Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Home, Arizona, and New Zealand in 48 Hours...

Since we had a Ward Picnic by Timpanogos Temple on Wednesday night - it was very good by the way (check out pics at Karrissa's Blog) - I was unable to get down to an Open Pit Copper Mine outside of Safford Arizona on Wednesday night. So...

Early Thursday morning I drove up to the SLC airport ready to board a US Airways flight to Phoenix at 5:15am (that's getting up WAY EARLY if you ask me) - then the flight was cancelled an I had time in line to ready an entire book (Ranger's Apprentice III) - Then luckily was able to get on a Delta flight at 8:45 to PHX - rent a car, and drive three hours across the Arizona mountains to Safford.

After meeting up with the Phelps Dodge mine engineers and getting dressed in Steel-Toed Boots, Bright Orange Vest, Hard Hat, and Safety Glasses - drove out into the dessert to conduct an RF Site Survey of a new mine location. (this was a gig with Todd Lammle) - The temperature in the truck while doing the survey showed 124 degrees (51C) - now that is pretty hot!

Got back in the car and drove the 3 hours back into Phoenix to spend the night in an Airport Hotel ready for a 6:00am flight back to SLC.

Friday Morning - bright and early (yet still over 100 degrees in Phoenix) returned the rental car and flew back to SLC - picked up the Honda Element and drove to work for a couple of hours. Then home to pack for a week in NZ and then Jill was nice enough to drive me back to that wretched Airport for a United flight to LAX.

Arriving in LAX I was forced to transfer over to the International Terminal (a story in itself) and at the Air New Zealand counter found that United's computer glitch had deleted my flight record. After a couple of hours on the phone, fighting with the staff, etc... I was finally on a late night (1:00am) flight to Auckland... fast forward 13 hours later. (wasn't that easy... just say fast forward and it all disappears)

I took a taxi to the Bed & Breakfast on Ponsonby Road just outside the Central Business District of Auckland at a place called Amitees. I've stayed her before and it's a nice, albeit small, little place to stay. Though it is very close to walk from here to the venue where I'm teaching.

One night after class I decided to try out the Fish and Chips at "Aucklands Best" - you choose the actual fish fillets from an assortment on ice in the store window - then they battered and fried them up for you on the spot. I have to admit - it was very good! I chose an Orange Roughy - not something I would have thought would make good fish and chips - but it came highly recommended. They wrapped it up in the standard newspaper way. I was amazed on how delightful it was - hot, crispy, yet NO STAIN from any excess oil on the newspaper. Amazing.

Here's some of the new fruits I saw on the way to class yesterday. It's the middle of winter here - like Seattle winters - cold, rainy, and grey.

Well, a couple more days and I get to come home! - Yea!


Karrissa said...

New Zealand looks so neat! Glad you are doing ok and made it there safely!

Mom said...

Boy, what a week or two you have had. That mine gig was way hot! Were you able to solve their problems? The B&B looks interesting and if it is close to the venue all the better. I would love to have had fish and chips with you. We missed you at the fireworks last night, although Ryan and Brent did a nice job. We'll be happy to see you home again.