Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

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Rye street art (Captains of Rye)

Long weekends are like gold and the Grand Final weekend is my last one for this year (University staff don’t get Melbourne Cup day) so it may be a long time in between drinks for me. I wasn’t up for much this past weekend and we decided relatively last minute to go away to Rye on the Mornington Peninsula. Even though it’s not summer, I still love the beach at any time of the year.

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We grabbed fish and chips from Hector’s on Thursday night after packing the car and driving straight from work a few hours earlier. It’s great to wake up the next day already at your destination although we had to do a supermarket stop the following morning after catching up with family who have a house in nearby Tootgarook. The Montino Continental Delicatessen is opposite the supermarket and looks like it does great coffee. We got there at closing time but bought some delectable yo yo biscuits with passionfruit icing, some Franklin & Sons cordial (an in-joke as I’ve married into the Franklin family and we have two sons) and a beautiful sourdough rye bread.

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Dromana Indoor Market teapot

Mr Rosanna and I spent Grand Final morning fossicking at the Dromana Indoor Market and The Factory Antique Market in a nearby industrial estate where we found some comic books and other books for the kids and a miniature Chinese terracotta teapot (above) for me. The industrial estate (opposite the Dromana Drive-In) houses some other interesting shops including Bass Surfboards, Little Rebel Coffee and Bass and Flinders Distillery. We didn’t get a chance to visit them but would go back another time, when we have more time there. The continental theme continued with a pitstop at Vulcano Gelato for an afternoon ice cream – I deviated from my normal coffee and lemon and got a blood orange, which was nice but super sweet – a bit too sweet for me but an interesting departure from the norm (need to mix things up sometimes!).

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Me at Vulcano Gelato

My sister-in-law who visits the peninsula on a regular basis has told me that the old Quarantine Station at Point Nepean is a great place to visit if you have kids, located right near the beach (so they can run around) where the ships come in (and you can get up close) with a very interesting history in a spectacular location so I will file that away for next time.

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Sisco Pizza exterior

While Sardo restaurant in nearby Sorrento had been recommended by our Air BnB host Bridgette, we chose to go to another recommendation of hers – Sisco Pizza (owned by two sisters who were both there on the night) – keeping it local in Rye. It’s close to the Rip Curl surf outlet (up to 70% off!) and next door to Aqua Blu cafe. While the kids opted for pizza and lasagne, Mr Rosanna and I got two of the specials – the fish of the day and the vongole seafood spaghetti – both of which were delicious. It was buzzing in the restaurant and for those dining al fresco I love that Sisco provides grey lap blankets for outdoor diners – such a smart and thoughtful idea. While we thankfully got our meal on time, the table of diners next to us had a wait and staff were apologetic as someone had called in sick.

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Given it’s not yet Daylight Savings time, we also took our dog to the front beach (above) where we could walk her unleashed and I managed a walk/run on our last morning there before we grabbed a quick lunch at the swashbuckling Captains of Rye cafe – a good place to go I suspect after a big night out given the size of the burgers, fries and other dude food on offer. I also like the street art that you can find in Rye – it makes for an interesting feel to the seaside town.

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Captains of Rye interior

I actually spent most mornings there, and now back here in Melbourne, having a sleep in, reading magazines and taking it easy. So easy in fact, that twice now I’ve been sprung by neighbours still in my pyjamas when they’ve come knocking on my door! Luckily I’ve bought some nice ones from Sage and Clare recently on sale instead of wearing my usual supermarket brand. I hope you had a great Grand Final long weekend and I know you did if you barrack for the mighty Tigers!

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We can’t eat money

I was in the city for training on Friday (note to self: remember not to let your Myki card go into negative) getting there just on time only because I’d allowed enough time to catch the earlier train, which was the smart move as twice now I’ve been caught out either due to the just on time train being cancelled or in my case on Friday, having an invalid Myki card and needing to top up thus missing the earlier train. Aargh! At least I got there early enough to (just) get myself a coffee…

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Image via That’s Amore Cheese

La Trobe University actually allowed staff and students to attend the global climate strike on Friday given sustainability feeds into our cultural qualities: connected, innovative, accountable and care – all of which are included in our 2018 – 2022 Strategic Plan. Interesting too in that one of the Bold Thinking Series ideas which we never progressed but had a meeting with academic Lawrie Zion about (who wrote The Weather Obsession) was how people will believe meteorologists (scientists) when they talk about the weather but not when they talk about climate change. It never got up but is food for thought.

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Image via Augustus Gelatery

I had meant to post earlier today as the Alphington Farmers Market (where you can find the La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary) was on from 9am until 1pm in Wingrove Street Alphington (where you’ll also find relatively new Greek cake shop Nikos Fairfield) and the Melbourne Farmers Market had also allowed its staff to attend the climate strike given this year’s farm production is forecast to be at its lowest in four years with drought a serious contributing factor.

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Image via That’s Amore Cheese

I’ve been reminded of cakes and sweets as one of my Italian work colleagues has let me know about the cannoli carts available for hire from That’s Amore Cheese in Thomastown and the opening of the Pascoe Vale outpost of Augustus Gelatery. I think cannoli and mini gelati both make great wedding and other party desserts. A reminder too that the Italian Film Festival is currently on at Palace Cinemas until 16 October.

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Finally, I got to check out Longridge Camp (photos above and below) in Warrandyte today as per my previous post on local/weekend camping and it is definitely a hidden secret in Melbourne’s north-east set amongst the rolling hills off a dirt road (and across the river from the other hidden secret that is the Laughing Waters swimming hole) which can be hired for exclusive use for around $175 per night ie. no other campers onsite! There’s a BBQ, toilet and shower facilities and fire wood is also supplied but it is unpowered. If you’re not wanting to pitch a tent you can also hire a campervan for around $110 so it makes for a great introduction to first time campers and groups of up to 40 people who want their own space. It is a nature lover’s paradise and in light of the climate strike, I’ll leave you with the famous American Indian quote to ponder on.

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When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realise, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.

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The land of the living

Is where I’m planning on spending my time after being knocked down and completely out by the mother of all flus two weeks ago. Let’s just say I understand why people end up being hospitalised or come down with a secondary infection when they catch the flu – I reckon it’s one of the worst communicable illnesses you can get besides gastro. At one stage I felt like dying and this is from someone who’s been through two natural childbirths. Still, it could have been a lot worse and it was a lesson in acceptance and grace for me – something the Buddhist in me is still working on.

Needless to say I’m looking forward to returning to work and re-joining society but will be taking it easy – Spring sometimes has a sting in its tail as I’ve found out this year.

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Before I got sick, we did manage to have a lovely Father’s Day lunch at Cafe Heide in Bulleen enjoying the sunny weather and the cafe does picnic basket lunches if you fancy a day spent outdoors. The Heide Makers Market also re-started yesterday and this dog-friendly market is a fun one if you’re looking for something to do with the warmer weather upon us.

School holidays are fast approaching or already here for some and I recently discovered Longridge Park – a local campsite in Warrandyte perfect for a local weekend camping adventure and an introduction to the great outdoors if you’re not wanting to venture too far from home.

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I love a good rooftop bar once it’s hot enough to sit outside and I spent one Sunday afternoon late last year enjoying The Provincial’s rooftop bar (above via The Provincial). The hotel has been there since I was a teenager (I had one memorable birthday there where I was the first person to leave my own party…let’s just leave that one in the past) and it’s still a popular Brunswick St destination in Fitzroy.

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Closer to home I was reading about the transformation of the former Paladaar Thai restaurant now becoming The Alphington Social (pictured above via Alphington Social) something a bit more hip for the times and for the demographic that will shortly be moving into the enormous YarraBend development located on the former Amcor Paper Mill site.

Finally, the Fringe Festival has started in Melbourne as well as the Tesselaar Tulip Festival if you feel like stopping to smell the flowers before we launch into the final months of the year and the lead up to Christmas. Enjoy the week ahead – I’m definitely going to!