the trip, part 1 *updated with pics*

i typed this up while sitting in the prince hotel in melbourne. (it looks way cooler than the site's pictures, even...) it was the last destination in our journey. i think i’ll have to post this in a number of different posts because i think it will be quite long. it may be a tad boring, especially without pics yet... and it's almost word for word from the journal i was keeping so it might not make a whole lot of sense... and there are time lapses, etc... but, anyway, no more excuses... here’s my carnet de voyage.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

finally landed. my legs are all swollen from the long flight, they are not unlike little sausages.

i’m extremely tired. i can’t remember the last time i was this tired. we were delayed at lax for an hour and a half. we taxied on the runway for a long time. something about dangerous luggage. that can't be good... met this guy named keith at lax. i must’ve been in an especially good mood because i was talking to him. he’s a complete stranger, for chrissakes! i never talk to strangers! he’s some IT guy from boston who did yoga for 3 years. that boy can stretch like nobody’s business. oh, maybe that's why i was talking to him :P

he’s also a dj. but he listens to crap trance. i hate crap trance. he told us next time we’re in boston (which will most likely be never) we shouldn’t go to avaland, we should check out rise. unfortunately, according to him, in order to get in, you have to know someone. yeah. whatever. if they play crap trance, we probably don’t wanna go there, anyway.

he was nice, though. he’s staying in new zealand for 3 weeks and he’s going to get his skydiving license. awesome. before i die, i think i’d like to go skydiving… just once.

on the flight, i sat next to a woman with a friggin’ lance armstrong “live strong” bracelet. ARGH! i didn’t say anything to her in the beginning… partway through the flight, she starts talking to me. she’s meeting one of her sisters in NZ. they’re biking in NZ for a week and then going to tasmania to bike there for a week. she was from new jersey. phew. those east coast people had basically been traveling for over 24 hours… brutal. i made a snarky comment to her about her bracelet… well, all i said was, “oh… lance armstrong fan?” but i said it really sarcastically. then she said, “oh yeah… but i mostly got it because my sister has cancer…” goddamnit! i’m such a fucking asshole… eh, you know what? fuck it. lance had testicular cancer. i doubt her sister has testicular cancer.

movies we saw on the flight. somersault. i thought it was pretty good. basically a coming of age story. set in australia. i thought it was shot really well… collateral. once again, tom cruise failed to impress me. jamie foxx on the other hand… now he was really good. he did really well with such a limited script. i think i may have to watch ray now. king arthur. uhm… whatever. not exactly memorable. i liked keira knightley’s outfit at the end. but… how does she keep that top on when she’s running???? maybe they used that spray glue that pageant contestants use when they’re doing their swimsuit competition. and finally, saw the last half of i, robot. i was unimpressed…

i’m fucking BEAT. i probably only got about an hour and a half of sleep on the plane and i worked my ass off this past week at work.

we’re driving down to rotorua. we’ve been making little pit stops to take pics and such. the roads here are really nice. everything’s well marked. the roads are smooth. better than a lot of roads in california. it’s a nice smooth ride… especially in our nissan pulsar! :P AND it’s…wait for it… a limited edition! it’s beautiful :P

i love the flora here. so many different types of trees and shrubs all clustered together. and it’s everywhere. it’s not uncommon to see palm-type trees mixed in with some evergreen-type trees… (i can’t get more descriptive than that … i’m not exactly nature girl.) i thought it was pretty cool…steve just picked me up some little tiny pine cone like things. they look like pine cones, but they’re only about ¾ inch big. they’re so cute!

(we pulled over to some tiny little park on the side of the road that steve caught out of the corner of his eye... it was gorgeous... this pic just shows how everything is so lush and green. i'll look for some more pics)

the weather’s a tad drizzly. very cloudy... but really, i’m just glad to be off that plane!

finally at rotorua. steve got us a great hotel (novotel royal lakeside) with a great location. right by the lake, surrounded by cute shops. we haven’t seen the room yet. late check-in time….

(over to the right, there's this little crafts fair that they have on sundays...)

god… all i want is a shower. then i’ll be ready to face the world again.

rotorua has a lot of mineral pools. our hotel has a few geothermal pools in its spa. that’s cool and all, but that also means that rotorua alternates between smelling nice and smelling like ass every other minute… and that sulfur smell can get strong.

sidenote: i’m so glad i’m not driving. all this “wrong” side of the road stuff makes me nervous. something i’d kinda like to try… but in a less congested area. i dunno, though. sounds fun in theory, but… i’m afraid i’m going to choke and turn the wrong way on some street. it’s SO bound to happen. so yeah. no driving for me. also, instead of “yield” they have “give way” and “motorways” instead of "freeways." yeah. i’d be pretty screwed.

(hope that's me taking this pic and not steve driving and taking the pic!!!)

this sleep deprivation is making me kinda crazy… and god knows i don’t need any more help on that front.

it’s cold, then hot, cold, then hot… the weather gods won’t make up their damned minds.

whenever i’m in a different place and i’m surrounded by people with an accent (which is almost always a really cool accent), i tend to start talking like them… even in my head when i’m thinking… i’ve gotta stop doing that! i sound like a fucking loser or a poser!

we went to see the kiwi birds at the conservatory. they’re so cute! i never realized how much like a kiwi fruit they looked like. the kiwis were going extinct, so in ’95, they set up some foundations to incubate the eggs and then release them back in the wild, preferably where there are no predators. i learned a lot about the way they’re trying to save the kiwis…

(they didn't let us take pics of the kiwis. they're nocturnal. and pretty skittish. they probably would've freaked out if we took pics of them.)

took a gondola ride up to the top of some mountain. the view is just breathtaking. thought about taking the luge back down, but i’m pretty tired… i’d probably crash.

(this is either on the way up or one of the views at the top... can't remember right now.... wait... maybe it's the way back down... whatever.)

(this is on the way back down)

then we went to the maori hangi… not sure on the spelling… it’s like a luau. but it’s maori. lots of good food and entertainment. but we had to leave partway through, near the end. they were pulling up “volunteers” from every country that was visiting. unfortunately, we were the only ones from the US. so yeah… we had to leave.

(yeah, baby! take it all off! oh. oops. wrong show.)

there were so many koreans at the show. it was mortifying. and then there was the little blonde girl who was annoying the shit outta me just because she was a bratty little creature. and the stupid korean women were taking pics with her just because she was blonde. god! it wasn’t even a good blonde. it was a dirty blonde. i wanted to tell that little girl’s mom, “your daughter? yeah, she’s not really cute. they just don’t get to see very many blondes in korea.” and then one of the korean women gave the kid probably the equivalent of about $10USD in korean money. why??? WHY??? and i’ll bet that woman treated that blonde child better than she treats her own children. sometimes, i really hate being korean.

i’m seriously allergic to the air in NZ. i had to go to a pharmacy to get myself some allergy medicine. the lady at the drug store said there’s lots of pollen in the air right now. stupid, stupid allergies!

i hope to god i can get 11 hours of sleep tonight…. i’m barely awake right now…


Blogger Jeremy said...

Great pictures. Now it's time for all of us to drool with envy. I'm so glad it all went so well. And look, you're back, safe and sound with no plane crashes onto strange islands with polar bears. That's always good news.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Veronica said...

Love the pics! Glad you had a wonderful time. I'm so jealous! :o)

11:03 AM  
Blogger Cece said...

What an awesome trip! And furthermore...
Steve is hot! :oP
oh yeah and...
Those sausage legs of yours look pretty gross. You should have those checked out.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Yankeebob said...

Sounds like a great trip! (Says a very jealous Yankeebob) I love reading your updates. You're so funny. Glad you're back safe and sound.

12:00 PM  
Blogger grace said...

J: part of me was hoping we'd crash and be on an island... with matthew fox... i'd like to save him :P

more pics to come. if only that stupid hello program would work! rat bastards!

cece: thanks! i think so, too! *meow* he's got this great butt! i'm always pimping it out to my friends. next time you're out this way, you'll have to have a feel :P no, really. it's great.

yb: thanks! we're glad we're safe, too. although, i wouldn't have minded being lost with matthew fox. oh, damn. did i already say that???? :P

12:35 PM  
Blogger julia said...

oo.. looks like you guys had fun in NZ.. minus the lack of sleep and allergies.. :) that picture of you and the kiwi sign is cute.. heh.

steve has a great butt. i should know, you've only made me grab it like a zillion times. :P

can't wait for AU pictures!

12:58 PM  

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