Hey, Come Over And Watch My Vacation Slides

My father is starting to believe that Sean and I never went on a honeymoon, seeing as he's yet to see a single photograph from the actual event. Six weeks after the wedding, you probably are too, so I thought I'd set the record straight. We did, in fact, go on a honeymoon, and now that you're sitting comfortably, I'm going to tell you all about it. Maybe you should grab snacks. 

First of all, though, I have just one piece of advice for any brides-to-be out there, so listen carefully: DO NOT LEAVE FOR YOUR HONEYMOON THE DAY AFTER YOUR WEDDING. Do you hear me? Bad idea! Write it on your hand! Write it in your planner! Write it in that special weddings folder that your mom got you, oh come on, I know you have one too. Leaving for our honeymoon the day after our wedding was the one thing I regretted about the whole shebang, and the one thing I'd do differently if I could. And our flight wasn't even until 11:45pm that night, so technically we had the whole day to decompress.

Except you can't actually decompress that day, because you're simultaneously packing, trying to see all those people who came all that way for you, conducting a postmortem on the wedding, and dealing with all that other stuff you have to do before leaving on vacation, like procuring sunscreen and loving up on your soon-to-be-abandoned cats. Seriously, if you can possibly leave a day--or two, or three, or four---between your wedding and your honeymoon, I would advise it wholeheartedly. And now I will never mention it again, because what am I, The Knot?

So let's talk about Melbourne first, ah rainy Melbourne, where we arrived on Tuesday morning after changing planes in (sunny) Sydney. Considering I'd found it for an absolute steal, I was pretty impressed with our hotel in Melbourne, which was not really a hotel but a one-bedroom flat that was very likely bigger than our place in San Francisco.  It was called the Oaks on Lonsdale and it looked like this: 

Also, I think I had accidentally sat on my glasses on the plane, so I looked like this:

We did some things that first day that I hardly remember, because I had been awake for roughly 24 hours and was operating purely on adrenaline and a large tub of Anzac biscuits, which I had not eaten since leaving Hong Kong in 1993 and which had thus had fallen entirely off my radar. This prompted Sean to look at me after his first bite of an Anzac biscuit with a silent, accusing stare which I could not read entirely fluently but which I am pretty sure translated to WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME BEFORE THAT SOMETHING THIS PERFECT EXISTS?

I have a hazy memory of going on this free tourist tram our first day in Melbourne:

And checking our email in the public library:

But after forcing ourselves---actually forcing ourselves---to stay awake until 7pm that first night, we crashed out and hit the hay, like the fun-loving, wacky, daredevil adventurers that we are. Hey honey, we're in a new country, on a whole new continent! Awesome, let's sleep!

The next day, we wandered around Melbourne's famous lanes in the rain, feeling tired and jetlagged and discombobulated, then trudged back to our apartment at lunchtime for another nap. We were whirling dervishes in this city, I tell you! Unstoppable!

When we woke up, however, we suddenly felt human for the first time in 48 hours, and then Melbourne became an entirely different city. Do you know how much more enjoyable something is when you don't feel like you're sleepwalking your way through it? A lot more enjoyable, that's how much. We walked to the trendy Carlton neighborhood---Melbourne is incredibly walkable, which I loved---then through a park at dusk to Fitzroy, where we did not quite feel cool enough. We found a table at a restaurant my sister's friend had recommended called Little Creatures (good choice, Michelle!) and proceeded to enjoy what was probably our best meal in Australia. You should go there if you can. Nothing will make you feel more like a local.

Melbourne had already won back my affections at that point---despite the fact that it was freezing and I had packed improperly, forcing me to wear the same sweater and laughably light trench coat every single day---but it was the Neighbours tour the next morning that sealed the deal. There is a pretty good chance that you might not have heard of Neighbours---after all, if you are not British or Australian and have never lived in Britain or Australia, there is no reason that you should---but it is a hugely popular soap opera that has been running since the 1980s, and which has counted me as a loyal viewer for maybe 75% of that time. Oh look, it even has a website! And a Wikipedia entry! My baby is all grown up!

Anyway, the one thing I was dying to do in Melbourne was to take the Official Neighbours Tour, which I am not just capitalizing for the hell of it, they actually call it that themselves. Very proudly, even. Check out the bus we got to ride around on! Wait, is "got to" the phrase I was looking for? I think maybe I meant "had to, OMG."

Oh no, sir, we're not tourists! Not at all! 

The Neighbours tour was either the biggest waste of forty bucks ever, or else the most worthwhile spend I've ever made, I can't decide. I do know that I got to get my picture taken on various parts of the set, along with 15 other gleeful British girls and one bemused American boy (mine):

.....and that I even got that bemused American boy in on the action towards the end of it:

However, as my mother later said in an email, when I told her what I'd dragged him to that day, "Sean must wonder why he's flown so many thousands of miles to see a few suburban streets."

We capped off our Melbourne visit with the most perfect burgers at Grill'd and a brief visit to Victoria Market---if I lived there, I would buy ALL THE CHEESE, ALL THE TIME---and then made our way to the airport for our flight to Sydney. Spoiler alert: we just loved Sydney, loved it so much that we wanted to divorce each other, marry Sydney, and have millions of Sydney's babies while maybe still seeing each other on the side. But hey, it's late, so let's talk about that next time. You should probably bring snacks for that too.

Oh look, there are more honeymoon photos here! How scintillating! You must be so thrilled! I am like your Aunt Marge who forces you to look at her vacation snaps from that trip she took with her choir to Poughkeepsie!



Camels & Chocolate
Oct 20, 2009

As Scott and I are going to be gone for nearly three weeks I think, and don't technically have to be back for anything until four weeks after the wedding (another wedding obligation of a friend in TN), I think we ARE going to take your advice and go back to our normal lives for almost a week before we jet off to the South Pacific. I thought outbound flights to Fiji only left on Sunday nights, but lo! I was wrong. Thank God.

And you Brits and your Neighbours. While living in the UK, I had about all I could take of it. And all soaps really! Can't wait to get to the Vanuatu part...

Oct 20, 2009

You may not know this, but Sydney and Melbourne have a gentle-but-sometimes-insistent fight about which city is better. Melbourne claims culture and cafes, and Sydney likes to show off its beaches. While not wanting to inflame an intense debate on your lovely blog, let me just say this: as a Sydneysider who also adores Melbourne,(none of these false binaries, thank you very much!) I'm so glad you visited (and loved) both!

Oct 21, 2009

Oh, and here I'd been thinking that Neighbours was a worldwide phenomenon(now I know better)I got all excited just reading the name in your post!!!

Ah,I'm the lame kind who actually enjoys looking through all those pix, and what's sticking in my head is "Urgent Wine", and the fact that you make glasses(sat upon or not) look all the rage. :-)

Oct 21, 2009

We didn't leave for our honeymoon until four days after the wedding and even then it seemed too early. And driving all night through to get there didn't exactly make us less tired.

Oct 21, 2009

The Official Neighbours Tour! How exciting! I was a loyal fan too until work got in the way, although I do sometimes catch it if I'm back home early. Lou still soldiers on, Karl & Susan are still together(after break ups, marriages to other people, and then remarriage), and Libby is now back in it. Did you know it's moved to Channel Five and is no longer in its 5.35 slot? That was a sad day for the BBC.

Oct 21, 2009

OKay. I'm ready for the tropical island photos now. It's been so very cold...unseasonably cold. Warm me up!

Oct 21, 2009

Beautiful photos! I'm looking forward to hearing about Sydney!

Holly, I've got a question! Where did you get that tan scarf? I've got a huge collection of scarfs but I can't seem to find one that looks that big/comfortable... if that makes sense?

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 21, 2009

Hi Stacey -- it's actually a pale grey pashmina, which I guess is hard to tell in the photographs. And alas, I got it in Singapore (in a shop called Lim's in Holland Village if ever you're there!)

Oct 21, 2009

Love the glasses look. I'm always self-conscious about mine but you make them look glamorous!

Oct 21, 2009

You know, you're much better than I am, as I didn't take any honeymoon pictures other than the pool, our fruity cocktails, and us laying poolside sipping fruity cocktails. Boring.

People kept bugging me, WHERE ARE YOUR HONEYMOON PICTURES??? And I was like, trust me, they're lame.

Anyway, yours are not lame! Kudos!

Also, I totally agree about waiting a day or two post-wedding to leave for the honeymoon. We left the Monday after our wedding (which was on a Saturday) and even though we had to get up at four o'clock in the morning, it was worth it.

Oct 21, 2009

YES on the leaving for one's honeymoon ANY day but the day after the wedding. Our wedding was on a Saturday and we left on Monday, and oh, how we needed that day in between.

Oct 21, 2009

Delurking to say...Ah, Neighbours. I didn't go back to school after lunch on the day Charlene and Scott got married, such were my floods of tears at Angry Anderson and the nuptials. I watched way through the Natalie Imbruglia years and then moved to CA. Stupid CA without it's Neighbours and Brookside and Coronation Street. (I could do the BBC thing, but it's just not the same).
Anyway, we took 4 total honeymoon pics and two of them were of feet. Honeymoon pic FAIL. Yours are much better.

Oct 21, 2009

Best ending of a post ever!

Aunt Marge and her choir trip to Poughkeepsie, ahh, the tears I laughed...

(I think I just find the name Poughkeepsie very funny, even though I've been and it's not so funny in person)

Oct 21, 2009

My husband and I got married at the end of september but waited until december to go on our honeymoon. We were technically waiting until the end of hurricane season (we were headed to the Caribbean) but in retrospect it was genius. it meant that we could actually hang out with friends and family, get thank you notes written, etc. and then a few months later, after weaning ourselves off of that crazy wedding frenzy (constantly thinking about flowers and caterers and place cards) we were actually relaxed enough to truly enjoy our two weeks on the beach. i cannot recommend waiting highly enough!

Oct 21, 2009

We got married on Friday and left for the honeymoon on Monday night. It was an appropriate amount of time. We actually went to another friend's wedding on Saturday, the night after ours! No let down! Keep the party going!

I actually statyed at that exact same place in Melborne. Was nice to have a little apartment, even though the only groceries I bought were at the 7-11. Sad.

Oct 21, 2009

Glad to hear you enjoyed Melbourne (and sorry you didn't get the memo about the weather!). It is kinda weird to see you in photos of places that I frequent regularly (I had my b'day last year at Little Creatures!! I go to meetings at the State Library!!)

Will be interesting to hear why you loved Sydney so much (apart from the weather!), there is a massive rivalry between the two cities and I am a Melbourne girl to the core :)

Oct 21, 2009

Oh, this makes me miss Melbourne, where I once spent a few lovely months! I'm so glad you had a nice time. (P.S. Will echo Kate on the Sydney/Melbourne rivalry. It's very LA/SF.)

Oct 22, 2009

Cool!! The Neighbours Tour! I really don't see how anything in Sydney or Vanuatu is going to be anywhere near as good...

Rememeber when Madge died :-(

And then Harold died but then came back to life? Or it could be I just thought he died...

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 22, 2009

No, he totally did die and then come back to life, you're right!

And the day Madge died, my housemate Ellen called me and said--sniffling through the tears--"you've got to come home! Something terrible has happened! MADGE DIED!"

Oct 22, 2009

Ahh, I love to hear that you loved Melbourne. I leave to go home to see my parents there in 10 days and reading your review just made me that much more excited. I do hope the weather will have improved, though. Then again, it's Melbourne: making 60 degrees Fahrenheit feel like Antarctica since 1835.

Nothing But Bonfires
Oct 22, 2009

Cj4, we used many of your suggestions for Melbourne -- thank you for those! (And you should really go to Little Creatures for dinner when you go back in 10 days!)

Oct 23, 2009

I think every friend I have that has taken their honeymoon the day after the wedding would concur. I remember being with my friend a few days before the wedding as she was frantic with last minute wedding stuff AND trying to pack for 10 days in Hawaii and she actually said "THIS WAS THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER."

Looks like you had a blast! I have never been to Australia and I REALLY want to go!

Oct 23, 2009

I love that photo of you wearing your glasses and clutching a beer. It's so very Holly Burns Rocks The Post-Transatlantic Flight Look.

Oct 24, 2009

Holly! I'm so happy you and Sean liked Little Creatures! It's one of my favourite restaurants here! It's a shame the weather wasn't nice when you guys were here. It's amazing at the moment. It's been hot and sunny everyday!

I know I'm a bit late, but, congratulations on the wedding!! Susie told me all about it and it sounded like a dream.

Oct 26, 2009

Cannot wait to hear about the rest of your trip! Your writing is so descriptive that hearing about the good time you had makes me want to go. Right now. Australia is now on my list of "places to visit SOON."

Oct 28, 2009

You know who else likes to put on a holiday snap slideshow? HAROLD BISHOP.

You're in good company.

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Jan 18, 2010

Hey these pictures are very nice and this makes me miss Melbourne and i loved the one in which photo of you wearing your glasses and having wine.

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Hey these pictures are very nice and this makes me miss Melbourne and i loved the one in which photo of you wearing your glasses and having wine.

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