Trip went great... some tips for those who decide to come here... definitely take a few bottles of water on the plane; it's hard to get enough from the stewardesses/stewards. Also, take your toothbrush and toothpaste with you - and use them!
Buy dinner before takeoff (if you have a night flight); I did, and was glad. The couple next to me (celebrating their honeymoon with 3 weeks in NZ and 5 days in Fiji - and flew from Frankfurt, Germany!) didn't, and wasn't thrilled with the food. Btw, they were together 14 years before marrying... trumps me and Tim! (7 years)
Also, plan on having layers of clothes on... the plane was quite warm to begin with, and was chilly throughout the flight. The blankets (provided for everyone) are great, though. Having a neck pillow can be helpful, but won't guarantee you won't have a stiff neck once you get here.
Getting used to the NZ accent is a challenge; I have to ask them, "What?" and they do the same to me... sometimes it's like we're speaking different languages.
Already made a mistake while driving... turned right in to the right lane, rather than the left and had to swerve... annoyed a few othewise very laid-back kiwis, that's for sure (esp. since one honked)...
hopefully, it made such an impression on me, I won't do it again. I can feel the motor neurons (no pun intended) in my brain going, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
They're having to reroute themselves, that's for sure.
Kiwis must trust people much more than we do... without having signed a car rental contract, the agent had me drive the car by myself to the rental car desk (just a couple minutes from the airport terminal).
Drove straight to the beach in Nelson and walked, people-, bird-, and boat-watching the whole way. Some very talented kite-flyers were there, too. Oh, and watched a few rugby games... what are they trying to do in that game??? Maybe I'll understand by the time I leave.
Sorry to be cruel to those in winter climes... it's probably 80 degrees here, with a clear, bright blue sky.
Found a great cafe for lunch - lots of organic, free-range, "natural"/local ingredients listed on the menu. Awesome.
Unfortunately, there are McDs around, too... even one at the airport. Well, at least there are many choices.
Guess I can head to the retreat center soon. Check in is 4:30 PM. My body/mind/spirit are calling out for southern hemisphere yoga...
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