Auntie Val and Uncle Michael have a beach house on the Mornington Peninsula and they graciously allow us to use it every time we visit the country. Our week there included back beaches near PortSea but mostly we stayed local, walking to the beach nearest their property and walking into the little town. Wifi is limited for us and so we would walk to town and sit at a little coffee shop to work on music stuff, as well as, catch up with friends in the US. On a side note, from our observation, there is a distinct lack of cell phone use here. Virtually no one has a device out when in general public settings. It was refreshing to see people really engaging in conversations. We noted how much we have detoxed from our typical routine of constantly looking at our phones (don’t get me wrong, we look for Wifi when ever we can get to it, but it’s been nice to not have it available at our whim).
Besides beaches and coffee shops, we did make our way into the city for the NFL Superbowl. Craig is a huge sports fan and had organized a whole day around the event. It’s a funny thing to watch an American sport in another country.
ESPN hosted a party at Federation Square, set with a large screen TV, dancers, a small pep band and a hot dog eating contest. Of course, there was a fella in the crowd who was picked for the contest, boasting he could out eat the other contestants because he was American. Good grief, that got the crowd riled up. Of course, he failed miserable as the hot dogs were raw and he could barely keep them down. It was all pretty gross. We missed the commercials but other than that, there were plenty of jersey’s and well versed football fans in the stands. We saw lots of Green Bay Packer gear, and the icing on the cake was a Bears fan working in a food cart. Made us feel right at home.
Once the game turned into a blow out, we decided to branch out from Fed Square and explore the city. Melbourne proper is a pretty fantastic city to visit. Architecturally, it reminds us a little bit of New Orleans mixed with Seattle.
We visited St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral. We love the Anglican’s and although it was a beautiful constructed church, it had a bit of a spooky vibe.
Later we explored the National Gallery of Victoria to check out one of Craig’s friends work. Juan Ford, aka Jane Fonda, was in a punk band called Pet Earwig with Craig back in the 90’s. He has blossomed into a fantastic, world renouned artist! One of his installations at the museum was You, me and the flock, a special commission for kids which invites viewers to add birds to a growing flock set against a panoramic sky-scape. We love birds! If you are an art collector, his work is worth your time.
Although it was a week of rest, we found plenty to explore. We are refreshed and ready to get back to work. Tour starts Feb 8 and rounds out March 4. For details on where we’ll be visit www.thehollands.org