We had a really lovely day yesterday, a very nice end to an amazing trip. We slept a little late (8am) and treated ourselves to a pancakes-and-french-toast breakfast at the hotel cafe. Then we finished packing, and headed out to fill in the last few gaps on our list of things to see around town. We took a tram down the street to Federation Square, where we've been before, though we now know how to use the trams to get there rather than walking. Jon had visited the National Gallery there last week, and wanted me to see the Aboriginal art gallery, since we've discovered we both love their style of artwork. It was really beautiful, and very well displayed, with information about the cultures and what the individual pieces meant. Then we walked up to one last espresso bar Jon had read about, which was right near the Victoria parliament house (formerly the Australian parliament, when Melbourne was the seat of government), and ate our last peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the steps in the sun. It was a beautiful day, probably the warmest we've had here, and great for walking.
The next stop was the Melbourne museum, which was fantastic! They really know how to do museums here. There was a huge, semi-outdoor "Forest gallery", which was really a forest with concrete walkways and displays that was built into an in-pocketing of the museum footprint. It also had another great Aboriginal culture gallery, and a great exhibit on evolution. We spent a few hours at the museum before heading by various trams and trains to south of the city, where we met up with my friend Ursula and her boyfriend Matt for dinner and dessert. For dinner we thought it appropriate to end the trip with the famed chicken parma, which is apparently a staple meal here, and is basically chicken parmigiana with an Aussie twist - a layer of ham on top of the chicken, under the cheese, and the whole thing served over french fries. It was delicious. Thus ends our Australian adventure, and as soon as Jon gets out of the shower we'll be off to the airport and on to LAX. We've had a truly fantastic time, and can't wait to come back to Australia. There's so much more to see and places we'd like to go here, but for now we're ready to return to home and cats. Someday we'll be back!