Friday, February 4, 2011

The calm after the storm

I’m off tomorrow morning. I’ve had my usual freak-out planning and packing, but that’s all done now, and I’ve been wandering thoughtfully around town all day telling freezing, snow-shocked friends that I’m headed for New Zealand, which is in the Southern Hemisphere, which happens to be enjoying summer right now. They become a little less furious at me when they discover I’m going to be plodding about with 25 pounds on my back, but they’re all still fulminacious. So that’s all good.

Weather, touch wood, looks okay for flying SouthWest out of Bradley tomorrow at 9:50am, EST—possible snow showers. Denver, where I have to change to a different SW flight at 1:50pm, MST, looks similar. Then it’s Air New Zealand from LA, lifting off at 10pm, PST (1 day, 3 hours, 24 minutes, 35 seconds).

There have been some wrinkles. Our leaders headed down early to take care of some details before the rest of us arrive, but got stuck in the grinding machine that has been New England weather this year. I think they are in California now (re-routed through San Francisco) and will be boarding Air NZ later this evening. And it turns out that our group of 15 is now, due to injuries, a group of 12. I feel for our three friends, who must be devastated to miss out on this trip we’ve all been looking forward to for so long.

Nonetheless, I’m floating, hoping to maintain this zen-like state through at least one airport and, if I’m sufficiently worthy, all the way through LAX, where I will fall blissfully asleep on Air New Zealand Flight 0005 and awake...

In summer.

6 comments:

Martin Benedict O'Brien II said...

Great post. Oddly, I'm almost as excited about the trip as you are. Remember, in spirit I will be with you every step of the way. Except you will be doing all the work and the heavy lifting, which sounds just fine to this lazy Irishman.

Phil said...

fulminacious What a wonderful word!

Have a great trip.

Mark Alvarez said...

Thanks, Marty. Your presence will undoubtedly be helpful over the steeper hills. Give my best to all.

Chers, Phil, I'm just about out the door. Now I'll get to see if I can actually post from an iPhone in Te Anau.

Kate S said...

According to your post, at the time I am writing this you should be just about leaving the continent. Hope you have a wonderful trip - can't wait to hear all about it! Best wishes...

Alan Sloman said...

Am reading this from a cold and blowy Britain, jealous as hell of your impending summer strolls.
Have a great time Mark.

Phreerunner said...

Hoping against hope that you are enjoying your trip, Mark.
When we visited NZ we stayed with friends in Sumner - we hope they are OK.