I am excited, only going away for a few days but a few days of no restrictions no rules and absolutely no plans. I just finished work and stopped off at home then it happened. In slow motion they fall to the curb, my sunglasses hit the concrete and then in a split second the frame splits and the lens pop out. Now these were not just normal sunglasses that you pick up from a service station. These were the best ever sunglasses that I have ever had the pleasure to own, that I bought at a small convenience store. And so begins my holiday.
It is 10pm, I am somewhere above Victoria, I have been given a few free drinks and a nice elderly Asian lady is snoring next to me. As I look out into the blackness of night I start to see tiny lights dotted across the ground, slowly growing in size until the glowing expanse of Melbourne comes into view. Normally I like to look out to see the landscape, the mountains, rivers etc. but watching all of this unfold in the darkness is eerily beautiful. I arrive in Melbourne and get to my accommodation at midnight. After I stumble around in the darkness trying to find a spare bed I wander down stairs to the bar, which turns out was karaoke night. Obviously I drank heaps and I sang none and then drunkenly made my way back to my bed.
The next day – or is it the same day as I had only gone to bed at 3 – I find myself standing on the roof at 7am overlooking the Old Melbourne gaol, I’m shoeless and to be honest, it’s a tad cold. Not to bad though as I am actually enjoying it. As I sit down to eat my noodles for breakfast I am going over in my head my day ahead of me, I realise I have a lot I want to see and do. Maybe I should stretch it out over 2 days, don’t exhaust myself. And as I sit here looking at my notes I realise that yeh maybe I should have. But where is the fun in that. I make my way to the one place in Melbourne that I have needing to go to for ages. Melbourne Museum. And for 2 reasons, the Bugs Alive! exhibit and of course, Jurassic World.
Bugs Alive! blew all expectations. Now I knew it would it be great, the people who created the exhibit are the same people I get my own insects from. They are really amazing at what they do and have created something incredible. The live animal exhibits featured are just beautiful, set out in natural realistic settings. There were a lot more than I had previously expected
The best thing however was seeing the reactions, of both adults and children to seeing these live bugs. A lot of the usual ewws and squeals of seeing large tarantulas etc. however that didn’t stop them from getting up close to look at them. This is the reaction I want to get from my photography. I know a lot of people have strong feelings when it comes to insects and arachnids, but if I can show them the beauty of these animals hopefully I can change minds. And its exhibits like this that also helps get people intrigued in everything invertebrate.
There is very little that gets me more excited than insects, but stand me in front of a dinosaur and I am 6 again. And in front of me is two life size velociraptors from the Jurassic Park movies. Jurassic World was one of the biggest movies of 2015 and on the back of that it has set up camp in Melbourne, and I for one, could not be happier. Standing on the ferry to the island, the doors open and you enter through the Jurassic park gates along with the iconic score, and I am entering my 10 year old dream. Yes … I had to hold back tears of joy but the smile on my face could not be erased. This is the start of the greatest thing to ever happen.
Inside there was incredibly realistic models of dinosaurs straight from the movies from the Brachiosaurus and Stegosaurus. They even had a life size Indominus Rex, the created dinosaur featured in the movie, which was really awesome if not really menacing. However the piece de resistance was the Tyrannosaurus, modelled exactly like from the movies. As she moved out of the shadows towards us, its terrifying roar, it was exactly that same feeling of the first time I saw her on the big screen when I was 10 years old. I was in awe. Overall I would have loved to have seen more but with my enthusiasm and love for dinosaurs there definitely would have been no room or time, however it was hands down the greatest day of my life.
After a long jam packed day of eating, shopping, more eating and visiting the aquarium I am back sitting on my bed – of which I have hit my head on the roof no less than 4 times by this stage. I decide to get some ramen for dinner, and then hit the town. I wind up at a cocktail bar called 1806. If you didn’t know of the place you would walk straight past the inconspicuous door, which I actually did despite knowing of its existence. Sitting up on the bar like some trendy barfly I am presented with the best cocktails I’ve ever had. I may have spent more than I was expected but I regret nothing and would easily go back next time I am down. I continue my drunken journey, though how I was able to navigate the alleyways by this stage I am still unaware, I end up at The Croft Institute, another cocktail bar loosely themed around a science laboratory. I keep drinking there, relaxing and people watch until I realise I am getting woken up by a security guard. Yes, I had passed out, but by my surprise instead of being kicked out he was just making sure I was ok. Kudos mister security guard, kudos. I do however feel like this is my cue to leave and make my way back to my bed and passout at 4am.
Later investigations into my night have revealed that I did a stop over at Hungry Jacks, however I have no memory of such an event.