Just recently my hubby and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. He likes to tell me he’d get less for murder!

So much jail time (just kidding), so many years and adventures, two beautiful grown children I’m very proud of. We’ve had loads of ups and a fair share of downs. Life’s not perfect but we’re incredibly blessed.

It was a day to celebrate, just as every day is. But I do like to make it special, a bit different each year, kinda like a date night. This time I chose a city overnighter combined with a stage musical Come From Away.

On the day we woke to a prediction of one of the hottest days on record. Deciding against taking the train we drove into the city and opted for the convenient valet parking at the hotel.

Royce front

The Royce

Once renowned as one of Melbourne’s most glamorous automobile showrooms, today The Royce is one of Melbourne’s luxurious boutique hotels.

Outside it’s understated and exudes an old world charm, but step inside and you’re enveloped in a world of luxury.  And blessed coolness.

It’s chic and classy with charming period features of the former Rolls Royce era still intact in the lobby. We received a warm welcome and later, settled inside our upgraded spa room we flicked on the TV screen to read “Welcome to the Royce Miriam“. How cool! As was our room. Outside the temperature was 40C and climbing. Phew.

Pretty cool when you see your name pop up!

We lolled about, as you do in a swish hotel room, watched half a movie before deciding to venture out and enjoy our complimentary glass of wine and beer in the gorgeous lobby. It was quieter than their restaurant “Dish” where scores of happy noisy people had gathered at the bar for Friday afternoon and end of year Christmas drinks.

Here it was just us.

Stepping into the Furnace

Eventually we stepped out of the coolness and into the heat of the day where we trammed it into the heart of the CBD. Walking to the Italian restaurant The Spaghetti Tree was like walking through a sauna, or worse, an inferno.

It was sobering thinking of all the fire fighters on the front line battling all the bushfires that are, right now, devastating so much of this country. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking of the people who have lost so much.

I brought my mind back to the present. We do what we can from what we have and from where we are.

Dinner was fabulous and before we knew it we were at The Comedy Theatre, the venue for the show I’d been eagerly anticipating.

Come From Away

Do you remember where you were when 9/11 happened? I think most of us do. It was a day that changed history and the world.

On that fateful day as the horrific events unfolded, thousands of passengers were still in the air, oblivious to what had happened, when American air space was closed down.

When 38 planes were diverted to an island in Newfoundland Canada up to 7000 people were stranded.

The town and people of Gander opened its arms, heart and homes to house and feed these strangers who suddenly descended on them. Kindness was reborn as was a restoring of faith in the human spirit. This is that extraordinary true story.

Welcome to the rock if you come from away,
You’ll probably understand about half of what we say.
They say no man’s an island but an island makes a man,
Especially when one comes from one like Newfoundland.
Welcome to the Rock

It was uplifting and inspiring, clever in its creation and the 12 cast members who played multiple characters were phenomenal.

I laughed and I cried. It was thought provoking, funny, heartwarming and true. The set was minimal but effective and the music was rousing. It was one of the best original musical shows I’ve ever seen.

We left on a high. At 10pm it was still hot, though without the blazing sun the heat was less intense. Somehow it didn’t matter anymore. We’d been on a journey to Gander and been touched by something far greater.

We enjoyed a late night iced coffee and the sparkling city Christmas lights before eventually making our way back to the Royce.

There’s always something to celebrate. For us it was our wedding anniversary. For many it’s the coming of Christmas.

It’s whatever we believe in.

For the people on those planes who felt stranded, scared and confused and who lost their identity for a few days but were taken in by a community, it was re-discovering and celebrating the kindness of the human spirit.

For those in many parts of Australia battling drought and the effects of the fires it’s about hope and resilience. It’s about people coming together and helping each other out when times are tough. The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.

Yes, there’s always something to celebrate. Life.

I wish you all love, good health, happiness and hope during this festive season, and always.

“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Being alive is the special occasion.”

Thank you all for being with me this year on my Aussie adventures, for the friendships that l love and appreciate so much. There’s so much more still to come.

Enjoy the journey. Pray for rain.

In love and light.

Step into the light and live the life you dream.
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