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At the end of each month I am going to send out a summary of the highlights of the month and update you on our plans for upcoming trips and activities. Here is the summary for June 2018. Follow me on social media or by email to see the full posts coming up soon.

It’s Winter here in Australia

Okay, so that’s probably not a surprise to you, but normally that means I climb under my nice warm blanket on the couch and don’t emerge again until the weather warms up. I spend my time drinking hot chocolate and looking at Instagram posts of summer in the northern hemisphere. I’m determined to make this year different, and still get out there and find some interesting things to do.

So to truely get out of my comfort zone, the first thing I planned for the month was to head to the south of the state (read “even colder!”) and head out into the pine forests in the middle of the night! No, we weren’t auditioning for the latest “Saw” movie, we were hunting ghost mushrooms! These ghost mushrooms grow in May and June each year not far from the town of Mount Gambier. We did a quick road trip there to check them out, and to have a look at everything else in the area. Look out for my upcoming post on all the things there are to do  – I have to say I was surprised, and need to go back again to get through my list.

Back in Adelaide we visited the newest museum to open up in town – MOD. Describing itself as a “future-focused museum” it has lots of interactive, immersive displays that challenge perceptions. Just as one example, there is currently an exhibition on pain. Part of it contains two seats where visitors can sit and subject themselves to painful stimuli while other things happen around them – to show how outside elements can influence the pain we feel. The museum is free, and interesting way to spend an hour if you are nearby.

MOD

One of the rooms of MOD. Everything here is interactive. The walls are touchscreens that visitors can turn and zoom

I then came across an opportunity to meet up with some other bloggers in Melbourne. Flights only a few days out were surely going to be prohibitive, but imagine my surprise when I was able to find return flights from Adelaide to Melbourne for just over $100AUD on the day I wanted to go! So I spent the afternoon with some friends checking out some of the sights before my meeting in the evening.

A Budget Afternoon in Melbourne

I’ve visited so many churches in other countries, but I have barely ventured in to any of the churches we have here, so as we were passing St Patrick’s Cathedral we went inside. Built in the mid 1800s, the Catholic church has some quite impressive stained glass windows inside, and is very reminiscent of many of the European churches we have seen.

St Patrick's Cathedral

Some of the stained glass in St Patrick’s Cathedral

We had hoped to visit the Victorian Parliament House next, which offers free tours whenever parliament is not sitting. Unfortunately we arrived to find this was a sitting day, so no tours were being done. I will have to try again next time I am in Melbourne.

This meant more time to wander around Melbourne’s laneways to check out the street art. I make sure I see at least some of the street art every time I come to Melbourne. One of the stand out pieces in Hosier Lane this trip was a tribute to Anthony Bourdain. It was a little bit sad that it had only been there for a few days but was already tagged around the edges – but I guess that’s the transient nature of street art in Melbourne, and one of the benefits. It is different every time I visit.

Anthony Bourdain Street Art Hosier Lane

A tribute to Anthony Bourdain in Hosier Lane

We wandered further on to Federation Square, and noticed there was an art exhibition showcasing all of the best work done by the Year Twelve art students of 2017. We went in for a look, and oh boy, some of these students are amazingly talented. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, and I can’t even imagine how they come up with these designs let alone actually put them into practice.

From one kind of artwork to another! I can’t believe in all my years visiting Melbourne I have never heard of the iconic Chloe painting. Housed in the Young & Jackson Hotel, directly across from Flinders Street station, Chloe was painted in 1875, but since 1909 has lived in this bar in Melbourne. She was quite controversial at the time, but during the wars, soldiers would come into the pub located conveniently opposite the railway station just to visit Chloe. Thanks to the National Trust, she will now always hang in this pub as an icon.

We could have just had a sneak peak at Chloe and moved on, but we decided it was time to rest our legs for while so we enjoyed a nice warming mulled wine before I had to make my way to my meeting.

Chloe and friends

Chloe and friends

A Tourist in my Own Town

Towards the end of the month I decided to do the free walking tour of Adelaide with Tours Around Adelaide. I was lucky to get a great day for it, no rain or wind and beautiful blue skies. I spent two and a half hours being guided around the city centre by Ryan, who, like most free walking tour guides, was enthusiastic, interesting and knowledgeable about our town. There were quite a few things he said that I had no idea about before.

Adelaide

A bright and sunny winter’s day looking across Elder Park and the Festival Centre in Adelaide

After the walking tour I updated my post about Things to do in Adelaide to include the walking tour but to also include a little more information on other parts of it too. I’ve decided this post is still a work in process, as I keep coming up with more things to add to it. Have you been to Adelaide or do you live here? Let me know in the comments below if you have a suggestion I can test out and include!

Saying Goodbye

In the middle of the month my eldest daughter moved half way around the world to Vancouver to take up a job. It kept us busy for a lot of the month as everything was planned for the move. As exciting as this is for her, it’s pretty exciting for me too. It means I will have to plan a trip to Canada! Canada has always been one of those places I’ve kinda wanted to go, but just hasn’t made it far up the list. Now I’m excited to think I might be able to plan a few weeks there next year and bring you some awesome tips and stories from this beautiful country.

Coming Up

So far I don’t have much planned for July. This week I will be attending the opening of the Winterfest carnival here in Port Adelaide. Each year a winter wonderland is set up in a huge shed on the waterfront with live music, great bars and food, winter activities, and, of course, an ice rink! I haven’t ice skated for probably twenty years, so this should be interesting. If you don’t hear from me, you will know the cause, hahaha.

I am also trying to plan another couple of days over in Melbourne, either in July or August. A benefit that comes with one of Simon’s credit cards is a free interstate flight each year. We have to book it in the next week or two before it expires, and Melbourne is always a great location for a couple of days.

I have now booked flights and accomodation for my trips to both Hobart and the Gold Coast in November. I got some good deals on some flights, but also used some Amex travel credits that I receive with one of my credit cards to save on the flights that I couldn’t get great deals on. (If you want to learn more about using credit cards to save money on travel, read my post Let’s Talk About Credit Cards here) I am not totally thrilled with the accommodation I’ve booked in Hobart, but that is one of the benefits of booking cancellable accommodation with Booking.com – I can always change my mind if something better comes up.

Catching Up

In case you missed them, here are my June blog posts:
May 2018 Summary
Travel Diaries – Warsaw
Travel Diaries – Lisbon
Travel Diaries – Porto
Travel Diaries – England
Travel Diaries – Edinburgh

Don’t forget to follow along on social media where you will see some content that does not make it onto my blog.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/josiewanders
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/josiewanders
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/josiewanders
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/josiewanders

Blogging Wins

Well, it’s been another hard month of sitting here at my desk plugging away with little return – or at least little monetary return. I feel like I have come a long way with more changes in the background of the website to make the experience better for you guys reading this, but of course there is always more for me to learn and change. I am always open to feedback (gently, please…hahaha) if you find something not working or annoying, as one of the things that always surprises me is how things look and behave differently on web or mobile or tablet – or even using different sized screens or browsers.

Until next month, take care.

May 2018 Summary
July 2018 Summary