Saturday, May 31, 2014


So, after driving from Adelaide to the Melbourne Airport to pick up my mother who was visiting from the U.S., we headed out to our first stop of our 'Thelma and Louise' road trip…Costco! Yes, that’s right! Costco! Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE Costco! When I lived in the States it was part of my regular shopping pattern, so being able to visit the Costco in Melbourne is almost like visiting home for me because it’s so familiar. Now that I live in Adelaide, to my dismay, the nearest Costco is an 8-hour road trip to Melbourne! I so miss some of my favorite American must-haves that I can’t get anywhere else…like Kirkland salsa (I purchase it by the bucket load!) “orange” cheddar cheese, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…not to mention a Costco hotdog (which is different in Australia than the U.S.) and a berry smoothie. Mmmmm…my mouth is watering just thinking of it!

Won't find meat pies on the menu in the U.S.!
My poor husband! I know I drive him absolutely crazy at times when we are on vacation. Being relatively new to Australia, I don’t have a great sense of where things are in relation to another. You know, the way you can estimate in your head how long it takes you to get from home to a nearby city. For instance, I know that it takes about 3 hours to drive from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. I even know the roads and highways to get there without having to use a GPS.
Anyway, when my husband and I are on vacation even remotely close to Melbourne, I ask him, “Are we close enough to stop by Costco?” To which he’ll reply, “Costco is 5-hours out of our way.” And then he knows what’s coming next. In a voice reminiscent to a little girl asking her daddy for a pony, I reply, “Five hours? That’s not too bad, is it?” Believe it or not, sometimes my adorable husband gives in because he knows how important it is to me to stock up on my Kirkland salsa supply and get my berry smoothie fix. What a guy!

So now that Mom is here, and we find ourselves in Melbourne, I insist that we make a detour to Costco before heading out to our final destination of the day...beautiful Torquay, (pronounced “tor-kee”). My poor Mom, having just traveled about 19 hours across the Pacific, is now having to traipse around Costco, even though there is one just minutes from her home! She’s a real trouper willing to do so because she loves me. And besides…we need food for our road trip!
Lifeguard bollards tower over my Mom in Geelong, Victoria
After about an hour in Costco we were very hungry, but decided to skip the Costco hotdogs and hustled over to Geelong for a quick bite to eat. Was THAT a mistake! We arrived there hungry and ready for a late lunch (around 2:30pm), with our stomachs rumbling like Mt. St. Helens before it erupted! (A volcano where we live, that erupted in 1980.) To our dismay, we found that all the restaurants along the waterfront were CLOSED! What??? Is that possible? Apparently so! Turns out they all close down after lunch for a few hours and re-open for dinner. We had hit Geelong at precisely the wrong time of day. It was a bit hard to comprehend because in the States nothing closes like that, so it took us by surprise.

Disappointed, we quickly looked at the adorable and whimsical statues (bollards) that dot the waterfront of Geelong. These statues are actually quite historical having been made out of huge wooden pylons recovered from the Yarra Street Pier which was destroyed by a fire in the 1980’s, and depict historical icons of the area. All I know is they make great photo-ops and tower over my mother!

Hungry and tired, Mom and I quickly headed to the surfing capitol of Australia, Torquay, home of brands like Rip Curl, Roxy and Quicksilver. There, we stayed at the luxurious Wyndham Resort with crisp, clean white sheets and room service. Is anything sweeter? 

After enjoying our dinner (called ‘tea’ in Australia) and showering off the travel of the day, we sipped on mojitos over ice which we purchased earlier at Costco and reminisced over our day. We had both traveled long distances and enjoyed our reunion at the Melbourne airport before heading to Costco. We learned that we can’t always count on restaurants being open when we are hungry. And we discovered that we really like mojitos!

 Now where did I put my sombrero?