By Ben |

Thurs, July 4

We went for breakfast first thing at an artisan coffee place near our hotel, then checked out and returned the rental car. Our flight from Sydney to Melbourne was via the international terminals at both airports because it was bound for Phuket next; this meant that we (and many other domestic passengers) had to go through lots of extra checkpoints, but fortunately we weren't in a hurry!

I was struck by how attractive the buildings are in Melbourne. I didn't see any brutalism or any ugly, purely functional-looking buildings. It reminded me of a less extravagant Singapore.

We rode the SkyBus from the Melbourne airport into downtown, ate some lunch at a food court, and then had our first experience with the free tram (streetcar) system in downtown before checking into our Airbnb. The Little World of Ice and Snow is a tiny studio apartment — cozy for a hotel room — that has been decorated to look like an ice cave. It's very neat. We had been looking forward to doing laundry immediately upon arriving but had not planned ahead by getting change or detergent, so we had to get that sorted out before we could start a load.

We took the tram again to meet Nick, the husband of Jessie's art therapy colleague Teresa, where he had just gotten off work as an immigration attorney. He drove us out to an "inauthentic pizza" restaurant called Moor Head, where Teresa and their two kids were waiting. The pizza place was on Thornbury Street, recently named the “trendiest street” in the world (whatever that means). We had a very nice dinner and conversation, and then Nick drove us back to the hotel.