I've just added up the miles that we've driven on the North Island and the South Island. It seems that we've seen approximately 1620 miles of North Island roads and 1240 miles on the South Island. I would estimate that of the 2860 total miles driven, the kids and I have been carsick for at least 2500 miles.
We have been cold and wet and tired, sore, lost, nauseous, frustrated, and bewildered, but it has been more than worth all the troubles to live here for the past six months. I've written countless posts and taken 10s of thousands of photos and still can't quite describe what a gorgeous, wonderful place New Zealand is.
With the support of a few wise friends I'm coming to grips with our imminent departure, but I have truly been just plain sad about leaving. I'm not often one to feel sad. It's rather new and I don't particularly enjoy it, but a few girlfriends can help you see things from a slightly different perspective. It always comes down to that, doesn't it. Thank God for girlfriends -- and the passage of time, I suppose.
As we wind down, the four of us have been making lists together, in our idle time at dinner or driving, of what we'll miss here and what we look forward to upon returning home. I thought I'd show you all Laurel's NZ journal where she's been keeping track of our thoughts.
And so, with barely five days left, we will finish up with the packing and visit a few favorite spots for the last time and soak up the sunshine and breathe deeply the fresh clean warm air and listen as the tide comes in, and prepare to return to the dark frozen tundra that is our real life. We knew this would not last. We knew that it was not ours to keep. And yet, it's so hard to let it go.
We will miss New Zealand.