I arrived at 6am on Thursday morning after an empty and uneventful flight and stayed the night at Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour. Luckily, they had a good rate going for the night because I find staying at nicer hotels when I first arrive, they are more apt to let me in to a room as soon as I arrive, which is what happened when I walked in the door there at 8am. After having a nap, I walked down and met Boyfriend for lunch near his work. It was so good to see him again and of course he teased me for being awkward and nervous on seeing him again. I then sat along the harbor for a while and watched a guy catch 3 fish in not more than 15 minutes before going back to the hotel to sleep some more. Boyfriend came to the hotel after work, got changed and took me out for a special dinner to one of our most favorite restaurants- Malaya. At about 8:30 (0r 3:30 am CA time) I was ready to pass out. The next morning we got up, hit Starbucks, then walked the length of the harbor down to Boyfriend's work. I spent the day shopping at a little asian grocery store and in the fruit and veggie section of Paddy's Market, loading myself down with even more stuff to try and lug on the train with us later! I also brought Boyfriend the other half of my lunch and found a Medicare office to sign up for the free healthcare I am now entitled to. Overall, doing all that walking back and forth across the city, I did about 18,500 steps for the day...over 9 miles! Friday night I was exhausted by the time we made it back to our house on the Coast.
Saturday, I was wide awake from 5am so I started unpacking all of my luggage while Boyfriend slept. We then went to visit his Grandpa and bring him some American souvenirs. Arushed fter that we rushed to the grocery stores because Boyfriend had invited our friends over for a barbecue that afternoon. When they arrived, I stayed hidden in our room for 15-20 minutes and I heard the Teacher and the Hairdresser ask Boyfriend if there was any word on when I was coming back. Once they all got settled and weren't expecting it, I jumped in to the doorway and they all looked at me stunned for a few seconds processing that I was actually there. I think I yelled, "Surprise!" before everyone jumped up to hug me...only the Teacher had hypothesized a few days earlier that I might be in town. It was a really fun night, with much to celebrate- my return, our engagement, and I finally got to meet the Hairdresser and Soccer Player's baby and he is gorgeous! We even discussed the possibility of having our wedding in California because our friends said they'd love to have the excuse of a wedding to come out and finally see some of the U.S. It is all so exciting to think about and the boys are really pumped to come over and buy guns (OMG!) and start hunting raccoons, haha!
After we ate and the baby was asleep, we sat outside around our barrel fire. We weren't super loud, as there were only 6 of us (the other part of the group was at a motocross thing) and our fire wasn't particularly raging, when we heard fire trucks in the distance. They got closer and closer and we said, "Imagine if it was for our fire" when 2 fire engines and a police car pulled up in front of our house! When the boys went out to meet them, the firemen asked if they were at the right house because they couldn't see our fire, but someone had called 000 (the Aus version of 911) to report it. They came in to the backyard, took one look at it, and left. I just wonder which neighbor a) could see it to begin with and b) called emergency services without coming over to check it out up close? As I said, we weren't too loud because there wasn't a lot of us and we had a baby inside sleeping and it was only about 9:30 so I don't think we were bothering anyone. Oh well, it added even more excitement to the night!
Anyway, I am really missing my family, but it has been nice to be back with Boyfriend and to see my friends after so long. Later today, L.C., Lo, and Bob Marley are stopping in for a visit then we have Sunday dinner at Nan and Pop's and they nor any of the aunts, uncles, or cousins know I'm back so it'll be another fun surprise!
Tomorrow, I join the real world again and begin the job hunt.