Sunday, November 11, 2012

not working...and that's OK

So, a few days of liberty have really felt like a much longer respite from the status quo at NPX than they really should.  After some quality time with a maimed Chch and a day at the pools/spas (had a massage courtesy of a gift certificate), we flew to Rotorua yesterday and visited the Tolkien filming location of Hobbiton this morning.  They're still doing additions to the area as a result of the new Hobbit movies that wrapped filming there a year ago or so.  It's really pretty countryside, and the hobbit holes are pretty cute.  I stood at the front gate of BAG END!  Anyhow, pictures may or may not get forwarded depending upon the internet situation.  It's mostly been a pay as you go affair thus far, so some of the visuals may have to wait.

Bandwidth has been mostly spent trying to actually make reservations for the rest of the way home.  Thus far, we've lucked out with getting things when we want them.  But, Chch is pretty full this week for the Cup and Show horse race/drunken debauch (not sorry to miss most of that), and the last two nights before an early (6:30 AM) flight to Sydney en route to Los Angeles have yet to be acquired.  Once in LA, we'll be getting across town to Union Station and hopping on the Amtrak Southwest Chief train overnight to Williams, AZ.  From there it will be a quick trip to the Grand Canyon's south rim for the day-night-day, and then back to Williams and on another really early train (another SW Chief) the rest of the way home.  I've wanted to do the train from the coast for years, so this is striking while the iron is hot.  It was a big relief when USAP travel didn't mess around with us (fees, extra charges, etc.) and we got what we wanted.  Anyhow, it's a lot less exotic trip than 2 years ago, but there are things like school and job interviews (still pending word from Houston) that might be more necessary investments at this point. 

From Rotorua the road heads to Taupo for a day-night and then to Wellington for several days, where a catch-up with a cryogenics technician from a past year will hopefully come to pass.  It's then the ferry and bus back to Chch, and with luck there will be someplace to stay once there.
"This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun."
~Clark Griswold, National Lampoon's Vacation


Teacher said...

You will love the Chief! Do stop into El Tovar for a iced tea when you get to the rim. Hurray for Teddy's lodge!

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