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Published: September 10th 2019
Sometimes when you’re travelling there are days you will carry forever. Today was one of them.
Let’s start by rewinding to the early 1980’s when my parents were holidaying on Dunk Island. I suspect it was their first proper holiday without us kids. In all the pictures Dad still had his sideburns and moustache and, maybe I’m imagining it, but Mum was rocking an extremely cute crocheted bikini! It was on that holiday they met an American couple Bill and Connie.
Well today we spent the day with Connie and heard how they first met. Connie told us they had booked the trip to Dunk Island on a working holiday at the last minute. Unfortunately they’d missed out on the snorkelling bookings and were really disappointed. They couldn’t believe it when an Aussie couple they’d just met, offered them their spots. The relationship has continued over the years and I have incredibly fond memories of my backpacking odyssey beginning with them in Carmel by the Sea. That was nearly 28 years ago, but when we got off the ferry at Sausalito today, it was like no time had passed at all. Since that time my
brother Brett visited them and their son Mike not only visited us on numerous occasions but spent his holiday down under!
Connie picked us up from the ferry and took us back to her gorgeous condo RIGHT ON THE WATER. I could have happily perched myself on that gorgeous balcony for the entire day, it was so picturesque with Lucky the Seal and yachts and ferry’s sailing by.
We were treated to a decadent breakfast of donuts, muffins and assorted delicacies after which we headed up into the hills and along the spectacular coastline to the Muir Woods. For over two hours we wandered through the incredible forest of redwood trees, many of which are 300-500 years old and more. It was so special to stroll through with Connie and catch up on the last 28 years - career changes, marriage, babies, life and everything in between. We finally found our way back to the entrance and after missing the turnoff (Dean and I on holiday mode and missing the sign), and ended up weaving our way along steep coastal roads which plunged down to the sea. The scenery was utterly breathtaking and Connie handled those blind, hairpin
turns with ease. Both girls were fast asleep - their first one for the day.
Connie had then booked us in at the San Francisco Mammal Hospital which is the home to California’s injured sea Mammals. The girls were utterly mesmerised by the patients and amazed at the $1,000 a day seafood bill! We were all saddened about the plastic and waste they showed found inside the stomach of a whale, and have committed to reducing our single use plastic. Zoe has also decided to sponsor a seal.
Connie then took us back for a stroll through the gorgeous Main Street of Sausalito and the obligatory daily ice cream from the towns best. We then headed back to Connie’s apartment where the girls both fell asleep (again - jet lag) on the couch and we enjoyed more chats with Connie and were thrilled to discover she had our favourite cheese.
The day finished perfectly with Connie bravely driving us up and down the incredibly steep streets of San Francisco where we enjoyed pizza and more laughs at our new favourite tony’s.
Today I was reminded of the quote “as with any journey, who you travel with
is more important than the destination”. Today we were lucky enough to enjoy both. Thanks Connie - we can’t wait to host you down under! And thanks to my Mum and Dad - you never know where an act of kindness will end!
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