Spring in Melbourne plus some news!

Spring has arrived in Melbourne! I love this time of year! The air smells like jasmine and there are blossoms out everywhere! Also, daylight savings has started, so the afternoons are lovely and we'll be able to spend more time out in the park after work.

In some exciting news for us - we bought an apartment! We've spent years lusting over real estate and imagining what we could eventually buy, and now it's happened. It's a cute little apartment, not too far from where we're living now, but it's a little bigger and perfect for us! We can't wait to move in (which won't be until around May next year). Here's to life with a mortgage! Eep!

Otherwise, life back in Melbourne has been good. A bit of an adjustment for me, and work has been insane since I started, but i'll eventually get the hang of things (I hope) on that front. Life-wise though, we've loved being back close to friends and so much amazing food! Melbourne really is the best! 

Enjoy some lovely spring photos from the last few weeks!

Double rainbow over Brunswick East
Caught this double rainbow walking home the other day! It was so bright!
Melbourne Graffiti laneway
East Brunswick Laneway


Spring at the University of Melbourne
More blossoms! These ones at Melbourne Uni

Hot air balloons over melbourne
Hot air balloons and the city views on my morning walk

More Melbourne Uni

"puppy party" in our local park

Coffees with Ollie

Ollie and his buddies

Where to see snow near Melbourne!

My snow cat

Last weekend we finally got something I feel like we haven't had since we moved back to Australia: A truly relaxing weekend! Every since we went to the snow in Japan, little G has been talking about seeing snow in Australia, and that together with the fact that I had some time in lieu and H was about to start her new job the following week, we jumped at the chance to have a long weekend in the country and take that kid to the snow!

We found a super cute cottage just outside of Marysville, in a little town called Buxton, which was only a 30 minute drive from Lake Mountain (the snow destination). We didn't really have any huge expectations for the weekend, as I wasn't expecting much in the way of snow, and we really just wanted to relax. Well, our cottage was absolutely perfect and even better than we were expecting. It was super cute, with a great fireplace and a cute yard with a little creek running behind that we could hear whenever we walked outside. It was also pet friendly, so we could take the dog with us!

On our way to the cottage, we drove through the Yarra Valley and made a quick stop at the Chandon Winery to pick up a bottle of bubbles, stretch our legs and take some photos. I love that place. When we got closer to Marysville we drove through the Blackspur forest surrounded by gorgeous, tall gum trees on the winding road. It was just a spectacular drive.

Right before we got to the cottage, we stopped in Marysville to pick up a couple of supplies, and G had a play in the park. Again, so pretty, and such a great park for kids! Marysville is such a cute town!

Chandon winery yarra valley
Domaine Chandon winery

Chandon winery yarra valley
The motherland

Chandon winery yarra valley

Nice spot for a snack and a drink

Black Spur Victoria
Black Spur

Marysville Victoria

Our cottage for the weekend
We spent our first night afternoon and night just hanging out in the cottage, getting the fire going, eating cheese and crackers, reading books and just hanging out. Perfect really.

Saturday morning after breakfast, we headed into Marysville to rent some toboggans and get some snow gloves, and off we went to Lake Mountain. It costs $56 to enter Lake Mountain, which is the fee to bring the car in, and there's no avoiding it if you want to get to the snow. Once we we through the entrance point and driving up the mountain towards the carpark, I was pretty surprised by the amount of now around, which only increased as we got closer. 

The snow quality was much better than I was expecting (I had pretty low expectations) and was perfect for tobogganing and building snow men. There were lots of people there, but not too many to make it unpleasant, and there were a couple of different toboggan runs as well as cafes and gear rental. I think there were some pretty tame ski slopes as well but we just went to toboggan.

We didn't try any of the food there, as it seemed like overpriced cafeteria food, but overall it was heaps of fun and I totally recommend it for a fun day out (with or without kids). If you were driving up from Melbourne, it's only a couple of hours, so easy enough to make a day trip. I would also recommend stopping in Marysville on the way to get your rental gear, as it didn't take long at all, and the prices were great. There seemed to be quite a line up at Lake Mountain.

Overall, it was a perfect weekend, and I was so hard to drag ourselves back to Melbourne, and real life. We would definitely go and stay our in the same area again.

The "babbling brook" at the bottom of the cottage yard

Lake Mountain closest snow to Melbourne

Lake Mountain closest snow to Melbourne

Lake Mountain closest snow to Melbourne

Lake Mountain closest snow to Melbourne

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Life lately - Melbourne

I've really struggled with any time to blog since we got back. My work has been insanely busy, and we've been flat out on weekends shopping to organise the unit. Finally we're in a place where we can breathe a little.

We've been home for around 6 weeks now and things are starting to come together. We're finding ourselves with some time to relax on a weekend as well as time to finally catch up with some friends.

Being back in Melbourne in awesome! The food is just so damn good. No wonder I put on 10kgs the last time I lived here. A few weeks ago we got to go to Tipo 00 for a lunch date, which is a fresh pasta restaurant I had been dying to try since before we moved back. We also had a little family lunch at Moroccan Delicacy, the new Deli owned by the Moroccan Soup Bar people. It was also amazingly delicious.

A couple of weekends ago my bestie was here and it was AMAZING! It was just so great to get to hang out with her after so long, and kid-free too. So much to catch up on! Even though we're in the same country, living in different cities still sucks...

We've been to see a couple of bands (one even little G got to come to), and had a few catch ups with friends. All in all life is good.

I think the biggest adjustment to me at the moment is how busy work is and how hectic life is getting back into things! It might just be the cold weather and how dark it is in the mornings, but it is HARD to get out of bed before it's light, which is what I really need to do in order to get everything done and get to work on time. I think this will definitely get easier as it gets warmer.

Am I missing Okinawa? Honestly, not at all so far. I'm sure i'll miss the warm weather and the beaches, and of course I miss a few special friends, but I honestly don't miss the place itself.....yet. Let's see how that changes over time.

Anyway, I actually wrote a whole post before it was somehow deleted, so this is an attempt to recreate it (probably not as interestingly)!

Back working here.

In love with the Tasmanian blackwood shelf we bought!

Met this possum at work!

Pasta from Tipo 00

Lunch plate at Moroccan Delicacy
lunch plate from Moroccan Delicacy

G's first gig!

Melbourne city <3

Churches in the city

Melbourne City laneways

Wattle, my favourite

Cherry blossoms in my street!

Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy North
Sunny weekend in Edinburgh Gardens

The Journey back to Melbourne

We're home! It's been an insanely hectic almost 2 weeks since we've been back, and because of that it feels like we've been home for much longer (sometimes, it weirdly feels like we never left Melbourne!).

The last few days in Okinawa after finishing work was pretty crazy, but we actually managed to get out of our house ok, as well as have a farewell party, and then spend the last night with our bestie in Okinawa. It was such a lovely end. After our final house inspection from the housing agency, we drove over to our friend's house, and had a final temaki sushi party. Perfect end to our time in Okinawa.

Our first days back in Melbourne involved a trip to Ikea, many other shopping trips and the boring stuff like setting up ultilities in our new unit so we could move in. 5 days after getting back I also started work! Basically it's been non-stop these past 2 weeks with (unfortunately) no time to actually catch up with all the friends we've missed while we were away. I'm hoping for things to calm down in the next week or 2 so we can start to relax and enjoy catching up with people.

The other awesome thing that happened this past weekend was getting the pets out of quarantine. They both survived the ordeal pretty much perfectly (although a little lighter), which took one layer of the stress away. We're all now comfortably getting used to life in our new (small - compared to our Okinawa house) apartment and enjoying being back in Melbourne. 

If you can think of a new appropriate blog name, please let me know! 

beach house in okinawa
Perfectly empty. Goodbye beach house

Temaki sushi spread

cremia ice cream
Last day in Japan, finally found cremia!

Pho was the first stop in Melbourne

I've missed this coffee

Back working at the University of Melbourne
This kid could not be more happy with his new bed

Our new hood

After 10 days in quarantine - so happy to have these guys back

The park next to our house