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Melbourne Australia

Visiting Friends

Saturday, August 11 2007

This shot is of Frankston beach, in winter, from the end of the Frankston pier.

Lawrence picked me up at John's place on Saturday morning and we headed into Frankston to secure my rental car. We ate lunch and watched the Simpson's movie at a cinema in Frankston. Then we walked to the Frankston pier. Frankston has changed quite a bit since I lived here more than 16 years ago. It seems to have become less of a beach side town and more of a shopping center.

Sunday, August 12 2007

It was good to see Sue again.

I got up on Sunday and drove myself from Pearcedale to St. Kilda and beyond. Click here for a view of my approximate route.

In St. Kilda I had lunch with Sue and John. Sue is a good friend of Mina and now me. Mina met Sue when Sue left Australia to roam around the USA.

I had an excellent lunch, thanks Sue and John.

Sue and John have some great travel plans coming up. They have sold their house and quit their jobs, bought a Ford F250 and an off-road caravan (or trailer in USA terminology) and are heading off in three months to travel all around Australia. I guess Sue has never lost her traveling bug. You have to be careful how many glasses of wine you have when eating lunch with John as he is an ex English Bobby, Australian Constable, and is currently a prosecuting solicitor (lawyer for my US friends). Sorry John I just could not resist.

After lunch I left Sue and John and caught up with my old school friend, come best man at my wedding, come rock climbing and SCUBA diving buddy, of many years ago now; Fred.

Fred is seen here standing in front of some public toilets which is his normal practice on a Sunday afternoon. Sorry Fred I just could not help myself. For the little black duck.

Monday, August 13 2007

The sun came out a bit on Monday and I spent the afternoon with my two brothers John and Lawrence talking and drinking beer. When Di got home from work (notice that all three brothers are not working; is there a pattern here I wonder); John, Di, and I went out and had dinner at the Baxter Pub. The Baxter pub is like many Australian suburban pubs and has what is referred to in Australia as a "drive though bottle shop". This is like a Mc Donald's drive though only you pick up your booze instead of burgers here.

Tuesday, August 14 2007

John and I went over to visit with my Dad and Verna this morning. They live on a few acres not very far from John's place; it always feels quite rural when you visit them. We chatted, drank tea, ate cookies, and generally had a good time.

That evening I drove from Pearcedale to Ringwood; at night I might add. Fifteen years ago this trip would not have been a problem for me but now it was quite difficult as the streets and roads have changed a bit and I have forgotten all my landmarks. In Ringwood I had dinner with Janita, her son Jauch, and Fred. We had such a good time I forgot to take any pictures. On the way home I got lost and almost drove to Philip Island; for non locals Philip Island is a long way in the wrong direction and the place to see Fairy Penguins. I did make it back to John's place eventually. Thanks for a great dinner Janita and sharing old and new times.

The two brothers.

Wednesday, August 15 2007

On this day I went for a hike for the first time since leaving the USA back in July. Steve, Lawrence, and I drove to Cape Shank which is a beautiful cliff and beach area only 30 minutes from John's home.

Bush Ranger's Bay.

Cape Shank is washed by the waters of Bass Straight; this is the body of water that separates mainland Australia from Tasmania. I feel I must remind everyone that Tasmania is very much a treasured part of Australia. Like so many cliffy areas in the world Cape Shank has a light house that once saved many a sailor's life I imagine. We walked down to the Cape and then headed out on the 6 kilometer walk to Bush Ranger's Bay.

On the walk back we saw a mob of Kangaroos and one of their smaller cousins a Wallaby. It sure was a pleasant hike.

This was a very pleasant coastal walk along the rugged cliffs to a very remote and beautiful beach. We chatted and joked along the way and took in the distinctive sounds of Australia, primarily the birds. I have hiked a bit in Northern California and even though there are many eucalypt trees in the Bay Area, that can give you a similar smell of the Australian bush, no place in the USA offers the unique sounds of the Australian bush. At the bay we soaked in the beautiful sounds and sights of the rugged Australian bay. Because there had been so much rain lately the small creek which empties into the bay was flowing quite swiftly. It was relaxing to spend time at Bush Ranger's Bay.

That evening I attended a family dinner. My Dad, Verna, John, Di, Lawrence, and I were all there. We ate lots of good food, had just a little too much to drink, told all sorts of stories, and generally had a good time.

Thursday, August 16 2007

In the morning I went into Frankston with John and followed him around as he performed some chores. It was a very overcast day not much sun all day long; quite dreary.

Fred, Greg, and his wife.

In the evening I drove to Cheltenham and had dinner with Greg, his wife Marsha, and Fred joined us. Greg, Fred, and I attended grade school together at Monterey State school. I enjoyed looking at all of our old school photos that Greg has studiously stored on his web site.

By the way it is an excellent web site Greg. We ate dinner out at an India restaurant. We chatted about how to change the world and movies. I had a great time. I drove home to Pearcedale without getting lost this time. It is all starting to come back to me now; this driving in Melbourne thing.

Friday, August 17 2007

I had a really slow day at John's place this Friday just took it easy and drank many cups of tea.

Vic looks drunk in this shot but I think he was just happy. For the Old Dog, PTB, and ROI Vic!

That evening Fred and I headed out to have dinner with Vic and his new wife Katia. Vic lives in Brunswick which was a big drive from Pearcedale; but then most drives are from Pearcedale. We had a great meal, talked over old times, watched a video of Fred on a dating show back in the 80's which Vic has placed on CD to torture Fred with. Then we watched Collingwood just beat Melbourne in a Australian rules football game. Collingwood is limping along in this year's football season. Sorry guys I had to say this.

Saturday, August 18 2007

This morning Lawrence picked me up from John's place and we headed to Mornington for breakfast at a greasy spoon restaurant Lawrence likes. We ate a yummy breakfast and headed into Melbourne to spend the day as tourists in our home town. Neither of us had done this in a long while so it was new and exciting for both of us.

The Yarra River.

We walked the South Bank which is a popular spot in Melbourne that runs alongside the Yarra River. We walked to Federation Square which has very interesting architecture and was full of people bustling about. We ate dinner in an excellent restaurant in China Town where we were inundated by friendly servers. And we visited several pubs on the way back home. We both had a great day and evening.


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