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Diary of Melbourne, 2009 part 3 (Apr 25-30)

Posted by on May 4, 2009

Saturday 25th April 2009

Anzac Day today! I didn’t hear a noise when Kaye left, but I still woke up far too early for my liking because Doyle wanted some snuggle sleeping time and I couldn’t get back to sleep. At least I had enough time to pack up everything and finish off a heap of food before having to check out at 11am and move on to the next hotel. The check in time at the next hotel wasn’t until 1pm, but luckily our room was ready when we got there, so we were able to check in straight away.

I used the free wifi Internet for a little while since I hadn’t done so since Monday, and then we went out to the Big Laugh Out at Federation Square. Asher Treleaven was MCing again, and he did mostly the same stuff as last week, though he added in some of the not so funny things from his show this time. The other acts we got were Sam Wills from New Zealand, The Birdmann, and briefly some guy named after a fish until Doyle was no longer able to contain himself about his desire to go back on the ferris wheel, so we left the audience and went on that. Of course he wanted to go straight back on again, but I didn’t want to do that, so I took him for a walk to QV and he fell asleep on the way. So I picked up a couple of groceries and just headed back to the hotel, where we stayed for the rest of the night. At least I got to chat to my husband online until the hotel shut the Internet off at 9:30pm.

Sunday 26th April 2009

The morning was spent mainly in our hotel room, which is all rather boring, but probably better than braving the Melbourne air and rain at that time. We headed out around 12pm and did a little window shopping at Target before heading across the street for my friend Tara’s birthday lunch. I got to catch up with another friend of mine Lauren, and meet some of Tara’s other friends, who were all suitably nice. Doyle behaved himself incredibly well, and really enjoyed the company of a guy named Luka. Apparetly too much so considering Doyle called him “Dad,” on more than one occasion, making me incredibly embarrassed and unsure, especially as Luka didn’t look a thing like Doyle’s actual father. I think it was mostly that Doyle was pleased to have another male around to play with, since it had been almost a week since he last had his dad around. I later read online that sometimes kids his age just use the words they know when they don’t have an alternative, so that was reassuring. He took quite a long time to warm up to Tara, but she eventually won him over.

After most people had left the lunch gathering, a few of us left walked with Tara as she hoped to catch her train, but she eventually decided to skip it for the next one, presuming she’d be late, so we went to a Japanese restaurant for an early dinner, and Doyle was excited by the yakitori. I was too full from all the chips I had at lunch to have anything for dinner myself. We then parted company with the others, and Doyle and I followed Tara to the train station so she could show us where to get our tickets from in order to catch the train out to her place in Warragul the next day. And almost as soon as we parted company with Tara, Doyle fell asleep, somewhere around 6:30pm. So I just headed back to our hotel where we stayed for the rest of the evening.

Monday 27th April 2009

After a little ABC Kids for Doyle in the morning, we headed out from the hotel around 10am and walked to Flinders St Train Station, where we were to catch the 10:30am train to Warragul. We ended up in the country town a bit before 12pm, where Tara picked us up and took us to McDonald’s for lunch so Doyle could play in the playground where he wouldn’t be rained on. He didn’t really eat much of his food, though, so I saved it for later. There were other kids at the playyground and thus he was far more interested in playing with them. I was pleased to be able to watch him play without him escaping, and getting to chat with Tara for a while until Doyle was finished.

Then we headed back to Tara’s house where I got to see her mum, Sue, again, and finally meet her dog, Tricky, and her dad, Alan. Tara had lots of really nifty toys Doyle enjoyed playing with, and Sue even found him some Bob the Builder stickers! So we both had a most excellent time there. So much so for Doyle that when it came time for Tara to take us back to the train, and we parted from her, Doyle kept talking about her not being with us any more and wanting her back. Until he fell asleep from exhaustion.

Tuesday 28th April 2009

Hung around the hotel most of the day until my friends Jeremy (not to be confused with my husband) and Hannah came to visit me. Doyle was quite occupied in the hotel and liked playing games with Hannah, but eventually we were able to convince him to leave. So we went for a walk to JB Hi Fi, where Doyle fell asleep, and then we wandered up to Melbourne Central to catch a movie in the hope Doyle would stay asleep. Unfortunately nothing was playing right at that moment, so we got tickets for Fast and Furious, which was an hour and a half away, and then we went to Nando’s to wait (and in their case, eat). Doyle woke up just before the movie started, but we were able to keep him pretty quiet and calm throughout the film with popcorn and a drink. There was one moment when Paul Walker’s character was trying to make a deal on the screen, and Doyle shouted out “Good,” at the end, that he just made it that much more entertaining at that point. He gave me a bit of a giggle. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best movie to take Doyle to given he was awake for the whole thing, it was rated M, and there was lots of guns and cars crashing. But he seemed to enjoy it?

After the movie, it was time to say goodbye to Jeremy and Hannah, and head back to our hotel. We picked up some KFC on the way back for dinner. Though I was even more of a bad mother in the evening by not putting us to bed until 11pm.

Wednesday 29th April 2009

Pretty relaxing day today. When we headed out, I took Doyle back to the playground at Fitzroy Gardens because he wanted to go to one, and that was the closest to where we’re currently staying. The slide was a bit wet, though, so we mostly did a bit of running around. Then the guy who was mowing the grass found a tennis ball and threw it to us, so we had some time playing throw the ball and get it again.

Then we wandered back to the city for lunch, and headed up to Melbourne Central to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which was released today. I’ve been wanting to see this movie for ages, so I had to go. Doyle fell asleep right as the movie started, which I thought was great! I got to see most of the film without having to look after him. When there was about 35 minutes left of the film, however, he woke up grumpy and loud, and would not calm down no matter what I tried. I ended up having to leave the cinema, getting him a drink and everything. We managed to make it back in for all of two minutes before he wanted to leave the cinema again. So out of courtesy to the other patrons, I missed the last 30 minutes of the film, pretty much, until the credits started and I was able to go back in to collect Doyle’s stroller. At least he let us stay for the bit after the credits?

It was back to the hotel again after that, where we stayed for the rest of the night, and I watched some TV. Doyle also wooed me by singing his version of Hot Cross Buns and Humpty Dumpty. That was the first time I’ve heard him sing songs pretty accurately, so it appealled to me a lot.

Thursday 30th April 2009

Today was our last day in Melbourne. We had to check out of our hotel by 10am, but the flight back to Malaysia wasn’t until after midnight, so we left our things at the front desk until it was time to catch our bus around the corner.

We mainly spent the day wandering around Melbourne shops, spending more money than I would have if I just stayed in the hotel and booked another night. I mainly bought things that would help me work with teaching Doyle things, though. Oh, and half price shoes from the DFO. The DFO closed at 6pm, though, so we left and found somewhere for dinner before heading back to the hotel to collect our bags. We still had an hour to kill, but the reception guy decided to call the Skybus people on my behalf, and managed to get me an earlier bus to the airport. He even helped me carry all our things down the stairs and to the hotel around the corner where I had to wait for the bus. He was definitely a nice guy, and I appreciated the effort he went to help me. I actually found that a lot with Melbourne staff I encountered on this trip. There was just a genuine desire to help a mother with a toddler, without expecting anything in return.

Doyle needed a lot of time with his Bob the Builder machines to keep him happy throughout the day, on the bus, and at the airport (waiting to check in, and waiting for the plane). Our flight left a little late, so getting in the air after 1am meant that we didn’t really sleep so well. We touched down in KL half an hour late, and when we came home, we discovered we got Jeremy all day because it was a public holiday.

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Dominica has a strong interest in exploring diversity in media, seeing people subverting corporate control of creativity through crowdfunding and indie publishing, and spending as much time as she can travelling the world and discovering culture. This is what she most regularly blogs about. In her spare time, Dominica is primarily focused on long-form improv theatre, and writing and publishing speculative fiction. You can find links to some of her free and published stories and screenplays on her writing page, or check out her pirate time-travel novel Adrift. Though born and raised in Australia to American parents, Dominica lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 2008-2014, until she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. She also has a background in web programming, filmmaking, and stand-up comedy. For more information, check out her about page, or any of the specific pages about her various creative pursuits in the links at the top of the page.

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