We just got home from 10 days in Arizona, where we spent Christmas with my family. We stayed with my parents in the house in which I grew up. So I just got home from... home.
We had a great visit, and I decided that I'm going to do a proper trip story about it this time. I'll do that soon. I'm not up to that much effort tonight!
The drive between my parents' house in Mesa and San Diego is roughly 6 hours without stopping. We stopped twice- once for a snack in Gila Bend, and once for lunch and some park time in Yuma. I am the only family member capable of staying awake in the car on a long drive after lunch, so I drove the Yuma to San Diego leg. The kids were asleep for a large portion of that, leaving me free to listen to the grown up CDs that were loaded into the car. Mr. Snarky forgot to pack extra CDs for this trip, so I had exactly three grown up CDs to choose from, and they all happened to be New Zealand music. I had both discs of Nature's Best New Zealand's Top 30 Songs Of All Time and the first disc of Pacific Reggae Volume 1.
I wasn't really in the mood for reggae, although I recommend checking out Pacific reggae at least once- it has a different vibe from Caribbean reggae. While you're at it check out some NZ hip hop. Chains by DLT featuring Che Fu would be a good start. So I listened to the Nature's Best CDs. Although many people would probably recognize the Crowded House and Split Enz songs in this compilation, most of the other songs have a definite "world famous in New Zealand" feel to them. There were several Dave Dobbyn songs. Beside You is my favorite of the ones on the CD;
But if you've ever watched a rugby game held in New Zealand, you've probably heard Slice of Heaven:
(Hard to believe that the two videos feature the same man, but they do- just many, many years apart. Dave Dobbyn had a very long career! Mr. Snarky explains that the backing band in the second video are The Herbs, a well known NZ reggae band, and that the animated portions of this video are from the movie Footrot Flats- "a classic.")
But the song that really takes me back to New Zealand is Dominion Road, by the Mutton Birds:
When I first visited Mr. Snarky in New Zealand, he lived just off Dominion Road, and I remember him playing me this song in the beat up old car we rented to drive around New Zealand for three weeks. That trip was our "trial run," to see if it was worth him moving to the US to give our relationship a shot. We had a great trip, he moved to the US, and the rest is history.
I've written before about how Auckland (the city in which Dominion Road is located) feels like another home to me.
So I was driving from my original home to my current home, listening to music that made me think of the place I consider another home. It made me think a bit about the nature of "home," and I decided that to me, home is a place where I feel a special kind of comfortable. I don't know what exactly gives me that feeling. It isn't just time spent living there. I've really liked living in other places that never felt like home, and I've never actually lived in Auckland. Regardless, I am happy to have three homes. I wonder if I'll accumulate any more.