It seems that dreams really do come true. No “over the rainbow”, no following yellow brick roads or wearing ruby slippers. For the last three years I have wanted to return to Oz (Australia). My visit there opened windows of my heart that I had never opened before. I took deeper breaths, stopped to smell flowers and listened to birds in the wild that I was used to seeing in cages.
The trip happened after meeting a friend via Facebook that lived in AU. Yes, it was so random that it lead me to believe it was providence. The hows and whys are not as important as the beautiful possibility that exists now that we can meet kindred spirits via the phenomenon that is social networking. We had started a friendship that led to a visit a year later. After selling my Denby (an incomplete set at that) and whatever else I didn’t really need, Sage (my one year old and youngest of three) and I were on a plane to Sydney.
During my visit there I realized some moments seemed incomplete without sharing this beautiful country with the rest of my family. I was driving near Terrigal Beach, NSW listening to Geoffrey Gurrumul in my Holden rental and tears started to stream as I envisioned us all there together. That was November 2008.
Fast forward to a month ago. Dan and I talking about a time when the two of us could take our first trip together (after 13 years of marriage of which 11 of those have been consumed by raising our wonderful brood). We realized it would be a while before we could afford a trip to Oz for two of us. So he selflessly said, “I think you need to go back, visit Kate and have a break”. After looking into a ticket and discovering I couldn’t do that to our family right now, I let it go.
My version of letting it go was entering a contest. After seeing a commercial on CBC to win a trip to AU–I entered. I spent hours refining my 250 words to be “just right”. Only to discover that they wanted 250 characters-under two tweets! This was my response to why I thought they should pick me:
“A Father that is an artist. One sister a designer. Another a fashion writer. I am a mother. For the last 11 years I have folded my creativity into raising my children into being the next generation of artists. In the interim, I have lost the artist in me. Over the last 3 years I have doused myself with Ready Steady Cook, Wombat Stew, Missy Higgins & every good Oz Shiraz I could I try. This opportunity would be like a mother’s paycheque! Seeing one of the most artsy cities in AU with two such committed “Designer Guys” like S & C would be life changing.”
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So I pressed send and hoped for the best.
Upon Dan getting home from work that day, I told him about my contest entering day. He said, “Can I enter it too?” And so he did, to the tune of this (with help from his writer wife):
“To win something for the woman who has made my life a full cup, a road worth going down and a trip I’d want to take all over again-would be an honour. Our home relishes in all things Aussie–Archibald, ARIA, AU Vineyards and an over all “no worries” lifestyle. After 13 years married this would be the dream honeymoon we never took.”
Well I am glad I am married to him, cause his entry won! CBC contests called him to confirm the win and when he texted me “We are going to Melbourne!” I was excitedly confused…thinking it maybe had something to do with work? but maybe the contest? It was the latter. Out of 60,000+ entries, it came down to our write-ups being the number one and two choice to win. Dan’s won! And I screamed and danced and my kids looked at me like they were the adults.
A dream come true. A time for Dan and I to invest golden moments into our lives as a couple together. Amazing. We will see Melbourne, hang with Steven & Chris, tuck in Tasmania and meals at vineyards. Even add a chunk of time on to go see my Kate in NSW. Truly a pot of gold delivered to us this month–thank you Tourism Australia & CBC.