Saturday 30th July – thanks for listening

Yum cha seems appropriate for our last meal together, as we separate today. Ren heads back to Vancouver from San Jose and we back to New Zealand from San Francisco. I find myself pushing my thoughts in other directions to avoid the uncomfortable truth that soon we must part. That’s a bit melodramatic! I’ll be fine.

Ren sorts Uber onto Gilbert’s phone, then books hers and we book ours a minute or so later, only to find we are car pooling. Cool. Same sort of direction, hers is an hour away and ours about half an hour. Much cheaper than taxis and as we wait the four minutes at the hotel door, a taxi driver vents to the concierge about Uber. We kiss and wave her goodbye at San Francisco airport knowing that if her fortune cookie prophesy comes true, she will win lotto, be rich, trip around the world and still not be home!

On every trip we have done I always at some point have a feeling of needing to be home. I thought it was related to the longer time away and didn’t expect to feel it this time, but I do. Perhaps not as intensely as during our Europe trip, but here, in a city that is vibrant and fun, I still feel I am ready for home. I can’t wait to finish pruning in readiness for the spring burst, to turn the compost heap, to get my hands into the soil, to start the tomato and salad seedlings to get a head start on summer. To breathe deep and work hard. I have many new ideas for things to do and make, I really can’t wait to be home…

Travel wise, I’m feeling like I’m done. I don’t need to see more sights nor to plan more travel. I’m feeling quite content to ‘just be’. To just follow the seasons and live each day. To catch sunset as I finish jobs outside and hopefully some sunrises too. We have been so very lucky to have this trip with Ren who has made it a very different experience and a close and special companion, especially for me. We will share some special memories that will give rise to many chuckles at the thought I’m sure.

The vey best part as always has been the people. Ren’s friends in Canada of whom there are many, but at the risk of offending some, of course Femi and Kate, two gorgeous girls. Spending time with Blair, Josie and Warwick. Catching up with William and his lovely family. The west coast was made a very special place with Arthur sharing so much of himself and his tribal history. I feel very privileged to have met him. Then all the Cubans we met and stayed with who were such lovely people, but to have spent time with Andrés and Rosita and Adrian too, gave us another level of understanding and fun.  New Orleans gave us an appreciation of the differences in our perceptions of America. Such lovely people by and large, and Victoria and Gee Kin in San Francisco cemented that appreciation with their joy at meeting and welcoming us into their home, and their family!

And so I return home with my taste buds sated, full of the all the sights and of course sounds with music and singing a big part of that. The smells of a big city, tinged with the warm and many times humid winds of Cuba and New Orleans. Somewhere between here and home we lose seventeen hours and life will slip back into a normal pace of family, work and garden.
If you’ve been enjoying my recent ramblings, thanks for listening…

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