So, I started writing this blog a few weeks ago on our return but got so caught up returning to our “normal” life I kept forgetting to finish it.
Our journey back to Western Australia would see us stopover in Sydney to go through customs and board our connecting flight to Perth, unfortunately our flight out of Hawaii was delayed 2 hours which meant we missed our connecting flight and had to spend the night in Sydney. As it was a fault with the airline they supplied meals and a hotel. We weren’t too bothered as one of the benefits of travelling so much is you get accustomed to little hang ups like this. I had already committed to turning up to train at the Submission factory the next day so was a little bummed I wasn’t going to get as much rest as I had planned. Being just on Australian soil again felt a little weird and the kids were amazed at the smallest things such as everyone sounding like us again hahaha.
The next morning, we got up at 4:30am so we could get to the airport and make our 6am flight back to Perth. Feeling quite tired we arrived back in Perth at around 10am, we were met at the airport by Dee’s mum. Both Lilly and Kobe couldn’t contain themselves as we walked down to pick up our bags running and jumping all over her. We somehow managed to fit the 5 bags and us into the car and headed home. I jumped straight into getting our car back up and running which had been sitting in the garage with the battery removed while we were away. Unfortunately, we still had to jump start it and for a few days it was a bit of a gamble if it was going to start or not.
The plan for the next couple of weeks was to spend a few days in Perth training and getting ready for Christmas, something we hadn’t organised for and it was only a few days away. We were then heading to my parent’s place in Leschenault where we would spend Christmas before heading back to Perth and then back home to Newman. That first night back in WA I headed to up to the Sub factory where I was able to share a few things that I had learnt during our trip. It was great to catch up with everyone some even traveling around an hour to come and hang out with us.
A couple of days later we headed down to my parent’s place, the kids couldn’t wait to see my Mum and Dad. The days around Christmas were spent either at the beach, water skiing or just lazing around. We headed out water skiing after Christmas, something that I had spent a lot of my time doing at this time of year as a kid. Lilly was able to get up Skiing on around her 5th pull which for anyone is an amazing achievement that pays tribute to her determination, balance and strength. Dee also made it up but just couldn’t stay up ?. We spent the entire day out on the water which was fantastic even if we did succumb to the intense Aussie sun and got a little burnt.
After almost a week of not training it was starting to feel a little weird as it was the longest time I had gone without training since my rib had healed at the start of our trip. We left Leschenault and headed back to Perth to get some more training in and get the things we needed before taking the 12 hr drive back home to Newman. As most of the gyms closed around this time of year I made a few phone calls and ended up driving back down to Rockingham to train at The Arena with Jamie Morrison and the guys there. Jamie had helped me out earlier in our trip with putting us into contact with Robert Drysdale who would allow us to take part in his World Masters Camp. We had a few great days training down with the guys at the Arena and Lilly and Kobe even got to get a class in which they loved.
We also visited Brandon at Kaizen Lab BJJ and Leigh at Grappling Technics a few times where I also got to catch up with the person who introduced me to the art Gerald Burton-Batty, who was visiting from Melbourne. I didn’t get to visit them previously before I left but it was great to catch up and see how strong their clubs were going. I managed to get in a session with Stacey Wilson. We had some great rolls and was happy to share with him some of the things I had learnt while away. After a couple of hours of training Stacey surprised me, by promoting me to Brown Belt.
We had planned on leaving on Saturday morning but after Cleve Williams gave me a call to let me he was celebrating the new venue of his academy we decided to postpone our trip back…. After 6 months what was one more day? It turned out to be a great event and saw people from all over the Perth area and other affiliations come and train together. Even after being super tired from all the training I had been doing that week I rolled from the moment I got there until we left (we were the last ones there). It was so good catching up with everyone and I’m sure the new place with be a huge success.
We headed home to pack for the long journey back north to Newman, after all this adventure I don’t think any of us were quite ready for it to end yet… I’m sure our next adventure won’t be too far away ?