Posted by: The Starfish Dancer | November 6, 2014

Adventures on the Other Side of the World #19

This is me on Magnetic Island, unsuspectingly burning my sunscreen slathered shoulders.

This is me on Magnetic Island, unsuspectingly burning my sunscreen slathered shoulders.

Tomorrow is my last full day in Australia, and while part of me is ready to go home to sleep in my own bed and hug my family members (especially The Adorable Nephew), the other part of me cannot believe the time has flown by so quickly.  Holidaying has become slightly normalized; going back to work and schedules is going to take some getting used to, that’s for sure. In the meantime, I have a little time left before I start the journey home (with overnights in Beijing and Vancouver), and I mean to enjoy it, whatever that feels like tomorrow (by which I mean not to panic and try to cram extra sightseeing in because I suddenly think I haven’t done enough).

The past few days have been pretty low key.  On Tuesday, I said goodbye to the lovely Magoos and travelled back from Townsville.  I flew home on the day of the Melbourne Cup, which is a horse race so important it is a holiday in Victoria, so I missed having bubbles and watching with Liz and her friends.  I did get to see some of the outfits on the field on television before I went to the airport (as I said, very important!) and then some of the people dressed up on the tram back in Melbourne when I got in.  I also picked up some aloe in the airport in Sydney on my stopover and have been diligently spraying my shoulders (including in a bathroom stall in the airport); as such, they are significantly less angry. In fact, other than a few hot spots, they don’t hurt. I’ll probably still peel though.

Once back in Melbourne, I ordered dinner (which took forever because of the Cup), a burrito from a Mexican place that was actually open. It was a bit spicy, but since it took two hours to arrive, I was so hungry I would have eaten it if is was made of nothing but jalapeños. Note to self: next time, pick up something from the grocery store on cup day instead of ordering takeaway. Given the amount of tipsy people I saw in their fancy dresses with fascinators or dapper suits, I’ll bet the open takeaway places were kept rather busy.

The elusive bookstore is found!

The elusive bookstore is found!

Yesterday, I took it pretty easy as well. My shoulders were still quite sore at the time, so I spent the morning in bed while my laundry worked it’s way through the machine, periodically getting up to spray my back with aloe. Eventually I decided I needed to get out, if only to accomplish a few shopping missions in the CBD.  I put on my thickest t-shirt to cover my shoulders and headed out on the tram for the afternoon.  I first found a place to get presents for my mom and sister-in-law for Christmas.  I’d say where, but they read this blog and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. There, I got directions to the bookstore I’d been trying to find before, the one I’d seen a sign when I went on the greeter’s tour.  I had remembered it in the wrong arcade, and I was able to find it. Dymocks. It was glorious.I meant only to buy one book, from a series I’ve been reading in high school. I got it on my kindle to read when I realized it was out on this trip, but still wanted one for my collection even after I’d read it – or so I thought. The North American edition is broken into parts, so I finished it electronically, but have a whole third left in the hard copy. I’m making myself save it for when I get home.

My beautifully presented coffee and cupcake, waiting on the delivery of real meal so I could eat it!

My beautifully presented coffee and cupcake, waiting on the delivery of real meal so I could eat it!

I had lunch in the cafe in Dymocks, a spinach and ricotta flake pastry pie with three kinds of salads, a flat white (coffee similar to a latte) and a cupcake. It was very good, and a reasonable price at about $20. After lunch, I took my purchases and hit up a chocolate shop, Haigh’s, because I’d heard good things about it. They had champagne truffles, which are my favourite! I shared my purchases, so they are gone now, but they were delicious. Then I went back to Alexander’s, picked up some groceries, and got dinner started.  I put together root veggies with oil and rosemary in tin foil for the BBQ, as well as apricot chicken, then made rice (though Alexander manned the grill).  It didn’t turn out too badly, if I say so myself!

Today was very low key as well. I’d booked a spa appointment, so spent a good chunk of time at Spa Dreamtime on the beach in St. Kilda.  I had a relaxation massage, then a manicure. Following that, I had a facial, then a body scrub, masque, and then moisturizer application (which felt very nice on my shoulders and may reduce the amount of peeling if I’m lucky).  I had lunch and read after that, then decided to chill for the afternoon. I’m still limiting my sun a bit, since I don’t want to do too much damage, especially before I’m stuck on a plane for a long, long time.  Tomorrow I have a few souvenirs I want to pick up, and I might wander the botanical gardens a little. Or I might come home and nap.  No matter what, I’ll consider it a good last day of holidays in Melbourne!

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