Taking a trip like this takes LOTS of planning. I’ve had to arrange for the Easter Bunny, send the taxes off to the accountants, halt the mail and paper, arrange for nighttime sitters, shop, train (hey - this middle aged body doesn’t move like it’s 20 anymore and having a heart attack biking or hiking just wouldn’t be cool.), shop some more (technical gear like bike shorts, hiking pants, hiking shoes, long underwear etc,) and a million other little details to keep life rolling on the home front side. And the trip planning? Oh……well I have a plane ticket and a place to stay when I arrive, two tours booked and a hotel the day before the first tour. The rest? Well, as the older daughter says “Well that’s the adventure of it!”
D - DAY minus one
Packing, packing, packing. Reject, reject, reject. Why is it that there just never is enough room for all the shoes a girl needs in a suitcase? Thank God I only wear a size 6. But, I mean, I have to have shoes for hiking, shoes for biking, shower sandals, dress shoes, and touring shoes. Someone aught to invent shoe accessories that dress up or down shoes and inflate or deflate the soles depending on the need at the time. I think of poor Aunt M.H. traveling to Europe for a month with one suitcase that was to be carried on. Two hours later of packing and repacking it was the curling iron that ended up as a reject. Case closed and without expanding. Yeah!!! I hope I didn’t accidentally stick the Swiss Army knife in the carry-on backpack. I would never find it!
D - DAY !!!!
GREAT way to start the trip - I spilled coffee down the front of my very white top. No way to hide that one and no time to change.
I don’t know whether I’m jittery from too much coffee, lack of sleep or nerves but as I sit here at the gate it has occurred to me that for the first time in a long time I am totally out of communication! No cell phone here. No last good byes, final instructions, or lifeline to the tech help desk - which I could really use. For some reason I’m not receiving WIFI and I may have to go to an internet café to place this post.
And for all you who were sure that it is a great big wide world - I ended up sitting next to a woman on the plane who is going to take up sailing this summer at the very same club I sail out of and who works with a mutual friend.
I think I’m off to a splendid start, stained shirt notwithstanding.
FRIDAY, MARCH 21
I am so way ahead of you all - like 17 hours! I have arrived but am unable to access my email address files so you will only know I'm here if you read this. If you email me I can respond. The flight was a little bumpy (which limited sleep) but nothing a glass of wine and a movie didn't cure. Celebrated the morning (really more of middle of the night) with a mimosa and "The Jane Austin Book Club" movie until arrival in Aukland.
I knew I was really here when I heard my first "kreiky" (sp?) at the luggage carousel and couldn't help but think of Steve Irwin. The cookies in my backpack were sniffed by an official beagle looking for drugs so I think I'll rethink eating those. Yuck!
The sun is finally up, I have been to my hotel where I left my bag and now I'm recharging with a latte and laptop. I'm so pleased that I have conquered Vistas super secure virusware to be able to log on that I in all likelihood have simply opened the doors to any and all kinds of horrible and debilitating worms and viruses. Honestly, if they would just make their product less vulnerable I wouldn't need to disarm it when I really could use it.
I can't get over how pleasant it is. Everyone is in shorts and T shirts, sandals, backpacks, kakis. I'm in long back pants, black sweater and coffe. Doors are open to let in the breeze and there is a very casual feel to the atmosphere, most likely because it's a holiday here. (I didn't know NZ was Catholic.) With so much to see and explore I think I'll find a bench in the sunshine down by the water and soak some rays. No need to rush into things.