After coming back from Europe and the first World Cup of the year it was back to training, training and more training for me. That is until my niece sent me a message and asked if she could come for a visit. That was definitely not something I could ever say no to, even if I had to train at the same time.
You see Lea was born after I left Canada and although we have seen each other quite a bit over the years, we had never spent any quality alone time together. She has been in New Zealand travelling around and I had been saying to her that she was only 3.5 hours away so we needed to try and see each other. So to say I was excited that she was coming for a visit is an understatement. She only had 2 weeks before she was starting a job in the ski fields but that was better than no time at all.
We did so much in that 2 weeks and things that as a resident of Melbourne you really don’t go and see much of. We went walking through the shopping alleyways of Melbourne, to looking at the amazing graffiti in Hosier Lane, lunching on Southbank, walking the St. Kilda Pier in search of the illusive penguins, having a look around Ballarat, introducing her to a girls weekend away in Queenscliff and climbing the 1000 steps (the Kokoda memorial) in eastern Melbourne. Lea even got some bouldering and running done while I was also training and she even got to be spoiled by Russ and his amazing cooking.
We laughed, talked and laughed some more…it was one of the most magical couple of weeks I have ever spent and I feel like I really got to know my niece. I just hope that she got to know me just as well. I now look forward to seeing her for Christmas, with the rest of my family making the trip ‘down under’ and hope to have just as much fun then!
What I learnt over that 2 weeks is that I have the most amazing and smart niece that anyone could ever have! Thanks Lea for letting me love you more and more as you grow into a beautiful young woman.