“It is better to travel well than to arrive” – Buddha
I started off the year with a bang, travelling to the world’s reigning “most livable city” four years in a row: Melbourne, Australia. It was my third trip down under, but easily the best when it came down to food, friends, and family.
Because so many people back home asked me to share pictures from the trip, here are the top 10 I captured from Aussieland.
10 – No Wonder My Pants Feel Tight
The food in Melbourne is in a word, incredible. Perhaps it’s slightly inaccurate to show you the picturesque view instead of the plate, but it’s this type of scenery that makes me salivate at the very thought of all this great city has to offer. What I was most surprised at was the quality of the Asian food we had while there. Specifically, some of the best pork dumplings at China Red I’ve ever had in my life.
9 – A Classy Move
This is a bit of an inside joke that’s too good to keep to ourselves. When we saw a wedding attendee whip out his own calligraphy pen and meticulously sign this beautiful wish to the bride and groom, we just knew there was plenty of credit to go around. So, a few of us decided to spread the love and kudos by adding our names to the fond sentiment. Relax, there’s absolutely no chance the bride and groom thought we had anything remotely constructive to add to this.
8 – A Picturesque Path
Spotted in a tunnel outside the Yarra river, just outside the Crown Plaza is some of the most beautiful street art you will ever see. Coupled with the cool summer breeze of a January evening, your senses will simply melt if you take a stroll past the street performers and soak in the sights and sounds as night life stirs.
7 – A Groom’s Eye View
Call it a lucky spot to stand. The groom gets ready to be blindfolded and remove the garter from his blushing bride (no pressure, that’s her mom in the top right of the photo). What makes this photo even better is that it was snapped seconds after the MC informed the groom that he would be removing the garter …with his teeth.
6 – Ain’t It The Truth
We were extremely fortunate to have done the 30 hour journey to Melbourne, Australia in Qatar’s business class. Sipping on a sinfully good 15 year old Glenfiddich and just shaking our heads, the underside of this marmalade cover says it better than either of us ever could. Incredibly blessed.
5 – Nathan Roger
The innuendo is palpable. This cheeky 18 year old had us in stitches our entire trip. One of the most selfless and hospitable Aussies (and that’s saying something), he gave up his bedroom, his free time, and social life to make our stay as awesome as possible. The last time I saw him, he was a wee lad of 16, on his first trip to Canada, mesmerized by snow and just taking it all in. This trip however, he was on his home turf, taking me out on the town, holding his own in the bars and pubs, and in general just letting us know that he isn’t a little boy (get off me, little boy!). We love this dude so much and can’t wait to see him again. In December.
4 – Dry Eyes for the Dry Run
A candid shot of the bridal party as they did a walk through in this stunning church days before the wedding. This was Danielle’s first time standing in a wedding, and I know what great pride it gave her to be up there with Amanda on this special day. I know each and every one of the others in this shot felt that same honour, and they exhibited it throughout the planning, making themselves available and just being everything a stressed out bride and groom could hope for in terms of support. We should all be so blessed to have people like this in our corner.
3 – Family First
As much as I loved the wedding and spending time with everyone on Danielle’s side, when I left my heart in Melbourne, I left it here. My cousin Nicole has long been one of the greatest influences in my life, and seeing her, her husband Skitz and their cat Spook brought a smile to my face that I’ve yet to relinquish. These are some of the most beautiful people in my world.
2 – Arlo The Great
For me, the highlight of my trip was getting to meet the newest member of my family, Arlo. Although I’m horribly biased, I truly believe he is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. His mom and dad, Evan and my cousin Sheena were naturals with him and seeing their happy family had me over the moon. Seeing the first of our generation with a child, while I still am a child (I know, stolen joke from Friends), was superseded by how natural it seemed to have come to her.
1 – Candid Camera
Simply put, this may be the best picture I’ve ever taken. I take full credit for it too, because as I was shooting the professional photographers were not so I’m definitely not just coasting on their coat tails. Amanda and Akshay, thank you so much for letting us be such a huge part of your special day and making our trip so memorable. We love you guys and can’t wait to see you again soon on the East Coast.
If you want to see more photos from the wedding or my trip, you can check them out on Facebook.