It’s been six months since I’ve seen my family in person. Six long months. The longest I’ve gone without seeing my family before was two months. I’ve gone four months without going home to Fort Lauderdale. To say this has been hard on me would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Sydney, but the only thing making it less than perfect is my family being 10,000 miles away.
While they will be visiting in Australia in less than a month, it’s still been taxing counting down the days. And even though I usually talk to either of my parents at least once a day, nothing replaces a mother and father’s hug.
A few weeks ago, my Dad took a new role within his company, one that would bring with it extensive international travel. As part of his on boarding process, he had to take a trip to Singapore and Tokyo to meet with clients. Or so I thought.
All week, I had called my Dad about random thoughts, just to chat. Asking about how Asia was, what time it was in Tokyo, etc. Little did I know, he was headed to Melbourne, Australia instead of Tokyo after Singapore.
At the same time, Sam had made reservations at one of the nicest restaurants in Sydney to celebrate our one year anniversary. It was a week or so early, and it was planned on a random Thursday afternoon. but I thought nothing of it. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going, and made it a huge surprise. I thought it was really sweet of him to go out of his way to plan this for me.
So here it was, the day of our dinner. I got all dolled up, wore heels for the first time in months, and we made our way down to Milson’s Point for sunset overlooking the harbour. It was picture perfect.
We strolled alongside the harbour and walked into a stunning restaurant. It was filled with people, and Sam kept looking around.
He was stopping and staring around at other people, and it started to become a little weird. I looked around too but coudn’t pinpoint who he was trying to spot. Finally he said, “Who’s that creepy guy taking a video of you?”
I turn right, and spot my Dad’s face through the screen of his iPhone.
Disbelief. Surreal. Happiness. Confusion. Tears.
“You’re supposed to be in Tokyo?!!”
I was asking him what time it was in Tokyo, while he’d been in the same timezone as me the whole time!
We were at the best table with the best view with unbelievable wine and seafood. We ended dinner, spent the rest of the night in Darling Harbour people watching at the Cargo Bar. Then we get home, drink a few more beers overlooking the cove from the second story balcony of our house.
The next morning, I woke up and it still took me a few seconds to realise that my Dad was actually in the same country as me, let alone the same house! We took him to Bondi Beach to walk the Bondi to Clovelly Headlands Walk – about 7 kms altogether. It was a cracker of a day – reaching 38 degrees. So naturally, we had to finish the walk with a nice, cold beer. After, we drove straight to the airport, and my Dad hopped on a 16 hour flight home.
FTL -> San Fran -> Tokyo -> Singapore -> Melbourne -> Sydney -> Dalla -> FTL.
What a trooper.
It was the ultimate surprise, pulled off by so many. Keeping a secret like this from me for weeks, just so I could have this incredible experience. I’m truly lucky to be surrounded by people who love me so much. I’ll never forget this night, and I can’t wait for the rest of the family to get here in three short weeks!