Sunday, 4 January 2015

A Summer Heat Escape Weekend

It's been crazy hot here since Friday, with temperatures easing a bit last night.  Even though you think you are ready for it, you still get taken back when you are in 40-something Celsius heat.  We didn't fare too badly on Friday during the day, but the evening was like an oven.  Here is what we did over the hottest days yet this summer.

Friday ...

Friday night it was sweltering hot, and that meant one thing for dinner - fish and chips!  We went to out local chippery, and shared some deep fried heaven.  We don't do this very often, but there is something about a hot summer's day that calls for artery clogging goodness (or badness!), followed by an ice cold apple cider.

Saturday ...

After a terrible night's sleep, we were all flagging a little.  It was still incredibly hot, so I decided to postpone my planned long run until some cooler weather came through.  Instead, I did a quick 20 minute circuit in my air condititioned lounge room, and I was still sweating heavily by the end.

  • 1 min x squats
  • 1 min x tricep dips
  • 1 min x plank
  • 1 min x lunges
  • 1 min x push ups
  • 1 min x crunches
Rest for one minute, and then repeat twice more.  Got my heart pumping, and lifted me out of my tiredness enough to get on with the day.

After a breakfast of home made porridge with oats, quinoa, slivered almonds, currants, linseed, chia seeds and mixed spice (probably not the best idea in the hot weather, but what I felt like to fuel my day), and then some sushi for lunch (tuna, teriyaki chicken and avocado), Gareth and I packed a bag and headed into the city to stay at the Hilton South Wharf for the night.


It was incredibly windy, and after not getting enough sleep the night before, Gareth had a snooze while I wandered through DFO (Direct Factory Outlets), just to pass the time.  When Gareth woke up we met and had an iced drink (coffee for me, chocolate milkshake for him), and then headed out into the heat to go to Dymocks, a local bookstore.

Is it just me, or is there a distinct lack of bookstores these days?  Although, being an owner of a Kobo, I'm partly to blame, I enjoy spending some time wandering through a bookstore and just absorbing the quietness and smell of hundreds of books in one place.  It will be a sad day when there are no more bookstores.

After Gareth bought a book, we walked back to the hotel, and enjoyed some airconditioning while we got ready to go out for dinner, and had a pre-dinner drink or two.  By the time we headed out again, the weather had started to turn and the temperature had dropped, which was very welcome.  We just wandered to the local esplanade and found a pub called The Common Man to have dinner.


We started with drinks and some arancini balls, which were nice and creamy.


For our mains, Gareth had a salmon and scallops fetticine, and I had a pumpkin and feta pizza.   They were both nice enough, light which is what we wanted, but nothing really outstanding to rave about.

After trying for 20 minutes to catch the attention of the waitstaff to order another drink and ask for a dessert menu, we gave up and just paid the bill.  We had a look at the menus of the other restaurants along the esplanade, but didn't see anything we had to have, so ended up at Crown Casino Food Court, and bought some desserts from Calatrava to take back to the hotel with us.

However, when we got back to the hotel lobby, we saw the dessert menu of the restaurant there, Sotano Wine & Tapas, which changed our minds.  We stashed what we had bought in our room, and headed back down for another glass of wine and desserts.  I had a walnut tart, and Gareth had a warm brownie - both we were well worth the wait!!

After that we called it a night, and I fell asleep feeling very spoiled :)  

Oh, and just so you know, we really liked the hotel.  It was in a great location - close to shopping, entertainment and restaurants, it was clean and quiet, and we got a complimentary upgrade!  I'd recommend it to others who want to stay in the area.  It is a bit pricey, but Gareth got a good deal, so if you keep an eye out specials do come up now ant then. 

Sunday ...

We enjoyed a Sunday morning sleep in in the air conditioning.  When we woke, the weather had definitely turned and it was back to about 18C.  That's Melbourne for you!

We went to a place called The Boatbuilder's Yard on the Yarra for brunch, and it was really great.  We started with coffee (which I'd definitely recommend!), and then I had the summer bruschetta with two eggs (although I only ate one), and Gareth had their cannelloni beans and poached eggs.  All yum!!

We thought we'd better get back to the real world, and so headed home to reunite with Angus, who was puppy-sat by Gareth's mum (thanks Muriel!).

After grocery shopping, washing and cleaning, with some more sushi and fruit salad for lunch somewhere in the middle, we are settling into a quiet Sunday night.  

I'm going to try to make a blackbean burger recipe, which I'll share if it's any good.  I have to go into work tomorrow for a few hours, which is definitely going to be a reality check!  But only a brief break in my holidays, which resume again for the rest of the week.

I hope you've enjoyed your weekend, and if you're in Melbourne (or Victoria or South Australia), that you have survived the heat, and you that you and your families are safe from the bushfires raging. Stay safe!

What was the best thing about your weekend?  Is it extra hot or cold where you are? Which do you prefer if you have to choose?

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