13 Mar One happy girl…
I am one happy, happy girl!
To have a giant hug and and see my dads sweet face makes me gush with happiness.
Pure. Sincere. Happiness.
And back to being his little girl.
I’ve always had a great relationship with him. He was my biggest fan growing up. Basketball, gymnastics, volleyball and most of all soccer. In high school and club, he was at my games cheering and yelling “Run Pinto, Run.” But in college he was my man. He was traveling, every weekend to watch the Lady Buffs play. He loved me, but he also loved my team. He pushed me to go away for college, to keep playing the game I love even after all 5 surgeries. He hugged me tight when we won or I played well but He hugged me even tighter when we lost, or I didn’t play.
He was my first phone call after every game.. And now my first phone call every morning.
He has been my rock through
To be a father and a mother through some of my hardest days, which were also some of his.
He’s protected me and filled my life with so much joy. I am my fathers daughter and I am so thankful for that.
To have him in Australia with me is something I will never forget.
From Brisbane I flew to Sydney. It was a quick 1.5 hour flight, when I landed I was astounded by the amount of people. My flight was completely booked and I soon learned that it was because the next day was the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. The whole city was getting ready for this huge celebration.
I flew in on Friday and jumped into a taxi from the airport. My dad and Cindy weren’t getting in till Saturday morning so I was headed to our Air B&B to check in.
The taxi ride was $81.00… That’s when I knew I was no longer in my well known little coastal towns as a “backpacker.”
The apartment my dad rented was stunning. It was a penthouse with an astounding view of Mosman.
I wanted to make my dads and cindys arrival special so I took off on foot to find a grocery store. I wondered around and finally stumbled upon one. As i started shopping for basics (coffee, water, fruit) I quickly lost all control and started throwing everything I wanted them to try or see in my cart. Crunchy bars, veggimite, little fingers, rice crackers, instant coffee, lemmingtons, oh and the list continues. I checked out with a huge smile on my face excited to surprise my guests, until I realized I had walked to the grocery store… 20 minutes from the apartment…. and I now have to walk back with about 20 bags.
Hahaha I looked like an absolute dummy. Waddling down the road with purple hands. All I could do was laugh.
I made it back and got everything set up. Made a little sign and felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve. Tomorrow was the day!
My dad and Cindy weren’t feeling great so they took a nap and then we decided to head out downtown to the Mardi Gras Parade. As soon as we parked the roads were flooded with glitter, wings and rainbow flags. The whole city really gets involved. There were hundreds of thousands of people waiting for this parade. We walked through the crowds and then decided we had enough, when my dad had more sparkle on his shirt than a disco ball.
We went to North Sydney and Luna Park to eat at The Deck. The view of the Sydney Bridge was really beautiful. It was surreal having them in Australia with me. We walked around and just enjoyed being together.
I was one happy girl.
The next day we went down to the water in Mosman and ate breakfast at the cutest place called the Boathouse. It was sitting on the water and was modern and hip. My breakfast was everything I could ever want. Look at all that fresh fruit. Yum yum yum!
Then we headed to Manly where we walked into, unknowingly, the Australian Surfing Championships. It was packed out but we enjoyed people watching, coconut drinking, and food truck eating and watching the Rousey fight. (Yikes that was a good fight)
We finished the evening off at home where Cindy and I cooked enchiladas!!! They smuggled in green chile and Sadies Salsa. Shhhhh!
Ohhhh myyyyy goodness! It was amazing! I needed some spice in my life. I was going crazy without Mexican food! It was everything I needed to combine my New Mexican life and this Australian one. Enchiladas with a view of the harbor. Not too shabby!
I was a happy girl.
We hopped off at Circular Quay where we walked straight to the Sydney Opera House. Wow. One of the most iconic places in the world and we were standing in front of it. It was pretty magnificent. We took a guided tour and then booked some tickets to see a show inside the following evening. We considered an Opera buuuuuut, It’s not our style.
My dad found himself back at Argyle, but this time drinking on the job wasn’t so bad!
I still think he needs to retire and travel the world with me….
We caught the next ferry to Darling Harbor, where we had a beer and just took in the sights.
The next day dad and I decided we wanted to do some good old fashion climbing. You know, Some high hights, early morning bonding. So we strapped in and took a 3 hour climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bridge climb opened in 1998 and it’s been a popular attraction due to the amazing view from the top.
It was one of those bucketlist ✔️ that we just had to get! We suited up, got attached and climbed 1, 332 stairs. It was so much fun and the matching suites were pretty cute!
After the climb we were starving.
What better meal to replenish with than some emu and kangaroo?!
Seriously though, it was pretty darn good and now I feel like I’ve lived the Aussie dream!
I was one happy girl.
We stopped in at the Oldest Pub in Sydney and juuuuuust couldn’t resist throwing one back!
That night we got fancied up and headed to the Opera House to see Romeo and Juliet. Again, it’s one of those things that you HAVE to do. See a performance in the opera house another ✔️.
It was fantastic! I am so glad this was my first, and only time seeing this play. We sat in the front row and I’m going to be honest, I felt like I was in it, and I also might of fallen in love with Romeo too.
They sure kept by my script and did the whole “choose love” thing… ? #dyingforlove
The big city was fun, and I’m so glad I got to experience it with those two, but we were all VERY ready to leave the crowds, traffic and $80 parking lot fees.
Before heading out on our impromptu ROADTRIP, we stopped in to see the highly talked about Bondi Beach. We put our toes in the water, because the water and weather is a lot cooler the further south you get, it was a little chilly. But the beach was nice and the art on the boardwalk was a sight of its own.
We jumped in the car and were off… We took the scenic route through Royal National Park and on the Sea Cliff Bridge. It was peaceful and calm. I think my dad and Cindy finally got to see the wonders and the reason i love Australia.
We stopped in Shellharbour for the first night.
I was reminded of one of my first blogs, about my “lesson 1” book accommodation before the bus ride. That’s still a great lesson… Which we did not abide by. But After a few failed hotel stops we finally had a room!
My morning run was perfect! With views like this.
We wondered down a walkway and stumbled upon an actually rock pool. People were relaxing, swimming laps and enjoying the ocean water waves roll in on them. It was such a great surprise and we were all in awe. These are the little things about Australia that I have grown to love. You can just turn a corner or stumble down a samdy walkway and you’ll be amazed with what you find.
The Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk put us above the trees for scenic views and a fun adventure.
We drank more beer, and of course, I was one happy girl.
Like I’ve said before, every morning i get up and go outside, for a walk, a run or just to write my blog. The mornings are my favorite time. And this specific morning has to be one of my top reasons. Absolutely breathtaking!
I ran along the beach on the volcanic rock and was just stopped in my steps. The sunrise reflecting on the rocks was something so amazing!
I was one happy (and humbled) girl.
Mid morning we set out on our Whale Watching Cruise. For an 1.5 hours we cruised along side of a pod of dolphins. They stayed with us and put on a great show. My dad and Cindy even got their picture taken by an Asian man who couldn’t help but snap 7,000 pictures within that hour.
If you’re figuring it out, There’s a pattern here. We go places… and drink beer….
Well if we are being honest, they drink beer and I try to keep up.
We enjoyed an early morning stroll to see the Australian shaped rock then onto Mystery Bay. The rock formations are really neat, they stick up out of the ocean and just make the ocean look like a scene from a movie.
They were so much fun. They would swim full speed at you, coming inches from your face before darting to miss you. The skipper on the boat warned us and said this was a game they liked to play. But it was something else, they were extremely comfortable with humans, dad, Cindy and I all had a good laugh throughout the whole thing.
Our next leg of the trip was to a town called Lakes Enterance our first stop out of New South Wales and finally in Victoria.
We took a stroll and drank some beers, had a great dinner and some good ol fashion ice cream.
Two long years without you.
Two years I didn’t think ide ever get through.
Some days, I know the only reason I get through them is because of you.
I think of you all the time. I am subtly reminded of your grace, humor and sincerity throughout my days. Like you are right next to me cheering me on.
We always planned we would get married to those boys and live next door to each other so our kids were best friends just like we were. We planned to be inspirational speakers together, to share our story and work together. We planned, even when we didn’t have a plan. But our ultimate plan was always to be together because neither one of us knew how to go a day without one another.
We were two happy girls.
Now it’s been two long years without you.
And I still pick up my phone to call you…
But you’ll always be the other half of me.
Your the half that makes me get up every morning and be active. Your the part of me that drinks straight black coffee, and makes me yell Brutus when I see wiener dog. Your the sun shinning through the clouds and the perfect fitting song on the radio. You’re the part of me that orders veggie burgers and the part that keeps me praying every night. You’re half of my loud laugh and mild snort. Youre my big hat and smell of sunscreen daily. And the Smile I wear cause I had to have the same fake teeth as you. You’re the part of me that takes initiative and has a structured plan, but also the part that is so free and loving.
You’re gentle way of making people fall in love with you and follow your journey is the biggest part of me.
This adventure I’m on is half of yours. I’ve left your legacy and dreams with people across Australia. Your name on my shoulder brings up conversations with strangers and it makes everything worth while, because that’s one more person that you’ve touched in your life.
You were one happy girl.
And I cannot thank you for making me your best friend for life.
With tears rolling down my face, I don’t have enough words to express the way today feels. Half of me celebrates your life and all that you were in those 26 years. How much you continue to change my life, every single day.
The other half, selfish and mad that I didn’t get to keep you longer. I miss you so much, and I love you the most.
You are my best friend, forever and ever.
Today is two years, and because I know you wouldn’t have it any other way …
I am one happy girl.
“it was my life- like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very present. So very belonging to me.
How wild it was, to let it be”
So many more adventures to come and a few more with my two tourists, stay tuned and remember…