Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Continent 5: Australia

John and I have argued for a while over whether my visit years ago to Tonga counted as visiting a new continent. You can make the case that it's part of Oceana and that Oceana is really the continent that Australia is part of. But John wouldn't every really accept that argument, and now it's a moot point because we've both been to Australia!  

We only had time to visit Melbourne, though it seems like most people that visit Australia go for several weeks and travel all over. It would have been amazing to see Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef too, but we still had a great time. It was interesting because Australia felt different and foreign, but also totally familiar being an English speaking country with similar historical roots.

A lot of our time was spent on tennis. We had one whole day at the Australian Open, and another half day on the lawn outside, watching matches on the giant TV screens for free. The matches we had tickets to turned out to be great. When you buy them in advance you don't actually know who you'l be seeing, you just have to cross your fingers. And miraculously we ended up seeing Federer play Djokovic in the semi-final.

Another highlight was a day long wine tour we took that was fun, beautiful, and delicious. Not only did we visit four wineries we got to do a cheese tasting at a little country store and a chocolate tasting at a giant candy store. After the day of wine tasting we had a five course dinner at an 89th floor restaurant. As a Christmas gift John's brother and his wife made a reservation for us at this restaurant and prepaid for our meals to surprise us on the trip! It was so pretty to watch the sun going down and the lights starting to sparkle through the city while we had even more wine and lots of yummy food.

It seems like before we knew it the trip was over and we were back in Japan, and now it's almost hard to believe we were actually there. We did a terrible job of remembering to take pictures, but here's what I did manage.

Lying in the grass watching tennis and drinking beer - a perfect Australia Day!
I can't believe I've forgotten the name of the winery, it was so pretty!
The Yarra Valley
Chandon Vineyard
Super fancy dinner
Night view of Melbourne
Serena v. Radwanska
Djokovic v. Federer
You're not likely to find this in Tokyo

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