At the end of our Australian adventure, we had three days in Melbourne. We chose our hotel because of its proximity to the Queen Victoria market. I love a good market and this one truly was the queen of all markets, as well as the largest outdoor market (17 acres… that’s some serious shopping) in the Southern hemisphere.
We cursed ourselves for having shopped the night before at the crappy corner grocery store. We’d purchased ramen and peanut butter and jelly for our hotel room. This was an idiotic move, considering that the Queen Vic offered not just souvenirs, but every type of food in the world that is better than ramen and peanut butter and jelly. Everything was fresh, homemade, beautiful, cheap, organic, so much so that I imagined us moving to a Melbourne apartment to live within walking distance of the market. A market that good makes you contemplate such things.
There were seafood vendors, butchers, bakers, cheese makers, a stall dedicated entirely to spices, and one for fresh pastas. And still the market offered anything else you might need, clothing, pet supplies, hardware, luggage, jewelry, flowers, toys, remedies, and home decor. I found and purchased a handful of woven headbands, because the nomadic nature of our trip had lessened my normally obsessive standards of hygiene and forced me to fully embrace my inner dirty hippy.
I took over 600 photos during our trip. Did I take any pictures of the incredible vendors and their wares at the Queen Vic, of the fire juggler at the night market, or the gourmet decadence on display during the day? I did not. I took one picture during our visits to the market. And here it is:
Mike and I decided to purchase each of the girls a souvenir from the Queen Vic market. Needless to say, Pretty Girl didn’t make the cut (in truth, I shielded them from even viewing Pretty Girl). Instead, they each picked out a ring. Emilia’s was a silver band which she lost in less than 48 hours, while Ivy’s is a purple bunny which, against all odds, made it all the way back to the US with us.
I wonder about the fate of Pretty Girl. If someone does spend twenty-two Australian dollars purchasing Pretty Girl for a child, I can only hope that child bestows upon Pretty Girl a proportionate set of nipples along with a frock of some kind with which to cover them. Because if Queen Victoria were here, I daresay she would not be amused.