Lad’s Melbourne Trip

28 – 31 August 2008

Cakey, Davo, Derek & Frank

After a couple of half hearted efforts to get a boys trip to Melbourne organized in 2007, there was renewed commitment in 2008.  After much discussion, Cakey and Frank took the bull by the horns and booked a weekend, advising that anyone else could join in if they wished.  Only Davo and Jan obliged, and plans were made for a big weekend.  Frank was kindly booked to travel by Cakey as “The Reverend Frank Chia


Davo was very keen to kick the weekend off with a days skiing at Mt Buller, but true to form, the rest of the lads were not keen.  They were more interested in staying in their own homes, wearing their trackies and playing cards with each other over the internet, but finally a compromise was reached and golf at Moonah Links was agreed upon.


At an early pre-planning meeting held in Melville, Derek raised the concern of numbers at golf.  With 5 people committed to the trip, it would create an awkward grouping, and Derek suggested, in his typical diplomatic style, that Davo, “not being much of a golfer”, should consider carrying the oranges.  He needn’t have worried though, as Jan withdrew from the trip shortly thereafter, citing vague reasons.  No-one was really surprised  - Jan pulled out of last years trip because of heart problems.


Jan’s absence left vacant a very important portfolio – Finance. Frank lost the nip and had to carry the Purse.

The Trip Over

Cakey and Frank, in all their wisdom, chose to fly the Jetstar midnight horror.  It turned out to be a shite decision, as it was without question, the most uncomfortable flight in history.  Frank was initially concerned that he got ripped off because his seat didn’t recline, before he realized that on Jetstar, 1cm tilt is all you get.  Davo and Cakey, awake at 3.00am splurged on $3 coffee, but the steward mistakenly gave us ashtray waste mixed with water.


Arriving in Melbourne, the lads were greeted with the happy news that Derek would come and pick us up from the airport, rather than forcing us to travel like backpackers on the Sky Bus.  Things were looking up already.


A short visit was made to the Osborn household in suburban Mitcham, a pleasant 1 hour journey from the airport.  A lavish breakfast spread was put on and Derek ate 6 croissants.  Quick showers were the order of the day, but Cakey found time to complete some bathroom art – not Wizza style, but rather more literate.


Bathroom Art

Cakey’s bathroom art


Emily Osborn was the centre of activity, and was very keen to help Frank out with his distinct lack of purse.  Two options were presented, and Frank chose a lovely little green number.  Emily was very sad that “The boys” were leaving and requested that we stay.  We all voted and decided that Cakey would remain behind, but Emily was scared by his “Pokey Hair”.


From there it was the start of the road trip down to the Mornington Peninsula for golf.  It lasted all of 3 minutes before a stop was made t for weekend supplies, which consisted almost entirely of beer, bourbon, bundy and chips.  Cakey wanted to buy Olives but this was vetoed.


Mitcham to Moonah


The trip to Moonah was characterized by a lack of scenery, unless you count the dodgy structures that Victorians call art.  Melbourne is the city of moderately impressive art.  Bright coloured highway noise barriers were a feature and Cakey was impressed.

Golf at Moonah.  Note the T-shirts in a Melbourne Winter!


Moonah Links was a beautiful course, if you consider a lack of trees, long grass and lots of bunkers beautiful.  Our decision to play the Open Course was probably questionable and heavy price as paid by all.  Derek’s price would have been lower if we let him score.   A game of Hawk was played to decide the title BMRWFC Golfing Champion but no-one remembers who won.  Cakey finished last though, and his sense of humour was seriously challenged at times throughout the day, claiming his poor form was due to a back injury inflicted by the Jetstar seats on the way over. In all seriousness, Frank won the golf but unfortunately for him it was only a seeding match, and he now gets to tee off first in the real BMRWFC Golf Championship.   Another highlight was a hole played with rugby shaped golf balls, which Cakey had acquired from New Zealand. 


Friday Night

From golf it was on to the Residence Inn in Rye, Victoria, an excellent hotel choice by Derek.  Cakey and Derek won the nip for the Spa Suite, only to discover that they both had equally offensive sleeping habits – snoring and flatulence.


A few quiet Crownies were enjoyed (despite knowing that they were in fact Fosters with a gold label) before heading out for a night on the town.  Cakey got in early, warning that he would not be too upset if there was no action in Rye, as he was already tired.  He was out of luck, though.  A quick inspection revealed a main street consisting of just three possible eating venues – one of which was a heaving Mexican restaurant and bar that must have contained double the population of the whole town.   Live music and Margaritas were enjoyed by all.  Derek ordered nachos, which, unfortunately for Cakey, contained cheese.  Frank ordered “Ass-on-fire Tacos”, which he had to share with Davo because they were too hot.  


The” Purse of Power”


After making a decision to embrace the purse rather than be ashamed of it like Jan, Frank left the purse on display. It drew curious attention from several people, and seemed to possess the incredible ability to repel fat ugly chicks and attract good looking ones.  Frank dubbed it the “Purse of Power” and proclaimed that he was never giving it up.


Not since the famous “Penny a Pitcher” pub in Tempe Arizona has so much action been found against the odds.  The lads partied all night and were home by 11.30.  Cakey refused to play cards, claiming that he was suffering sleep deprivation, similar that inflicted as torture on prisoners at Abu Graib.



Despite Derek getting up at the crack of dawn, the other lads managed to sleep in until 9.00am.  Various methods of avoiding a hangover were employed by the lads, but Davo’s ability to drink a litre of water while sleeping was agreed as the best.


Breakfast at the Rye Hotel was passable, except for Derek and Cakey trying to convince Davo that the West Coast - Geelong game had been shifted to the MCG.  Cakey claimed he did not want to go to the game because spectators at Skilled Stadium regularly got muddy.  New nipping rules were also introduced.  It was decided that simply launching into a nip was not fair play, and any nip must be prefaced by some discussion to give everyone a fair chance.  In a perfectly executed example, Davo said, “About sleeping with Derek tonight……………. nip not”.  Frank followed suit and Cakey was left to contemplate another night with Derek.


From Rye, the circumnavigation of Melbourne continued.  First stop was in the quaint little town of Sorrento.  It was agreed that that Sorrento would be perfect olive eating territory, and Cakey got excited.  Since we had been on the road for 10 minutes, it was time to stop for coffee, and a café on a hill overlooking Port Phillip Bay was chosen.


Enjoying coffee in Sorrento


In order to get to Geelong, it was necessary to cross the bay, and the ferry between Sorrento and Queenscliff was a perfect fit.  When buying tickets to the ferry, Derek asked the booth lady if there was a discount for good looking guys.  She laughed and said no, there is actually a surcharge for good looking guys.   The good news, she told us, was that we did not have to pay it.

Sorrento to Geelong


On the drive to Geelong, Cakey surprised everyone by admitting that he keeps score of personal victories over people.


Davo, who has spent some time in Geelong previously, burst out with “I’ve stayed there!”  followed closely by “No I haven’t”.  This particular statement was much repeated by the lads over the rest of the weekend, and each time was considered a personal victory over Davo.


The football was the experience of a lifetime, made all the better by consistent rain,  and by half time the lads were planning their exit strategy.  Skilled Stadium was the football equivalent of library - when the siren went to start the quarter, ladies walked around shushing everyone.    A highlight was the lap of honour performed by the Danish AFL team, in town to play in the International Carnival.  The tactics of the Danish team were discussed at great length, and was decided they would include:

  • No backline, with an open invitation to take their territory
  • No tackling
  • No sharing of the ball or handballing due to selfishness


With that ordeal over with, it was on to Melbourne for the much hyped match between Hawthorn and Carlton.  Cakey was overcome with excitement.

Cakey overcome with excitement on the way to Melbourne


Geelong to Melbourne



Arrival in Melbourne proved that Cakey had done an excellent job at arranging a hotel.  The Oaks on Market was perfectly positioned, and more than adequate for the lads needs, as long as Cakey and Derek’s needs included sleeping in the same queen bed.  That was soon rectified and we were off to the Telstra Dome.


Saturday night

The Hawthorn – Carlton match was all that it was cracked up to be.  The lads, who lacked the courage to run on to the field for Buddy’s 100th, were all set for get out there for Fev’s.  Unfortunately, like Fev, we were left disappointed.


Buddy madness


Dinner at the Syracuse Restaurant was an interesting experience.  All the hot chicks left just as we arrived so perhaps they did not get a good enough look at Frank’s Power Purse.  We were treated to two girls kissing, but Cakey missed it so he put his glasses on and asked them to do it again. 


After dinner, it was on to the pubs and clubs.  At least, it was on to the pubs and clubs that would let us in.  As four middle aged wannabees wandering the streets of Melbourne, perhaps we should not have been surprised, but the rejection was galling.  Each club had a different excuse – “Sorry, guest list only”, or “Private function”, but at one venue, the bouncer simply told Cakey “Sorry mate you are never getting in here”.  To Cakey’s credit, he kept going back for more despite the constant beating, like Rocky versus Ivan Drago, and eventually, like Rocky, Cakey prevailed and the night was saved.


Cakey, on the steps of the club where he was told “You are never getting in here”


It was decided that Melbourne was a most unwelcoming city.  At least in Geelong, wearing West Coast Jerseys, we were treated with the respect of former champions.


Just as our self esteem was returning, Cakey tripped over a kerb right in front of a group of girls, which at least provided plenty of humour for them.  A last minute drink at the Hairy Canary was in order, and Derek ordered $16 cocktails.  The waitress regaled us with a story about a guy she met that day who had size 18 feet, and Derek felt insecure because he thought she was insinuating he had a small penis.  Davo did an impersonation of Rob Sitch in Hollowmen, which was actually brilliant, but the lads must have been too drunk to appreciate it


The final event for the day was a Euchre World Championship back at the hotel.  Davo and Frank triumphed at 4.00am and it was off to bed.

Enjoying cocktails at the Hairy Canary


Despite the 4am finish, Derek was up and gone early, returning to the reality of a wife and two kids.  Cakey, apparently feeling the need to cleanse himself of sharing a room with Derek for the night, was off for a swim, spa and manicure.  Davo and Frank eventually emerged in time for a late check-out and it was off for that great Sunday morning tradition – Yum Cha!


The walk to China Town was not insignificant, and Frank was so keen to get there that he wouldn’t even let Davo stop for a coffee.  Everyone else seemed to have the same idea, because there was a line at the “Shark Finn House” and they were only taking people with bookings.  Frank was doing a great job of convincing the Manager that he did, in fact have a booking.  That was until Davo, fresh off completing a negotiation course the previous week, expertly interjected by asking Frank when he had made the booking?  Yesterday, said Frank.  Wrong answer said the Manager, we’ve been fully booked since Friday.  Thanks Davo.


On to the next restaurant it was, which was probably better.  The food was great and everyone enjoyed perhaps a little too much of everything on offer, with the exception of chicken’s feet.  The lads then dragged themselves a couple of hundred metres down the road to a coffee shop before parking-up again.  Cakey had some kind of girlie ice cream drink that he claimed was low GI. 


With no real plans and an overdose of football already in our veins, it was off for some aimless wandering around Melbourne.  Cakey came up with the brilliant idea of visiting the Shrine of Remembrance, which was “just over there”.  “Just over there” turned out to be a half marathon away – a walk that Frank particularly enjoyed since he forgot to wear a jacket.


During the long walk, some deep and meaningful conversations were conducted about work life balance, and how Frank ultimately chose to move to the farm because to keep pace with his peers in Asian Banking, he had to drink his own urine.  Cakey was disgusted and said he would never drink his own urine, but would consider drinking someone else’s.


The words austere and solemn were used by the lads to describe the Shrine of Remembrance, and apparently, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month each year, the sun shines through a special hole in the rood to illuminate a plaque.  That’s all good but the only hole that lads were interested in, after 15 Chinese teas and a cup of coffee were the toilets.


The Shrine of Remembrance


With the trip drawing to a close, a visit to the Crown Casino was mandatory.  Cakey and Frank had only one thing in mind and that was watching Texas Hold’em Poker.  Who would have thought watching a bunch of social misfits waste their Sunday afternoon could be so riveting.  Apparently Sam Mitchell and Clinton Young agreed, because they were there as well.


The next two hours were spent trying to find a restaurant that would serve us a decent dinner before we submitted to the Jetstar torture chair.  Eventually a passable place was found and we wolfed down meals in a pace that would impress Wizza.


The taxi driver provided some late entertainment by telling another driver to “go and f#ck himself”, and then relating a story about “three naughty girls” he had in his cab the night before.  He also provided some great tips for next year’s trip.


The flight home was notable only for Davo winning Euchre, making him the undisputed world champion.  Frank was shocked to learn that they charge more if you leave your car in the short term lot, paying over $50 more than Cakey.


It was agreed that another trip should be planned for next year, if for no other reason than to see what excuse Jan can come up with for pulling out.    Due to the inordinate amount of time the lads spend reminiscing about old times, developing new material is essential.


Some lessons to be learned for next year:

  • Cakey wants to bring a neck pillow
  • Never fly Jetstar again.  Ever.
  • Being a Reverend provides no particular advantages when flying Jetstar
  • Booking at least 2 days in advance is essential for the Shark Finn House on Little Bourke
  • Playing golf on a course which hosts the Australian Open can be frustrating
  • Best nightclubs, as recommended by our Indian Taxi Driver were CQ on Queen Street between Collins and Bourke, and Urban central in south Melbourne past crown casino eve bar.  No indication was given of our chances of actually getting in.