Started the week off with my Co-Worker (for the first time) showing off his school pride for USC... and me grrrring.
We also celebrated Lucas turning 21 by going to a vegan restaurant where he strong encouraged me to try the fake cheese burger and then conveniently didn't notice that I only took one bite of it.
Then we headed to the pin-ball museum where he's a regular but it was my first time. This is also where I fell in love with the Cue Ball Wizard and it's catch phrase, "Chalk up partner!!"
Zach: My friends say it's lame when I zip up my coat.
Followed by everyone zipping up their coats: "Whoa whoa look how lame I'm being!"
And then I tried bubble tea for the first time! Didn't care for it! And also felt hella old at 2 am up with how hip and cool all the youngins were hanging out at the bubble tea place. It was crazy crowded and we were the oldest people there by a lot. And that's why a straight edge celebrates his 21st birthday!
Update 1/9 - 1/15
This was a low key week. I remember my co-worker James saying, "Indiana jones and the crystal monkey and it's not so bad. It just needed some time and alcohol." I also must have watched Casper and Nala because I thought Casper was so cute I took a picture of him.. and other than that...
I FLEW TO NEW ZEALAND! But I'm going lump that whole trip into a longer update... k?
Update 1/16 - 1/29
Dawne, Jordan, Kelly, Tom and I all went to New Zealand. Tom is from NZ, and his grandmother had just died, so he'd be there just in time for the funeral. I mention this because as we were sitting at the airport in LA I realized that we were landing at 12 noon not 12 midnight and I had to contact the hotel I had booked to cancel last minute while working in "grandmother's funeral" without lying. As soon as we landed D&J and I got the car and headed to Tom's home town, Whangamata which I soon found out is pronounced FANGamata.
Speaking of pronunciations, I went over to Tom's parent's house that first night (I had already met his sister and parents, but Jenny's husband and kids were brand new!) Apparently, their dad is one of those people who just knows and incredible amount of information and is never wrong. Not in a "can't admit that he's wrong" like some people in my family, but genuinely doesn't say something unless he knows it to be true. I was telling them that I had a mini-education on the whole Wh = F thing.
Tom's dad: Yeah but there are some things that there really is only way you could even want to pronounce it like Waitomo. (WHY-TAMO)
Me (without hesitation): Really? I've been saying "WAIT-TOW-MO"
Apparently, this was monumental because not only was he speechless, but no one has ever proved him wrong - and I wasn't even trying! I just talk funny.
That same night, I saw a little girl earn 2 dollars to eat a slice of cucumber. I still wouldn't have done it.
The following day, D&J and I drove to Hobbiton which was way more fun than even I was expecting. Super fun pics, and the tour was lovely. I will say the gift shop left something to be desired. It's weird walking out of a store thinking, "ugh, they should hire me."
Dawne introduced me to the term "Dip em and ship em." When she was younger she used to take people scuba diving during the summer and when cruises come into port and you take them into the water for a tour, that's called "Dip 'em and Ship 'em" in the biz and I think that's hilarious.
We kept asking Jordan to stop so we could take pictures of cows and sheep (but mostly cows b/c the sheep kept running away.)
We also drove to Waitomo to see the cool glow worms. We didn't do the crazy intense tour that D&J went on the last time they were there that included close encounters with eels, icy waters, and other "fun" but terrifying adventures. I opted for the fun for young and old tour, which was just perfect for me. And then we drove back.
On the subject of roads, I offer this commentary:
Jordan on those curve signs. "They should have a Squiggle line for the whole fucking island."
Jordan: Straight as a kiwi road.
Dawne: I put the window down so I can jump out if we go over the cliff.
Tom's nieces we super cute, and incredibly fascinated by Kelly. In fact one of them gave Kelly a piece of her hair to remember her by.
The next day we we're going to go boating but delayed it by a day to go for another little road trip up the coast. It was a little scary in that the roads were terrifying. We stopped for lunch and a little walk. Then Dawne and Jordan separated from us so that they could go on a train tour. The rest of us went for a swim. Technically, I swam for 20 min in the pacific near the Antarctic Ocean but when asked I'm definitely saying that it was 2 hours in the Antarctic Ocean.
Tom: This beach used to not be so crowded, I'm sorry.
Me: There are only two other people here. Apology accepted.
We followed that frigid experience up with some ice cream, naturally. Kelly and Tom had a disagreement about what was younger, geologically, Iceland or New Zealand, which I'm pretty sure Kelly won, but I'm not telling Tom. We headed back to Tom's parent's house to help with dinner. Meanwhile, Dawne and Jordan took this crazy back road and ended up cuddling with a baby pig and hanging out with other pet pigs. Then they stopped at the hot springs before dinner.
We also talked about interracial marriages (specifically marrying a mermaid) as the only reason why one might want to invite 250 guests to an underwater even that would require waterproof suits.
Dinner was amazing - Tom's dad cooked us a recently hunted wild lamb, and it was super yum.
Jenny: Did you just release a sigh of relieve bc my children were sleeping?
Tom: Don't tell me you don't every night.
Jenny: It's always internal!
The following day we went out on Tom's dad's boat - it was like a really big fishing boat, and their house was like half a block from the Marina. I thought this was very advantageous, but apparently, Tom's dad was on the board who decided where the Marina was going to be build.
Tom's Dad: Being without a boat is traumatic.
We (they) went fishing and caught snappers, tuna, and guartner (?) and totally cooked and ate them right away. Before we knew it, it was our last day, and I was on a mission to take a picture with a Kiki (person), Kiwi (fruit) and a Kiki (bird.) We went to the zoo carrying fruit and got it done, even if it was pretty dark. On our way to the airport, I got a friend request from Tom's sister Jenny, to be completely embarrassed because I had been pronouncing it Jennie with a Y!
Sadly, our flight was delayed quite a bit in Auckland so we didn't get into Tahiti until way late. And even more unfortunate, it poured the entire time we were there. It was a total aberration in weather and we were there to experience it! Even the other tourists who spend every January there were like, "You are very unlucky." And I was all, "Dude, I'm trying get my water aerobics on here!" To be fair, Dawne, Jordan and I tried to be extremely positive and didn't once complain about the situation. We rented a car and explored every little nook and cranny of this island to the point that "Ooh yay! That looks like a legit road!" became a mantra. Weirdly, everything was always closed between 4:30 and 7, but we did go into a book store that had all three of "Cathy's Book" on display like it wasn't a ten year old book series. Despite Dawne being allergic to cats, she totally adopted a kitty who she fed and provided for on her balcony. And apparently, D&J had the added company of cockroaches in their room. I didn't have that same company, so I was actually able to get some extra sleep in - which is unheard of on vacations. We checked out all of the other hotels too, so we know that Kelly and Tom's hotel was lovely, and I can imagine what it looked like a week later when it was bathed in sunshine. I did attempt to put my feet on the sand for ten seconds, but didn't do more than that because even if I hadn't had a stranger say to me, "You're not going in are you? Very dangerous." I could see for myself the tides breaking against the cliffs with a vengeance.
Either way, I can check that box off, Tahiti, done. :)
And here are copious amounts of pictures too!