Every night before bed, Maisley and Coura want to hear stories from when I was younger. I often tell Poppi stories because they make me happy and keep him alive in their tiny worlds. When this one came to me tonight, l desperately wanted to call him and reminisce, so instead I’m writing it here.
I remember so vividly that winter in June when my Dadio came to Sydney “on holiday”. We had been planning and emailing and using my calling card (!) to schedule our time together. I was so happy to have him there after surviving my first two months alone in a new country. Being around my dad was like being around the best version of myself. Does that even make sense?
We traveled seamlessly together; always on the same page. Happy and carefree vacation life suited my hardworking and responsible Dad. I loved the way he would kick back in his chair with a beer in his hand and say, “It doesn’t get much better than this, huh Jen?”
The day he arrived we promptly hit the thrift shop after he saw my TV sitting on the floor. He also wondered how I heated up my food. We found a small TV stand and a white microwave, shoved them into a cab and suddenly my little studio felt more like a home. Such a classic Dad move.
We had a lot of memories from our time together, but one of my favorites was our trip to the Blue Mountains. Dadio and I both loved mountain biking so I figured a personalized biking excursion would be the perfect outing. We sat three across in an old pickup style truck for the 2.5 hour ride west of Sydney, with a real genuine Aussie mate named Steve, as our driver and tour guide. I just remember he talked a lot while my dad and I mostly asked questions and looked out the window or at each other for a funny side smile.
When we arrived at our trail, our legs were already a little stiff from the long drive. We jumped on to test out our joy rides and immediately felt the weight of the extra heavy aluminum frames. The trail that Steve chose was this irritating up and down path that was just hard enough to not be enjoyable. Plus, we didn’t even see the Blue Mountains? Ice had unexpectedly accumulated throughout the trail and the temperature was far below comfortable. Needless to say we were exhausted after our two hour ride. Good thing Steve promised and raved about a delicious lunch he would be providing! Steve, a robust Aussie man, brought us each a single, measly spring roll from his favorite Vietnamese place. I feel stuffed just thinking about it.
Read the room, Steve!
We headed back to Sydney feeling cold, hungry and with miles of memories stashed away to laugh about later.
To this day, I can’t help, but smile. We laughed about that little trek a hundred times over (once it was over). Sometimes the “worst” moments are our best memories.