Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I'll Race You...

Sometimes you just need to run. Yesterday was one of those days. I was out walking when I found myself at the bottom of a pedestrian path that went over a few lanes of traffic. It had a flight of stairs that were perfectly spaced, not too high, not to low, ideal depth for long strides... They just begged to be raced up. So I looked around and saw a man wearing a red skull rag, a jean jacket and sunglasses. "Yep," I thought. "You'll do." So I walked up behind him until we were standing abreast with our shoulders nearly touching and said, "I'll race you." 

His head jerked my direction in surprise and in a thick accent replied, "Excuse me? I'm sorry. I do not understand... I am French." 

"Oh!" I said, laughing. "I'll race you. To the top of the stairs." 

He smiled but explained that he had been walking around the city all day and was very tired. 

"I would be too," I said, smiling. "No problem. Have a nice day!" And ran off, thinking nothing more of it. 
But, best part? I was walking down Cuba street later that night when an old man with wild white hair stopped me. "It's you!" He said. "It's me?!" I replied looking at him curiously. I had never seen him before. "Are you sure?" "Yes!" He said. "You asked me to run up the stairs today!"  I couldn't believe it. It was my Frenchman. Sans skull rag, jacket and glasses. He looked completely different. But it was him nonetheless. So we laughed and struck up a conversation and ended up chatting for the next 2 1/2 hours about jobs, travel, family and life and it was completely wonderful. 

Running is good for the soul. And so is talking strangers. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

...and to all a good night!

Sleep well. You're welcome. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lord Of The Rings Tour-Ready, Set, Freak out

There are no words. I..just...(insert random babble here). It. Was. AWESOME.
I got to be an elf today. 
In Rivendell. 
I got picked on by trolls.
And searched for hobbits like a black rider.
I went tumbling down a hill after stealing vegetables from a neighbor...
And after finding some mushrooms I decided that we definitely needed to get off the road.
I hid from some ring wraiths...
Joined company with this guy...
Got some lessons on how to be the most  horrible...
And tried my hand at wizardry! 

Not too bad for a Friday. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


So I'm in Wellington now! It is such a great place to be! There is Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) stuff EVERYWHERE. I've been on an endorphin high since I got off the bus. I walk around with a Cheshire-ish grin and a bounce in my step that probably makes people wonder if i'm apsychopath but WHATEVER. I am so stoked to be here. Yay Welly! 

I'm on a particularly high high right now be I just booked a full day LOTR tour for Friday! Gah!!! We will be visiting the WETA workshop, having an Orc sized lunch in a themed cafe, and getting to recreate innumerable scenes from the Trilogy. And you know I will. -grins- Picture requests? I'll take them below. 

Anyway, day one was a bit of a hoot. I ran across a "Save the Dolphins!" demonstration outside of an art museum that took to the streets and probably ended up at Parliament. I lost interest after 12 blocks when they showed no signs of stopping. There was a coffin and people dressed up like skeletons and a Maori warrior who made lots of intimidating faces and babies. In strollers.  Evidently they felt quite strongly about the topic too. 
I took a cable car up to the top of the hill behind Welly and got some sweet views of the city but the highlight was meeting this guy!
His name is Francesco and he stopped me dead in my tracks with that get up of his. Truly. I was mid-stride passing his shop, saw him at the counter, and felt jaw drop. You can't pass situations like that up. So I went back and made a friend. And bought some
Perfume. Because, come one. Look at the man. We need more shops with people like him in them. 

Next stop were some botanical gardens. Trees, flowers, the occasional bird. Pretty cool stuff. I met a very enthusiastic young Brit named Adam on my stroll and we decided to be friends straight away. We'll be on the South Island at the same time so I might have found a travel buddy to meet up with! He seemed fun, and didn't set off any "stranger danger!" alarms in my head so...yay! New people! 

I found a cool graveyard on my meanderings with a nudie statue in it. 
He has been fuzzed to protect his dignity.  

To end my day I visited Parliament and watched adults scream at each other from the safety of the public gallery. It was AMAZING. I don't know how anything gets done in government. They were impossibly rude to each other. One person would get up to present a bill and as soon as they opened their mouths the opposition would start arguing with them like they were in a Mystery Science Theatre film. If they got too unruly the head hancho would call "Order!" and that would shut one or two up for a minute or two and then they would get right back to it. I must say I was very impressed with the presenter's ability to persevere under such persistent harassment. I applauded her when she finished as I would a student, and was promptly told by one of the gallery guards that I wasn't allowed to do that. Whatever. She totally deserved it. 
It looks pretty staunch like this but it was quite pretty inside. All of the security people were lovely. We had nice chats and they let me rub the head of their lucky Thai elephant. I was pretty stoked. 

So that was my day! Well, most of it. 
Me and ze city! 
Me obeying orders. 
The harbor. 
Civic square. 
And this. Because I liked it. 

Ze end!