So I thought I would share with you the story of one of many little road trips we took as a family - those restless spirits are still raging strong.
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The kids are like that too you know, I’m only worried what’ll happen when they come of age, I have a feeling there will be no stopping them. Anyway, I have to say that revisiting your hometown is truly a unique rollercoaster of emotions, and at first, I had no idea it would affect me that much.
That’s why out of all the trips we took so far, I want to tell you the story about how we returned to Melbourne for a short, weekend excursion. It was a spur of the moment decision really, one we can attribute to Mike. The entire decision-making process was quite intricate:
Mike: “Damn. You know what I could go for right now?”
Me: "Oh God. What?”
Mike: “Those insane frozen yoghurts we used to get over at Chapel Street, remember?”
Me: “Say no more.”
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Long story short, we unglued the kids from their smartphones, ordered our plane tickets online, rented an Airbnb (mind you all of this is happening on a Tuesday afternoon) and scheduled our insane excursion for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Plenty of time to revisit Melbourne, and more importantly, the neighbourhood we used to call our home, South Yarra.
Now, South Yarra as a whole is very near and dear to our hearts, as it is the place where we used to live and spend countless hours roaming about, exploring, and making happiness appear out of thin air. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by a surge of emotions when we landed at Melbourne airport, realising that although this is no longer our home, a part of me will forever remain in those streets and sunny afternoons spent enjoying life.
So, South Yarra. First of all, it’s a beautiful neighbourhood, or inner suburb as they would call it. You’ve got the Yarra river to the north, the breathtaking Fawkner Park to the west, and more importantly, a vivid and vibrant community residing among numerous artisan bakeries and coffee shops, pubs and, being a very old neighbourhood, beautiful historic architecture dating back to the 19th century.
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Immediately after we’ve dropped off our things at Ellis St we plotted our course towards our favourite shopping centre in South Yarra and drowned our collective faces in the art pieces that are their local fruity, chocolatey yoghurts. After we’ve had our fill, quite literally, we decided to reminisce about the old days by taking a stroll to the Yarra river itself and lying about on the beach (it’s more like an adjacent patch of land next to the water), soaking in the unique feeling Melbourne gives you.
The next two days we spent not only exploring the district but the surrounding neighbourhoods as well. We went to Fawkner Park, and you should too, on Saturday for a whole-afternoon picnic where we ate and naturally acted out all sorts of shenanigans. I say shenanigans because Mike and I thought catching a ball would be the height of our physical exertion, but naturally, the kids had other plans.
Mike and I actually had some time for ourselves, believe it or not, as we had left Catherine in a day-care centre up in the shopping mall, and Viki and Sara were old enough to go on about on their own. So Mike and I went to our old street, sat in our old café where we used to read, laugh and talk for hours on end. It was magical. Just as I pictured it would be. We’re a bit older, a bit calmer I suppose, but our love seems to be as young and juvenile as it ever was.
If nothing else, this trip has shown us just how much we still love each other, and our little devils too. Until next time, Melbourne, you will not be missed, because you have a special place in our hearts.