Ok, this feels like living in Chicago… or does it? During our first week of living in Melbourne, it feels like we’ve returned to Chicago. We have no family in the immediate vicinity and our good friends are a plane ride away. The grocery stores are much more urban, with specialty butchers, bakeries and veggie stands elsewhere. I understand most of what people are idly talking about. (Midwesterners have an accent and lingo too.) The neighborhoods are laid out very similarly and are walkable ”leafy” residential streets. Lake Shore Drive very much resembles the Esplanade, with the bay beaches and parks on one side and the residential areas on the other. The boutiques have great, but expensive finds for kids, pets, home and apparel.
Then today, after being inside with a sick toddler for a few days, I decided I needed a short walk with the kids in the cool, cloudy weather. We always need some sort of destination and being too cold for the beach, today it was the St. Kilda Botanical Gardens just a few blocks away. It’s not nearly the size of the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne or the New York Botanical Gardens in Queens but nice just the same. http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/st_kilda_botanic.htm
The tropical feeling was overwhelming. I’ve never seen trees
like this before. The amount of flowers and color in the garden was amazing considering its Autumn in Australia. The palm trees were gorgeous too. Ok, ok, Chicago doesn’t have palm trees. Then we spotted the Cockatoos, Sulfur Crested Cockatoos. These guys just live here, amongst the pigeons, as our neighbors a few blocks away. Chicago only had pigeons that increased in size depending on the block. The wildlife does continue to our home where these fearless, odd-looking, black and white crows are abundant. We will look up their names tomorrow. We chase them out of our yard saying, “We’re from Jersey, fuhgetaboutit!” They don’t scare easily. Also, I suppose our fruit trees would not exist in Chicago either. Love our lemon tree!
It has finally hit me, not that driving on the left would give me a clue. We are not in Kansas anymore. We are living in Australia.