmarole about Watch A, Guy looks in cupboard for Watch B... they have pretty much EVERY OTHER COLOUR of Watch B but the one I want.

We leave. The End.

coles fountain green cage
We eventually ended up on Degraves Street for lunch again, this time at a random place that happened to have salad listed on a board outside, Café Andiamo. It was okay. Well, once we got the waitress to understand what a "soda, lime and bitters" is. Seriously... Ma orders that all the time, and just about everywhere we go and nobody has ever had as much brain damage as this particular waitress. And really, I make a better tuna salad than these guys even when I'm not trying that hard. It was okay, just boring.

After lunch we stopped off at Little Cupcakes, which is just down the road and picked up some aptly named little cupcakes to have later on, then wandered back to the hotel with every intention of staying put, but partly because they hadn't actually cleaned our rooms and partly because we had forgotten to buy tickets for the tram to St Kilda tomorrow, and since the Metlink Shop (or whatever it's called) was closed, we weren't completely sure where to get them.

Even though one of the rotating gang of girlies on the front desk did point us in the direction of 7Elevens, we headed down to Federation Square anyway, to ask them about catching the tram given that the Powers That Be have ripped up pretty much 90% of Swanston Walk... it's just a big hole in the ground currently... plus the noise they were making ripping it up... multiple drill machines... you can't even imagine.

original tram old keys
Anyway, Fed Square turned out to be a good idea because the Information Centre now sells Metcards... I'm sure we tried that once before and they didn't actually sell them... I could be wrong.

But we got them... the good old half priced Sunday Saver.

I don't know that I've ever seen Federation Square so very full of so many different groups of people than on this trip. Last night there were people after work watching the cricket, after we left Information today there were people in all manner of garb handing out flyers for World Naked Bike Ride something or other. And then tonight there was an Australian Turkish festival thing going off.

Getting back to this afternoon though... we got distracted by the Book Market briefly, had a poke around the NGV Shop and stopped for a drink and a little lemon tart thing in their café.

art boards skate wheels
Then we had a look in the section at the front of NGV which is showcasing skateboards and the work of street artists, including our own Gary Seaman and Joshua Smith. But there were a lot of very, very pretty boards.

After that we headed further along Flinders Street looking for a street art laneway that I had marked on an older map which I didn't have with me at the time and which turns out to be on the next block over, but we looped around Exhibition Street and along Flinders Lane and still managed to find a couple of other laneways.

And I left all but one of the remaining eyeBirds (I'm keeping three, so technically I still have four... and there were forty to begin with I think... not bad) there.

eyebird natural habitat sticker haven with eyebird
Then we really did head back to hotel, which is where screw-up number... what are we up to, about number three or maybe number four depending on if you count the Metlink Shop being shut... screw-up number four happened.

I was CERTAIN that the Doctor Who Symphony Spectacular started at 7:30pm. Absolutely convinced of it. So we were going to head over to Southbank to get some dinner and then head off to the show. Except when we checked the tickets just as we were leaving, I realised it didn't start at 7:30, but at 7. Now I knew we weren't going to be LATE, since we’d planned on dinner first, but it did mean that we had to pretty much abandon dinner.

We may have been able to get something in the food court at Crown, but when we got there it was positively HEAVING with people (more than a few of whom I'm sure where off to the DWSS).

So dinner ended up being a meat pie in the foyer before the show. A very high standard and quite filling meat pie, but a pie none the less.

Which brings us all the way around to the whole entire wibbly wobbly timey wimey experience that was the Doctor Who Symphony Spectacular!

People dressed up... oh how people dressed up. There were fezzes as far as the eye could see, bow ties by the bucketload, the sounds of sonic screwdrivers in the air and every possible variation of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, as well as Numbers Nine, Five and Six. Plus at least three girls in Dalek dresses and pretty much every manner of Doctor Who teeshirt known to man.

It was fantastic.

two doctors dalek girls
I brought together a cute guy Ten with a perky girl Eleven for my FebPhotoADay photo (the theme being "a stranger"), which is possibly my favourite iPhone photo from the whole trip... two of the Dalek girls being a close second.

And a rather chubby girl dressed as Eleven went barrelling over to a young man dressed as Six (I really have no idea if she knew him, but I kinda doubt it) and hugged him because she'd never seen anybody "do Six"... to use her phrase. Weird, but amusing.

Oh, wait, what... there was stuff going on when we actually went inside the hall too... hang on...

whale shadow wooden mind
Our seats weren't brilliant... but they weren't horrible either. If any of the monsters had actually come down the stairs next to us, I would have been able to snap a pretty good photo, but they never did. But just seeing "real live" Cybermen and Daleks (those new ones are bloody huge!) and Ood and a Judoon and a Silence, amongst others, was awesome.

I kinda wish there had been more of them though... partly so that there would have been enough for them to come closer to where we were, and partly because it just felt a little silly at times, only having a single Silence or a single Judoon.

The music, as you would expect, was beautiful... and beautifully performed by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. I didn't always recognise it, since I'm not a great one for paying a ton of attention to music scores, but with maybe one exception they showed the visuals that went with the music.

And even though I'm nowhere near as emotionally connected with Eleven as I was/am with Ten, I still found myself getting a little misty, and did have a little cry during the regeneration montage which went through all of the Doctors in order... more so once they got to the David era though.

But Murray Gold is a very, very talented man.

Oh, and when the Dalek Commander asked if we would comply or be obedient or whatever it was he asked, I screamed out "NO" all on my own the first time... hehehe. Other people only joined in later.

And naturally they left the Doctor Who theme music until the very, very, very end, which made everybody go nuts.

When it was over I think everyone in the 5000+ seats was on their feet, hooting and cheering and clapping.

It really was a hell of a thing.

But then all 5000 people poured out of the Convention Centre... so it was a bit crazy for a while there. We got back in one piece though.

tweet corner undercover phibs
And at least, with everything that didn't exactly go according to plan, the thing we really came to Melbourne for, the really important thing, that all went off without a hitch. Although now I want a sonic screwdriver!

As Ten would say... Allons-y!

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