3/30 – 4/2
Melbourne doesn’t seem particularly well designed and her public transportation isn’t exactly user friendly (didn’t try the tram but the train map looked like a circuit board fucked a constellation) but she makes up for it in style. It’s crawling with back alley pubs and coffee houses. There are grand ol’ arcades (think suburban shopping strip meets central station in a narrow ally), and cool old buildings intertwined with a modern bustling cityscape.
Our timing could not have been better and our choice of hostel was perfect. We were able to secure a two person dorm room to ourselves. The room was exactly as glamorous as a 2 person dorm room sounds but it had the added benefit of being a few floors above a great tavern that was one of the hosts of a multiweek stand up comedy festival. For each of our 3 nights at the Exford Hotel ($60 USD/night), we had free live stand up. While the upstairs had ticketed seats, the bar was a late night, all are welcome series of sometimes funny, sometimes not, comedians, hosted by a self declared bogan with an impressive mullet and a handful of missing teeth.
Most days in Melbourne, we elected to sleep in late to enjoy a great night life in Melbourne. We got the chance to see some cousins abroad. Just in case there weren’t enough of McKayla’s cousins, we found cousins of cousins. Jake and Courtney and 8 month old Kingsley met us for a beer at a roof top bar just a few blocks from our hotel. It was great to catch up with these 3. Sure, I’d only met Jake Jake twice but we have a lot in common. I’d promised his Nanna that I’d do all in my power to see baby Kingsley. Mission accomplished. It was nice to talk with someone about the states and great to get some local perspective while visiting some quality distant family.
This would most likely be our last big city on the trip. Should we take in an orchestra? A rugby or Australian Footy match? Nope, “let’s go to Dracula cabaret.” It was an extremely popular dinner theater in Melbourne. We were greeted with a projection looking up at the ceiling showing vampires burning us alive, then ushered to the bar where we were told, “treat it as if it’s a lucid dream, do whatever you’d like!” After grabbing a cocktail from the corpse manakin filled bar, we were taken via ghost train/short roller coaster ride to the dining room. We were then fed some quality lamb and potatoes and listened to 2 vampire chicks play Alice Cooper cover songs. I can’t say I’ve ever been to a legitimate cabaret but this one was certainly entertaining. There were songs, dances, giant inflatable vaginas, you know — the usual. It was really funny and we had a good time watching these Aussies give us a great show.