Woke up at normal time and had snackages for breakfast.  Had a late checkout (10:30).  Just after we checked out I got an SMS from Virgin to say our flight had been cancelled and we'd been put on a later flight (an hour later).  I wanted to make sure it really was confirmed, and check on our seating situation, so called them.  Only had to wait a few minutes which was nice (are you paying attention Qantas???), but got a dude with a thick Indian accent and it was very difficult to understand/communicate.  Established that we were definitely booked onto the flight, but there were no window seats, only middle seats separate from each other.  We could sit together on an exit row seat but we'd have to pay $45 each for the privilege.  Given that they screwed us over I thought that maybe they could have done it for free, but they wouldn't, the buttplugs.  I was pretty pissed off because I'd booked our flights six months ago and had chosen a window seat.  Not impressed.

So we left our bags at the hotel then went for a wander.  The plan was to take a City Circle tram all the way around the edge to Queen Victoria Markets.  But we got to the stop and saw this:

No City Circle trams!
No City Circle trams!

How rude.  So took a tram along William Street, and another one up to the markets.  

Had a good long wander around at the markets.

Melbourne from Queen Victoria Markets
Melbourne from Queen Victoria Markets

Melbourne from Queen Victoria Markets
Melbourne from Queen Victoria Markets

Queen Victoria Markets
Queen Victoria Markets

Baby bunny rabbit at Queen Victoria Markets
Baby bunny rabbit at Queen Victoria Markets

We found potato on a stick!! ($6)

Kaz and potato on a stick!
Kaz and potato on a stick!

And then we shared a raclette on potato and charcuterie ($14).  The guys making it were from France which was pretty cool.

Preparing our raclette
Preparing our raclette

Yummy raclette
Yummy raclette

And we may have gotten fried ice cream ;) ($8 each)

Salted caramel and popcorn fried ice cream
Salted caramel and popcorn fried ice cream

Had a wander around the inside bit.  I'd *hate* to do my regular weekly shopping there - the crowds would drive me mental.

Inside Queen Victoria Markets
Inside Queen Victoria Markets

Inside Queen Victoria Markets
Inside Queen Victoria Markets

Then we took a tram back into the city.  Saw the Public Purse!  (and you can see marionette man behind)

The Public Purse
The Public Purse

Had a pitstop for Stu in Myer but he said it was disgusting - probably because it was so close to the street itself.  Went into Emporium and had a bit of a sit down.  Then went to Minotaur before finally getting a tram back up Bourke Street to the hotel to get our bags.  Then another tram all the way back down Bourke Street to Southern Cross where we hopped on a Sky Bus back to the airport.

The Docklands ferris wheel from the Sky Bus
The Docklands ferris wheel from the Sky Bus

Approaching the Sound Tunnel on Citylink
Approaching the Sound Tunnel on Citylink

In the Sound Tunnel on Citylink
In the Sound Tunnel on Citylink

The Zipper and the Cheese Stick
The Zipper and the Cheese Stick

Air Nostalgia DC-3 VH-TMQ at Essendon Airport
Air Nostalgia DC-3 VH-TMQ at Essendon Airport

Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YFJ at Melbourne Airport
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YFJ at Melbourne Airport

The flight back was pretty miserable.  I was already depressed from not getting a window seat.  And we were delayed.  And the GPS couldn't pick up a signal because it was too far from the window.  And the woman next to me on the window not only didn't look at the window the entire flight, but sat playing on her phone WITHOUT MUTING IT!!  And I couldn't listen to anything on my phone on the plane's wifi entertainment system because I didn't have the lightning-3mm connector with me.  I just wanted to die.  

Anyways, made it home without any suicides or homicides so I guess that's a win.  

I had a donut for breakfast.  hrmm.

Donut for breakfast! (first breakfast)
Donut for breakfast! (first breakfast)

Then I let the sweetie have a snooze while I went out for a wander.

View south from the lift lobby of the hotel
View south from the lift lobby of the hotel

I wanted to see the theatre in morning light.

Princess Theatre
Princess Theatre

Princess Theatre
Princess Theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre

Then I wandered round looking at things.

Hotel Windsor
Hotel Windsor

Gordon Fountain
Gordon Fountain

St Patrick's Cathedral
St Patrick's Cathedral

St Patrick's Cathedral
St Patrick's Cathedral

Interior of St Patrick's Cathedral
Interior of St Patrick's Cathedral

Interior of St Patrick's Cathedral
Interior of St Patrick's Cathedral

Interior of St Patrick's Cathedral
Interior of St Patrick's Cathedral

Stained glass window in St Patrick's Cathedral
Stained glass window in St Patrick's Cathedral

View from front steps of St Patrick's Cathedral
View from front steps of St Patrick's Cathedral

Melbourne and Coles Fountain
Melbourne and Coles Fountain

Coles Fountain
Coles Fountain

Coles Fountain
Coles Fountain

Had another donut back at the hotel with the sweetie, then he got ready and we headed out again.  He wanted to look at some bookstores, so we did that.

Robinsons Bookshop
Robinsons Bookshop

At 11:30 we got to Tim Ho Wan for a slightly early lunch.  I've been wanting to come here ever since I'd heard they'd opened.  

Menu at Tim Ho Wan
Menu at Tim Ho Wan

Because - crispy pork buns!!  Just like in Hong Kong :)

Baked Buns with BBQ Pork
Baked Buns with BBQ Pork

Our feast at Tim Ho Wan
Our feast at Tim Ho Wan

Inside a baked BBQ pork bun
Inside a baked BBQ pork bun

Then Stu went back to the hotel and I went for another wander.  I liked this apartment building on Russell Street.

Abode318
Abode318

Building in RMIT
Building in RMIT

Had to go to Melbourne Central to see the shot tower.

Clock in Melbourne Central
Clock in Melbourne Central

Old Shot Tower building
Old Shot Tower building

ld Shot Tower
ld Shot Tower

Old Shot Tower
Old Shot Tower

Then we met up with Hanna, Rita and Sarah to see Harry Potter!!

Rita, Hannah, Kaz and Stu outside the Princess Theatre
Rita, Hannah, Kaz and Stu outside the Princess Theatre

Inside the Princess Theatre waiting for Harry Potter to start
Inside the Princess Theatre waiting for Harry Potter to start

Half time stage lights
Half time stage lights

At the end of Part 1 they give you a couple of hours break, so we all went back to Tim Ho Wan for more BBQ pork buns!

Baked Buns with BBQ Pork
Baked Buns with BBQ Pork

And a bunch of other food too.

Vermicelli roll with sesame sauce
Vermicelli roll with sesame sauce

Spinach dumpling with shrimp
Spinach dumpling with shrimp

Stu went back to the hotel again, and us girls went to Uncle Tetsu's for cheese tarts.  Past a marionette puppeteer, who was very good.

Marionette puppetteer performing
Marionette puppetteer performing

Uncle Tetsu cheese tart
Uncle Tetsu cheese tart

Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne Town Hall

Marionette puppetteer intermission break
Marionette puppetteer intermission break

Looking down Bourke Street from Parliament House steps, with Sarah, Rita's sister, posing!
Looking down Bourke Street from Parliament House steps, with Sarah, Rita's sister, posing!

Hannah and Rita enjoying Uncle Tetsu's cheese tarts
Hannah and Rita enjoying Uncle Tetsu's cheese tarts

Then it was back to the theatre for Part 2.

Hannah taking a selfie outside the theatre
Hannah taking a selfie outside the theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre

Interior of the Princess Theatre
Interior of the Princess Theatre

Even the carpet had been done in Hogwarts style
Even the carpet had been done in Hogwarts style

Inside the Princess Theatre during the intermission of Part 2 of Harry Potter
Inside the Princess Theatre during the intermission of Part 2 of Harry Potter

Inside the Princess Theatre at the end of the show
Inside the Princess Theatre at the end of the show

Princess Theatre by night
Princess Theatre by night

Hannah being sorted
Hannah being sorted

Princess Theatre by night
Princess Theatre by night

I enjoyed the play.  The hardest part was reconciling the characters on stage with grown up versions of the actors we know so well from the movies.  Especially Hermione who looked and sounded *nothing* like Emma Watson.  Or remembering that Draco was not Lucius.  It was an interesting story, and you could see things getting worse before they got better.  As always the stagecraft is always the coolest thing of a production like that, especially doing live "magic" which is pretty clever.  The duel was amazing :)

Then the girls all went "home" and we collapsed back at the hotel.

Earlier in the year Hannah and I had discussed going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Melbourne.  We ummed and ahhed and eventually decided on a date that would work for all of us.  So Friday 8 November we headed off.  Stu and I took a half day and flew down, while Hannah and Rita drove down.

War Memorial lawn setup for Remembrance Day
War Memorial lawn setup for Remembrance Day

We flew Virgin because it was about half the price of Qantas.  So no Qantas lounge for us.

Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-VOQ at Canberra Airport
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-VOQ at Canberra Airport

Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-VOQ at Canberra Airport
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-VOQ at Canberra Airport

Royal Australian Air Force Dassault Falcon 7X A56-001 at Canberra Airport
Royal Australian Air Force Dassault Falcon 7X A56-001 at Canberra Airport

A350s are enormous next to 737s!

Qatar Airbus A350-1041 A7-ANG at Canberra Airport
Qatar Airbus A350-1041 A7-ANG at Canberra Airport

There were clouds over Canberra so the view disappeared pretty quickly.  Super sad times, as I love the flight from Canberra to Melbourne which curves around the north of Canberra and normally gives an awesome view of the city.

Canberra from the plane
Canberra from the plane

Belconnen town centre
Belconnen town centre

Rainbow over the ACT
Rainbow over the ACT

Snackages on the plane
Snackages on the plane

There was rain about in Melbourne but the air was quite clear, and there were rainbows here too.

Docklands from the Sky Bus
Docklands from the Sky Bus

Melbourne under a rainbow
Melbourne under a rainbow

We caught the Sky Bus into the city.  It's getting fairly expensive these days - $75 for the two of us for return ticket.  Still quite a bit cheaper than a taxi though.  Went across the road and took a tram all the way along Burke Street to our hotel.

Kaz and Stu on a tram
Kaz and Stu on a tram

We stayed at the Rydges, which was quite nice, except for the very soft bed.

Our room at Rydges
Our room at Rydges

Our room at Rydges
Our room at Rydges

Tea and coffee making facilities in our room at Rydges
Tea and coffee making facilities in our room at Rydges

We had a view to the north.

View from our hotel room
View from our hotel room

The sweetie taking a selfie
The sweetie taking a selfie

View from our hotel room
View from our hotel room

This apartment building had floor to ceiling windows, which meant you could see straight into everyone's messy apartments.

View from our hotel room
View from our hotel room

Building with floor to ceiling windows opposite the hotel
Building with floor to ceiling windows opposite the hotel

You could see everything inside these apartments
You could see everything inside these apartments

We could just see Her Majesty's Theatre, which was playing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Her Majesty's Theatre
Her Majesty's Theatre

After we'd got settled we went out to find a pub and some dinner.  The first pub on the corner here was too noisy and we couldn't find a table anyway, so we kept going.

Victorian Parliament House
Victorian Parliament House

Around the corner was the Princess Theatre, where Harry Potter was playing.

Entrance to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre
Entrance to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre

Entrance to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre
Entrance to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre

Stu being sorted
Stu being sorted

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory being shown at Her Majesty's Theatre
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory being shown at Her Majesty's Theatre

Around the corner again and walked half way through Chinatown.

Building in Chinatown
Building in Chinatown

Half way along Chinatown was the Exford Hotel, which had a nice bar upstairs, with comfy chairs available and the music was good and not toooo loud, so we had a couple of beers there (and we just beat the rain too - it poured while we were inside).

Stu at the bar in the Exford Hotel
Stu at the bar in the Exford Hotel

After drinks we headed back out to find somewhere for dinner, walking back through Chinatown and past the hotel.

Middle entrance of Chinatown looking east
Middle entrance of Chinatown looking east

Sunset shining through Chinatown
Sunset shining through Chinatown

Rydges Hotel
Rydges Hotel

We ended up at Rice Paper Scissors, recommended by Shane at work.  When we got there they were telling the people in front of us it would be an hour and a half wait to go inside and our hearts sank somewhat.  But then they said we could sit outside right now and we were like, sold!  We're from Canberra, we don't mind the cold (it was somewhat cold that night and a bit rainy but the rain had stopped and there was a gas heater anyway).  It was awesome!!  Really delicious food.  I think one of the dishes (maybe the crab) was a tad spicy for me, but it was all really good.

Rice Paper Scissors sign (Rice Papr Scrs)
Rice Paper Scissors sign (Rice Papr Scrs)

Stu at Rice Paper Scissors
Stu at Rice Paper Scissors

Malaysian Roti ($7) - served with a peanut dipping sauce; something to mop up the best bits.
Malaysian Roti ($7) - served with a peanut dipping sauce; something to mop up the best bits.

Thai Fried Chicken ($14) - marinated in galangal, chili and coriander root
Thai Fried Chicken ($14) - marinated in galangal, chili and coriander root

Soft Shell Crab Salad ($16) - crispy soft shell crab with a green mango, coconut and herb salad
Soft Shell Crab Salad ($16) - crispy soft shell crab with a green mango, coconut and herb salad

Roast Duck Salad ($16) - roast duck and banana blossom salad with ramburan, chili jam and coconut dressing
Roast Duck Salad ($16) - roast duck and banana blossom salad with ramburan, chili jam and coconut dressing

Steamed Pork Buns ($15) - with pork belly, cucumber, shallots and hoisin sauce
Steamed Pork Buns ($15) - with pork belly, cucumber, shallots and hoisin sauce

Sticky Pork Belly ($16) - twice cooked pork in a tamarind caramel sauce, topped with a fragant herb salad
Sticky Pork Belly ($16) - twice cooked pork in a tamarind caramel sauce, topped with a fragant herb salad

The heater next to me that burnt my face off ;)
The heater next to me that burnt my face off ;)

Then we went back to the hotel to collapse.

Queensland 2016 - Day 4

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Monday was another very quiet day.

We watched the third season of Gilmore Girls, and I thought it improved towards the end.

Then got ready, said goodbye to everyone, and headed out to the airport.  We stopped in to get petrol for the car, but apparently someone had hit the emergency stop button, which means there was no petrol, and noone knew what was going on.  Eventually they managed to reset it (only after everyone finally put all their bowsers back) but that wasted a good fifteen minutes that I could have spent in the Qantas Club with a glass of bubbly.  As it was, we barely had time for quick bite to eat before it was time to board :(

The 737 we had on the way back (VH-XZF) was fitted out with media screens in the seats, just like international planes, which meant we could watch movies/tv etc.  Except for a one and a bit hour flight there's no point watching a movie, so I watched a documentary on Lego, followed by most of a documentary on life in the nature reserves around Chernobyl.

The conditions for photos weren't great, but I did see Lake George and Googong Dam full.

Lake George

Googong Dam

It was dinner time (actually after) by the time we got home, so just found ourselves stuff to eat, then watched the final season of Gilmore Girls.

Queensland 2016 - Day 3

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Sunday morning was also pretty lazy.  The others put on the next season of Gilmore Girls, which I partly watched, but then played a couple of games of Lost Cities with David.  Not very complicated, but also not all that interesting, you kinda of end up mostly playing your own game with not much need to pay attention to the other player.

In the afternoon we headed out.  Had some lunch at Springfield Lakes maccas, then headed up Mt Coot-tha.  Last time I was up there was in 2005.  Before that 1995, and before that 1988.

The sweetie and I at Mt Coot-tha

Brisbane from Mt Coot-tha

Then we popped into CUT so Chay could drop off some library books.

Then out to Sandgate to wander along the sand/mud flats and watch the kite surfers.

Sandgate

Headed home, had roast chicken for dinner, and watched The Fifth Element before yet another civilised bed time.

Queensland 2016 - Day 2

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Had a very quiet morning on Saturday.  Just hung around the house.

Ichi

Archer

Although we might have done a naughty Maccas run cause the sweetie wanted a Maccas breakfast heh.

Chay and Kailyn and Stu started watching the new Gilmore Girls series.  Far out it's silly.  It kinda reminded me of the silliness of Ally McBeal back in the day.  David and I escaped and went up to Oxley to do a shopping run. 

In the afternoon we went for a drive - we went out to Cleveland and had a look at the lighthouse and fed seagulls and had potato scallops.

Seagull at Cleveland

Photoshoot

Cleveland Point lighthouse

Ibis

Came back.  Got out Kailyn's snake bracelet, which is quite a bit bigger this year, but still very small

Kailyn's snake

Got pizzas for dinner.  After dinner we watched the first episode of Stephen Fry in America.  Some of it seemed a little familiar, wonder if I've seen it before.  Then we watched Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, which was kinda cool to see them walking around Hong Kong, but a few annoyances, and a super annoying ending.  I mean I can see the artistic value of it, but it leaves you feeling a bit cold.

Then we played a little Buzz and Singstar, but still in bed by around midnight (we're all getting old!).

Queensland 2016 - Day 1

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We had a pretty civilised start for Friday morning - waking up at around 6am (although I woke up at around 4am on account of me being completely retarded).  Had a little bit of breakfast at the airport.

When we arrived I wondered if we'd be there to see the arrival of SQ291, in much better weather than the first time I saw it.  I followed it across New South Wales on Plane Finder and we were sitting on our plane when it landed!  Pretty exciting!

9V-SQN

Had a seat on the left of the plane, so had a lovely view of Canberra in the morning sun as we took off, and we even came in from the south at Brisbane, which meant we had a good view of Brisbane as well - score!

Canberra from the air

Belconnen from the air

Bathurst from the air

Brisbane from the air

Picked up the car then headed out to Chay and David's (we took the scenic route past Stu's old flat and through the city).

Stu's old flat in Albion

David couldn't get the day off, so we took Chay out to Orion and we had some sushi for lunch.

Didn't do much in the afternoon, just hung out and chatted.  Although Kailyn and Chay and I did play a couple of games of Blokus and a couple of games of Carcasonne.

Had roast chicken for dinner and watched The Big Short in the evening.  I enjoyed watching the movie again, as the first time through I struggled to understand who all the players were.  So probably got a bit more out of it the second time.

Then a relatively early night.

So last day of the trip.

I finished the next jigsaw in the morning.

Fish jigsaw

Then we packed up and headed off.

Had an hour or so in the Qantas club.  

It was super warm in Brisbane (we were actually getting sweaty in the morning).  So it was a bit of a shock to get back to cold and wet and miserable Canberra heh.

As always, a lovely weekend.

Super slow day for everyone (and we weren't even having late nights - just holidaying).

I did jigsaw most of the morning.  I did head out around lunch time to hack a portal so I wouldn't lose my sojourner.

I finished the lions jigsaw after lunch.  

Lions jigsaw

In the afternoon we went out to Robelle to walk around the gardens.  Was very pleasant.

Robelle

For dinner we to Springfield Garden Restaurant for a nice dinner out.

Came back and played some more Buzz.

Oh, and Kailyn got a snake.  Such an adorable little thing (six months old)

Snake

Snake

Another slow start on Saturday morning.

(Ichi had just had a face bath so his head is all wet)
Ichi

For lunch we went out to McDonalds to build a burger.  I do like the burgers done that way, but they're very expensive.

Blue wren

Then headed up to Salvos at Goodna to get some jigsaws and to Oxley to do some food shopping.

Came back and did jigsaw all afternoon.

Had roast pork for dinner, yumm.

After dinner we watched The Sweetest Thing which has to be almost the silliest movie in the world (a close second after There's Something About Mary).

Played a little Buzz afterwards.

Buzz