Meet "Melbin"

If you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb every time you open your mouth in this country, you've gotta learn how to say a few things "the Australian way."  Phonetically, as Americans, we're inclined to call this city "Mel-born."  After several pronunciation lessons and scoldings received prior to even arriving in country, we quickly learned the "correct" way to say "Melbin" so we can be

just

like the locals.

These photos are 

very

 chronologically

out of order, but I sort of like the hodge podge composition....especially because it's a random representation of what it's felt like since we moved here.

Even through the most tumultuous of emotions, this girl and I have remained the best of franz during our move Down Under.  I was scared for a minute, but now she is mine and I am hers. 

(G.O.T., anyone?)

Ain't nothin' you can do about it

, Emily Ann Krusz

.  I'm here to stay.

We spent our first two-ish weeks in Australia with this gem, as you can see in my

previous post

, both in Sydney and the beginning of the journey in Melbourne.

Not too long after Rachel left us, this beauty queen joined us for some fun and adventures.

St. Kilda's tryin' to be like Coney Island...still just as creepy.

This was taken at a restaurant where you can literally eat for free..and also balance gourds on your head if you wish.

While Rachel was still in town, we met up with Emily's pal from BC, Eoin, and his girlfriend, Sarah, to watch our first footy match: Carlton v. Richmond! We started out cheering for Eoin's friend who plays for Carlton, but the contagious spirit of the Richmond fans made us lean slightly towards supporting The Tigers (their win helped a little, too).  

*Don't worry, Tim, we're still open to becoming avid Essendon fans, you just have to get them to show us their abs first.

Rachel's friend, Liz, joined the debauchery for a week and we had zero fun whatsoever....this photo should prove it.

We are situated in a pretty interesting part of town -- a neighborhood called South Yarra.  We're a 15 minute tram-ride to the beach, 10-minute train-ride downtown, and a two minute walk to Melbourne's "posh" shopping district, Chapel Street.  We have a love/hate relationship with our neighborhood, actually....but that's a different story...for another time...over a strong drink.  

Melbournians 

love

 their cafés

.  There are at least three per block (if not more), each with it's own unique personality and style.

While we were funemployed, we spent lots of time hopping from café to café  --that sometimes doubled as a bar--

enjoying live music and quirky atmospheres.

We had no business thinking about shopping when we first got here, but we did enjoy meandering around the many markets that pop up on the weekends.

Whilst apartment hunting, we had several very important layovers at locations that were purely for our own personal entertainment.  This wall being one of them.

Once we found a place in the aforementioned hood, we tried to ween ourselves off of our ramen noodle diet [that saved us a crap ton of money and also I love it] and bombarded our systems with fresh fruits and veggies.... and popcorn (extra buttered).

Oh, and it's opposite seasons here soooo....back-to-back winters it is!  We arrived in "the fall" -- which still feels weird to say because I know full well it was spring time around when we left. #upsidedown 

I've been trying to make the most of a snowboard-free winter and try to calm people down when they say that 12 degrees Celsius is

freezing

 here (the equivalent of 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit).  I suppose those Colorado winters just hardened my heart seeing as I just laugh at them bluntly.

Em & I were here for Easter and somehow the Easter Bunny knew exactly what we wanted...

....hot cross buns (yes, that's a thing here), candy, and most appreciated, viiiino.  He even made an "Easter Wine Hunt" instead of hiding those boring old chicken eggs

(we couldn't afford dye).

See his very clever hiding spots below...

We stayed up super late one night when we first got here that we were lucky to catch this sunrise off of our back patio... we frequently miss them these days.

This is my favorite neighborhood friend, Bonkers.  He greets me every time I walk to and from the tram at the end of our street.  He's a cheeky bastard.

Sometimes my witch friend, Emily, does tarot card readings for me.  We now know the secrets of the world.

This nugget came and lived with us for a few months and, boy, I don't think I've laughed harder or sung

Frozen

more times than ever before.

It feels like a dream, but having Amber here was such a fun dynamic for us all and spiked our energy through the roof.

The night sky from our I-can't-wait-till-summer-barbecues porch.

Sooo Melbourne has this undeniable crush on coffee.  It's very obvious

HOW

much it loves its coffee.  It's an in-your-face, shrine-in-your-closet type of obsession.  Let's just say I love these hyphenated phrases as much as Melbourne loves its lattes, flat whites, long blacks, mochas, ristrettos, magics, etc..  I don't drink coffee (

"yet,"

 they say) but there was a lot to learn about but this anything-but-drip coffee when we first arrived.

This guy over here and I have now become friends over the span of three countries.  If it weren't for one directional question (not the boy band) at a Toronto bus station, Stevo and I would never be Melbiznats together.  He even helped me find one of my jobs like the rockstar that he is.  The jerk left us all for a few months, though, when he followed the dream and traveled to the World Cup in Brazil.  

I can't even pretend to be happy for him.

One of Melbourne's secret markets tucked away.

One of our many happy hour evenings out and about.

.....and another.

"We take our wieners very massively," says Chapel Street.  They don't even hide it from the kids.

A swanky alleyway nestled between high risers downtown.

And some cheeky street art to complement.

{Before}

Yes, I'm taking a picture of a silly flower, Bonkers.  Blame Pinterest.

{After}

Tram livin': my daily commute.

A bridge I have yet to cross situated right near my job.

Amber & I got very into a "Bogan & Wogs" party theme when our girl, Karen, invited us to trash along.  Let me explain:  Bogan = slang for a "person with an unsophisticated background" (thanks, Wikipedia).  Wog = slang for a "Jersey Shore" type of person (Karen's translation).  We did our best to white-trash ourselves up, but I think we just turned out lookin' like hickish hillbillies.

Sooooo....this is our Australian life now.

Well, it's just the beginning.  

Stay tuned for more tales & tunes.

Namaste,

~Kelsey