When access to the internet is so infrequent, preparing for my next entry involves addressing a massive crowd of stories waving their hands not so politely and then calmly choosing the ones to call on. I am an incredibly indecisive person who is also incredibly patient. Every story has something to say so I choose them all. Then I compulsively chop them up, cut them down, set them straight, and inevitably remove most of the interesting stuff :

2-15-11: The Night Before

The night before the big game; I can't fall asleep.

It's raining, again, and the drops are falling heavily on the ground. Cars drive by, snapping and crackling water as they stop and start at the intersection.  Engines get louder, sirens are everywhere, and voices carry down the street.  Another night in the Mission; my last night in the Mission.
Hey Jess, thanks for letting me sleep on your couch.  It's so much warmer and drier and quieter and ordinary than sleeping in a tent on the concrete in the backyard at York + 24th. [Yes, we really slept in a tent on the concrete in the backyard at York + 24th during our pre-New Zealand homelessness. It was ... it was interesting and I will never do it again, no matter how excited boy-scout Tim gets]. 

I am really leaving for New Zealand. I never thought I would. Be incredible. Think less, do more.

I have had very little time to think about anything. Life is moving so fast, which is both good and not.  My brain works best with order and rules, parameters and logic, when everything works out and when everyone is happy ... so I am having trouble with the failure of my world to make sense.  I keep replaying Florida and Meghan whispering "I love you" while making a heart shape with her hands as I left the room ...
Whenever things got stressful, chaotic, crazy, whatever, Meghan would always say: "Calm blue ocean."
So: "Calm blue ocean. Calm blue ocean.  Calm blue ocean.  Calm blue ocean ..."
Best Friends, always, Forever.

2-16-11 Style

The taxi is late.
'What do you mean you don't have a reservation for me! I called just a few hours ago!'
It's 4:30pm.
A cab shows up but can't fit the bike box + us. After Walgreens tried to kill me this morning by denying every attempt to refill my prescriptions, I find this all very funny. They finally send an SUV and we arrive at the airport 45min later than expected. I know this stresses Tim out but it doesn't bother me. I know that no matter what happens, I am getting on that airplane. 

We go to weigh our checked baggage and not surprising, my pack is perfect but the bike box and duffle are overweight.  I gave the guy an uneasy stare with extra intimidating evil eye and he only charged us $25.  That is about a $200 savings. We win!

"These seats are small."
I know when I feel crowded things are probably less than ideal. About six hours into the flight, I finally fall asleep.  And wake up moments later and Tim is gone. Timmy Tim Tim decided that 5000 miles away from land, high above the wild Pacific Ocean, as we are crossing the equator -- now -- now would be a perfect time to get sick.  Poor guy, nothing makes him feel better. Not even puking a million times.  And there are still 5 hrs to go ...

What am I doing in NEW ZEALAND?!

p.s. Tim wants me to tell everyone that HE saved my life. We were going through security and I was talking to the security guard while sliding my bags forward. The strap from my backpack got caught between two metal tables.  Of course, I started pulling it and knocked the bin holding my computer off the table. Without pause, Tim -- with his cat-like reflexes -- caught the falling bin and saved my life. Thanks Tim!

2-19-11  Of course it quacks.

It hurt so much to stay awake yesterday; jet lag is painful. It was also a day of gluttony and the last day before The Great Restart.*
Eating is a great way to keep going when your body wants to collapse.  Food is fuel and food is good.  Tim says the Burger Fuel fries were his favorite and the peanut butter pie a close second. I liked the "steak" at Sunflower and the fries second best.

I watched more rugby today than I have in my entire life.

We are staying at City Travellers hostel.  Last night there was a cricket in the bed and tonight our room filled up with the detestable smell of bacon.
Most hated smells in the world ever:
1. Bacon
2. Tuna
Get out, now. 
We went for a very long walk. Down, around, and all the way to the end, past some things, and peeking inside all the new apartment complexes. They say 'vacant'?
Oooooooh, it's quiet.
Feel the breeze.
*The Great Restart = get happy, healthy, and awesome. Love life.

2-24-11: What a difference a day [or several] makes.

I think about writing things: our search for an apartment, epic walks across the city carrying a bazillion pounds of who-knows-what, the earthquake in Christchurch, the pronunciation of the letter "e," yeah. Too tired.  Now, if I had internet ... whole different story. 

I completely expected Dennis, the real estate agent who showed us the apartment, to barge in this morning. Or to wake up with a seagull swooping around the bedroom. Neither of these things happened. Hey! We found an apartment!

Me: "... we don't have a balcony ..."
Tim: "We live on a balcony!"

It is the coolest, ever.
For the last 2.5years I kept the blinds in my apartment closed and listened to the horrible sounds of Highway 101. I loved my house and hated living there.
Last night, we pulled the couch up to the sliding door/wall and looked at the stars. We officially live in Auckland.  Our apartment overlooks a lock, in the marina, in the basin, in the harbor, in the bay, in the City of Sails, on the ocean, in the clouds. 

I still can't believe how fast everything happened.  We weren't even going to look at this apartment and now we are living in a dream. A space perfectly suited for me who can't sleep and he who likes cold air.

2-25-11: Sunrise Sunset

My dogs are barking.
We are probably averaging about 5miles of urban hilly city walking everyday. Almost all of these miles are done through the rainforests of central Auckland.  I know I've been spoiled all these years on the west coast, but it's uncomfortably humid here. Think summertime in NY ... but less smelly and you never suffocate underground with your head stuck in someones armpit while riding the subway. Actually, I guess everything is great.

We took the longest route possible to get to Ponsonby. It was like a million miles kilometers. Or maybe less. But we both agreed how much we liked it there although I think Tim only liked it because we discovered that All Press serves delicious brewed coffee.  All Press also has the most amazing (modern) map of the world I have ever seen.

Next: Grey Lynn, where we ate delicious curry pie and a vegan hot cross bun. The girl working there laughed at me because I didn't know what a hot cross bun was. I mean, I know what it is ... I have just never eaten one. Well, it wasn't very good.
Then to Harvest Wholefoods.  The produce was pretty decent and they had many wonderful, familiar products from the US that were at least triple the cost of their normally inflated prices. Who buys this stuff? Sigh, we do.

2-26-11: Sweet home.

We cleaned the apartment and made it our home. Wait until you see it! Pictures soon!!!
The internet has been ordered. Orcon sent me a text message though, informing me that I was missing information and to send it immediately via email. But ... I don't have email. And a text message, really? So, maybe they will deliver; Or maybe not.  It's ambiguous.
We spent the day at a cafe using the internet. Instead of being productive, I stared into space for hours and then dropped my camera on the ground. Argh, I'm clumsy like that. I broke the polarizer. It could be worse: they could run out of coconut gelato at the greatest gelato place in the entire world. Oh wait, they did.
And maybe this is funny to you too: Tim woke up at 4am to go to a bar so that he could watch the rugby game. Hahaha! To complete this sports filled day, we went to a soccer/football game. My first professional football game: Auckland vs Waitakere.  Fascinating, in that shiny object kind of way. More on that later.

 All Press coffee, Auckland, NZ

 countdown to the Rugby World Cup, Auckland, NZ

 On our way to see some things, we saw this thing. NZ

Before leaving the US, we traveled to southern California. 
View from the Getty Museum, LA.

What it looks like when you forget to stay on I-5. LA-SF, CA

Sea Lions, San Diego, CA