When I left you yesterday, we had just gotten to the airport. When we finally found a place to stop and rest and wait for the bus, Mum and Mack quickly collapsed and slept for a couple hours, while Dad and I watched over the suitcases alternately, and read, and wrote, and tried to call or get messages to everyone who needed to know that ‘we’re here! In New Zealand! The plane didn’t crash–you can stop worrying now–everyone’s safe’.
Once the bus finally came, we had gotten coffee and food, and the sleepers up and fed, and everyone was ready (but not excited) for the next lap: a 4+ hour bus ride, before we got to Tauranga. Mum had been sick on the plane, and we were hoping that after eating a bit and sleeping for a few hours, she would be better.
I kept my journal and my camera with me on the bus, and wrote and gazed out of the window by turns. I started writing down observations about the people around me, and had so much fun that, for a time, I forgot to look out the window. And then we got to a spot I recognized from five years ago, and watched the land change the rest of the time. I remember sitting by the window and watching those cliffs and trees whiz by, and that I was listening to ‘Little Women’. To this day, whenever I read or (especially) listen to it, it reminds me of New Zealand, and that gorge we passed. And I think it always will. Isn’t it funny what our minds grab to hold onto?
After the bus left us, our hosts brought us to their house, where we unloaded, ate, and collapsed.
Thus endeth the first day. (Never thought I’d get there, did you?)
The next day was Sunday, and after going to church and eating an amazing lunch with our hosts and taking naps again (yay jetlag!), we walked down to the beach.
It was just like I remembered it. And that made me so happy. I was afraid it would change. . . on the bus ride there, I kept thinking ‘what if it’s different? what if the ice cream store isn’t there? or shell beach is roped off? or we can’t walk to the beach by their house anymore? or *gasp!* what if the blueberry farm isn’t there!’. But it wasn’t different. It’s still the beach I remember, and love. And we’ve walked there every day, rain or shine.
Macky loves it. He remembers, but vaguely. And he now has a burning desire to not only make it to Shell Beach without being rained out (sorry dude), but also walk to the drop-off here. Maybe today, Macky. Maybe today. . .