Last days are always strange. You’re sort of in between two places. Ready to get back to your normal life but also having to say goodbye. There are such a mix of emotions and that is what today will be. I came over here having met none of Claire’s family but I go home having met most of them.
The experience has been lovely and it’s been nice to get to know the people who have had such a huge effect on Claire’s life. I’ve heard many of the voices over the telephone but now I’ve actually spent considerable time with them. So it will be sad going home too.
I had my last wander around the mean streets of Onehunga this morning and finally found the second hand bookshop id been told about which was a maze of shelves and stairways with books quite literally lying all over the place. It was quite an experience. In fact when I left I walked past a woman walking in who just said ‘wow’ when she saw the inside of the shop.
Onto lunch and to meet the final one of Claire’s friends for this trip. Our venue was the Garden Shed Cafe in Mt Eden Village. Again struck me as rather Melbourne with a cafe that adopts a theme. This one was full of plants and even have shovels for the beer taps. The burger though was my first of the week so I can confidently say it was the best burger in New Zealand.
The afternoon passed fast. We chatted and ate for an hour or so. Went to a bottle shop to grab a couple of good beers to bring home and then quickly to a cake shop. We returned home to have a quick afternoon tea with Claire’s parents before them driving us to the airport.
It was a sad farewell but all farewells tend to be. But I did appreciate having so much time to spend with them and for what on paper looks quite a apprehensive filled situation I genuinely enjoyed all my time spent with them and found communication easy and natural.
We aced extra legroom seats on the plane somehow, I’m not sure how, we checked in just in the morning and two were free. When both of you are around 6 foot this is a bit of a god send even on a four hour flight. Plane rides are always pretty boring though but I do appreciate sometimes not having the chance to do anything but playing games on the iPad or reading.
By the time we’d touched down in Melbourne and my epassport through the egate had failed for the third time in a row. I was beginning to get a bit grumpy. Especially with it being 9 pm at night as well. When we walked to get our cases from the travelator, there was no-one at the customs check but by the time we’d finished, the line was about a hundred long. Although it did move pretty fast.
We exited the airport into the warm Melbourne air. Still about 25c outside and a complete change from the weather we’d come from. As with everything else the taxi line was pretty long but we made it home by about 10.15 pm. It’s always nice when you’ve been on holiday, come home and open the door. The smell, the sights it’s all about being home. The feeling of comfort. We sat up for a little while, it’s something I’m learning as I’m older when I come in I don’t go straight to bed like I used. We sat down had a hot drink and relaxed.
It felt like I’d never been away and the holiday was a distant memory. I just remember the thought of how comfortable our own bed was before drifting off to sleep.