Well, I’m back.

12 10 2007

And though Mayfair looks nothing like a hobbit-hole, being very above-groundy and squarish, I couldn’t be more pleased to see it than Sam was to see his yellow door.

Now, I was a good correspondent and I journaled EVERYTHING just as though it was a blog post. Therefore all of my readers shall get the Wellington story just as I wrote it in my journal. Also, please note that it will be published in seriel form since I am MUCH too tired to type it all up now.

Part One

Oct 7th, My half birthday!

And we are in Wellington, sitting at Dave’s favorite bagel shop, Wholly Bagels. I’ve just had a warm, toasted chicken salad bagel delivered to the table, with hot chocolate to follow. And it’s lovely. the rain is pouring down. Smooth jazz is playing in the background. Becca doesn’t like smooth jazz but this is a wonderful atmosphere and something would be lacking without the “Nordstrom’s elevator music”.

The road trip down was surprisignly pleasent. We started out the day with Alana’s rasberry and while chocolate muffics. This ‘feed’ was wonderfully complimented by a discussion of our Aaron Walsh-esque diet changes upon our return to Tauranga. Picture it… a car crammed full of people (Alana, sitting in the middle being extra-squished) all stuffing their faces and talking about their last week of face-stuffing.

Oh! Let me go back. I’ve so much to tell that I’m tripping over myself to get it all out.

Break really started at chapel on Friday night. Kate and I got hit with the Holy Spirit simultaneously while praying for Alana. I got a cool picture for Alana and permission to stand beside her and fight her battles with her. So THAT pretty much rocked.

Then it was time to say goodbye to Kate (an entire week without her!) and head home with the girls. Alana went with Karina and Dave so it was me, Becca, Keri, Ang and Jess. After pulling a stunt driver-esque manuever to get a lily for Alana we were on the road and in the mood for munchies.

A McDonald’s stop ensued where we cracked up the girl working. She probably thought that we were stoned (not that I could blame her, we were a little nuts).

After getting to the girls place we were all sitting around in various groups chatting. I happened to be sitting next to Becca on the floor when I just got overcome with my desire to make movies. I fell over, no joke, and started weeping on their floor. Becca, being the wonderful person she is, asked no questions and did the only appropriate thing: she fell on top of me. We curled up like two puppies and I felt heaps better than I have in a while. It was then that I remembered that the girls have a bathtub!

Now, I haven’t had a bath since I’ve been here. We’ve only showers at Mayfair. The chance to soak in a real, comfy tub in a bathroom with a towel warmer was HEAVEN. I couldn’t imagine a better start to break.

I slept in Alana’s bed with her- she sang me to sleep with an incredible Song of Solomon song that she and the Lord wrote- and I got to sleep in until 7.30. Now, that’s only ten minutes longer than normal but I’ll take what I can get.

We got up, got organized and I sliced apples and checked my e-mail one last time. ~The sun has just broken through and Wellington is lovely~

Dave and Karina arrived and we were off. After muffins came music, conversation and much staring at the scenery. NZ sucks for road trips because it is almost impossible to sleep. You are always afraid that you are going to miss something! We talked about heaps of stuff, mostly what we want to do with our lives.

Lunch was at Taihape, where I had the best cafe food since coming to NZ- chicken with feta, pesto and something else all on bread. We stopped to take pictures. There was music from distant bagpipes. We couldn’t see where they were from but the melody rolled off the hills and lent an old-country charm to this sleepy NZ town. (A town, incidentally, famous for gum boots, specifically THROWING the gum boots. [gum boots= rubber boots]) There was a beautiful war memorial across from the cafe, which is where we took pictures.

Then back in the car for road trip: part duex!

More conversation. We heard the story of how Dave started liking Karina and even saw the church where they had youth group together. Karina sang us part of the NZ national anthem as well. It’s the best national anthem I’ve ever heard. Seriously. Look up the lyrics!

We stopped in Lindale just out of Kapiti (Ka-PA-ti) coast for ice cream. I’m fasting desserts this week (I want to make movies and have divine appointments more than I want chocolate) so I didn’t get any. I DID try some honey at a honey store across the car park. Twas lovely.

The girls then made a bathroom stop en masse, at probably the most disgusting bathroom on Kapiti coast. We thought Karina and Alana were going to hurl.

While Dave and I waited for the rest of the girls to emerge we spotted a truck in the car park flying a HUGE pirate flag. Apparently they were the “Pirate Contractors” or some such. Very dodgy. Reminded me of Kent.

We also had a discussion about how I want to go home decked out in All Black’s gear because people in the US are sure to be vaguely offended by it. I know I was until someone explained it to me.

Back in the car once more for the final leg of the trip. There is a place about ten minutes out of Wellington where you come around a bend on the coast. High hills are on the left and on the right, just past the gaurd rail is the sea. White breakers pound the coast and just behind, through a mist of clouds, you can see Kapiti Island; a wildlife preserve and home of a colony of Kiwi birds.

Oh! I forgot to tell about Ruipahu (I know the spelling is wrong… I’ll fix it later).

There is this place about athird of the way through the trip where you are driving through immense windswept plains. Tussocks of dark red scrub blend with gold grass, all of which is periodically flattened by strong winds. Rising out of this plain to the right we could just discern the black shoulders of a huge mountain. Powdered here and there with snow and capped by a swirl of condensation was Mt. Doom. The contrast of scale and colour defies description. It’s been erupting recently (hence the condensation) and another eruption is expected.

Back to Wellington-

Wellington breaks on you much like those waves break on the coast. It’s smaller than Seattle and somehow tidier looking. Seattle sprawls; it’s gray upon brownness lying indolent under lowering skies. Wellington, on the other hand, reminds one of a debutante. It’s sleek and well groomed and one can imagine that it always remembers to cross its’ ankles.

The sun was shining as we drove in and found our hostel with very little trouble. Indeed, with no trouble at all!

We’re in room 618 on the top floor right across from the toilets and we’re sharing our room with three others, though we’ve only seen two of them. The third didn’t come home last night.

Alana and I were not originally feeling overly positive about the whole things. To our inexperienced eyes it seemed foreign and uninviting. We remarked that we were glad to have something to do that evening. For we were going to the symphony! We thought that it began at 7.30 so we got ready to go. I did Alana’s hair and we debated coats that ruin outfits vs being fashionable but cold. Coats got the final approval.

We didn’t know where we were going to eat but our hostel is next to a major theatre district and wherever there is theatre there is food! In the hostel dining room there had been a sign for a place called Nicolini’s. Italian food sounded perfect and we found the restaurant after only minor back-tracking. It wasn’t quite open but we decided to wait around. The waiter was a very nice young guy who sang along with Dean Martin on the stereo. The tables were long and wooden, with candles stuck in wine bottles. And the food (cooked by the father of the waiter) was excellent! My first thought was “Zane would love this” followed by a stab of homesickness that I haven’t felt in ages. Even Jake does not inspirethe knife-pain that i felt while eating penne with chicken, capsicum and mushrooms in cream sauce without Zane. My second thought was “I need wine with this!”

Dinner was entirely wonderful. Being the resident math whiz it was up to me to divide the bill, this I did, figuring in tips. I couldn’t understand why the woman looked at us funny when I told her to keep the change. Then, as we walked out, Becca goes (sotto voice) “They don’t tip in this country!” Oops! But, as Alana said, we just gave someone a little gift.

Then we walked to the symphony. In high heels. Wellington is rather wet and VERY windy so we had to fight Marilyn Monroe moments the whole way.

We got to the hall, retrieved our tickets and utilized the facilities. Only to find out that the symphony started at eight! We had a little over an hour to kill. Being self-entertaining and desirous of hearing Alana’s life story we found some comfy benches and parked it.

Alana’s story is extraordinary. It made me redouble my desire to see her set free. No-one messes with MY sister’s like that!

We also chatted with the usher of door 22, who was delightfully awkward and endearing. (Our door was 21)

Finally it was time to go in. Our seats were the cheapest possible. Now we come to an interesting question- who cares where you sit at a symphony?! We might have been behind the orchestra but we had a perfect view of the conductor and could hear beautifully.

For those of you who know theatre lingo, the hall was a combination of a theatre in the round and a thrust. The whole place shone with polished wood and dark fabrics.

And the music! Now, I don’t know a lot about music, esp not classical music, but it was beautiful. The kind of music that you can feel in your blood and you don’t even want to make up stories about what you hear because it surpasses coherent thought. It gets all up inside you and sets you free….

But don’t get worried and think that we’ve become too cerebral and above all mundane things. Alana and I spent a good chunk of our time admiring a specific clarinet player. (Becca had forgotten her glasses and was inclined to admire everyone with reckless, nearsighted abandon). This lad had excellent hair, a good profile, nice hands and played like three different instruments. Also Becca made the cutting observation that “You know a good conductor when he conducts with his hair.” And, indeed, he had a magnificent head of silver hair.

My favorite piece was “The Roman Festival” which closed the show.

We made it home pretty quickly once Becca took off her blister-causing shoes.

Becca and I took showers, giving aid with persnickety must-be-folded-up-to-close-doors shelves. I felt heaps better and was ready to crawl into bed.

So ended day one. It’s taken me 40 minutes to type that up. Lord knows how long it will take you all to read it and just think…. there are six days left!



6 responses

12 10 2007
Father Smith


I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to arise this morning and read this post. As you wrote I could picture the places you described, I could see faces of people, hear sounds and see colors! I literally sat in my office a wept with Thankfulness for your life, who you are. I’m overwhelmed this morning with Gods great blessings! Your life is a beautiful gift to me.

I want to tell you something in all seriousness…YOU ARE A GREAT WRITER! Keep it up, can’t wait for the next post.

I dance independently until your return,

Love Dad

12 10 2007
Mother Smith

I am constantly amazed at the gifts my daughters posses…
Can’t wait for “the rest of the story”.
Off on my morning walk..coffee and the sammamish trail with Laurie Shorett.
Time with my ‘other’ Laurie later today and I can hardly wait!

12 10 2007
Jennifer James

mEGGERS! I missed you so much! I love the “always remeber’s to cross it’s ankles” bit. Great transition.

I love conductors. There is something so attractive about a man of a certain age, with a baton. Conducting. In a tux with tails. Yes please.

Sounds like you are having an amazing time. I miss you so much! I am so glad you are back! You are an awesome writer, who cares how long it takes! keep going! More please!

12 10 2007
Jennifer James

What’s an All Black? Is that a soccer team?

12 10 2007
Donna Mom

Ditto ,ditto—more! don’t even slow down to spell—thank for letting us into your life!

12 10 2007

Well I’m glad you all don’t mind the not-spelling. I reread it last night and couldn’t bring myself to care that it’s all mucked up.

Dad- Yay! I’m dancing independantly until December!

Mom- Thanks for the LONG conversation this morning. It was just what I needed. Kiss the cat for me.

Jen- The All Blacks?! (Gasps of horror from the Kiwi’s who can’t believe someone doesn’t know the All Blacks.) They’re the Kiwi Rugby team. To understand how big rugby is picture the KC’ers devotion to football then multiply it and apply it to an entire country. It’s that nuts.

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