Following our stay with Josh and his wonderful British mother in Queenstown, we boarded the plane for Melbourne, Australia. What a surreal feeling. I am certain that every traveler who has made a home for themselves abroad have felt the simultaneous longing for the comforts of the "motherland" home with the freedom and sense of adventure that the foreign world can provide. As we transitioned from latter to former, we could not stop talking about how much we truly loved the Central Otago region of New Zealand. Despite the high prices, living out of our car, and cyclical meal patterns, we had friendship, a sense of place, and literal breath-taking beauty. Simply, we were sad to leave.
Following my comeback in the Catan tournament (I tied it up 21-21!) we took off for Melbourne, eventually meeting up with Caroline's parents, Doug and Beth, in our apartment in the city. Doug and Beth's Christmas gift to us was their offer of paying for this part of our trip, and we could not be more grateful. The scenery, beauty and summery feel of Melbourne was so welcoming, and quite the change from the rugged and not quite as comfortable nature of our living situation in New Zealand. For a few days we took in the sights of the Great Ocean Road, the city, and the Tennis! Beginning Saturday of the opening weekend of the Australian Open, we watched the best at this sport square off. I have gained a new appreciation for just how good the names like Nadal, Federer, and our new favorite Madison Keys really are. Following our jaunt with the tennis, we jumped up to Sydney to relax on Bondi beach, walk around the waterfront and Opera House, and explore the Zoo from across the Harbour. We even got in some surfing on our last morning! Doug and Beth, we could not be more thankful for a wonderful final week of our trip.
Now that we are home, it has been hard to motivate ourselves to write this post. We felt that we could not do justice to our trip the longer we waited. I however think that we just needed a little time to decompress, and allow for a little inspiration to reflect. We miss New Zealand every day. We have a several photos on our walls now of our favorite places, not as much reminders as much as snapshots that bring us right back.
Caroline and I both have picked up jobs in the Boise area working as physical therapy exercise technicians. Caroline is working out in Kuna, and I am making the hour commute to Mountain Home most days. I have recently accepted a graduate assistant position at the University of Utah to pursue my masters in Exercise Physiology which will begin this coming August. So it is time to save for the next adventure and explore my (our) new home.
We've truly had a "sweet as" time.
|We miss this view! The hike up the gondola, Queenstown|
|Our first breakfast in Melbourne|
|Up on the Skydeck|
|Harbour Bridge, Sydney|
|The Sydney Opera House|
|Surf's up: Bondi Beach|
|Mom (Robin) got us Chipotle when we arrived home!|
|The view from Table Rock in Boise.|