Australian Journal Redux: New Zealand Day Eight

Well, it’s the long ride home.

Wonderful dinner last night overlooking the lake at The Bathhouse, with Rob, Michael Sheargold, Libby, and me. I finally got to pick up a check. Rob is very generous, world class, but I had the angle on the waitress.

Speaking of which, when I visited the men’s room, I saw the “vacant” sign, and went charging in, right into the arms of a lovely woman, done up like a donut. (Yes, a REAL woman.) For once in my life I began to stutter, something really brilliant, such as, “Isn’t this the men’s room?”

“It is,” she verified, “but I was desperate. Nice seeing you.” And off she went.

I attended Ash Wednesday services in a small church at the top of what had to be a 45° incline, where you lean into the hill as if into gale force winds. To my astonishment, the church was soon packed with 200 children from the nearby school, as well as locals and tourists, the setting overlooking the fifty-mile long Lake Wakatipu, and the huge mountains surrounding it. Walking back down I watched hang-gliders soar and dip almost at eye level.

At breakfast in the magnificent hotel, I met a couple from Palm Desert, California who had retired after getting out of investment real estate just in time. They were spending three weeks touring, fishing, and golfing in New Zealand. “We realized the chances of being back here were between slim and none, and slim was leaving town,” he told me. They, too, were world travelers, he of Arkansas origins and she of British roots.

My wrangler, Brenda, picked me up and deposited me at the airport. I flew to Auckland in coach, the only service on the plane, and recalled why I had sworn off it a quarter century ago. To take off from this airport with a major jet, the pilot revs the engines, straining against the brakes, a wild beast raging to be released. When he does, the 737 bolts forward and gets into the air with yards to spare.

Both the Six Figures to Seven Workshop and my full day for Rob’s coaching club were beyond my expectations. It’s been a great trip.

And so I’m in the Qantas lounge in Auckland, waiting to fly to LAX, duty free purchased, money changed, and computer charged. I’ll have about a 48-hour Wednesday, courtesy of the International Date Line.

But that’s fine, I can use all the time I can get.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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