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Mornington

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 26, 2010

Leaving Port Campbell and the Great Ocean Road, we took a more direct route on Tuesday back through Melbourne and south into Mornington Peninsula.  Our next hotel was scheduled for Mornington, near the northern end of the Mornington Peninsula.  We had a room reserved at the Brooklands of Mornington, a Best Western hotel a few blocks off of the Main Street of Mornington.  We checked in, dropped our bags in our room (nice as the other hotels but we failed to take any photos), and headed out to explore.

We drove over, not realizing how close we were to town (we walked over again later in the day), parked and hopped out to enjoy the beautiful day.  We admired the small town feel (which we’ve grown to really love here) and headed over to the water.

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We walked through a park on the way to the water. IMG_7073

Brick gates welcomed us to both ends of the park. IMG_7076

Australia is keen on conservation and we found this sign – the first of its kind on our trip.  IMG_7078

We found steps to the top of a hill overlooking the water.IMG_7079

A quick look down we believe we saw a scuba diving class (or perhaps a group of friends).  It’s fun to see locals enjoy being able to go in the water after our experience in Queensland with the warning after warning of jellyfish.  We’ve even been able to step our toes in (though the water’s VERY cold) from time to time along the southern coast.

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At the point we were admiring the water, there was also a boat harbor. IMG_7090

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After enjoying the view, we headed the few blocks back into town and decided to get some tea.  We walked past a few cafes and decided on Banjo’s.  It had a picture of hot cross buns on the windows and commercials for them on the tv throughout out vacation (perhaps they’re something popular around Easter?) convinced me I wanted to try one.  I got a chocolate one (the choice was chocolate or fruit) and it was a nice treat with my tea!

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We enjoyed our tea and read our books (or Kindle – I’m reading the Twilight series and LOVE having such a small device instead the super large books to lug around).

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The Husband discovered that they had free wi-fi! So we updated our iPhones with email and app updates before decided to head back to the hotel to get our laptops to blog.  By the time we finally made it back, however, the cafes were closed for the evening :-(  Instead we walked over to Coles, one of Australia’s grocery stores, and bought some Vegemite to take home with us!  We also quickly perused the bottle shop (liquor store attached) and were amazed at the prices.  So expensive!

As we walked around, we built up an appetite for dinner.  There were a small handful of places to choose from, but not many.  We found La Porchetta, a pizza and pasta place with lots of outdoor seating.

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We looked through the menu outside and the Husband headed back inside to place our order.  We decided to share three appetizer (entree) portions.

IMG_2286 We started with the usual bottle of water, a diet coke, and a lemon, lime & bitters.  I learned I really liked this refreshing drink (like Sprite and 7-up, but not quite) while at Bundaberg and was pleased to see it on the menu (it looked like they made it fresh).

IMG_2287   We started with a garlic & cheese bread.  It was gooey and doughy – just right!

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Next up, we shared two appetizer portions of pasta.  You could mix and match pastas with sauces.  We’ve been loving gnocchi in Australia so that was a given pasta choice.  We matched it with their marinara sauce which includes a mixture of fresh seafood.  A great choice! IMG_2291

Our other pasta was the cheese ravioli with a chicken and mushroom sauce.  Also a good choice! IMG_2292

We only made it through half of each dish and asked for a Take Away box to enjoy leftover during our drive the next day to Swan Reach.  Throughout our dinner, while we enjoyed being outdoors, we were distracted by seagulls who decided they wanted our food.  They gathered on the light pools and rooftops surrounding us, calling to their friends to join.  Luckily, none of them decided to get close while we sat there and we took our dishes in as soon as we put the leftovers away!

The next morning, breakfast wasn’t included in our hotel package so we decided to head back into town to one of the cafes for breakfast. We headed to Cafe 96 which was next to Banjo’s (where we had tea the day before).

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We each started with coffees (long black for the Husband and cappuccino for me).  We were excited to see that they came with cookies on the side 🙂IMG_2296

The Husband was eyeing the muffins for breakfast and asked the server what she recommended.  She suggested a White Chocolate and Raspberry Muffin which sounded appealing to the Husband.  It was a good choice!

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I planned on having toast with butter and vegemite (I wasn’t sure if I needed to explicitly ask for butter – apparently I didn’t as there was already some on the bread so the dish was left filled with the butter).  I also ordered a side of hash browns. IMG_2298

As a side note, I’ve noticed that different cafes seem to be “sponsored” by different coffee brands.  For example, this cafe had Grinders Coffee.   IMG_2299

The cups and saucers were Grinders. IMG_2300 As was the sugar (and assumedly the coffee!).

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After breakfast, we explored the town a bit more.  On our way into town, the Welcome to Mornington sign mentioned that they were “Home of the Wednesday Market.”  We had no idea what that meant until that morning.  Seeing tents everywhere helped us realize that it was Wednesday 🙂 It was like a Farmers/Craft market lining both side of Main Street. IMG_2302

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We didn’t buy anything but enjoyed seeing this quaint town quality.

After we were done in Mornington, we made a slight detour north before heading out east to Swan Reach.  The Husband’s brother had mentioned that there was a U.S. Import store in Melbourne and he need Q-Tips 🙂 We offered to head there while we were in the area.  It’s actually closed on Tuesdays which is when we would have originally passed it so we made the short detour there on Wednesday morning.   We found it in a semi-industrial area, parked the car, and headed on in.IMG_2304  Unfortunately they didn’t have any current stock of Q-Tips but we were fascinated with what they DID have :-)  There were multiple options of hot sauces (we’ve definitely noticed that there’s not a lot of spicy food here).  There were cake mixes, canned pumpkin, and American soda.  This included Original Dr. Pepper which we’ve only ever seen when we were in Dallas!  We grabbed the Husband’s brother some hot sauce, grilling seasoning, the Original Dr. Pepper, and a Twinkie for good measure! After our short detour, we were back on the road to our next destination: Swan Reach.

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