Funny story: today on my way back to the apartment from one of our strolls around the city, I was stopped by a middle aged local woman, who was apparently lost and asked me for directions to the Flinders Station. ME. Who is always pushing the stroller with one hand and catching up on google maps with the other, with one eye to the road and the other on the boys who have the ability to jump out of their stroller belts unannounced at any given time. ME? Who was lost multiple times during the first week while coming back home even while navigating maps. ME. Who is sometimes on the verge of breaking down, deep in the heart of the city, when the boys won’t cooperate or the stroller would seem too heavy to push on an uphill road or bridge. I was taken aback at first, surely she is not asking ME of all people? And yet here she was calling me again, and I was able to point the sweet lady to her right destination all so knowingly and assuringly (without using the maps, i might add). It felt good. It felt like i belonged. It felt like home.
I am gonna miss living in the city centre for sure. We move to the suburbs start of next week (lots more on that soon!). Lying on my bed in this city apartment, late at night, when the tornado of boys is finally at rest, and i am pottering in my head for some words to flow or editting photos while sipping tea, looking through the glass walls of my room upon the balcony to the twinkling lights of the city all around me. Its something i will never forget and always cherish. The walks along the river, the most wonderful aromas from the uncountable cafes all around me, the people who are always so friendly and charming. The convenience and comfort of having every imaginable thing at a stone’s throw. From high end boutiques to dodgy thrift stores, from all kinds of worldly cuisines and cafes to acres of lush green gardens, from victorian buildings and gothic laneways to riverside views and high rise modern architecture. From rain and winds to sun and tans. Melbourne has it all.
Melbourne is an addictive city, that is for sure. There is something so tempting about the city vibes, the narrow laneways and arcades, hole-in-the-wall cafes and street lined bars, the city that boasts the best coffee in the world, the cyclists and the skaters, the rowers pedaling away in the river seeming too good and too disciplined to be true, the street performers, the dog-walkers who are always so sweet to the boys when they want to pet the dogs (which is every single time and the city has more dogs than kids so go figure), the pedestrians rushing away busily with a sandwich or a burrito in their hands and head phones in their ears, trams and buses shuffling by amidst the busyness of this all.
The featured image of this post is of one of the prettiest cafes I have ever seen in my life. Its called Chuckle Park. And I discovered it one day while I was sitting in Riyadh, reading up on Melbourne (hard to get the nerd out of me even after all these years) before we visited last September for a couple of weeks.. It was love at first sight. I knew i just had to find my way to it and see it for myself. So one cold, bleary evening during that trip, I forced and pushed an all-exhausted, reluctant husband and two sleeping kids, amidst rain and cold, to find this pretty spot out. It was this narrowest, dark, moody place with funky music playing, but it was dreamy and it was magical. It had its own thing going on with the rustic lanterns and the bright red stools and real cozy atmosphere, amongst high end designer boutiques of the city all around it.
This time I stumbled upon it by chance as I was exploring the inner city laneways and arcades, needless to say I was happy like a kid in a candy store. Just look how pretty. Right out of a fairyland. Thats Chuckle Park for you.
The city that makes the best coffee in the world also houses one of the most charming and exotic tearooms in the world. Hopetoun Tearooms. I couldn’t go inside as there was a long waiting list, but I snapped a few photos from the outside.
I was roaming around The Block Arcade and The Royal Arcade one day where I scourged some vintage stores for goodies and took in The Art of Dr Seuss.
And thats it for now. I am utterly exhausted from all the house shopping we did this weekend, every muscle is sore and every limb aches. I hope to recover in this week before the big move looming above our heads. Need all the love and luck. xxx