I think this is the first time I've gone on a holiday without booking a flight or having a schedule. It was quite strange getting home from yoga, having breakfast, packing in our own time, and then walking to the train station; the same one I walk to every weekday morning!
We got on the train with our luggage - two hand-luggage sized bags and a courier bag for the laptop and cameras. It felt quite awesome that our life could fit in so little space. We could have been off anywhere for a week and had everything we needed (although I did forget my book!)
On the train ride in, Jo grabbed her laptop and checked Facebook and I caught up on our eBay questions - so grateful, as ever, for technology that allows us to work (or play) from anywhere.
Arriving at Flinders Street Station, we exited the train station and walked to the hotel, just 5 minutes away in the middle of Swanston Street. I'd never noticed this building before - I'd sat outside it plenty of times though, enjoying a coffee at Brunetti's. Walking in to the main lobby, our bags had already been taken at the door and we walked to reception to check in. There's a feeling you get when walking in to a 5-star hotel that you don't get elsewhere. The openness, attentiveness, smiles and the carefree ambiance with undertones of regimented precision. I love to pamper myself from time to time, and this place is perfect.
Or room, a corner suite overlooking Swanston Street and Flinders Lane, is lovely. An idyllic home away from home for our stay in the big smoke. We sprawled out, lay on the bed and looked at the room service menu. Club sandwiched and a bottle of Pinot Gris it was, and we settled in for an hour or two before deciding to go to the Burlesque Bar in Fitzroy.
We left the hotel and took a short stroll to catch a tram and almost missed our stop - Jo was on the ball though! Unfortunately they'd sold out this morning, so we booked in for tomorrow night and rode back to town, planning to just settle in again for the evening. We stopped at Lush to buy some bath bombs and headed to the hotel.
As we walked past a cinema, Jo suggested we watch a movie, so we headed up and I became a little confused by the extra security and people scanning tickets at the door...
Comedy Festival! There weren't any movies playing, so let's see what is on. Ardal O'Hanlon, Father Dougal McGuire in Father Ted, was performing in 10 minutes. A quick glance at the programme to see more about the show, and we decide to risk it and got seats near the back of the hall. Didn't matter though - it's standup and he has a microphone, so location isn't overly important, and it was a corker. Jo and I howled most of the way through.
I was impressed that he used his power on the stage to get in some personal opinions and commentary - he did, afterall, have a captive audience. Commentary on religion, extremely thinly disguised as humour. I can just see the death stares he must have received from some of the audience, who fell silent and developed an energy of awkwardness. There is a thin line between making someone laugh and making them feel uncomfortable, and when you're honing in on the realms of discomfort, you need to tread carefully so as not to lose the message in the plumes of defensiveness. I think he did so very well, and he certainly got a chuckle or two out of me. But then his words weren't too close to home for me.
Having had a rib-ticklingly awesome evening, we headed back to the hotel lobby bar, lounged round outside, moving indoors when it got too cold and wound down from the fantastic day with cocktails and coffee, before and retiring to bed for a couple of episodes of Big Love.