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before we headed off to shop at the outlets, camille and kirsty showed me around the stunning victorian Block Arcade. 

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too many cute shops.

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mosaic tile floor in Block Arcade.

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sun and shade outside the public library.

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love the sculpture work outside the library.

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i'd seen this is duty free as well.  wonder if it was made by teachers. . . or for teachers. 

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a ride out on an older style tram to the outlet stores where i spent pockets of money.  (this is my first vacation like this, longer, nothing much planned, and lots of shopping- not bad. . . but pricey)  we had a lovely meal out on the shaded deck where the girls introduced me to a a beautiful and delicious swedish cider.  (rekorderlig- hard to find in nny >.<)

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before heading out for the evening activities, we all sat around in camille and kirsty's hotel, which was set up and decorated like a gorgeous manhattan loft- exposed brick and all.  snacks, drinks, and chats while we waited for lauren to get off work, then more of the same.

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when i first arrived to the city and took a cab to my hotel, i had a great conversation with the driver.  he told me i had come to visit Melbourne at the best time.  they were having great weather, the beaches were beautiful, MOOMBA would be on, and there was a grand prix race on the weekend.  (well, the grand prix race was the reason i couldn't keep my hotel room the full week, but i wanted to know a little more about this moomba.)  he told me it was a festival with a carnival and parade centered over the Yarra river.  (actually the largest free festival of it's kind in australia.)  it's a part of their labor (labour for them) day celebrations.  there is an ongoing debate as to the actual meaning of 'moomba.'  some people claim it means, 'let's get together and have fun.'  but there is an etymological claim that in several aboriginal languages, 'moom' means bottom, and 'ba' means up.  so some think the name, 'up your bottom' was a cheeky suggestion made by the festival organizers who ended up usurping the original labor day parade.   

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well set into the park, we were on the hunt for the silent disco.  we were told it would be at 'the tent.'  can we get more vague?  turned out to be a little joke throughout the week.  so many directions were given with what sounded like vague details.  like there would be only one tent?

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a meeting of former barter employees done right.

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could this be 'the tent?'

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must be the place (cheeky).  there was a long line, but it was totally worth it.  i recommend the silent disco.

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inside the silent disco.  there were two dj's spinning, but it took us a while to figure out how to work and adjust our headphones to one or another.  (explains why it looked like some of us had no rhythm.)  - i have a knack of looking drunk in photos where i'm not drunk. (kirsty, camille, lauren, and me.)

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this surprised me. . . but i guess we picked a good spot for the fireworks.

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fireworks (with camille, lauren, and some kid on their dad's shoulders)

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watching the fireworks with a slew of food vendors not too far away!

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kirsty, camille, and lauren. . . and moomba.

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(the river- for the river festival) apparently there was a big (and i think it was international big) water ski competition going on at the same time.

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this was about the only ride i would've been willing to hit.  i just wasn't prepared for an amusement park experience. 

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quite a set up with lots of huge rides, some really fun events, good street/ fair food, and fireworks.  Moomba didn't disappoint.

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well done, Melbourne.

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a wall of Federation Square where messages are displayed on small ticker LED screens.

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Federation Square, hopping during Moomba.

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Flinders train station, near Federation Square.

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make way for the tree!

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this bike moved around town a lot.  saw it nearly every day in a different spot.

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sadly, it's named after someone with the last name, batman. 


Melbourne.3.9.2014- 1

this was one of the hottest days i was there.  camille and kirsty went to the music festival that was part of moomba- lauren and i walked past the amusement park area (as seen here) and then took a train out towards St. Kilda.  (all the rides above ferris wheel and swings had too many elements.  everything twisted within a rotatation and swung or moved on an armature.  for instance, these chairs spun upside down on each arm.  the six arms spun around the center, and the big arm holding the whole thing went up and down.)

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enjoying lunch (great fish and chips with a cider) at Republica on the beach.  the outside seating was lovely- but too sunny. 

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sad that this sign was eaten or whatever. . . the warnings looked entertaining.

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St. Kilda beach.

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all i wanted was a close up shot of this totally ripped guy in a mexican wrestling costume. . . . little did i know i would have to sign up to win a phone and compete with him.

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my victory picture.  kick his ass in 가위, 바위, 보- (rock, paper, scissors)

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lauren battled him in a war of thumbs.

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cool, like coney island's sister.

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Luna Park.  looked like something wonderful from a terry gilliam movie to me.

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i'm in this one. . .

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it looks like we are about to be eaten. . . and we are blissfully unaware.

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these turnstiles were originals. . . and really rad.

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even more colorful on the inside.  (also got to make a souvenir squashed penny)

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hey guys!  i saw big bang in australia!  (it makes more sense if you know k-pop)

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my brother's passion for bikes is much greater than mine, but there's something great about a city/ town that offers bike rentals.

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instructions are important.

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maps near bike rentals are really nice- even when you aren't renting a bike.  (something i figured out in london.)

Melbourne.3.10.2014- 1

there are 80's pop culture references everywhere.  (granted they aren't always spelled right- look out for MacGyver's Teas later.)

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here's shots from the moomba parade.  it was crowded (but not south korea crowded.) it was a little difficult to find a good spot to see the parade and still be in the shade.  it opened with an aboriginal ceremony which i could only see a little of, but the rest was very fun.  i went ahead without camille and kirsty and caught up with them in time for lunch and more site-seeing.

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60 years of MOOMBA.

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these guys had a little automation as well, so it looked like they were playing the drums.