It’s more than a Game

Despite the fact that two of my last three blogs have been about other Cities in Australia, there are some moments that make me realise why I love Melbourne.

Yesterday was grand final day for the AFL, a day which I really think should be a public holiday for Melbournians.  But this whole week, grand final week has been packed full of everything I love about Melbourne.  On Monday night, while in Sydney Dave and I met up with my brother to watch the Brownlow together, a grand final week must.  Then on Friday for the first time in my life I went to the grand final parade, and even though I was surrounded by Freo supporters I loved being there cheering on my Hawks and wearing my colours proud.

Despite the fact that Hawthorn has been in a few grand finals during my lifetime, Friday was the first time I had been to  the parade… I found out that the grand final parade was somewhat of a tradition for Dave who used to go in every year and then headed to the Melbourne show with his Dad and sister.  But this was the first time for me and I loved it.  There is something really exciting about the grand final week in Melbourne, the atmosphere, the sound, the unity.  Simply wearing my hawthorn jumper into the city started conversations with random strangers… it was actually a bizarre feeling.

20131007-115233.jpgLike Dave’s family tradition we also headed to the show, which brings out the best and worst in everything – but I still love that it’s all there in one place.  We have some incredible talent in Victoria and some really strange things as well, but it is incredible to be able to experience all of this at once, whether you are ready for it or not.

And then there is grand final day… which, is an experience all of its own… with its own songs, own excitement and own standard dishes – after all what’s grand final day with out a pie?

The city has this magic way of coming alive during things like the show and the grand final, it oozes character and fun and it’s just a great place to be.  There is excitement and anticipation in the air and i just really really love it!

Oh and as much as I love Melbourne I also just wanted an opportunity to brag about the fact that the Hawks won – which makes me very very happy… but it did remind me just why I love Melbourne and the AFL… bring on season 2014 and go Hawks!

Wired to Hate Sydney

For as long as I have been alive I have been taught that Melbourne is better than Sydney… and so I have become part of another generation who has been taught to dislike our rival city…  If you asked me why I hate Sydney, I probably couldn’t give you an answer other than that Melboure is just better… It’s something that because I live in Melbourne I never question… I just believe it to be true.

This weekend on our road trip I have been forced to consider this question once again… and even though I know I have been wired to hate Sydney… I have discovered it’s not that bad… In fact I think the reason there is a rivalry is that it’s actually hard to split them… Here is a little pros and cons list I came up with on our road trip

Transport
Well it doesn’t take a genius to notice that Melbourne has much better roads, clearer signs and more space… In fact when it comes to Sydney, well the roads are just a bit nuts… even my GPS was getting confused… they just go every where, but only one lane of 6 goes where you need… but the sign doesn’t tell you until… well it’s almost too late…  Melbourne wins this one hands down.

History
Sydney has some massive and very impressive historic icons – The Bridge, The Opera House and Bondi just to name a few, Melbourne just doesn’t have anything like this, we have some cool stuff, even some very beautiful stuff but as much as I hate to admit it…. its just not the same… Well played Sydney.

Shopping
This one is a tough choice… I love the way Melbourne is set out… it makes it easy to shop… but Sydney has some better shops… some shops that Melbourne doesn’t have… does that make it better…  I don’t know? Maybe it’s just different…

Wow Factor
I am also not sure on this one… I am not sure that Melbourne makes you go wow the way the view from circular quay does… but Sydney doesn’t have the cool little ally ways and hidden gems that Melbourne does…  maybe that’s Melbourne’s wow factor… maybe not… maybe in some small way Sydney does have a little more… although that hurts to admit.

IMG_0225

So there you go… maybe you think differently, but I think the truth is they both have a lot to offer… I wouldn’t want to live in Sydney… but I don’t mind visiting it, and maybe it’s not as bad as I thought… there is nothing quite like the view from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge after climbing to the top and… after all, they still have Sizzler… how bad could it be?

IMG_0227

5 Reasons Canberra is Underrated

This past week end Dave and I went on a little road trip.  I am a big fan of the road trip, I like the fact that it takes time, I like the security of having your own car and I like that you can pick an choose destinations and stops on a whim… Originally we were heading up to Sydney for the whole weekend, but for something different we decided to have a day and night in Canberra too.

ACT Fun

For most of my life I had I had been lead to believe that Canberra was important but not that important.  It was important because it is the capital, but as far as a holiday destination goes… there were better places I could visit.  I am not really sure how I came to have this opinion, I am not sure if that’s what I was told, or if I just never heard anything about Canberra so it just flew under the radar, either way, until now, it was never somewhere I had thought about visiting.  What I have discovered though is quite the opposite… in fact I am pretty sure Canberra is the most underrated city in Australia and here is 5 reasons why:

1.   It’s really pretty.
I know that sounds kind of vain, but it is… there are lakes, mountains, beautiful national parks and some pretty awesome buildings… even the ramp leading up to Parliament House is breath taking at night.  And while the roundabouts and poor road signage are annoying… it means that you get to see some really beautiful parts of our country.  My favorite “pretty” feature though is the fact that the war memorial, the road and Parliament House all line up perfectly…  not to mention that both of those building are pretty awesome in their own right.

2. It was custom made.
There aren’t too many cities that I can think of in the world that were hand picked for a very specific purpose and then custom planned and designed.  There was a competition and everything… and while we all know that Melbourne should have been the capital, I have to say that I am pretty happy with Canberra.

3. It’s quiet.
For some people this might be a bad thing, but Dave and I loved it… no traffic, no lines, no waiting… wonderful…

4. It has great car parking.
Seriously… let me explain… we only paid $2 for parking for the whole time we were there… most of it was free and there were lots of parks… to do the same activities in Melbourne would have cost easily $50 maybe even more… so to the man who complained about the 4hr free parking limit… you have no idea!

5. It is the holder of some amazing things.
Being the capital of a country has a few perks it would appear not only is it the engine room of Australia in that all the major decisions of past, present and future are made there, it also holds all our history and future at the same time.  There is lots of looking back at places like the Australian War Memorial, the old Parliament House building, and numerous other museums and galleries, but there is just as many places looking forward like the Australian Institute of Sport, the CSRIO and Parliament House.  It’s all there… waiting… with no lines and lots of car parks because of number 3 and 4.

Canberra

I think I have been mislead… I actually love Canberra and which we had have had more time there.  It is something special about standing in parliament house reflecting on times gone by and things to come.  There is something special about the detail and the extravagance with which the building has been made and designed.  There is something special about standing on the gardened roof and looking straight down to the past that is held so sacred within the Australian War Memorial.  There is something moving about walking through rooms and rooms of history and sacrifice at the war memorial, there is something very moving about walls of poppies and there is something moving about looking from sacrifice for freedom to democracy and power.

Canberra is definitely underrated…

Davey G

One of the things I love about Dave, is his musical talent – in fact it was because of this that we met.  But through no fault of his, (it’s actually all me, and my need to have a go and hang around generally being annoying) I don’t often get to hear him play. And while this is not the way I had planned to cross of ‘hear live music’ off the list, I am really glad that it turned out this way…

On Friday night I attended Dave’s school’s secondary performance dessert – their equivalent of the school concert… The performing arts teachers are also asked to perform, and Dave, coz he is a man of many musical talents, each year plays a different instrument… This year it was a chance for the soprano saxophone to shine… And with a theme of ‘that’s entertainment’ the ultimate combination of Kenny G and George Michael was born… And coz it is just too good not to share… Here it is…

Enjoy a little bit of Davey G…