A mere three hours after Michael and I returned from the Prom, my high school buddy from Brisbane, Katy, arrived in Melbourne for a holiday. Yes, we were excited to spend some time together but you wouldn't have known it from our demeanours. She was as exhausted as we were, having spent the morning at work before making the interstate journey. I pulled together a meal and we all did our best to create a catch-up conversation before retiring to the sleep of the near-dead.
On Thursday we shared a hasty breakfast and went our separate ways to honour other commitments . Finally, on Friday, Katy and I had the entire day stretched out in front of us to do whatever we pleased, together. I decided to take her to St Kilda, and before the shopping and the eating and the bikers and the blondes in big sunglasses, I wanted to show her the community garden.
It was beautiful, showing even more colour and character than I remembered from my past evening visit for the first Bloggers' Banquet. Having just set up her own little herb garden at home, Katy was full of admiration for Vegout's efforts and happily soaked up the calm before hitting Acland St.
I steered us towards the Galleon for lunch. It was as busy as on my last visit; we waited about 10 minutes for a table (outside, in the cold and the cigarette smoke) and I crossed my fingers that the now-hungry Katy would ultimately judge it to be worth the delay.
We were seated at a table already occupied by two Nicole Richie wannabes, and sound and movement whirled around us. Trying to see it through Katy's eyes, I wasn't sure whether Grandma's old furniture was as cheerful and cute as I thought it was.
Katy's cappuccino arrived with surprising speed, and she pointed out the wall ornaments that she liked as she sipped. The menu was as varied and appetising as I remembered. I ordered the pikelets I previously pined for ($8.50, with strawberries and lemon curd) and they were gorgeous. A cheeky choice for lunch, but light enough to rejoice in and not regret later.
Katy swooned over the sweet potato, basil and feta hash browns, as I did last time. In spite of my few misgivings, it was a brilliant start to a grey but lovely afternoon. Window shopping, foot massages, chocolate (which deserves its own post), and a long walk along the pier and shoreline in our candy-coloured coats (her red to my pink); it was all accompanied by much-needed talk of the important and the frivolous.