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  • Last Books Read

    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - (K) Humorous and thorough history and science behind ultrarunners and long-distance running
    *****
    Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela - (K) An autobiography covering his childhood, years as a freedom fighter and incarceration. Inspiring and informative
    *****
    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - (K&T) A mystery set in Barcelona involving an old book, a failed writer and murder
    *****
    Lush Life by Richard Price - A Lower East Side tale of cops, drugs and drinking
    ***
    The Chinese by Jesper Becker - (K&T) Modern history of my peeps, from the cultural revolution to the many failed economic and social attempts to move the country forward
    ***
    Setting the Table by Danny Meyer - A "how-to" on hospitality and business acumen by the restaurateur behind such NY institutions as the Shake Shack and Union Square Grill
    ***
    The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - Obama lays out what is wrong with the current government and how, vaguely, to change it.
    **

And That’s We Did Yesterday…

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Heard Today

Below see transcript of actual conversation during our hike around Lake Tekapo:

Me:  Diesel, do you see my VPL?

Diesel:  What’s that?

Me:  Visible PantyLine (I clarified, wearing my leggings). Ya know, a term coined by the famed William Sledd, YouTube fashion guru extraordinaire.

Diesel:  Hmm, let me see.  Turn around.

(inspecting)

Diesel:  Well, not really, but if you lift up your jacket, you can.

Me:  Oh, shucks.

Diesel:  That’s ok. You’re old…so it doesn’t matter

From Wine Country to Country

This might be a bit confusing because I’m going backwards now.Well, going backwards to Australia and then forward in time. I realize we didn’t post that much about what we were doing then other than that we picked some grapes..Here is an attempt to catch you up. I will add pictures as I can but because the people of Oceania have MB caps on uploads, it is kind of a pain to get pictures up. Mostly becuase it costs money and after spending $1/hour for internet in Thailand, we have a hard time paying $5 for 50MB…or like 10 pictures.

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The New Gapers

We’ve been here in NZ for like 3 days so far but all we can say is “WOW”

NZ is just freaking beautiful. Around every turn seems to be another gorgeous landscape. We must have pulled over 10 times today to take pictures.

But we’ve quickly realized we don’t have nearly enough time for NZ..not even just the south island. At this point, we’ve basically decided that we’ll only spend 2 days on the north island and that is only because we have to return the campervan up there in Auckland.

That leaves us 14 days to see everything down here. You should think that would be enough time to see the main attractions but it isn’t, unless we’re willing to drive all day and after the nightmare of driving that was Australia, we just ain’t up for it. We’ve got to cut something somewhere but I’m not sure what. Do you cut Milford Sound? Abel Tasman? Malborough Sounds? Franz Josef Glacier?

We’ve also decided to spend more time in hostels and not every night in the campervan. Tonight we’re staying with other backpackers here in Queenstown.

We uploaded a lot of pictures yesterday when we discovered free internet at the holiday park. Check em out to catch up.

No Wonder!

My friend Tanya just sent me the following headline:

“Above-average rainfall has Brisbane tracking towards its wettest April in 20 years, weather forecasters say.”

I looked it up, and sure enough, the article was on the Brisbane Times here…no wonder we had rain pretty much every day after we left Brisbane…

Give Us Today Our Daily Showers, and Forgive Our Cheapness and Ghettoness

While traveling in our camper van, Diesel and I decided that  we were only going to spend the night at a paid  camper van park every other day.  To save money and all, so we can spend our money on food and other activities.  That meant, no showers every other day.  Which meant, that I, who enjoy and necessitate my daily hot shower, had to go without one every other day.  But don’t worry, on the days we did have a shower, I showered twice (as if that made me cleaner on the non-shower days…but whatevers).
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Two Weeks in Australia

Big Australian Skies and a Sunflower field in the Granite Belt

Big Australian Skies and a Sunflower field in the Granite Belt

18 days, ,2,200  miles, 8 cities, one camper van.

Timothy and Kelly, you are the official winners of this year’s “Amazing Race!”

I wish.  Instead, this was our whirlwind trip to Australia.

Looking back, the whole idea of spending so much time in the camper should have been nixed from the beginning.  The constant driving took a toll on us, especially because it pretty much rained on us every day we were in Oz-land.  Such torrential rains culminated on a tragic night, when it poured for about 18 hours, flooding the camper park we were spending the night at and causing the vent on our van roof to leak right in the middle of our “bed”–we improvised by attaching a plastic bag with my barettes to collect the water.  Not to mention that we were sharing our van with all of our wet laundry, which made the interior of the van even more humid and crammed.  Continue reading