Saturday, February 11, 2012

NZ- Saturday, 1/8

Saturday, 1/8, Flight NZ10, Over the Pacific Ocean
I think every single person on the plane but me is watching or has watched “The Social Network” on their seat back viewers. I've watched a game and a half off All Blacks rugby. Not a poseur! Rugby is much less confusing than cricket, and much faster than American football. I'm not sure why we haven't given it a more public try yet (by the way, there is a rugby pun in there, can you find it?). NFL is too strong probably. They better hope there's no lockout. The Rugby World Cup is in October and football fans with no '11-'12 season could discover the game at its highest level. Hey, we nearly cared about soccer. And rugby is way more interesting than that.
Security at Auckland International was cake even compared to HNL. “Do we need to take off our shoes?” *polite scoff* “No, its fine. Go ahead and leave your change in your pockets too, we know what coins are here. We are what you might call 'civilized'. Go on through.” Ok, that might not have been exactly what he said, but the basic idea is there. It was fast, painless, and supremely easy.
I spent my free time at the airport feeling the NZ$25 cash I still have burning a hole in my pocket. Sadly, I could find nothing I wanted and am bringing back money I can't use. We could convert it back at HNL, but I think I may hold on to it. Never know when we'll be back to the land of the long white cloud and the short brown bird.
As we fly the plane's flux capacitor is fluxing and we are generating the 1.21 gigawatts needed to travel back in time to yesterday, when we will land at 8pm Friday, which is when we were packing to fly back. At least no wormhole or flight path which includes a slingshot around the sun is needed...I don't think. And the plane does seem bigger on the inside. (Is that enough scifi time travel jokes? Have I covered every major tv show and movie? Oh wait.) Also we don't have to be naked for it to work. And don't forget that San Dimas High School football rules! (There, now I think I'm done.)
I can't put in to words how much we enjoyed this trip, though looking back it sure seems I've tried. Hopefully some of them did the job. Aside from a few small things (passing a kidney stone while camping, anyone?) I wouldn't have changed a thing.

NZ- Friday, 1/7

Friday, 1/7- Best Western BK, Auckland
My cycling shirt will eventually wear out, as will my new All Blacks shirt and my kangaroo leather hat. But my final souvenir, that will last forever.
When we awoke we went in to super-mega clean mode on the inside of Captain Slow, getting him as empty of gray water, full of fresh water, and cleaned of all things dirty as we could. Along with that we packed all of our things into something, anything to make the transfer to hotel as quick and easy as possible.
Then it was off to Auckland in one big, four-hour hop, stopping only to pee, put a snack together, and be sure the propane tank was full. We figured on dropping the Captain off a little early so that we could have a little more time.
Not so much. We had told the company when we picked up Captain Slow that we would drop him off at 3:30. We arrived at 2:00. No one was there. We called and luckily only had to wait twenty minutes for the guy. It was the same one that brought us the camper. He remembered us when we mentioned visiting Sheep World. He took us to the motel.
We checked in and then set about finding a decent tattoo shop. The bus ride in to Auckland main, Plan A, would have taken over an hour. Fail. Plan B appeared in the form of Nesian Tattoo, a studio quite literally two minutes walk from our room. Hooray. And the shop looked clean. Hooray. And the portfolios were really good. Hooray. And they had an opening, no waiting. Hooray. Cash in hand took a seat and got matching silver ferns on the outside of our left forearm/wrist. They are small, only an inch and a half or so long and maybe an inch wide at the thickest point and will be easy to cover. Left side because that's the wedding ring side. Same stencil. I think they are the perfect honeymoon souvenir.
Dinner was a short walk away at a Greek/Italian/Indian place called The Bar and Baa. Good food, shaky service.
We're now in the room trying to make everything we bought *cough seventeenkilosofyarn cough* fit in to our bags. Well, she is. She's better at it and I'd be in the way.
We don't want to go.
Oh yeah, the guy who did our ink was a big Samoan named Joe. My tiki was done by Joe, the shark on my ribs was done by JoeJoe. Moral- Guys named Joe become tattoo artists. He was very cool but it was a trip to listen to him talk because the voice that came out of him was not the voice we are used to hearing out of guys that look like him. Big Samoan at home means heavy pidgin. Here? Soft-spoken with that wonderful Kiwi accent.
Our flight is at 10am and we need to arrive three hours early. Early night tonight then (in a real bed! Yay!) and early morning tomorrow. Like I said before, we don't want to go.