My trip to Melbourne with my sister got off to an exciting start on Friday night when we had to evacuate Perth airport due to a suspicious package!!! This meant we had to trudge outside and stand in the cold for 45 minutes or so while the powers that be did whatever it is they do in these situations, but at least it took my mind off the dismal footy score. When we finally managed to board the plane we were happy to not be sharing it with a weirdo woman whom I had the pleasure of interacting with when she rammed me in the back of the legs with her trolley, then told me I couldn't say anything to her about it because she had a broken thumb. We later spotted her ripping up a newspaper in the newsagent, and then madly texting people with her phone (using her broken thumb), and then finally hassling out the news crew who arrived to film the suspicious package goings-on. Of course having witnessed all of this we were expecting to find her sitting next to us on the plane, carrying on like a pork chop, and were most relieved that she was nowhere to be seen. So, safe from the weirdo woman and dosed up on sleeping pills we actually managed to get some sleep on the plane! Truly a miracle given both of our track records with plane sleeping ability.
Our miraculous sleep meant that we were able to handle the fact that we had 6-7 hours to kill before we were able to check into our hotel room. After changing from comfy tracky dacks into more respectable jeans and dropping off our luggage at the hotel, we went in search of some breakfast. We decided to head over the river and walk along the Southbank Promenade. Checking menus as we walked along, nothing really piqued our interest until we came across a place called BearBrass, which we headed into and were warmly greeted. Although we were tempted by the breakfast cocktails, we thought it would not be wise to dose ourselves with booze given our sleep deprivation. After some perusal, I decided to try the "baked eggs with chorizo, bacon, mushroom, olives, rocket, cannellini beans topped with onion chilli jam" and my sister opted for the "bearbrass vegi breakfast with scrambled eggs, avocado, mushroom, tomato and spinach".
It is actually not until now, when I type this, that I realise the dishes we were served were a little different to what is written on the menu. My dish had potato instead of beans, and also had extra tomato, whilst the vegi breakfast had a hash brown and toast added for good measure. I guess we looked like we needed a good dose of carbs? Despite the departure from the menu descriptions, we were really happy with our meals and checked out the lunch and dinner menus, deciding to head back for dinner after the football the following night.
Energised from our hearty meals we wandered off through the CBD, finding ourselves at the Queen Victoria Market and unable to continue exclaiming about how much better the produce was than what we are used to at home. The selection, the quality and the prices all left us ready to head to the nearest real estate agency to put a deposit down on a nearby apartment. Surely we could afford one with the money we'd be saving on cheap food?
Our nighttime festivities were organised in advance, as we had tickets to "Darling Vegas Saturday" at the Templebar Precinct, Collingwood. It turned out to be quite a bargain, with our $39 netting us a three course dinner and 2-3 hours of entertainment. The three courses were simple but well done, starting with a generous plate of freshly made garlic and herb bread, then a choice of either chicken parmi with chips and salad, beer battered flathead tails with chips and salad, or Tuscan penne pasta with pumpkin, spinach, pine nuts and parmesan, and then dessert was a choice of either coconut cake with berries and cream, or homemade chocolate mousse with cream and berries (as opposed to the aforementioned berries and cream). I had to go with the ubiquitous chicken parmi, as I couldn't let myself leave Melbourne without having had one (even if I wasn't having it for $12 with a "pot" of beer).
DATE: So apparently the mysterious package was left by some German backpackers, and was actually a cooler bag marked "BOMB!". In fact it seems to have been a cooler bag filled with FOOD! which may well have been a fart bomb of bratwurst and sauerkraut. They ended up getting fined $1500.