Monday, June 23, 2014

WINTOUR&GUINNESS: A WEEKEND OF WALKING, EATING, BABYSITTING LILA THE DOG AND DID I SAY LOTS OF DOG WALKING?

I love nothing more than a long weekend and when the weather is as beautiful as it was last Friday, I love nothing more than getting out and about. My good friend Darkus, who lives in Elwood, was travelling up to Sydney for a work event on Friday morning and as he wasn't home until Saturday evening, Kevin & I decided to take on dog-sitting duties. I escaped from the office on Thursday evening and shortly after Darkus arrived with little Lila. It had been so long since I had seen the little lady herself, I was rather excited to spend some time with her. 

I have been dreaming of having a dog for a while now but living in such a small apartment with a lack of outdoor space, I know that its not the best time for committing to a pet. But one day soon I hope. 

Waking up at the crack of dawn on Friday morning, I got myself decked out in my workout gear, grabbed Lila's leash and off we went. I didn't have any particular routes in mind for our early morning walk but I hadn't been to Albert Park Lake for a while so that was my top choice. 

There really is no better suburb in Melbourne than Albert Park. I just love it. The workers cottages being renovated into family homes, the plots that are now being filled with modern concrete structures and the bustling little village; all make this one special little place. I decided our first port of call had to be Truman's cafe. I've written many times about Truman's cafe as its one of our favourites. We probably go there at least once or twice every month. The coffee is great, the staff are nice and friendly and the food is top notch. The weather was so nice that morning, it was a pleasure to sit outside with Lila. 

It was crazy how many people came to say hello, ask about Lila or share their dog stories with me. It kind of reminds you that there are some really friendly people out there. As I munched on some delicious multi seed toast with butter and jam, joined by a large extra hot latte - I just sat there with Lila and watched the world go by. There's nothing better to be honest. No where to be, nothing to be doing but sit, relax and observe the world in front of you.  

I think I exhausted poor Lila that morning. We walked from my base in Port Melbourne to Truman's, then to Albert Park Lake - where we walked one half of it before making our way through Middle Park towards the beach. By the time we got home poor Lila was ready to collapse on her bed. 

I had some blog related stuff to catch up on that afternoon so I made my way to Seven:am in Port Melbourne to do my bits and pieces while Lila relaxed at home with Kevin. Later that evening we had arranged a dinner on the tram restaurant with our friends Annabel, Lynne and Ciara. However there will be more of that coming soon. 

On Saturday morning, I decided to skip the gym for a wander around the Albert Park Gasworks Farmers Market. I had been meaning to go for a very long time and it was only after Kevin mentioned how good it was that I popped this months date into my diary. I wasn't sure what to expect but when I got there, I ordered myself an extra warm organic latte from the coffee cart and made my way around, meandering through the sea of dog leads and buggies. There was a lot to be seen and to be honest, I could have spent another hour there looking at everything but with a restless dog, eager to keep going - I only saw the tip of the iceberg. 

What to expect from the market each month? Well here's a snapshot courtesy of the markets website. 

Brightly coloured, ripe and delicious fruit and vegetables, aromatic hand-made cakes and jams, freshly laid free range eggs and just cut flowers are only a few of the sumptuous goods you’ll find at our monthly Gasworks Farmers Markets. You will love spending Saturday mornings on the grass soaking up the vibrant atmosphere and sampling the very best of local Victorian produce. You can even enjoy a hot snag at the gourmet BBQ before you start. 

After our stroll through the farmers market, I decided to chill out in Albert Park once again, this time opting for a spot of breakfast at Dundas & Faussett. This place has a huge outdoor space along the main street, perfect for those with pets. We didn't stay too long as I had some errands to run that afternoon in Richmond, which naturally lead of course to lunch at Touchwood, 

Darkus was due home on Saturday evening and even though we offered to mind Lila for another night, I could totally understand when he came to pick her up on his way home from the airport. Whats better than getting home from travelling and having something cute to snuggle up to on the couch. 

Darkus, if you fancy another trip soon, you know where we are. 

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