Great Aussie Adventure, Part 1
Lucky me! I went on the trip of a lifetime to visit the Land of Oz, otherwise known as Australia. I took a bazillion photos, so I'm breaking them down into four parts. Once I've published all the posts, I'll update them with links so you can see them everything. This is my Great Aussie Adventure, Part 1. (By the way, click the images to see larger versions.)
Melbourne (Part 1) • Cairns (Part 2) • Uluru (Part 3) • Sydney (Part 4)
The Adventure Begins in Melbourne
The RARE23 Melbourne folks kindly invited me to be a featured author at their romance reader's convention. And my traveling companion Nancy and I decided that, if we were going to put up with brutal 15-hour flights there and back, we would build a three-week Aussie Adventure itinerary for ourselves. We are extremely grateful for planning help from my good friend Narelle Todd, book business and marketing consultant extraordinaire, who happens to live there.
Melbourne was the first stop. We were feeling posh, so we stayed in a rental apartment instead of a hotel.
The excellent RARE23 organizers kindly arranged tours for authors and readers. Nancy and I took one that included a trip to see famous beach boxes, a wildlife sanctuary, and a visit to Phillip Island to see the magical little penguins.
Around Town and Adventures
Nancy and I declined to become public menaces by trying to drive in Australia (wrong side of the road!), so we walked a lot. Fortunately, we were close to the Melbourne Sea Life Aquarium. Even on a Thurdsay, it was crowded with families. I think my favorite exhibit is the “Weedy Sea Dragon,” a species only found off Australia's east coast.
We ate well in Melbourne. Our favorite eatery was Ten Square Café in the Central Business District. I had a fabulous breakfast and homemade chai latte.
Melbourne seems to like fancy drinks. Here's one served at an upscale burger bar. I never did find out what was in it, but the colors made it look scrumptious.
Melbourne is famous for street art on walls, bridges, and alleys. We didn't see much of it because we were on foot, but here's a delightful wall with my friend Nancy standing in front.
My favorite business name in Melbourne. Please note the delightful steampunk-style decor, too.
The Convention Part of the Grand Aussie Adventure
I love meeting readers and other authors, so RARE's invitation was the perfect excuse to finally visit Australia. It's been a bucket-list trip for decades. I'd love to go back again and see more sights (but I'd really like to be able to afford airline seats in first class next time).
Here's a bonus picture of an eastern Australia magpie. They are like magpies the world over — assertive, opportunistic, and hilarious.
So exciting!! Looks like the first few days went well. Yes, I don’t fly international without flying business class anymore. I’m too old to sit in steerage for that long. Lol. Can’t wait to see more!
It was a trip full of marvels. There’s still a lot of Australia I’d like to see, but I also want to see other places around the world, too. If I go to Europe next year, I’ll definitely budget for business class flights on the trans-Atlantic flight.