The heart of Melbourne city is where we were based for the entirety of our trip. This was very exciting for my non-city living boys, but for a parent its very stressful. Cities are busy, cities have lots of traffic, higher crime rates and an overpopulation of rude, hurried people ready to bump and body check, then yell obscenities like “watch where your going asshole“ should you get in their way. But not wanting the boys to miss out on new adventures and experiences that are part of visiting a new city in a foreign country, on our second morning there I fought the urge to keep them safely enclosed in the hotel and instant put my momma bear fears aside to cruise the Melbourne streets in search of a nice little place to grab breakfast and then do some exploring.
Straight away the vibe in this city was different. Firstly there wasn’t the mad rush of too many people hurrying and jostling for space on the path/sidewalk. Everything felt more casual, friendly, strangers actually smiled, made eye contact and said “good morning“. There wasn’t an overabundance of traffic, which meant there wasn’t a lot of car fumes polluting the breathable air or loud ridiculous horn blowing. Most people get around by foot, bike or by using the free tram system. Yes, FREE tram system. You can literally move around the city using the public tram system for free. Once you leave the city and head out to the suburbs, thats when you need to start buying your tickets. There were also these filtered water fountains at the end of every 3rd street or so for people to fill their own personal water bottles, the goal being to cut down on the amount of plastic bottles being bought and discarded into the environment. Plastic utensils are not provided with takeaway meals, instead you get utensils made from some kind of wood that can actually be broken down and consumed by dirt living creatures. I mean, just those few things I noticed, gives you an indication of the thought process of Australian people. Considerate, conservative, thoughtful and forward thinking. For the life of me I can’t figure out how the rest of the worlds cities hasn’t picked up or adopted any of these completely doable ideas. Simple changes that have a massive impact on your immediate environment. Liter was another thing that was seriously lacking. Certainly the people of Melbourne take enormous pride in their city. You can see it and you can feel it as you walk around. All of this and suddenly I was liberated of the feeling of wanting to tether the boys to each of my hands and our morning of exploration became a to more relaxed and enjoyable.
Travel buddies always take care of each other.
Walk along the Yarra River.
Pause for a typical tourist shot.
Hooray! A city playground. You can never pass up an opportunity to play.
Cullen fell, but big brother Keane is on it to make sure the damage is not serious.
The real purpose of our trip was business, for Daddy mostly, and the night before the first track meet, we took a visit to the stadium to make sure everything was being set up right and so some of the athletes could do a little shake out prior to competition. The boys test drive the starting blocks.
And make sure the track surface was good and fast.
On the back straight some local boys and girls track club were lining up to do some sprints, and they invited the boys join them.
There they go.
First Doyle boy home.
Not least, the youngest Doyle boy.
Cullen is not done with his practice.
A lot of room for improvement on his starting technique.
But he’s got his finishing lean nailed.
The big boys are out getting some strides in. Anybody recognize this fella?? Yep, Usain Bolt.
In field fun with Daddy.
Pole vault mats never fail in their fun levels.
Daddy catches up with good friend and former Australian pole vaulter Steve Hooker.
Keane, in desperate need of a post workout massage.
Cullen too if he could just get himself up on the massage table.
Team Jamaica in da’house.