Day 3, Wellington NZ — December 4, 2003

The second greatest thrill known to man is flying. The greatest is landing. That dandy little saying is brought to you by the IHOP we stopped at on Day 2. The particular truth of it was revealed today after finally arriving in Wellington after thirteen hours of flying. We also lost the entire day of Wednesday in the process, thanks to that pesky International Date Line thing.
Aside for some minor turbulence the trip across the Pacific Ocean was long and uneventful (as opposed to short and eventful). Everything was going great until we missed our connecting flight in Auckland. Tired, hungry, thirsty and very stinky we made our way what felt like several city blocks to the domestic flight building and managed to secure seats on the next flight an hour later.
It’s a strange feeling to think that we left Los Angeles on Tuesday night and arrived in New Zealand on Thursday morning. The rest of our group met us in the terminal in Wellington and lead us on a short tour of the airport. On display were armor from both sides in the war for middle-earth. Further down the corridor was a fantastic display containing the fireplace from Bag End, pieces of Rivendell and other various sets from the movies. New Zealand is certainly living up to its reputation as the land of middle-earth.
Next we drove to the guest house we are staying at in Wellington. It’s a nice little place a few blocks from the downtown area. I don’t know if it was the fact that we hadn’t bathed in close to thirty hours or the blasting jets of hot water but I think the shower we took when we arrived is the best I’ve ever had.
After we took a breather and put on fresh clothes, Annie, Melanie, Dena and myself headed downtown and found a nice little English pub to have lunch at. Dena and I split an order of nachos and, without thinking, I said sure when he asked if we wanted bacon on it. I totally forgot that bacon isn’t served crispy like it is back home. It turns out that it’s more like slices of Canadian bacon, more like ham than anything. It turned out to be quite good, with a slightly sweet barbeque sauce and seasoned tortilla chips. We’ve wanted around the area a bit until we finally wound up in a little shopping center where we’re filling out postcards, updating our journals and saving some energy for tonight. Tonight we get to see The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition in the Embassy Theatre, home of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
We’re going to be dead tired by the time we get back to the room, but it’s worth it. I haven’t heard all the details for tomorrow but I believe it involves driving around and seeing local sites around the city.

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