It’s Time … to Travel {Worth Casing Wednesday Linkup}

Agent Mystery Case Travel Blog | Melbourne Mystery Tour | It's time for travel

 

Just a word of warning … I’m so far from wordless this week, I may need an intervention as I share just some of the highlights from my recent Melbourne mystery tour.

 

Melbourne Mystery Tour

 

As I go through the short supply of poorly taken photos on my phone from my recent trip, it’s becoming clear that I’m rather new to the travel blogging side of things and I was having far too much of a good time trying to fit everything in that photos were not my priority.

 

As a result, I may need to rethink my ‘photos or it didn’t happen’ approach to blogging because let me tell you … it did happen and right now it’s hard to know where to start with the over sharing for this trip.

 

It's time ... for travel in Mebourne with Agent Mystery Case and Zita Hooke from It's Time.

 

The whole solo travelling thing is foreign to me. Why travelling full stop has been a long green with envy time coming. I was becoming rather tired of living vicariously through other bloggers and all their adventures, especially seasoned traveller and up and coming travel and lifestyle blogger Zita Hooke from It’s Time who is currently based in Toowoomba, Queensland and has just taken a year off to do some serious travelling.

 

I’m pretty sure it was a green eyed monster comment on one of Zita’s travel posts, where I joked about my upcoming trip to Melbourne not comparing with her latest overseas trip, that instigated this last minute ‘hooke up’. I jokingly suggested Zita join me for a blogging blind date on this trip, not thinking for a minute this would appeal or be an option but secretly hoping it might and the next thing you know, I have one pretty cool travel companion flying in to join me.

 

Melbourne Mystery Tour | Zita from It's Time | Agent Mystery Case

 

I honestly couldn’t think of a better person to hold my hand on my first blogging mystery tour. A blogger after my own travel heart, who is in it for the memories and experiences but not necessarily the extreme adventure side of things. You could say playing it safe travel but still playing.

 

Even with my mystery blogging agenda and opportunities, meeting Zita really was the biggest highlight of my trip to Melbourne. I may have had a little too much fun with the blogging blind date angle and driven Zita around the bend with our cosy room and my crazy antics, but for me the trip was a whole lot of fun thanks to her flying in to join me.

 

Melbourne Mystery Tour | Agent Mystery Case | Virtual Blogging friends

 

Finally meeting a handful of my online Melbourne friends after years of being virtual friends was right up there for highlights. Especially Emma Bruty (above with Zita) who was a huge help with some of the behind the scenes blogging on Ms Mystery Case when I was going through more than a rough patch with my health last year. I’ve known Emma online for over 8 years, so it was nice to finally put a voice to the face and have a real hug after years of virtual hugs.

 

Melbourne Mystery Tour | Agent Mystery Case | Street Art  | Free hugs

 

It was fantastic and a little bit surreal catching up over an intimate brunch at 1000 £ Bend with Sarah Barret (Creating Contentment) and Emily Hawker (Em Hawker Blog), two of the most down to earth and glowing from the inside out bloggers you will ever meet.

 

Agent Mystery Case | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Blogger Brunch with Sarah from Creating Contentment and Emily Hawker

 

A funny thing happened on the way to brunch, only it wasn’t so funny. Apart from the fact we slept in and had a mad rush to get ready, I developed a dodgy swollen foot on our wild and windy walk thanks to me leaving home without my meds. I arrived at the brunch limping and needing to commence proceedings without one shoe. I was looking and feeling rather unkempt, something that would have made me feel ill at ease and run in the opposite direction under normal blogger meet ups but these amazing women were so welcoming and just gorgeous inside and out, both online and off.

 

It was only after we parted ways, that I realised I hadn’t actually managed to put any jewellery or lipstick on that morning or get any photos of us together. Talk about keeping it real and failing at the photo side of things, we were far too busy catching up and enjoying a nice meal.

 

Agent Mystery Case | Melbourne Mystery Tour | ACMI | Austin to Boston Australian Film Premiere

 

There were also are couple of events on the agenda for our Melbourne mystery tour. On Friday evening we were lucky enough to catch the Australian premiere of the Austin to Boston film at ACMI and briefly catch up with Ty Johnson, the director of this enchanting film about 5 old VW camper vans, 4 bands, 3 thousand miles touring together over 2 weeks.

 

melbourneaustintoboston

 

I had huge plans to drag Zita who also did an overnight flight with no sleep, like myself, to the after party at 1000 £ Bend but in the end knowing we had a huge day planned the following day we headed back to our motel just after midnight to finally get some much needed sleep.

 

Agent Mystery Case | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Her Majesty's Theatre | Strictly Ballroom

 

Saturday night had us catching the cheesier than cheesy musical Strictly Ballroom. Zita had already attended the show in Sydney, so it was interesting to hear her take and discuss the difference of the show after almost a year playing. At the end of the show there was a meet and greet with the cast, who were collecting donations for the Mother’s Day classic they were participating in the following morning.

 

Agent Mystery Case | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Her Majesty's Theatre | Strictly Ballroom

 

I really enjoyed the show and can’t wait for the musical to hit Perth. I just know I’m going to have a lot of fun on the red carpet for this one with my blogging friends!

 

melbournedocklands | Agent Mystery Case Melbourne Mystery Tour

 

There was also a lot of casing the menu on this mystery tour. We were mostly playing this side of things by ear as we explored this fifty shades of glorious grey city in between events. It was quite by accident that we stumbled on The Quarter in a little lane way near Flinders Street Station.

 

the Quarter | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Agent Mystery Case

 

A lane way lined with restaurants with open air seating options under large umbrellas with gas heaters to keep you cosy. It was the atmosphere and the aromas that not only enticed us in but set the scene for the perfect blogging blind date night. After a night like this, I could easily see myself moving and completely entrenched in the Melbourne cultural scene.

 

melbournecafeculture

 

 

Now there was a tiny bit of forced shopping that first day, when the layers the locals suggested weren’t really hitting the spot and Zita arrived without a jacket. I remember thinking ski gear at 4pm might be a new trend and then eyeing off some rather ugly thermals. It didn’t take long to turn the air-conditioner to full heat climatise and work the layers to our advantage.

 

MELBOURNEFLARE

 

It was a look out our hotel room window while thawing out, where we noticed smoke, bright lights and sirens coming from across the road at Southern Cross Station that saw the most surprising alteration to my mystery tour. A little bit of excitement that turned out to be a group of soccer supporters having more than a bit of fun with flares.

 

It wasn’t the soccer, flares or chants as such that presented an opportunity for adventure, more the realisation that we were within walking distance to Etihad Stadium and there was a footy game between St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs (I think) the following day at a time I’d earmarked for a spot of serious shopping.

 

Agent Mystery Case | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Etihad Stadium

 

Having never watched an AFL game live or otherwise and knowing how envious hubby would be, I jumped at the chance. Why, I even gave up an afternoon of DFO outlet shopping to make the game and was even prepared to line up in the cold and purchase last minute tickets at the gate.

 

I know, if you’ve been following the blog for a little while you would appreciate just how out of character this is for more. Why I suspect my hubby believes I may be allergic to sport and sporting venues. He also wants to touch base with Zita to find out how this all came to be and to confirm she didn’t need to drag me kicking and screaming to the game.

 

Etihad Stadium | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Agent Mystery Case

 

The fact we were heading to the Her Majesty’s Theatre for Strictly Ballroom afterwards and possibly overdressed worked to our advantage. The gorgeous women from Foodworks who are sponsors and have dedicated seats in the stadium, approached us as we waited in line, offering us their spare tickets to the corporate member area. We were seated right next to the St Kilda coaches box.

 

Etihad Stadium | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Agent Mystery Case

 

Now I’m pretty sure I just might be the worst person to watch a game of footy with. I don’t get half of it, especially the yelling abuse from the stands at the umpires (is that what they are called?) or the game itself because hubby is too transfixed when he watches the game to be bothered explaining it to me but we couldn’t have picked a better game to watch, apparently.

 

I believe it was one of the top 5 comebacks in AFL of all time for St Kilda that game, who went on to win the game when it looked a near impossibility and we just happened to be sitting in the thick of it with rather passionate St Kilda supporters. An interesting way to kick start my AFL adventures. I’m pretty sure thanks to Zita Hooke, I might just be hooked!

 

 

melbournewhoareyou street art | Melbourne Mystery Tour | Agent Mystery Case

 

 

‘Who are you?’ were the first words thrown at me from my hubby when he heard just exactly what I’d gotten up to, not just with the footy but the entire weekend. I think he was rather envious, which makes a nice change given the shoe is usually on the other foot with him constantly travelling with work.

 

WORTH CASING WEDNESDAY

If you have a blog post worth casing this week, this is the place to link up. 

 



BUT wait … there’s more. Only it will have to wait for another time! What have YOU been up to this week?

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Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.

77 Comments

  1. Absolutely hilarious!! How lucky can you get about the tickets? I finally learned the rules for football/soccer during the World Cup. You definitely need an interpreter to be able to understand…

    Glad you had a great trip! 🙂

    • Oh Ingrid, it certainly was. I honestly can’t believe just how much we fitted in and still managed to find time to sleep. Next mystery tour? Well I would love to join Zita on her USA trip but that’s not going to happen, so perhaps Sydney or somewhere in Queensland. It’s a mystery even to me at the moment. Where would you head?

  2. no lipstick or jewellery? What a terrible blogger! 😉 Glad you had fun, Melbourne is one of my favourite places and I go about once every 2 years (not nearly enough in my opinion).

      • Haha well I don’t know about the Voice, but if you go again I would happily come along and eat all of the Melbourne food.

        • It’s part of the Voices 2015 blog awards. They are running blogging master classes and a blogger breakfast, somewhere in Hawthorn. I might need to look into it more closely and see if I can secure flights.

          • Oh god, you can tell my naivety. I thought you meant ‘The Voice’ singing show. Just ignore me! 🙂

  3. It looks like you had a wonderful time and I followed along from home with envy! I think it’s a challenge when you’re doing new things / visiting new places to balance actually experiencing it vs documenting it. I remember going to Melbourne with family members a few years ago and I spent the entire trip from the airport tweeting and facebooking my arrival and doing taxi pics that I missed the trip in!

    • Yes, you’ve nailed it precisely. I’m sure I will improve my technique over time but actually experiencing things is far more important than capturing the moment. If only I had the means to travel with a photographer. Now there’s a thought.

  4. What a blast! I have met a couple of online friends in the past. It’s so lovely when you finally get to meet them. It feels like you’ve known them forever. Look the term ‘Hooke Up.’

  5. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. You do know that I lived in Melbourne for three years, right? Well, it has been so long that so much has changed, but I will never forget how much fun it was to watch a game of footy (as opposed to American football…) and my one time at the MCG – very good times!

    • No I didn’t know you lived in Melbourne. Funnily enough we did the tour of the MCG on our last trip, many years ago now. It was for hubby’s birthday. I was bored out of my brain and dreaming of shopping the entire tour.

  6. How fun! I would love to meet some of the bloggers I have only met online. I’ve never traveled by myself either. Did it make you a little nervous – both the travel by yourself and meeting bloggers you didn’t really know? thenextfiftyyears.blogspot.com

  7. sounds like you had a wonderful trip and had lots of fun meeting up with blogger on-line friends. I don’t think I could travel on my own, but I think it would have its advantages.

    • The last solo trip before this was Perth to Sydney for the Oprah show at the Opera House. It was another brief trip with lots packed in to such a short time. I’m already planning my next trip.

  8. Wow! What a trip. So glad you caught up with some amazing bloggers and did a bit of shopping. I would have avoided the sport and stuck with the shopping and shows I think. Glad you enjoyed my home city. x

    • I could easily see myself living above the cafes and culture. Next trip, I’m definitely going to have to arrange a big blogger event, so I can catch up with everyone.

  9. Great post, I’d love to see Melbourne AND I can’t wait for Strictly Ballroom to hit Perth too – looks loads of fun!

  10. Oh wow – two of my favourite bloggy people met up IRL in Melbourne! What a wonderful adventure! I adore Melbourne! I’m so glad you had a great time! 🙂 xo

    • If my green eyed monster envy serves me correctly, you are only just back from a pretty impressive trip yourself? Had so much fun on this trip and can’t wait for the next one.

  11. love that Melbourne feel and cooler than we went only weeks ago!
    I can see you had a good time raych!
    some of those scenes are on my camera!
    I too didn’t take the best shots or that many, as I like to be in the moment of discovery! not always wanting something to last for posterity!
    but who were you with no makeup on? … then going to that match??
    hope you have recovered!;)
    love m:)X

    • Had a blast, thanks to my gorgeous travel buddy and us attempting to squeeze so much in. Hubby is in disbelief about the footy. Well most of the trip really.

      I’ve had a couple of off days since being home with health flaring up but nothing a couple of days rest won’t fix. A great chance for me to catch up on the paperwork and emails.

  12. Love this! Great post and great travel buddy. Golly you managed to see and do so much. Good on you! Keep these travel tales coming, really enjoyed this read.

    • There will definitely be lots more mystery tours on the blogging horizon if I have anything to do with it. Zita is heading off overseas next month, I’m so envious.

    • For someone that normally doesn’t sleep, I actually managed and needed far too much sleep on this trip. Leaving meds at home that make your mind race as a side effect will do that.

    • It really was so much fun Emily. Not sure how we managed to pack so much in and there is still so much that I’m not able to share. Fingers crossed that ProBlogger ticket has my name on it.

  13. Looks like you ended up having a jam packed weekend! Sorry the weather was so dismal for you! Yikes, it’s been shocking. Would have loved to join you and your wonderful brunch company – be sure to have a Melbourne weekend again soon x

    • It was all very last minute this trip and difficult to fit everything. Next trip, I’m going to get help from a local and throw a huge blogging brunch. Can’t wait. Will definitely be heading back soon. I was thinking the Voices 2015 master class next month might be worth casing. Are you going?

  14. Wow, looks like you had a fantastic time & I’d love to visit Australia! My photo is from a walking holiday that I went on to Turkey/ Wishing you a happy Wordless Wednesday 🙂

    • Not exactly a break but a lot more play than work. I did enjoy every single moment and I’m finding it hard to get back into the swing of things now that I’m home.

  15. Great pics. Ah, AFL, I love it. I watch it online here. I am a huge Demons fan. I even have a Demons scarf that I have had for over 20 years. I do need to head back down there just to a Demons game.

  16. Wow – what an adventure you had. I haven’t ever really done solo travel before (besides work which just doesn’t count!) but you make it look pretty enticing, getting to do whatever you want whenever you want. So glad you had a great time and that you got to meet up with some fellow bloggers.

  17. I am so jealous of your trip! I’ve only been to Melbourne once but I am desperate to get back! I’m hoping to go down in a couple of years when Dave and I celebrate 15 years together, I think a weekend in Melbourne would be the perfect gift to ourselves!

  18. I keep forgetting about your Wednesday linkup – must remember to join in this week…

    Loved hearing about your adventures. I met Zita at Problogger last year, as well as Emily and Sarah. They are all a lot of fun and just as cool in real life as they are online. I’m very jealous that I missed out!!! Are you coming to Problogger this year Raych?

    • Oh gosh ProBlogger. Only if I win the package that includes everything. Hubby will be at sea and we have a few things going on, on the home front. I would need to pay to fly a relative to Perth to look after the girls which just makes things even more expensive and out of my league.

      In other news, I do have a mystery tour for Sydney in the pipeline. I’m assuming you will join me for brunch.

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