If I were a better planner, I would have pulled out all the stops for Beth’s birthday: A nice hotel, a fancy dinner, a full itinerary of things to do and see in 24 hours, since that was all the time we had in the city before our Great Ocean Road trip.
But I was none of those things, as I had promised myself not to over-schedule my travels and to generally let things happen as they do. And so we ended up crashing on an acquaintances couch, who also happened to have four other people staying with him that weekend in his two bedroom apartment in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne very close to the city. I had looked into dinner places, but we hadn’t wanted to be rude to our host and his friends, so we asked them where we should go. Fortunately, they suggested Fitzroy, one of the most fun places to go out in Melbourne – packed with restaurant and bar options and only a 10 minute cab from our host’s apartment.
So we trundled off, two Americans, an Aussie, and two Germans, to find a nice meal for Beth’s birthday and a place to have a few drinks and maybe some dancing afterward. We ended up at a Greek restaurant, which is unsurprising due to the huge population of Greek immigrants in Melbourne. The food was great, as Greek food usually is, and we all dove in with some wine and drinks to kick us off. After that, we headed to a rooftop bar, but took one look at the huge line to get up and the threatening sky and decided we should probably head someplace else. So we headed to a hip-hop nightclub that was somewhat reminiscent of the underage, alcohol-free nightclubs I went to as a teenager. But the drinks were cheap and there was no cover or line to get in, so in we went.
The DJ kept playing a mix of the strangest throwback hits from the 90’s (Think ‘Let’s Get Married’ by Jagged Edge) mixed with more modern garbage like Iggy Azalea. It seemed to keep Beth happy, as she danced up a storm. We decided to pull the plug around 1 a.m. since Beth and I both had to get up early to get a car and depart on our Great Ocean Road adventure early that morning. Correction: I decided to pull the plug, Beth was too busy whooping up a storm on the dance floor to notice what time it was, though she didn’t complain when we did leave. Though it probably won’t go into the record books as the best birthday celebration in history, hopefully it was a memorable one.