We are nearly packed and ready to leave for the airport. In a few hours we'll take off for Perth after nearly 6 weeks on the road.
We've been to Melbourne, Geelong, Gympie, the Gold Coast, Leongatha, Doreen, Mansfield, Mt Buller, Shepparton, Mildura and finally Adelaide.
We've been to an AFL preliminary Final, the Grand Final, Movie World, Wet and Wild World, AFL World, and a succession of "Relly Worlds" as we visited aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, cousins and friends in 4 different states.
We've flown in planes, driven borrowed and hired cars, taken a ferry across the heads of Port Phillip Bay, ridden on buses and trains and walked plenty of KM over the last month and a half.
It's been a great trip, one of the best holidays I can remember and a satisfying way to use the second half of my long service leave.
Returning home will be good but returning to work for me, and to school for the kids, will be a shock to the system. I have two BIG projects to organise and execute as soon as I get back to work so I'll need to hit the ground running if I'm going to get them done on time.
I've had a great time but there's no competition as to what the highlight of the trip has been.
Seeing my beloved football team Geelong finally break their 44 year premiership drought and win the Grand Final at the MCG will live with me forever as one of the greatest days of my life.
I've waited my whole life to see it and can now die happy!!
Carolyn and the kids have had a great time too but I sense they are keen to return home to their own beds. They'll sleep in them tonight.
I have another few days to wait for that particular pleasure because when I get back to Perth I'll be going straight up to New Norcia for a chaplains retreat until Friday.
I always enjoy the retreats but I'm not sure if any of my close friends in chaplaincy will be there this time. I'll have to wait and see. Whether they are or not I'm sure it will be a good time of rest and reflection within the Benedictine community and amongst my colleagues.
I'm grateful to all the family and friends who have hosted us over the last 6 weeks, it's been great to see so many people and get to spend some time with them.
I know Favourite Daughter is hanging out for us to get home, she's been a bit lonely without her family around. And the next big event on the horizon will be the return of The Heir after nearly two years away in Tasmania and the UK. It will be special to have the whole family together again for the first time in a couple of years and to have a family Christmas back in Busselton and Bridgetown.
Blogging opportunities in New Norcia will be very limited so this will probably be my last post for a few days.