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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Return to Oz; March 10, 2011

After spending 6 weeks with my daughter, grandson and my parents I was missing Frank and Destiny in a big way. My time with Jennifer and Trace was very special and I took precious memories with me back to Oz.

My biggest challenge on the return was lugging two 50 lb checked bags and two maxed out carry-on bags (I probably carried another 75), out of the terminal to the train.  It was far too much for me to handle without Frank, so I opted to pay the ransom for a cab. It was well worth the exorbitant fare to travel in comfort the last few miles of my journey.  Frank greeted me with the biggest smile and bear hug that he has ever mustered, and then led me to the dinghy.

We spent the first few days doing nothing but enjoying being back together again. Six weeks apart is a fabulous marriage counselor, whether you need it or not!

Over the next few weeks we socialized quite a lot; Frank introduced me to Mark Dent and Heather Heckenberg. Frank had been to dinner with them a few times during my absence. Mark is the IPY dealer for Australia. The four of us hit it off immediately! They live in a beautifully appointed penthouse overlooking Rosetta Bay, which is just adjacent to Blackwattle where we frequently anchor. They showed us areas of Sydney we had not yet enjoyed, and of course introduced us to some fabulous eateries.

Destiny was due to go back on the hardstand for a bit of maintenance work, so we planned a trip away while she was getting her facelift. Our first stop would be a drive along the Great Ocean Road, then a flight over to Tasmania and then on return we would spend a few days with our Melbourne friends, John and Loretta Wise. Hence, the fine-tuning commenced.