DSC_9866.jpg

hello! i’m juli!

welcome to design to explore! I document my adventures in travel, design, and food.

Weekend in Melbourne!

Weekend in Melbourne!

3.16 first weekend trip – MELBS This weekend me and most of my roommates (Monica, Eva, and Jess) went on a weekend trip to Melbourne with a bunch of our other friends. On Wednesday morning, we woke up at the literal crack of dawn (4:30 am) to catch our 7 am flight to Melbs. Once we got there, we locked our stuff up at the hostel we were staying at and headed to get some much needed mimosas and brunch.

We headed to a restaurant called Auction Rooms, and it was this trendy hipster place with a really cool vibe and awesome décor. When we sat down, the menu wasn’t exactly what we expected but in a good way, the meals, were literally brunch, a breakfast and lunch dish combined. I got a beef brisket and egg hash that was too die for and split it with my friend who got a breakfast nacho dish that was also to die for. And lets not forget about the amazing mimosa made with fresh squeezed orange juice that gave our exhausted selves a little bit of a buzz.

After the amazing brunch, we walked around our neighborhood for a while before deciding that we all needed naps if we wanted to go out that night, so we headed back to the hostel and got the best power naps of our lives.

IMG_2499.JPG

IMG_2499.JPG

IMG_2504.JPG

IMG_2504.JPG

Post nap, we then headed to met one of our friends, Lindsay, who was studying abroad in Melbourne. We meet her during orientation the first week and we were all really excited to see how her uni compared to Sydney. So, we hopped on the train and soon realized that we were in fact on the wrong train. As we all were talking trying to figure out where to go, a nice lady came over and offered us some help. We told her where we were going and she said she was passing it on the way home and could give us a ride, she reminded me of mom so i knew nothing bad would happen, and I was right. She dropped us off right where we needed to be with no worries.

Once we got to Deakin University, where Lindsay studied, we met up with her and grabbed dinner at a place on campus called the Diner. Since we hadn’t eaten since our brunch, and it was now almost 8pm, we were all starved and ordered cheeseburgers and pizza and fries to share. We all inhaled our food, then ordered a second serving of fries to go. And in classic American style, we walked into Lindsay’s apartment (which we thought would be empty) shoveling fries in to our faces as we introduced our selves to all of her friends lol. It ended up being a really fun night, as Lindsay took us to a college bar that reminded me of Michigan.

3.17-18the road trip begins!

So today Monica and I started off by picking up our rental car! Many of our friends were doing a tour of the great ocean road, but after hearing tommy and mitch rave about their adventures the previous week, we wanted to go on our own, plus we are sick of tours at this point.

Our day stated off by ubering to the rental car, where the nice uber man just told us all the things that could go wrong by renting a car, thanks a lot man. I tuned him out and did not entertain his doubts because I wanted it to be the best road trip ever. *insert lots of death stares to him in the rearview mirror, you know I got skills there*

We got in the car, and Monica drove first. It was a scary first couple of minutes because we had to drive the car out of the city while trying to figure out how to drive on the opposite side of the road and swap everything we ever learned. It was a stressfull 45 minutes, but we eventually made it to our first stop of the day.

Stop 1 Brighton Beach

This is the beach with all the tiny colorful houses lining the beach. All the houses were super cute and the beach had an amazing view of the skyline from the beach. We walked along the houses and they were all super cute, here we also instituted a rule that we need to use our cameras less and experience more, so for the first ten minutes we shoot and then just enjoy and experience the rest.

DSC_1453.jpg

DSC_1453.jpg

DSC_1482.jpg

DSC_1482.jpg

DSC_1489.jpg

DSC_1489.jpg

Stop 2 Angelsea Beach

We were getting ansty in the car after driving for 2.5 hours, so we decided to stop at a scenic lookout point when we got on the Great Ocean Road. This beach was really cool, and the waves were absolutely stunning. We didn’t stay too long here because it was really just a view of the beach….

DSC_1547.jpg

DSC_1547.jpg

Stop 3 Airey’s Inlet

This was the first major stop we made on the road. When we got there, we walked up a trail to a white lighthouse. Then from the light house, there were other paths to scenic lookout points. At one point here I ended up hopping the fence to go out on a cliff and walking out the edge which was amazing, we kept going farther and farther and it was awesome because we finally got away from the crazy tourist families with kids….

DSC_1579.jpg

DSC_1579.jpg

DSC_1582.jpg

DSC_1582.jpg

DSC_1602.jpg

DSC_1602.jpg

Stop 4 Lorne

This stop was unplanned as we were driving through this extremely cute town when I spotted a sign for a trampoline park. We immediately turned into a parking space and ventured out to find said trampoline park. When we found it, a man told us it was $5 for 10 minutes, we were so down, then he told us we could stretch it to 15 if we wanted. There were no papers, no waivers, no IDs photocopied, NOTHING, we just hoped on these bad boys and jumped away.

Jumping on these trampolines was honestly one of the most fun things ever, Monica and I could not stop laughing throughout the whole thing, so worth the five dollar, so worth it…

Stop 5 Sheok Falls

This was a random stop that I saw on google maps, but never saw mentioned in any blogs about the Great Ocean Road. We needed a break from driving so we took a chance and pulled over to this small stop. After lots of stair stepping we made it to this small oasis and it was just us....

DSC_1656.jpg

DSC_1656.jpg

DSC_1668.jpg

DSC_1668.jpg

Stop 6 Apollo Bay

We were starting to lose daylight and we were starving, so once we got to Apollo Bay, we spotted a Pizza place and ran to it. We ordered a large pizza and the men behind the counter definitely doubted our abilities, but we finished the whole pie in less than 10 minutes. After we ate, we strategized how to go about the rest of the day since the sun was setting in about two hours. We made a gameplan to skip Apollo Bay and the Cape Ottoway Lighthouse to go straight to the 12 Apostles and hopefully make it before sun down, so on we drove…

Stop 7+ 8 Lavers Hill

On the way to twelve apostles, there were beautiful hills and farms, so we stopped multiple times to get a nice picture and just in take the view. At one point, we made it to a stop where there were green hills on one side of the road, and a rocky cliff beach on the other. Just absolutely stunning.

DSC_1744.jpg

DSC_1744.jpg

DSC_1747.jpg

DSC_1747.jpg

Stop 9 Twelve Apostles

Tommy and Mitch were right in warning us how touristy the 12 apostles were, and especially because we made it just before sunrise. All the lookout points were backed, and luckily I found a spot by myself and just stayed there for the entiritey of the sunset. It was another absolutely amazing view and watching it over this scenic and important spot made the experience even better.

DSC_1778.jpg

DSC_1778.jpg

Stop 10 Coles

Stopped at the grocery store for some much needed ice cream and tim tams, we finished the liter of ice cream with no ragrets.

Stop 11 The Hostel

Our hostel is in a town in the middle of no where, we were a little scared driving up to it, but the place ended up being even nicer than the one we were staying at in the central Melbourne area, and they had a friendly cat!!!

Stop 12 Bay of Islands

Waking up was a hard thing to do, but when we did, we immediately rushed to our first spot in hopes of catching the sunrise, and we successfully did. We sat atop the roof of our car and watched the sunset over the hills, with our Tim Tams as our nutritious breakfast. Once the sunrise was over, we headed down to the scenic lookout points and again, absolutely incredible.

DSC_1815.jpg

DSC_1815.jpg

DSC_1817.jpg

DSC_1817.jpg

DSC_1832.jpg

DSC_1832.jpg

Stop 13 The Grotto

Our next stop was my favorite stop of the entire trip. We started by walking down this path to a beautiful outlook, then we continued down these wooden stairs and we were almost at water level. There was a brick fence thing, but we have taken fences as only a suggestion this far, so Monica and I hoped the fence and walked out as far as we cold on the rocks. After my experience at Coogee Beach, I was a little wary to get close to the water, but I did anyway. It was so beautiful that we set up my camera on a rock and took a picture together.

DSC_1844.jpg

DSC_1844.jpg

DSC_1858.jpg

DSC_1858.jpg

DSC_1881.jpg

DSC_1881.jpg

Stop 14 London Bridge

Another beautiful beach with beautiful rock formations, what can I say…

DSC_1892.jpg

DSC_1892.jpg

Stop 15 Loch Ard Gorge

Our 15th and final stop, we were sad to leave. But it was a great last stop as again more beautiful rocks surrounded us. As Monica and I sat and enjoyed the view, we stopped taking pictures and videos and really took in the experience of our last stop. We felt so lucky and happy to be in that moment, to have had the opportunity to see all the things we did. Each and every view was spectacular, views that I will never forget, this road trip was easily my favorite experience I’ve had abroad, and I have a feeling it will be hard to top….

IMG_2643.jpg

IMG_2643.jpg

IMG_2657.jpg

IMG_2657.jpg

3.19A Day in the City of Melbourne

IMG_2696.jpg

IMG_2696.jpg

With the road trip successfully behind us, we had the day to explore downtown Sydney. We started off at the Victoria Markets, which were incredible, it was basically a giant farmer’s and flea market in the middle of Melbourne. The first stands we say had amazing produce, we all sampled a peach and were immediately sold, so we all bought some peaches for breakfast and were chowing down (quite messily) down the aisles of the market.

We continued on just exploring the markets, I ended up buying a shirt from a local artist that had a Volkswagen camper on it to commemorate my road trip, its supa cute. Then we started to get hungry so I bought a cantelope half for lunch, and my friend Jami bought avocados and bread, so we had our own little homemade breakfast from the markets which was pretty unique.

IMG_2703.jpg

IMG_2703.jpg

Then we ventured further into the city to explore. We hit the Victoria State Library, which kinda reminded me of two Michigan libraries combined, and then we took the City Circle tram around the entire city just to see it all. Afterwards, we met up with our friend Lindsay (the one who is studying abroad in Melbourne) and she showed us around some lesser known spots. She took us to this hole in the wall Chinese place for late lunch/early dinner, where we got 30 dumplings, fried rice, and potato pancake things. All I can say was that it was incredible, we were stuffed, and we were content.

IMG_2706.jpg

IMG_2706.jpg

IMG_2719.jpg

IMG_2719.jpg

IMG_2725.jpg

IMG_2725.jpg

IMG_2734.jpg

IMG_2734.jpg

IMG_2788.jpg

IMG_2788.jpg

IMG_2789.jpg

IMG_2789.jpg

All in all it was a great first weekend trip! Exhausting and frustrating, as when I got to the airport I realized I booked a return flight for the wrong date, then had to scramble and buy a new ticket so that I wouldnt miss classon Monday..... quite the struggle but i made it, and im excited to keep explorinnnngggggg

IMG_2794.jpg

IMG_2794.jpg

Great Ocean Road Trip Video

Great Ocean Road Trip Video

bros abroad | dads down unda

bros abroad | dads down unda