I have always hated goodbyes. So much so that I have acquired somewhat of a reputation for leaving parties silently without so much as telling the hosts, or even worse, my guests, that I am going. I have a hunch who I learned that immature habit from but seeing as how father’s day is around the corner, I won’t name names. I hate thinking about not seeing people I love again. It’s like imagining death; it makes me sad and I’d rather avoid it all together. So as the clock started ticking faster during our last week in Tasmania, I began to dread the goodbyes. One way around it was coinciding our goodbye party with Carlos’ birthday. I knew it would be much more bearable to turn the focus onto him with a cake and drunken birthday debauchery than to have an entire party dedicated to saying the awful goodbyes. Needless to say, we made it through the final week with lots of alcohol.
It started out with a Cocina de Mama celebration dinner with our good friends Jacques and Matt. They have been Carlos and my partners in our pop-up venture and more than that, wonderful friends in Tasmania. We reminisced about our crazy taco business over several bottles of wine at Piccolo in Hobart. As we looked back on the first time we cooked up tacos (and how happy we were to have sold sixty to almost entirely friends and family), we toasted to how successful we were with Cocina de Mama, all things considered. I still can’t believe we sold Mexican food in Tasmania. People stopped Carlos on the street to ask about his hot sauce! I invited our butcher to our going away party and he CAME! Jacques was a godsend for running last minute errands to the hardware store and cleaning up after our disasters. Matt has the energy, creativity and artistic vision (not to mention tastebuds) that got that whole thing off the ground. It felt good to spend a night acknowledging the experience and the bond we have created.
Another moment of closure for Carlos and me was climbing up Mount Wellington one last time. It was brutally cold at the top and even worse going down. I pretty much hated it. But I loved that mountain and I know Carlos does too. Spending two hours of heavy breathing on the painful ascent was an appropriate way to say goodbye without being able to say anything at all.
On Tuesday we went on our last road ride with the Bike Ride crew. About twenty-five people showed up for the ride which was probably a record. It was a huge turnout for what everyone knew was out last group ride. We bar hopped from the Fern Tree Tavern to the Cascade Pub. Speeches were made over nips of Ardbeg. It’s winter in Tassie so it’s quite cold but everyone hung out just to spend some time with us. I can’t begin to articulate how special that was.
I couldn’t leave Tassie without one final hurrah at the Lark. Carlos and I met at the Cellar on Friday night to pick up our bottles of Heartwood whisky our friend Tim . These are truly one of a kind bottles of whisky and we were thrilled he put a couple aside for us. We continued on with nips of this and that as friends came in and out. As I brace myself for the questions when we are back in the US about what I do for a living, I was pleasantly reminded of how much fun I had working with the Lark crew as a bartender. Many a night were spent at that bar working/drinking and all of those experiences played a big role in shaping my life in Tasmania. We slipped out of the Lark when hunger pains took over and headed over to Flippers for some of Tassie’s best fish n’chips. Byron, Michelle, James and Tim joined in as we sat in the cold drunkenly licking fingers.
I couldn’t have planned a better lead-up to the big farewell because all of the tasty treats and fun outings with friends distracted me from the reality of moving away. Now all I had to do was focus on Carlos’ birthday and I would be in the clear.