railay east, krabi, thailand

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back to south east asia; where the air is thick and the sky is low. there is no place in the world where the heady aromas of incense, food, heat and garbage fuse together, luring us, confusing us, and overwhelming all our senses at once. we’ve been to thailand before, you and i, but this time, this trip is different because this one includes our baby son and it’s his very first trip abroad. and it also marks the half way point between our old lives and new.

and so we find ourselves secluded on that little stretch of not-quite beach known as railay east in krabi. cut off from the rest of the mainland, save for the longboats that transport us here, hugged in tight by looming limestone cliffs. we feel like we’ve landed on a remote island. this shall do us nicely. we know there won’t be much to say about our week long visit here because we don’t plan on doing much to talk about.

we will wake early every day, and eat breakfast and swim in the pool and lay in the sun, and maybe, just maybe, we might venture down to the beach (just to have a look) because you can’t really come to thailand and not go to the beach! but we will probably just lay by the pool because traveling too far in this heat with a baby might just be too much, and the pool is so close to our bungalow, we’ll tell ourselves and each other. and on this holiday, we will be correct.

we might feel a slight pang seeing revelers on their way out to one of the many reggae bars, and we will remember that we too once spent nights drinking local rum while shimmying to bob marley, and we will smile because we know there will be other times. but this time, this is for the three of us. and right now, on this little beach in the middle of the world, in our tiny little family, we are happy.

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rollerdoor, west melbourne

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there’s a tiny pocket of melbourne unknown to most melbournians. a place so small, so compact, that if you blink you might just miss it. this place is west melbourne, a tiny little hamlet of a suburb just north of the city and it’s where we called home for almost four years. it’s also home to the innovative and charming rollerdoor cafe, another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hole-in-the-wall this city is famous for, and our most favourite cafe in all of melbourne.

it’s not just because the staff are so friendly and inviting (they really are!), or because they make your coffee just the way you like it (it’s true!). perhaps it’s also because we’ve been coming here since it opened, and because they never scrimp on their portions of avocado (take note fellow cafe operators!). and they make jungle juice with barley water and giant sprigs of fresh mint that redefine what a sprig should actually be.

we always come for the hot avocado rolls and we stay for the friendship we’ve found here. we swap news and stories and have that second cup of coffee even though we really should only have one, always yearning for more, never really wanting to leave. sometimes, when the weather is just right, we sit in the courtyard, our eyes resting on the ivy-covered walls, as passionate fruit vines gently creep along. we feel the warmth of the sun on our cheeks and arms and in these moments we know there’s no better place to be, not when we are in beautiful west melbourne at charming rollerdoor.

but this time, our last time, we feel it tempting us, pulling us, making us ever-so grateful to be here, and ever-so-slightly reluctant to leave. and we feel a small twinge that the next time we come here is likely to be a very long time away indeed. goodbye rollerdoor, goodbye west melbourne, and goodbye melbourne. oh how very loved you are, and how very missed you’ll be.

rollerdoor cafe
13 stawell street
west melbourne, vic
australia

rhubarb wholefoods, seddon

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when it comes to cafes and brunching and lunching, melbourne has it down. there’s no end to the options available, without even needing to leave your neighbourhood. or in our case, our friends’ who just so happen to be hosting us, before we depart australia, in the village-esque suburb of seddon. it’s the type of place where young families seemed to have sprouted overnight, like colourful little mushrooms. except these have dogs and scooters and strollers, and they jostle outside cafes, before mums get to the business of the mornings’ lattes, and dads steal a quick moment to catch up on the weekend footy scores.

but weekdays are a different story altogether. here, busy mornings of grocery shopping and sports practice give way to a slower, gentler suburban pace. with parents back at work and children back in the classroom, we find the streets clam and mostly empty, save for a few mums and their babies strolling along the tree-lined streets. and along one such street we happen upon a quiet little cafe that speaks to our hearts as well as our tastebuds. and we feel the sting of only having just discovered such a place, just as we’re about to leave.

because this is the type of place with freshly painted white walls, with tables fashioned out of old doors. and mosaic-style tiles and beaten up old chairs, and a table boasting a serious selection of tea leaves waiting to be weighed and packaged before being sent to undoubtedly grateful recipients. we are grateful too, as we glance over the menu. what a selection of items, there’s so many to choose from, we look at each other smiling. and we find ourselves in that rare conundrum of not knowing exactly what to have. so we do what we always do and decide to share, hedging our bets, preparing to divide and conquer; a tactic that often serves us well.

we order the veggie gyoza platter and tempe burger, and icy cold juices served in cool glass bottles. it’s all just so perfectly packaged; the space all airy and bright, and the food; big and bountiful and full of colour and texture. and while we’d happily stay to make our way through more of their menu, go we must for there are more friends to bid farewell to, and more wine to be drunk in doing so. but we’ll be back to rhubarb, and most certainly back to seddon.

rhubarb wholefoods
129 buckley street
seddon, vic
australia
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