A Day in Fitzroy

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So, we spent another day touring Melbourne.The day started with a workout for all of us and Noah doing his school work. Noah has started his semester and Drew will start next week. Each day we will dedicate a couple of hours for them to do their schoolwork. Karley has been great with them and she is a sweetheart to travel with. We didn’t leave the apartment until about 1 PM, but we had a very full day!

Fitzroy Street Art
Fitzroy Street Art

We started our travels heading to a small suburb called Fitzroy, which is considered the Bohemian section of town with cute little shops and some really cool street art. Well, in NY we used to call that graffiti 🙂 The walk was very nice as the weather here has been exactly like San Diego. I feel like we never left home and have just been exploring a new area of home. Regarding the weather, I’ve been watching the Australian Open tennis for decades and every year they talk about how hot it is and how the players fitness was a huge issue because it was typically 100 degrees with high humidity. Well, this year it is anything but. We are enjoying the spell of cooler weather very much.

St. Patrick's Cathedral - Melbourne
St. Patrick’s Cathedral – Melbourne
St. Patrick's w/ the Melbourne Skyline
St. Patrick’s w/ the Melbourne Skyline

On the walk to Fitzroy we passed one of the oldest, and most beautiful churches in the city, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It was this huge, old building amongst so many modern structures in the skyline behind it. This city has a small core downtown with suburbs that are very closely surrounding it. The area of Fitzroy is only about 2 miles from where we are staying right downtown, and it seems like a totally different area. We walked around the shops and were able to get some food for the kids, who seem to be continually hungry. I guess that’s what happens when they become teenagers. I also think all this working out for Drew is making her eat more than she did at home.

Melbourne Museum
Melbourne Museum
Dinosaurs @ Melbourne Museum
Dinosaurs @ Melbourne Museum

After walking around Ftizroy we entered our first Museum. Oh no, not a museum! Well, the Melbourne Museum was this really cool structure with an indoor forest with really cool animals and birds, as well as a dinosaur exhibit and much more. We arrived late in the afternoon with only about an hour to walk around, but the kids said that they really enjoyed the museum. That is a good start if we are going to see more museums along the way, which I know we are. Karley decided to stay back at the apartment for the afternoon and met us at the Museum to head to dinner with Kay Ledson and her family. So, we headed for the tram and started our trip to Carnegie.

Ilise & Drew in Fitzroy
Ilise & Drew in Fitzroy

The tramride was close to an hour and we went through some interesting suburbs. It was an above ground tram that road on the street the entire way. It made stops almost on every street and was rather crowded when we got on downtown, but as we headed out to Carnegie it was lighter and lighter traffic. We met Kay at the final stop on the line and walked to her sister, Wendy’s house. Wendy had prepared a wonderful dinner and we also got to meet Kay’s son and daughter-in-law, Josh and Emelia. Josh had a snowboarding accident over a decade ago and is a walking miracle of what the mind can do. He broke his spinal cord in the accident but he is walking today and has pretty full use of his hands and legs.

The way Josh describes it is that you and I have an automatic  transmission that make our body work, and his is manual. Every move that he makes requires him to think about it and trigger the muscles to move. He is an amazing example of mind over matter. Kay is immensely proud of her son and has done everything she can to help him live a life that they are both proud of. Josh has had some dark days over the past 13 years, but today he is happily married and building a speaking career as a motivational speaker focusing on young people, especially teenagers. His story is compelling and I hope I can find some ways to help Josh on his journey. The Ledson family has been so kind to us here in Melbourne, we will be forever indebted to their generosity.

Street art on an entire building
Street art on an entire building

We took the tram back into the city around 10 PM. Drew was exhausted but we had some free entertainment by some very vocal youth sitting right next to us. They were a bit loud and a bit intoxicated, but the fun started when a much more intoxicated New Zealander boarded the train just outside the city. He sat down right across from Karley and she moved as soon as she could. Right before the man got off the train he walked up to the girls who we rather loud and told one of them that she was shallow, useless and should get a life. The young girl was very funny in her responses, but the man was pretty aggressive and I thought we were about to have a fight. Well, the man stumbled out of the tram and we had a good laugh. A funny end to a very eventful day.

To a life well lived!

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