Thursday, April 4, 2013

Photos and lessons from the land of sour cream & sweet chili fries...

In February, on the only day of snow Charlotte got all winter, Indie Jake and I got on a plane and ended up on the other side of the world. We decided that since we got married the weekend before Thanksgiving and at the end of a year where vacation time had been needed earlier that we would wait to take our honeymoon until early this year. We would go somewhere warm since it would be what passes for winter here. Somewhere fabulous that we could hold in our memories as the most wonderful vacation ever.

Cue Australia.

Home of the Great Barrier Reef, world-renowned wineries, and the ever-fuzzy koala bear. Three things which we absolutely didn't see. IJ can't swim, we don't drink wine much, and don't bring up k-bears in our house...there is much frothing at the mouth and sailor words.

What we did see was this:
Sydney Harbor Bridge
this
Sydney Opera House
 this
St. Kilda Beach
 this
Melbourne Luna Park
 and this
Footy, glorious footy!
In addition, a friend of IJ's who lives in Melbourne and the inimitable John Pham clued us in enough great cafes, coffee shops, markets, pubs, and awesome, dorktatic science museums to keep us more than busy for the week we were there.

I would be committing a lie of omission though if I didn't tell you one of my favorite moments on our trip. Being the beer geeks professionals that we are, we planned visits to a handful of local breweries into our itinerary. One of these breweries was an operation called Moon Dog Brewing which I had gotten off a list of Melbourne breweries but could find very little about. They didn't have any open hours that we could see but Jake shot them a facebook message and they told us to come on in anytime.

When we walked up to their warehouse based brewery it was at least 90 degrees out and we soon found that the 3 man operation had spent the morning battling a drainage issue that sometimes comes up in brewing but that is, pardon my French, a bitch and a half to deal with. Never the less they invited us right in, showed us their set up and tossed a few of their brews in the freezer for us to taste. While most other breweries we found were brewing pales and wheat beers, these guys were Shiraz barrel aging a 15% barleywine and making a milk stout who's label had no less than 8 cartoon robot nurse boobs on it. They had heart AND talent, and were really just so awesome.

We left them with a bottle of our local brewery's tripel but they left us with a feeling of community that stretched half way around the world. One that I would venture we will remember just as long as the Opera House tour or the Queen Victoria Market.

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