Adventures in Australia

by Suzi Lai (Madewell)

Winter in NYC can be a bummer. And even though it was pretty mild this year, I still felt the itch to escape the city for a stint. My destination? Melbourne, Australia. The second I arrived, I instantly fell in love with the city—it’s full of wonderful, friendly people, amazing food and beautiful landscapes. It also didn’t hurt that the weather was rad (days were pleasantly warm and nights stayed nice and cool). Check out some snaps from my adventure down under.

Biking is a wonderful way to see the city and familiarize yourself with different neighborhoods. I couldn’t believe how extensive the bike trails and lanes were. (Tip: Make sure to pack your helmet—they have a zero-tolerance policy on safety in this city!)

Australians are serious about their coffee—every morning seemed to start with a flat white (which is two shots of espresso topped with deliciously foamy milk).

My friend who owns a few local record shops (or “polyesters,” as Australians say) was putting on his annual music festival, Marimingo, in a beach town about an hour out of Melbourne called Mount Martha. We packed the car and headed out for some dancing, sandy camping and jamming.

Here’s a blooper photo from Mount Martha. Doesn’t it look like the sea is caving in? (This is also where I saw ocean phosphorescence for the first time—it looks like teeny water-fireflies).

On the way home from Mount Martha, we grabbed some iconic Australian snacks: chips and savory pies.

My Aussie friends heckled me for weeks trying to scare me about all the supposedly poisonous snakes and insects they have in Australia, so I thought this sign was amazing! There you have it: there are scary snakes in Melbourne.

My friend and I biked to the city center and went to an amazing exhibition called Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television & Digital Culture at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. This is my “reflection”—with wings and flying objects floating around me—in front of a projector that animates your movements.

So I left my heart in Australia (but I did bring back some Vegemite). Have you ever been down under? Share some pics on our Facebook wall!