I have my friend Bill from Ohio staying with me this week.Â I love it when Americans come to Australia for the first time.Â It gives me so much power!Â I feel like I could almost tell him anything and he would believe it. Â On Day 1 we hot the ground running as I started to fill him in on some of Australia’s culture. Â So we started off with a stop at Federation Square and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Â He Bill meets the robot Dexter from the TV dating show “Perfect Match”.
Please be patient as we complete the renovations. Â Tyson has been helping me remodel MelbourneLoft into a more of a webcam/blog type of experience. Â The tagboard and all of the other features will be back soon. Â I am also working on the machine that will bring the webcam back to being live again.
As I was walking home from the gym this morning I saw the crowds and media gathering along Bourke Street for the annual Myer Santa Claus parade. Â Of course the David Jones Santa Claus arrived last week via helicopter. Â So not to be out done Myer and channel 7 put together a huge parade marketing the department store and all it’s brands…Â oh.. and Santa Claus too. Â The parade is always fun with all the kids going crazy. Â But at 34 degrees today (96 fahrenheit) it was a very hot wait for the parade to arrive. Â I was really impressed with some of the floats and the large that it drew. Â It really is a fun time to be in Melbourne now.
Last weekend I decided to test how far I could in one weekend. Â So I booked myself on to a 6am flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Â Now I didn’t realise at the time that this meant checking in at 4.30am. Â So I woke at 3am to prepare to go to the airport. Â The taxi ride proved that I was unprepared as we turned around and headed home to get my passport.
I was actually outside the Qantas Club waiting for it to open at 4.30am.Â I never thought I would vere be at an airport at this time.Â The shot below shows just how empty the place was at that time of the morning.
I really think Qantas Club is one of the best airline lounges going round.Â I can always be found spending way too long lathering up with their Molton Brown products in the bathroom.Â Â And with the lounge so empty I did wonder for a moment how well attached those bottles were to the wall.
I was really happy to have scored a ride on one of Qantas’ new Boeing 737-800s.Â Â And exit row seats on both directions!Â And the seats are the new seats found on the new Airbus A380 with the widescreens in every seat and on demand TV and movies.Â I really like this brand spanking new plane.Â Â The flight from Melbourne to Auckland is just 3 1/2 hours.
In New Zealand I got a great deal at the beautiful Westin Hotel on the Viaduct Harbour.Â Â It’s a fairly new development with loads of new buildings built right on the docks.Â Â The Westin itself is built in such a shape that boats can moor right in the courtyard of the hotel!Â Â And most of the rooms therefore have a water view.
My room was great!Â Huge in size, a massive bath room and bath tub, cable TV and a huge min bar.Â Â I could almost live in this room!
There were some really beautiful cruisers moored in the harbour, but check out the colour of that water!
I really liked Auckland.Â The city is quite beautiful and the people are really friendly. Â Even though I was only there for 24 hours I learnt quite a lot about our Kiwi neighbours.Â Next time I will stay a little longer.