janetlin: (Happily ever after)
At this point I'm so far behind on my Friends page I'm not sure I'll ever catch up.

Nightmare Circle was fantastic. I didn't get kidnapped or sacrificed, but I very nearly did get a permanent derangement. Next time, Gadget!

Mom flew in on New Year's eve after a hellacious day of airport delays. Poor thing. Alan and I went out with two of his friends that evening and had _fantastic_ Italian food for dinner and then went up to the roof of a hotel in the city and stood by the pool with champagne while we watched fireworks shot off from Sky Tower. You know, this southern hemisphere in winter thing is pretty darn cool.

The only downside of Mom being here now is that the sewing is ON. Apparently on New Year's day she was stressing and I guess I must have somehow picked that up because I declined to stay and play some quick and dirty D&D with our hosts and [livejournal.com profile] dariyan and told Alan that we really probably should head home earlier than the vague evening-ish time we'd given his folks and Mom as our ETA.

The vests for the groomsmen are shaping up nicely. I'm looking forward to [livejournal.com profile] allova being here on Monday so we can get her bodice attached to her skirt and finally see if reality matches up with the image I have in my head.

We met with the photographer this morning to talk about which pictures we wanted taken where. Everyone _assures_ me that it will brighten up by the wedding (as we want most of our bridal party shots taken outside and if the grass is even remotely wet there's no way that's happening in my dress).

Two weeks today. Suddenly it seems much more imminent now. Like, it was, "la de da, it's not til next month, everything is cool" and now it's like OMG INSERT BRIDEZILLA HERE.

Honestly, though, I have absolute faith that everything will indeed come together beautifully. I just don't like this frenzy as a deadline approaches. This is usually the point at which I decide whatever is in the offing will either happen or not and I go stick my head in the sand until it all blows over. Three guesses as to how well that mentality serves me in regards to school papers. Yeah.

Speaking of which, I wonder if grades are posted yet...

One week til [livejournal.com profile] trustme1013 flies in, whee!! And the next day Dad and Rew arrive, and promptly turn around and swan off to the South Island to have FUN while Mom and I and everyone else around us goes batshit. How dare they.

I've been helping Alan do the gardening around his folks' house, to help earn money for his ticket back to the States. Time is, of course, running out for him to be able to actually fly back with Morgan and me, but maybe we'll only have to wait a couple/few weeks for him. Nice as it would be not to _have_ to wait, considering the usual gap between our trips is three to six months, this doesn't sound too incredibly bad. In the meantime it's actually kind of nice to help him, especially as most of it involves weeding and raking pine needles and then burning the refuse. Mmm, smoke. And I love the sizzling sound when you put something green onto the fire and the water in it flashes to steam.

Morgan is having a gas. She loves going swimming every day, and is proving she has her father's skin by developing a shocking tan despite how much we slather her with sunblock. I'm quite jealous. I spent fifteen minutes watching her swim a couple days ago and now have a sunburn on my right shoulder and upper chest. *&%#(^$ Scandinavian complexion.

Oh, speaking of Morgan, the latest cuteness: Apparently she found the flashlight Mom had tried to hide from her to keep her from running down the batteries. Mom was telling us about this and said, "I tried to hide it from her, but..." an shook her head, looking at Morgan. Morgan looks puzzled and says, "Why were you hiding it from my butt?" :) Ah, homophones.

Tomorrow is the family trip to the beach (IN JANUARY!!!) and Sunday Alan and Morgan and Mom and I are going to faff around in Rotorua while fruitbat_mum is at a croquet tournament, so the hustle bustle of sewing and gardening will be pushed aside for a while. Mom could use the break, though it seem a little hard for her to relax what with worrying about Grandma back at home.

Alan would like to use his computer before we go to bed (the audacity!) so I'll scoot off now.
janetlin: (Happily ever after)
At this point I'm so far behind on my Friends page I'm not sure I'll ever catch up.

Nightmare Circle was fantastic. I didn't get kidnapped or sacrificed, but I very nearly did get a permanent derangement. Next time, Gadget!

Mom flew in on New Year's eve after a hellacious day of airport delays. Poor thing. Alan and I went out with two of his friends that evening and had _fantastic_ Italian food for dinner and then went up to the roof of a hotel in the city and stood by the pool with champagne while we watched fireworks shot off from Sky Tower. You know, this southern hemisphere in winter thing is pretty darn cool.

The only downside of Mom being here now is that the sewing is ON. Apparently on New Year's day she was stressing and I guess I must have somehow picked that up because I declined to stay and play some quick and dirty D&D with our hosts and [livejournal.com profile] dariyan and told Alan that we really probably should head home earlier than the vague evening-ish time we'd given his folks and Mom as our ETA.

The vests for the groomsmen are shaping up nicely. I'm looking forward to [livejournal.com profile] allova being here on Monday so we can get her bodice attached to her skirt and finally see if reality matches up with the image I have in my head.

We met with the photographer this morning to talk about which pictures we wanted taken where. Everyone _assures_ me that it will brighten up by the wedding (as we want most of our bridal party shots taken outside and if the grass is even remotely wet there's no way that's happening in my dress).

Two weeks today. Suddenly it seems much more imminent now. Like, it was, "la de da, it's not til next month, everything is cool" and now it's like OMG INSERT BRIDEZILLA HERE.

Honestly, though, I have absolute faith that everything will indeed come together beautifully. I just don't like this frenzy as a deadline approaches. This is usually the point at which I decide whatever is in the offing will either happen or not and I go stick my head in the sand until it all blows over. Three guesses as to how well that mentality serves me in regards to school papers. Yeah.

Speaking of which, I wonder if grades are posted yet...

One week til [livejournal.com profile] trustme1013 flies in, whee!! And the next day Dad and Rew arrive, and promptly turn around and swan off to the South Island to have FUN while Mom and I and everyone else around us goes batshit. How dare they.

I've been helping Alan do the gardening around his folks' house, to help earn money for his ticket back to the States. Time is, of course, running out for him to be able to actually fly back with Morgan and me, but maybe we'll only have to wait a couple/few weeks for him. Nice as it would be not to _have_ to wait, considering the usual gap between our trips is three to six months, this doesn't sound too incredibly bad. In the meantime it's actually kind of nice to help him, especially as most of it involves weeding and raking pine needles and then burning the refuse. Mmm, smoke. And I love the sizzling sound when you put something green onto the fire and the water in it flashes to steam.

Morgan is having a gas. She loves going swimming every day, and is proving she has her father's skin by developing a shocking tan despite how much we slather her with sunblock. I'm quite jealous. I spent fifteen minutes watching her swim a couple days ago and now have a sunburn on my right shoulder and upper chest. *&%#(^$ Scandinavian complexion.

Oh, speaking of Morgan, the latest cuteness: Apparently she found the flashlight Mom had tried to hide from her to keep her from running down the batteries. Mom was telling us about this and said, "I tried to hide it from her, but..." an shook her head, looking at Morgan. Morgan looks puzzled and says, "Why were you hiding it from my butt?" :) Ah, homophones.

Tomorrow is the family trip to the beach (IN JANUARY!!!) and Sunday Alan and Morgan and Mom and I are going to faff around in Rotorua while fruitbat_mum is at a croquet tournament, so the hustle bustle of sewing and gardening will be pushed aside for a while. Mom could use the break, though it seem a little hard for her to relax what with worrying about Grandma back at home.

Alan would like to use his computer before we go to bed (the audacity!) so I'll scoot off now.
janetlin: (Default)
Yesterday was a nice day of just lounging around the house, since fruitbat_mum needed her car. The downside was that it was too cold and overcast for Morgan to go swimming, which she was asking us to do _all_ day long. Also by ten o'clock Alan and I were horribly bored with being cooped up, but [livejournal.com profile] thulrandir and [livejournal.com profile] allova weren't up for company, so instead we took her suggestion and went out for a late dessert (wow, a date?!!). I really should cut that out because I have a wedding gown to fit into in a month.

This morning Alan and I met with the event coordinator at our reception site, then we came home and picked up Morgan, and got my costume for Nightmare Circle, and went to [livejournal.com profile] allova's to deliver a vintage dress I'd bought and then discovered was too small for me, but hopefully would be perfect for her, then went shoe shopping because Mommy needs tennies so she can go walking because she has a wedding gown to fit into in a month ;). All in all a nice, productive day.

Now tomorrow I'm off to Nightmare Circle where I will likely go insane and die. Tee hee.
janetlin: (Default)
Yesterday was a nice day of just lounging around the house, since fruitbat_mum needed her car. The downside was that it was too cold and overcast for Morgan to go swimming, which she was asking us to do _all_ day long. Also by ten o'clock Alan and I were horribly bored with being cooped up, but [livejournal.com profile] thulrandir and [livejournal.com profile] allova weren't up for company, so instead we took her suggestion and went out for a late dessert (wow, a date?!!). I really should cut that out because I have a wedding gown to fit into in a month.

This morning Alan and I met with the event coordinator at our reception site, then we came home and picked up Morgan, and got my costume for Nightmare Circle, and went to [livejournal.com profile] allova's to deliver a vintage dress I'd bought and then discovered was too small for me, but hopefully would be perfect for her, then went shoe shopping because Mommy needs tennies so she can go walking because she has a wedding gown to fit into in a month ;). All in all a nice, productive day.

Now tomorrow I'm off to Nightmare Circle where I will likely go insane and die. Tee hee.
janetlin: (Content)
Morgan and I are safe and sound in New Zealand. While I caught up on sleep I didn't get on the plane, she went swimming with fruitbat_mum. I think she wouldn't ever leave the pool if she could get away with it.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find [livejournal.com profile] allova waiting at the airport with Alan. Yay, friends! She and Morgan played with Morgan's reindeer toys from Starbucks while we drove her home, it was adorable.

Last night we (Alan and I) and [livejournal.com profile] clarieberry went to see Handel's Messiah, which was lovely. I'd never heard the whole thing before. Or even any part of it, actually, other than the Hallulejah chorus which everyone has heard. I actually liked the soprano soloist, which was surprising because usually I can't stand them (no, I'm not a bitter alto, why do you ask?), and the tenor was fantastic.

The weather is drizzly and overcast today but still warm, which is a vast improvement over home.
janetlin: (Content)
Morgan and I are safe and sound in New Zealand. While I caught up on sleep I didn't get on the plane, she went swimming with fruitbat_mum. I think she wouldn't ever leave the pool if she could get away with it.

I was very pleasantly surprised to find [livejournal.com profile] allova waiting at the airport with Alan. Yay, friends! She and Morgan played with Morgan's reindeer toys from Starbucks while we drove her home, it was adorable.

Last night we (Alan and I) and [livejournal.com profile] clarieberry went to see Handel's Messiah, which was lovely. I'd never heard the whole thing before. Or even any part of it, actually, other than the Hallulejah chorus which everyone has heard. I actually liked the soprano soloist, which was surprising because usually I can't stand them (no, I'm not a bitter alto, why do you ask?), and the tenor was fantastic.

The weather is drizzly and overcast today but still warm, which is a vast improvement over home.
janetlin: (Travel)
And we're off. Soon as Mom shows up we'll load up the car and head down to San Francisco. Eeeee!

Hope I haven't forgotten anything.
janetlin: (Travel)
And we're off. Soon as Mom shows up we'll load up the car and head down to San Francisco. Eeeee!

Hope I haven't forgotten anything.
janetlin: (Travel)
Eeeeep, two weeks until Morgan and I fly back to New Zealand. I've missed it (and, well, Alan too), and I think sleep-wise I've been on New Zealand time all along. I can't seem to get to bed before 2 am.

Also the weather will be nicer.

And I'll get to play in Nightmare Circle.

And we'll finally have our wedding.

Yeah, definitely a trip to look forward to.

Oh, speaking of the wedding, I have a favor to ask of y'all. Alan and I would like to have WedLibs on the tables at the reception. Like Mad Libs but using love poems. "My love is like a red red ___ (noun)" etc. Just a little something to be an icebreaker and/or way to pass the time while folks are waiting for us to hurry up and finish taking our pictures so everyone can eat. So. I know I've got a whole f'list full of bookish folks here and you've got to have some favorite love poems, so let's have 'em. The more the merrier, and we may post some or all of the results afterwards.
janetlin: (Travel)
Eeeeep, two weeks until Morgan and I fly back to New Zealand. I've missed it (and, well, Alan too), and I think sleep-wise I've been on New Zealand time all along. I can't seem to get to bed before 2 am.

Also the weather will be nicer.

And I'll get to play in Nightmare Circle.

And we'll finally have our wedding.

Yeah, definitely a trip to look forward to.

Oh, speaking of the wedding, I have a favor to ask of y'all. Alan and I would like to have WedLibs on the tables at the reception. Like Mad Libs but using love poems. "My love is like a red red ___ (noun)" etc. Just a little something to be an icebreaker and/or way to pass the time while folks are waiting for us to hurry up and finish taking our pictures so everyone can eat. So. I know I've got a whole f'list full of bookish folks here and you've got to have some favorite love poems, so let's have 'em. The more the merrier, and we may post some or all of the results afterwards.
janetlin: (Travel)
So I've given up the ghost in regards to seeing Hamlet this fall. *sigh*

Instead, Morgan and I will be flying down to Auckland in August. And ZOMG the stars have aligned and I will be there in time for the Serenity LARP. Wheeee! And y'all will get to meet the unbearable cuteness that is Morgan. Not a bad way at all to spend one's tax refund...
janetlin: (Travel)
So I've given up the ghost in regards to seeing Hamlet this fall. *sigh*

Instead, Morgan and I will be flying down to Auckland in August. And ZOMG the stars have aligned and I will be there in time for the Serenity LARP. Wheeee! And y'all will get to meet the unbearable cuteness that is Morgan. Not a bad way at all to spend one's tax refund...
janetlin: (Travel)
PLACEHOLDER
janetlin: (Travel)
PLACEHOLDER
janetlin: (Travel)
Fruitbat_mum took Alan and me to meet his youngest brother and his fiancee, then the five of us went to meet one of Alan's older brothers' wives and her three-week old baby, Melissa, who is just adorable. She let me hold her and everything was great (I miss holding a baby that tiny!), then as she was laying in my lap she spit up on my jeans. Alan's sister-in-law apologized profusely, but of course that's nothing new to me. It's a sign the baby likes you, right? ;) Then we went over to see Alan's _other_ sister-in-law and her 20-month-old, Emily, to whom her mother introduced me as "Auntie Sierra." Squeee!! She is _very_ pregnant. Like, any-day-now pregnant. So she may or may not make it to Alan's party on Saturday. But at least we got to see her.

Fruitbat_mum bought us pizza for lunch, which we ate in a park with a little fountain, then she took little_brother-and-fiancee home and Alan and I went in search of a costume shop, which turns out no longer to be where Alan remembered it, so we will have to try again tomorrow. Boy am I glad I was able to convince him to _begin_ the costume process today instead of tomorrow, even if my pleas to do some internet searching and get addresses and phone numbers apparently fell on deaf ears.

We tooled around central Auckland, which was fun. Got us both new hats (mine is more fashionable than my Yosemite hiking hat, and Alan's has replaced his lost - and much lamented - leather hat), a watch for me (I never realized how often I use my cell phone to check the time until I don't have it on me anymore), clothes and a hat and an abalone heart necklace for Morgan, and a cheeky t-shirt for Rew. I'm not sure if he'll really be able to wear it out in public, but I'm pretty sure he'll find it hilarious anyway. Ooh, and Alan bought me a very pretty silver necklace wit a greenstone pendant, which apparently is quite sacred to the Maori and thus a big thing to New Zealanders in general.

On our way to meet [livejournal.com profile] elven_alchemist at the university, we actually ran into her on the street. So we walked back to her place, talked New Bretonia, taught her how to play Munchkin Cthulhu, and gave her the plushie Cthulhu we bought at Great Escape, like, two weeks ago. She loves it. She squeed and glomped us both and just sat there with a big cheesy grin, stroking it. I love an appreciative audience. [livejournal.com profile] elven_alchemist also gave me a barrette carved with butterflies, which is perfect because for the handfasting and party on Saturday I was planning to wear my hair half back in a barrette anyway. She ways it was one of those things where you see something and you just know you have to buy it, and who you have to give it to. Sometimes the Universe does indeed make its voice heard.

The three of us (or rather, four, if we're counting the Great Plushie One) caught a train to [livejournal.com profile] starfirenz and Gryphon's so we could go over the ritual for the handfasting, which I really am getting excited about now. Squee! Minor adjustments were made, and other than making sure the cord - provided by [livejournal.com profile] elven_alchemist - was indeed long enough to wrap around our hands, we all felt comfortable enough without a more thorough run-through. Little_brother-and-fiancee picked us up & brought us home, since she was visiting friends down here tonight anyway. Now Alan and I are going to take a dunk in the pool before crashing. Oh, my feet....
janetlin: (Travel)
Fruitbat_mum took Alan and me to meet his youngest brother and his fiancee, then the five of us went to meet one of Alan's older brothers' wives and her three-week old baby, Melissa, who is just adorable. She let me hold her and everything was great (I miss holding a baby that tiny!), then as she was laying in my lap she spit up on my jeans. Alan's sister-in-law apologized profusely, but of course that's nothing new to me. It's a sign the baby likes you, right? ;) Then we went over to see Alan's _other_ sister-in-law and her 20-month-old, Emily, to whom her mother introduced me as "Auntie Sierra." Squeee!! She is _very_ pregnant. Like, any-day-now pregnant. So she may or may not make it to Alan's party on Saturday. But at least we got to see her.

Fruitbat_mum bought us pizza for lunch, which we ate in a park with a little fountain, then she took little_brother-and-fiancee home and Alan and I went in search of a costume shop, which turns out no longer to be where Alan remembered it, so we will have to try again tomorrow. Boy am I glad I was able to convince him to _begin_ the costume process today instead of tomorrow, even if my pleas to do some internet searching and get addresses and phone numbers apparently fell on deaf ears.

We tooled around central Auckland, which was fun. Got us both new hats (mine is more fashionable than my Yosemite hiking hat, and Alan's has replaced his lost - and much lamented - leather hat), a watch for me (I never realized how often I use my cell phone to check the time until I don't have it on me anymore), clothes and a hat and an abalone heart necklace for Morgan, and a cheeky t-shirt for Rew. I'm not sure if he'll really be able to wear it out in public, but I'm pretty sure he'll find it hilarious anyway. Ooh, and Alan bought me a very pretty silver necklace wit a greenstone pendant, which apparently is quite sacred to the Maori and thus a big thing to New Zealanders in general.

On our way to meet [livejournal.com profile] elven_alchemist at the university, we actually ran into her on the street. So we walked back to her place, talked New Bretonia, taught her how to play Munchkin Cthulhu, and gave her the plushie Cthulhu we bought at Great Escape, like, two weeks ago. She loves it. She squeed and glomped us both and just sat there with a big cheesy grin, stroking it. I love an appreciative audience. [livejournal.com profile] elven_alchemist also gave me a barrette carved with butterflies, which is perfect because for the handfasting and party on Saturday I was planning to wear my hair half back in a barrette anyway. She ways it was one of those things where you see something and you just know you have to buy it, and who you have to give it to. Sometimes the Universe does indeed make its voice heard.

The three of us (or rather, four, if we're counting the Great Plushie One) caught a train to [livejournal.com profile] starfirenz and Gryphon's so we could go over the ritual for the handfasting, which I really am getting excited about now. Squee! Minor adjustments were made, and other than making sure the cord - provided by [livejournal.com profile] elven_alchemist - was indeed long enough to wrap around our hands, we all felt comfortable enough without a more thorough run-through. Little_brother-and-fiancee picked us up & brought us home, since she was visiting friends down here tonight anyway. Now Alan and I are going to take a dunk in the pool before crashing. Oh, my feet....
janetlin: (Travel)
(must update travel icon)

Well, this trip is going much better than my trip to Scotland did. Not that it would take much, I know, but this is actually quite lovely. Alan and I were able to completely pack on Sunday, so Monday was a surprisingly stress-free day of pretty much sitting around the house and waiting until time to leave for the airport. Morgan seemed completely unfazed when we kissed her goodbye at school and told her we would be taking a trip far away. I think she was too excited about the idea of Grandma taking care of her to think about _why_.

We got to the airport before the check-in desk even opened, though there was a bit of a line already. Got up to the desk and discovered the reason why we hadn't been able to confirm my seat next to Alan was because I was booked to fly _Premier_! I asked if I could downgrade to sit with him, but that would have put me on standby. Er, no. Better to at least be on the same flight, Alan's absence notwithstanding. Apparently Economy had been all booked up by the time I made my booking and Premier was all that was left. Huh.

As soon as I sat down, a stewardess offered me orange juice or champagne. Sweet! Alan walked right past me on his way back to his seat in steerage Economy, and I offered him my champagne but he declined. I did feel pretty guilty; if our places had been reversed, I would have been _very_ grumpy about it. If the money had been available, Alan could have upgraded, because the seat next to mine (I had a window) was empty. Bummer.

The service was lovely and the food better than most restaurants I've been to. I watched 3:10 to Yuma, which I have been wanting to see, and actually got some decent sleep. 7 hours only interrupted twice after dreams of seeing sunshine outside my window. The crew served breakfast two hours before our arrival time (so, 3 a.m. NZ time), and I made myself eat a good portion and drink some coffee and avoided going back to sleep. Customs went very nice and smoothly - not at all like the fiasco in Heathrow - and we actually had time to chat with Alan's friend Porl who had shown up to welcome Alan home (such dedication!) before fruitbat_mum arrived to pick us up.

The horizon was just starting to lighten as we were landing, and the sun finished coming up as we were driving home. This countryside reminds me a lot of the central valley, though a bit more roly-poly. It's very pretty but simple. No Lord of the Rings photo ops yet! Not realizing I'd sleep so well on the plane and be perfectly awake and affable today, we didn't plan to really meet anyone or do anything other than kick around fruitbat_folks' house and decompress. We took about an hour nap right before lunch, which was at a very scrummy restaurant on an olive plantation (so, very scenic too. Granny & Gramps would have loved this place). I'm glad I gave up on the idea of trying to diet down to fit into one of my Rainbow dresses for New Bretonia on Sunday, because I would have _completely_ fallen off the wagon in the past 24 hours. Alan and I need to find a costume rental shop tomorrow or Friday.

Fruitbat_mum took us along to run some errands in town, one of which was picking up mail at her church. So we popped into the sanctuary and it's cute. A bit small but that means it will fill easily. Not our first choice for a wedding venue, but it would serve. We also sorted out our rental car (thanks, fruitbat_folks!!) for next week's tour of the North Island and fruitbat_mum took us to her croquet club and taught us how to play. Not really my nor Alan's thing, but still enjoyable time doing something not-too-strenuous outside, in _shorts_, in _January_!!!!

We've just finished dinner and I realized that what was seeming odd to me was that it was still fully light outside, at six p.m. We had barbecued steaks, and afterwards Alan and I sat out on the patio with a beer and a soda, with our bare feet up on a wooden bench, reading a couple graphic novels in the still-not-setting sunshine. In _January_!! Alan loves it when I have these wibblefish moments.

I called home just before dinner to talk to Morgan and it sounds like she's doing fine. Still perfectly happy to be hanging out with Grandma, and well-behaved: she said "okay!" when I said goodbye to her and told her to go back to bed, and Mom says she did just that. My good girl. I confess, I don't quite miss her yet, but it's only been a day. Yeep, only one day. Alan and I both commented to fruitbat_mum that it seems like we've already been here for _two_ days. I suppose being awake since 3 a.m. will do that to ya.
janetlin: (Travel)
(must update travel icon)

Well, this trip is going much better than my trip to Scotland did. Not that it would take much, I know, but this is actually quite lovely. Alan and I were able to completely pack on Sunday, so Monday was a surprisingly stress-free day of pretty much sitting around the house and waiting until time to leave for the airport. Morgan seemed completely unfazed when we kissed her goodbye at school and told her we would be taking a trip far away. I think she was too excited about the idea of Grandma taking care of her to think about _why_.

We got to the airport before the check-in desk even opened, though there was a bit of a line already. Got up to the desk and discovered the reason why we hadn't been able to confirm my seat next to Alan was because I was booked to fly _Premier_! I asked if I could downgrade to sit with him, but that would have put me on standby. Er, no. Better to at least be on the same flight, Alan's absence notwithstanding. Apparently Economy had been all booked up by the time I made my booking and Premier was all that was left. Huh.

As soon as I sat down, a stewardess offered me orange juice or champagne. Sweet! Alan walked right past me on his way back to his seat in steerage Economy, and I offered him my champagne but he declined. I did feel pretty guilty; if our places had been reversed, I would have been _very_ grumpy about it. If the money had been available, Alan could have upgraded, because the seat next to mine (I had a window) was empty. Bummer.

The service was lovely and the food better than most restaurants I've been to. I watched 3:10 to Yuma, which I have been wanting to see, and actually got some decent sleep. 7 hours only interrupted twice after dreams of seeing sunshine outside my window. The crew served breakfast two hours before our arrival time (so, 3 a.m. NZ time), and I made myself eat a good portion and drink some coffee and avoided going back to sleep. Customs went very nice and smoothly - not at all like the fiasco in Heathrow - and we actually had time to chat with Alan's friend Porl who had shown up to welcome Alan home (such dedication!) before fruitbat_mum arrived to pick us up.

The horizon was just starting to lighten as we were landing, and the sun finished coming up as we were driving home. This countryside reminds me a lot of the central valley, though a bit more roly-poly. It's very pretty but simple. No Lord of the Rings photo ops yet! Not realizing I'd sleep so well on the plane and be perfectly awake and affable today, we didn't plan to really meet anyone or do anything other than kick around fruitbat_folks' house and decompress. We took about an hour nap right before lunch, which was at a very scrummy restaurant on an olive plantation (so, very scenic too. Granny & Gramps would have loved this place). I'm glad I gave up on the idea of trying to diet down to fit into one of my Rainbow dresses for New Bretonia on Sunday, because I would have _completely_ fallen off the wagon in the past 24 hours. Alan and I need to find a costume rental shop tomorrow or Friday.

Fruitbat_mum took us along to run some errands in town, one of which was picking up mail at her church. So we popped into the sanctuary and it's cute. A bit small but that means it will fill easily. Not our first choice for a wedding venue, but it would serve. We also sorted out our rental car (thanks, fruitbat_folks!!) for next week's tour of the North Island and fruitbat_mum took us to her croquet club and taught us how to play. Not really my nor Alan's thing, but still enjoyable time doing something not-too-strenuous outside, in _shorts_, in _January_!!!!

We've just finished dinner and I realized that what was seeming odd to me was that it was still fully light outside, at six p.m. We had barbecued steaks, and afterwards Alan and I sat out on the patio with a beer and a soda, with our bare feet up on a wooden bench, reading a couple graphic novels in the still-not-setting sunshine. In _January_!! Alan loves it when I have these wibblefish moments.

I called home just before dinner to talk to Morgan and it sounds like she's doing fine. Still perfectly happy to be hanging out with Grandma, and well-behaved: she said "okay!" when I said goodbye to her and told her to go back to bed, and Mom says she did just that. My good girl. I confess, I don't quite miss her yet, but it's only been a day. Yeep, only one day. Alan and I both commented to fruitbat_mum that it seems like we've already been here for _two_ days. I suppose being awake since 3 a.m. will do that to ya.

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