It didn’t take long to get reacquainted with life on land after having been away from it for a while. Well, I take that back…reacquainted to life on land where you can get anything you need, anytime, anywhere. Life in New Zealand is life made simple again which probably accounts for why we’ve gone a wall on our website since our arrival. The Tuesday we got here we hit the ground running, we hit it quick, and we haven’t stopped since. Due to lack of sleep for the last two nights at sea Drew settled in for a nap Tuesday before last while I, not at all sleep deprived, set off to mingle amongst those whom had arrived and were safely nestled into their slips at the Opua Marina. I was with Marc & Jane of s/v Imagine enjoying a nice beer when their daughter, Caroline, yelled from outside, “mom, Zen is here.” I knew I’d only had a sip of my beer so I wasn’t hearing things but thought there was no way she could be right. One look outside and I couldn’t believe my eyes!
Sure enough, Tom, Monique, Cammi, & Cole had driven up from Whangarei to surprise us. I had no idea that Whangarei was only an hour down the road, they might as well have traveled from Tonga, but nonetheless, in my heart it felt the same and the tears began. One would think I hadn’t seen these amazing friends in years when in fact it had barely been a month. Oh, they just make me that happy! Hugs all around, “what are you doing here?”s, and a quick plan derived to awake a napping Drew with the surprise. Unfortunately we weren’t as slick as we’d hoped and he heard us coming but he was shocked, nonetheless, and within ten minutes it was decided that we had to go to their house with them. According to Monique, we had no choice. So off we went. A quick dinner in town and one scary as hell on the other side of the road hour long drive later we were nestled snug in their living room. One night turned to two and we had a ball just hanging out, cooking, eating, exploring, shopping, laughing, doing laundry, sleeping in a big cozy bed, enjoying very fast/free internet, and taking hot showers as long as we wanted. It was heaven.
Back in Opua on Thursday, we took even more time to breath and relax for a bit. Spent several nights being groupies to our buddy Alan from s/v Follow You, Follow Me. He’s a drummer and often finds local musicians at ports so he can jam. He played alongside a local named, Trippy, another named, Dan, and wherever they played we went cause they were fantastic! Lots and lots of emails from everyone asking what it looks like here and unfortunately, we haven’t a whole lot of time to really explore just yet. Cabs here are RIDICULOUSLY expensive so unless we can bum a ride off of a fellow cruiser then we stick pretty close to the marina. Had to go to the bank in town the other day, about a 5 mile ride, and the cabbie was going to charge me $40NZ to get there and back. Ummm, no thank you. One of the sweet ladies in the marine insurance office asked if I knew how to drive on the left side of the ride and I said, “sure!” Her car turned out to be a stick shift which I’m familiar with but wasn’t accustomed to doing so with my left hand. Some things you learn never go away so my memories of driving my first car which was a stick clicked in and I made it safe and sound. It was fun!
Night before last we sailed from Opua to Whangarei and are prepping Dosia for her month long slumber party here. Drew and I catch a bus to Auckland Sunday morning and are going to be spending two jammed packed days and luxurious nights in the SKYCITY Grand Hotel. I absolutely cannot wait to use my birthday present and be pampered in the spa on Monday afternoon but not before I defy death and jump off the Sky Tower! One would think that after seven months of a gals toes not seeing a pedi that I could get one free and clear but nope. Drew and I are both scheduled to leap off the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere that morning and from that accomplishment comes the spa package. Tuesday we catch our flights home and will be stateside until the end of December! We have every intention of maintaining the blog while home so for now we’ll just say thanks for following us along these past seven months. It’s been an unbelievable journey, one we look forward to continuing next year. Happy Holidays and much love to you all from both Drew and myself!