Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tatts Cox Plate Take Two

Last year, we went to the Tatts Cox Plate with some friends. You can read (or reread) that post here. We went again this year (yesterday) and had another good time. I wore the dress I had worn to my bridal shower way back in 2008, spruced up with some blue shoes and a blue fascinator. Zack looked dapper in his snazzy gray suit with his skinny tie.

We started the day with a champagne brunch at our friend Kelly and Nick's house. It was actually Kelly's birthday, so several of her friends from Perth had flown in for the weekend's festivities. Check out how they dressed their dog for the occasion!
The weather was pretty nice when we first got to Moonee Valley Racecourse. The sun only came out for a few minutes here and there, and it got chillier throughout the day, but we were just happy to not have any rain (as was predicted earlier in the week). Unfortunately, the cold wind meant that many pretty dresses were covered up with coats!

This guy was standing out front when we first arrived (I'm not sure what the point was-a mascot of sorts?). He let me hold the whip for this picture-ha.
Like last year, Zack and I put down $5 bets on each race just to make it more interesting. I always picked mine based on the horse's name I liked best...Super Cool, More Joyous, Crack A Roadie, I Get Around, Rangirangdoo, etc. Zack bet based on the odds and what some other guys around us were doing. We did decently well between us, and we probably ended up about even for the day. Our biggest win was around $50! Here I am posing with one of our winning bet slips.
The main race of the day (there were eight races total) is the second to last one, and it's the actual Tatts Cox Plate race. The plate is pictured to the left, along with a lady who had a ridiculous fascinator with a plate on it! A New Zealand horse named Ocean Park won the race, along with three million dollars.

Though it was kind of a pain, I was glad I brought my good camera along to get some pictures. With the crowds, it was hard to see the horses as they whizzed by, but I was able to get a few shots like the one below when I went up near the fence.

It was kind of sad to leave at the end of the day and realize we'll probably never go to this race again. We're talking about going to a country race in November, but if that doesn't happen, it may be our last Spring Carnival race ever. Boo! I kind of like dressing up and wearing a fascinator; I might just have to bring mine back to the States and find some reason to wear it!

Nigel and Kristy pose with us for a picture.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Signs of Spring

Last week, I went for a walk around Albert Park Lake with my friend Laurie and the doggies we were watching. I took my camera along, and though it was difficult to take pictures while holding onto Flossie and Ralph, I managed to get a couple shots that I like. So here are some signs of spring...

Flowers blooming...

Baby black swans...

And gorgeous sunsets (okay maybe this last one is not just for spring!)...

Hooray for finally getting some warmer weather so we can enjoy these springtime sights!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sunday Brunch and BBQ

Zack and I sort of have a new tradition. We go to brunch on the weekend...sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with friends. We've been trying various places around South Melbourne. St Ali's is one of our favorites. However, this past Sunday, we had to go back to Cafe Sweethearts, because I had seen what looked like American-style bacon on someone's plate last weekend after I had already gotten my pancakes. I know I've mentioned it before, but bacon here is not how bacon should be. It's basically pieces of ham. So I asked the waitress to tell them to cook it extra extra crispy. She described it as, "Make it look like it's been dragged through hell and back?" "Exactly," I agreed. You can see the results below, along with my obligatory chai latte. It was pretty darn good, though still a little too thick. Oh, how I miss good bacon!

Later in the afternoon, we met up with Klem and Vesna near the beach in Elwood for a BBQ. Even though it's supposedly springtime, it was windy and freezing. Not the best weather for a BBQ, but Vesna's delicious chocolate cake made it worth the trip! I like how Australia provides these BBQ areas near beaches and in parks that you can use for free.

Anyway, that's how we spent some of our Sunday. Oh yeah, and Notre Dame is now 7-0. Go Irish!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Springtime Saturday with Surfing

I think Zack is imitating a wave here.
On Saturday morning, we went surfing with our friends Klem and Vesna. Zack met Klem when he started working in Australia, and he and his partner Vesna are probably the most active, outdoorsy couple we know! So we tried to keep up with them in the cold water in Torquay. I caught a few small waves, but man, this surfing thing is hard to learn!

After getting back to town, we walked down to South Melbourne Market with them (and the doggies) to eat paella for a late lunch. Yum!

We crashed on the couch and watched a movie before going to bed early, because surfing wore us out. And that was how we spent our springtime Saturday!

Pure Australian...RipCurl sweatsuit and Ugg boots!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Let me introduce you to Flossie and Ralphie...

We watched these two little doggies over the weekend while Kristy and Nigel (their owners) were in Tasmania. While I wouldn't normally consider myself a "little dog person," we did have fun with these two.
They (and we) got lots of cuddles on the couch...

We took them to the market, we took them to brunch, I took them on a walk around Albert Park, etc. They got lots of playtime, lots of treats, and lots of attention!

It was nice to have animals in our house again, and Flossie and Ralphie were very sweet doggies. Kristy and Nigel, we'll watch them again any time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Biking Bonanza

Remember this post about my bike getting stolen? Well, I'm not sure I ever mentioned that I found the same red bike for sale on eBay a few weeks later. It's not an uncommon bike here, because it's made by Reid Cycles, an Australian company, but I did think for a second that it might actually be mine being resold by the thief (it wasn't). Anyway, so I have a red bike again, and on Sunday, Zack and I did a loooooong ride with Kristy and Nigel along the Yarra River. Kristy has the same bike as me, but hers is white.
After several kilometers of riding, we arrived at our destination, Fairfield Park Boathouse & Tea Gardens. This riverfront restaurant was extremely popular and crowded on this sunny Sunday, and we had to wait a long time for our food. In the meanwhile, we enjoyed sipping on spiders, which is what Australians call floats. You know, like root beer floats...soda with ice cream in it. We had a raspberry soda one, and it was delicious. 
This place really is a boathouse, and you can rent canoes and kayaks here to paddle around in the river. The whole area is very scenic with tall eucalyptus trees, a bridge, and ducks swimming around. I wish there had been a koala in one of the trees; that would have made the place perfect!

After lunch, Kristy shared her fairy floss, which is what Australians call cotton candy. If you're a longtime reader, you may remember that from the post about Zack's birthday last year. Anyway, we sat along the river and soaked up the sun for awhile (Zack even took a little nap!) before hopping back on our bikes for the long ride home. We got a bit lost for awhile and couldn't seem to find the path back to the river, but we eventually made it and biked home to collapse on the couch for the rest of the evening. We sure slept well that night. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon spent with friends, though it hurt a bit to bike to the store the next day!
Sipping on spiders-ignore the rogue piece of hair in my face!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Around The Block

The Block is a popular television show in Australia where four pairs of people renovate four different houses over several weeks, and then the houses are auctioned off. The couple who earns the most money for the sale of the house they renovated wins. This past season, the couples renovated this block of houses in South Melbourne, and we live basically right around the corner from them!
When we first moved in, the season was just ending, so the "For Sale" signs were posted, and there were people taking pictures in front of the colorful doors at all hours of the day and night. On the day of the auction, it was pure insanity outside of the houses (the actual auction took place inside). Now that the season is over and the houses are sold, the hype has died down, but you still see the occasional car slow down as it drives by or people whipping out their phones to take pictures as they pass by. We feel kind of famous living around the block from The Block!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Late Night at the Espy

On Saturday night, we met up with one of Zack's former coworkers and his wife to see a concert. It was held at the Esplanade Hotel, or the Espy for short, an iconic live music venue in St Kilda. There were three tribute bands in the show. 

The first one was Creedence Clearwater Revival...

The next one was The Rolling Stones...

And the final one of the night was The Doors...
I probably liked the CCR tribute band the best, because I knew most of those songs, but they were all pretty fun. The band members dressed and acted like the real musicians they were trying to mimic, and Zack said they did a good job of it (I don't know much about the The Rolling Stones or The Doors, but Zack does). We stayed there past 1am, which is pretty much unheard of for us. We are usually in bed before 11pm, even on the weekends! Here's a picture as proof that I can still stay up past midnight at my old age. :) Hopefully you all had a fun weekend too!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Strange Sight

Here's a strange sight seen at South Melbourne Market the other day. I think the piggy wants a scooter!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Footy Fever

Sydney celebrates as Hawthorn is defeated.
On Saturday, we watched the AFL Grand Final over at Adam and Emily's place with some friends. This is Australia's version of the Super Bowl. You may remember last year's post about the game, when Meatloaf performed (and was terrible). If not, you can find it here. Anyway, this year an Australian band called The Temper Trap performed, so there was no Meatloaf drama. The Hawthorn Hawks played against the Sydney Swans this year. Our friends Kristy and Nigel are big Hawk fans, so we were kind of cheering for Hawthorn, but the Swans were originally based in South Melbourne, so we were okay with the fact that Sydney won by ten points in the end. It was a great game, and we ate the mandatory meat pies, drank some sangria, and had a yummy BBQ.

Oh yeah, and remember how I said each team has its own song? Well, check out the Sydney Swans song...

Did they steal Notre Dame's fight song or what?! (Skip to the 50 second mark of the video.)

Go Swans...Go Irish...whatever...Melbourne is done with its footy fever for another season!