Welcome back, friends. When We woke on the morning of Friday July 22nd, We grabbed Our packs and headed to the common area for check out and saying goodbye. A few of the people who We regularly spoke to at the Arts were also either employees or “work for accommodation” volunteers and were awake and moving around early enough to hug and say farewell. The lovely Jessie-Rose was barista-ing that morning so We got to see her one more time as well. We learned that no one was driving the shuttle that morning and We would have to walk to the bus which meant leaving almost right away, but Jess was insistent that she drive Us-which was awesome and thankfully unnecessary as someone else also overheard and volunteered to drive Us in the shuttle anyway. Nice people, those Byron hippies…We enjoyed the visit greatly and decided We would absolutely have to come back again, but Our time there was over and the very near future held something I’d been waiting for for forever.
The Greyhound took Us to Brisbane (only about a 4 hour ride) and We had about 5 hours to kill before being picked up and taken to Our newest new home in Caloundra. Longest 5 hours ever. Well, it certainly seemed like at least double that even though I had already waited a few years and it was now only a few hours away. I damn near couldn’t control myself.
What was it that had me so excited? I was finally about to meet in person someone who had become one of my closest friends over the internet. We “met” a few years ago in an online forum where We both posted and commented on discussions relevant to daily life. I liked what she said and how she seemed to think (and vice versa), and it seemed We had a lot in common. We began email type correspondence and moved on to instant messaging and then Facebook and then Skype. We talked about our kids, our homes, our partners-we talked about everything. Maybe because I felt safe on the other side of the planet from her, but I also talked to her about things that I didn’t talk to anyone else about. In time, she became one of my closest confidants and dearest friends and while we had never met, I felt I had known her my whole life. Today, I would not only meet her in person, but be taken to her home to unpack and get comfortable, meet her husband, her children and her au pair. They had made their home available for Us to stay at during Our time on the Sunshine Coast and were equally excited to be meeting Us. Gee, I hope We arent serial killers or something!
We loitered in the area she would be meeting Us at, hoping not to blend in or be overlooked (lol) and suddenly, right in front of me, was this real life beautiful lady who was obviously looking for Us too. The 2 of us were damn fools for each other right away! We didn’t have a lot of time to stand around gabbing because her husband was arriving on a plane that night and We needed to pick him up. He is working about 10 driving hours away from his family to establish a successful practice and be able to move them all out there with him as soon as possible, but until then, they see his handsome face only every few weeks and We intentionally made plans to arrive while he could be there and assess the state of his family’s safety with the weird american visitors during his absence. 🙂 She had previously prepared a curry in the slow cooker and We spent the evening talking excitedly and sharing stories. There was no catching up to do since we were in contact frequently and it wasn’t like We were new people, so it was a very relaxed and fun evening full of conversation and smiles. They are both even more lovely in person-even if they do talk funny.
Our first day in Caloundra- more specifically in Moffat Beach- began with a trip just up the road to the beach and a proper meal of fish and chips. It was my first time having “fish and chips”. It was not my first time to have a battered fried fish plank and french fries, but this was actually advertised, ordered and sold as “fish and chips” and it wasn’t from Long John Silvers! There was calamari as well and I enjoyed this meal thoroughly. We ate on the beach and soaked up the sunshine while also meeting some of their close friends who had come to the beach park with their kids to see the newly returned mister and meet their guests.
After eating, We took a walk further down the road before going back to the house to make sushi. Yes, make sushi. I hadn’t ever even considered making sushi at home before, but this is a common occurrence at their house and a frequently requested dish. Dinner was amazing:
that girl can SUSHI-after which We watched the movie “Wolf Creek” since it came so highly recommended upon Our arrival in Oz. For some reason, everyone thought We needed to see a movie about backpackers in central Aus being abducted and killed. it was funny more than anything, but me thinks it might have freaked out the woman with the delicate sensibilities who protested the viewing beforehand. 🙂 At around midnight or so, We went to bed in preparation for the upcoming war. Paintball at 6am.
There were 7 of Us in the car going to Skirmish. Six men and me. It was entirely too early to be awake and excited about being so, but We were going to go shoot things! Not just things, but people! The location of these happy fun times is outside Brisbane (hour drive, remember?) so in the name of convenience, We ate McDonald’s for breakfast. I was actually really excited about getting my favorite fast breakfast of McDs breakfast burrito and coffee, until I noticed there was no such item on the menu. No breakfast burritos?!?! Really?? Traumatizing enough to end that part of the story there.
I assume you all know how paintball works:
and We were all on the same team (which means I didn’t get to shoot at Cali, darn it). Without going into details, Our team won all 5 games and all of Us were shot at least once. I got one particularly good shot to the top joint of my thumb which was a lucky shot considering my fingerTIPS and the back of my head were the only skin exposed on my body. That being said, it was so.much.fun. Can’t wait to do it again. Photos taken the next day:
Would We survive the rest of Our time with them?