Lucky us. We have left camper van living for what has turned into 5 luxurious nights in one of my moms friend's houses in Melbourne. No longer do we have to worry about where we are going to park the camper van to sleep or where we can take a shower. We have more room than we have had since May and even wifi internet (also a first since May!). Life is good! Gillian and Michael have spoiled us with delicious foods and wines and been so generous to open up their house to us. I don't think I've ever been so grateful for a place to stay, a bed to sleep in, and a shower to use.
We have spent our time soaking up the energy that this great city has to offer. The first day we spent stopping to work on crosswords throughout the cities parks and people watching. We also got to enjoy a performance from a cirque-du-soleil performer on the streets, him balancing on a 15 foot pole and still having the energy to put down Americans. This is an international city with just about every personality on display.
Yesterday was the Melbourne Cup, dubbed The Race that Stops the Nation. Melbourians are granted the day off for horse racing and betting. We spent the morning wine tasting and lunching with Gillian and Michael and then headed to Federation Square to watch the race with thousands of others. It was fun to be caught up in a city with so many people!
The afternoon was spent watching those that were at the races stumble back into the city, high heels in hand, and hats a little off kilter after all the drinking. It was quite the experience and we felt so lucky to be here for the races, even if our budget couldn't allow us to go to the actual race.
We have really learned the value of friendships from this trip - from the work that it takes to make new friends on the road, to how much we miss our friends at home. Getting to stay with a family friend that knows our history and that of Seattle's makes it so easy to converse and so many stories to share. Deepening family friendships is also really special.
We just feel so fortunate. This was just the break we needed before jumping into our last camper van and enjoying our last 3 weeks on the road!