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I’m back!

Well, I got back from the road trip on the 24th March, and I hung out with Mel until the 30th, when she caught her flight to Vancouver in Canada (via Auckland – Los Angeles – Vancouver). I've been spending the past week 'coming down' from the holiday, just mellowing out and relaxing with Mel. And then when Mel had gone, I discovered I missed her a lot. It depressed me for a couple of days.

When you've been with someone 24 hours a day for 11 days, and then 16 hours a day for another week, you really notice they're gone when they're no longer around.

Mel and I had so much fun over the past 2-3 weeks, it's like we became part of each other. For the first few days of the trip there were things each of us did that irritated the other, and I was, at one stage, wondering how we were going to make it through another week without killing each other. But we learnt to adapt and accept those annoying habits and mannerisms of each other, and everything became so much more enjoyable after that.

But it meant that when she left, I missed the person who has been the only one of my friends from Australia to ever take the time to come and see me in New Zealand, and who has constantly emailed or phoned me to find out how I am. She has been the only person in my life who I've ever spent such an intensive time with, and enjoyed the longest and most interesting and enjoyable holiday I've ever had.

I think it's cemented a friendship for life.

It also made me understand how things have changed between us. Where I was once attracted to her and wanted a relationship with her, now I'm not, and I'm just happy for the wonderful friendship we have.

Highlights of the trip:

Having a cup of tea and biscuits after coming out of the cave tour at Waitomo Caves.

And then there was the view from the Cathedral Cove lookout (at Coromandel Peninsula):

and that was only half of it. There was just so much to see from up there on top of the cliffs – it was awe inspiring. Here's another excellent one:

The celebration on the night of St Patrick's Day in Whangarei. Funny story there… There were 4 beautiful young ladies that I was with that night, and at one point a local (I assume) came up and started chatting up one of the ladies. What was funny was that he kept looking at me, and I could see the thoughts going across his face: is he going to get pissed of that I'm chatting up the women he's with? Will he mind? What's that expression on his face? Am I going to regret it or should I keep chatting her up? Was hilarious.

Getting half drunk at a nightclub in Auckland. Funny story there…. I went to the bar to buy Mel and I a couple of shots of butterscotch & rum or whatever it was, and I walked back to where we were sitting. There were 4 guys hanging around Mel, with one of them chatting to her and the other 3 looking on, but they were all sitting with her or draped over the backrest of the long couch she was sitting on. I squeezed through them with the drinks and placed one in front of her and in front of me. We toasted each other and threw them back, and then I laughed to myself as the 4 guys all quickly disappeared. It was obvious to them that she was 'with me'. What was even funnier was that as I was approaching them with the drinks in the first place, Mel looked like she was doing her best to ignore them. Some people just persist when there's no point.

Relaxing in a hot spa that fed into the pool that was accessible from the balcony door of our room at Rotorua.

Getting a massage at Lake Taupo. Sunset at Lake Taupo. Walking around town with Mel as we looked for somewhere to eat.

Frolicking on various beaches around the country with Mel.

And so many other things that I can't quite recall at the moment.

I've had three and a half weeks of holiday – the longest holiday I've had in my life. It's the longest I've ever been away from work in almost 4 years (since I started there). I was away for 3 weeks a few months after I started (xmas / new year of 2000 / 2001) – this beats it by a few days.

Next week it's back to work. I'm so not looking forward to it.

But it's good to be back.

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