In the words of any good Bokononist, “Busy, Busy, Busy.”
Is December not a balls to the wall (skeet skeet motherfuckers) time of festivity, frivolity and frenzy? Work is in advanced schedule, The Airbud Pawdcast is in advanced schedule. I’ve got events to attend and plan. Then I’m once again taking time off in January to visit the motherland of New Zealand. I’ve got family and friends to catch up with, a 30th birthday to throw, a wedding to attend and a road trip down the South Island. It’s gonna be full-on messiness for three weeks, with little room to move. Because of this, I’m attempting to go down a path I rarely tread. I’m gonna plan an itinerary.
- 31st December: Leaving on a jet plane. Because of time travel magic, we travel for 22 hours and end up in Auckland on the 2nd of January. We also get to skip the ludicrous, over hyped shit show of New Years. If that ain’t a happy occurrence, I don’t know what is.
- 2nd January: Land in Auckland, exhausted from jet lag. As shapeless lumps, beaten down by the rigours of near immobility for hours on end, the rest of the day will no doubt involve family commitments. I guess it’d be trite to come all the way back home to not do the family thing. Dinner with the parents, brothers and in laws. Meeting the two new nephews and now ancient (three years) niece.
- 3rd January: My girlfriend wants to go to Hobbiton. I don’t know why. Nobody in New Zealand knows why. It’s a dumb little tourist trap housed in a nowheresville shit hole. Still, the notion of dragging her across the world and not doing the stuff she wants to do seems even shittier. I’ll bring my friend and her partner. We can have a lark on the mini road trip while my strange significant partner finds whatever destiny she believes resides in Mata Mata.
- 4th January: Exploring Auckland, catching up with friends. Buying party supplies. Because of time constraints I’m shifting my birthday party forward a few weeks. I’m sharing my 30th with a good friend who’s also turning 30. We will need beer, wine and barbecue supplies for whichever friends are still kicking it back home. The 4th is our chance.
- 5th January: Does “ditto” suffice? With the party that night, we’ll do what we can to get out and see the city while also putting things in motion. When night strikes I’ll be able to cram three years worth of catch-ups into one night. More accurately, I’ll invite too many people and fail to accomplish more than fifteen minutes of surface conversation with each of them.
- 6th of January: Auckland’s a reasonably large place and there’s a lot to see. While no doubt nursing a hangover, we’ll explore what we can and fix our last minute requirements for the next day’s wedding.
- 7th of January: Wedding! With a good friend getting hitched, we’ll dress up all fancy like, eat, drink, dance then devolve into reminiscing and heartfelt D&Ms.
- 8th of January: Board games day with good geek group. Culinarily inclined geek friend to do one of his elaborate and delicious themed spreads.
- 9th of January: Flying down to the capitol (booked flights last night), Wellington. Exploring the waterfront and maybe the botanic gardens if weather permits. Checking out the night life for sure.
- 10th of January: A full day in Wellington. Keen to check out Weta Workshops, the town centre and finding great food (has Sweet Mother’s Kitchen jumped the shark yet?). Also Bucket Fountain. Early night before road trip begins.
- 11th of January: Early morning 8am ferry ride from Wellington to Picton. Arrive in Picton to be picked up by friends and carted off to Blenheim. 1pm boozy four or five hour wine tour around the region.
- 12th January: Leave Blenheim in the morning. Drive south to Murchison for vittles. Night of camping in Waikuku Beach or somewhere around there.
- 13th January: Drive rest of way into Christchurch (about 30 mins) and explore. A big point of interest is post quake Christchurch. I’ve heard a lot about the reclamation of the town centre from the devastation. Apparently there are a bunch of artistic pop ups around the place. Right up my alley for sure. We’ll find camp close to town.
- 14th January: Visit Akaroa and soak up the French history. Look for camping around the Castle Hill area.
- 15th January: Travel through Arthur’s Pass, and on to Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. Watch out for rampaging Kea birds who try to eat our car. Must remember to insure the rental.
- 16th January: Morning travel from the glaciers to Wanaka/Queenstown area. Lunch in Wanaka, arrive Queenstown evening of 16th. Stay in quite nice accommodation in Queenstown. Enjoy the inevitable price gouging of the panoramic touristy mecca.
- 17th January: Happy birthday to me. There’s a heap of stuff to do in Queenstown and everything looks like a postcard. Will we return to Fergburger? Will the inevitable degradation of time and overwhelming demand have wrought havoc on the quality? Probably. Will we eat it anyway? Very likely.
- 18th January: A daytrip bus tour from Queenstown to Milford Sound. More exploration. More expensive accommodation.
- 19th January: Fly back to Auckland on morning of 19th. Family/friend time.
- 20th January: Frantically try to stuff in more catch ups with friends. Spoiler: There will be too many people and not enough time.
- 21st January: Did you read the plan for the previous day? Very likely nothing would’ve changed. Hopefully have a dinner party/drinks with close friends.
- 22nd January: Crying and hugging. Fly back to Canada. Once again magically time travel 22 hours to arrive back on the same day that we left Auckland. Dread work the next day. Crave a much needed break.
And that’s what cramming six weeks of activity into three weeks looks like. Does that even sound like a holiday?