Melbourne and Surrounds

It is 5:30 PM in Melbourne Australia and my extended family is in our rented Europcar minivan, navigating rush hour as we make our way back to Sandringham from some north suburbs, where my parents were visiting some old friends, named Jack and Mary.

This morning, we took the train (again) downtown to mill about the Royal Victoria Botanic Gardens. It was a good looking and, more importantly, inexpensive outing (in fact...free). We were able to identify some trees we had seen on city streets our first two days in Melbourne. So that was the payoff.

At Jack and Mary's house in the 'burbs, I was also able to access an Australian bird book and confirm the identity of the Rainbow Lorikeets we had seen copulating on our first day here.

We got some tasty sandwiches at the Flinders Street Station that were fairly economical by comparison to most of the food available publicly here. We had also made some homemade sandwiches with leftover ingredients from the grocery store run yesterday morning. Only one of the three sandwiches got eaten. They await my mouth when we get back to the hotel once this heinous car ride through rush hour ends. I wish we had taken public transport out to the suburbs but that might have overwhelmed my easily stressed out family...even though this driving is surely stressing out my dad, who is at the wheel, as the only strictly native Australian among us, erroneously implying a genetic ability to drive on the left side of the road. It is quite hair raising to be sure.

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