Far off places, familiar faces

I have just returned from a month holiday in North America.  Some statistics for the dates of 24 August to 23 September 2010:

  • Number of hours spent in planes and airports: 47
  • Number of hours spent in buses and bus stations: 40
  • Number of hours spent in trains and train stations (not including subways): 11
  • Total number of days spent in transit: 4.08
  • Total number of kilometers traveled: 30156

However, all of the pain and misery of travel was definitely worth the joy I felt at seeing my sweetie, and my family, and friends again.  It was a lovely trip and I had such a wonderful time.  I’ve posted a number of pictures on Picasa, and will be posting some here as well in the coming days.  I certainly intend to dedicate a full blog post to my dinner with my mother and brother at Alinea; which was beyond amazing.

I’ve come back to a surprisingly sunny Wellington, where spring is definitely in the air.  The apple trees and cherry trees are in blossom, and their flowery perfume permeates the the streets.  The sun actually hits our garden on Holloway Road, just when I’d forgotten what a pleasant place it can be to sit and read a book!  Lots of spring cleaning has been going on, and fresh coats of blindingly bright yellow paint applied to the neighbors house.

Otherwise, not much to report, other than my housemate’s baby’s amazing development.  From hardly being able to stand on her own a month ago, she’s toddling around on her 2 feet like a power walker these days!  Believe it or not, the little cutie still remembered me, and loves me more than ever these days.  She’s also really starting to look more like a “kid” and less like a “baby”.  Goodness gracious how time flies….

In other news, I am investigating joining a new gym, since my Vic Rec Centre membership just expired, and my office will be moving to the Pipitea Campus in a month’s time.  Well, to be honest, especially since summertime is on its way, I don’t really have any intention of joining a new gym right now, however I am taking advantage of a free 7-day trial membership at one of Wellington’s most fanciest fitness centres.  They have a sauna, a steam room, TVs on all the equipment, and ceramic hair straighteners in the changing rooms!  But no swimming pool?  At $100 a month it’s way outta my budget, but I’m going to try and sample a few other places before I decide how to address my fitness needs.  I think they must specifically pair potential new members with membership representatives (who are essentially salespeople) with members of the opposite sex, and then the salespeople flirt with the potential members in order to get them to join.  For example, on a form I filled out, I wrote that my goal was to lose 20 kgs.  Of course I know that’s a huge amount of weight to lose and pretty unrealistic, but it is a long-term goal.  The membership guy who was trying to convince me to sign up said ” I don’t think you have 20 kgs on you to lose!”, which was flattering, but really, has he seen my belly flab?  Also, after pigging out on holiday, my clothes are noticeably tighter, and not in a sexy way.  No more cookies, cakes, french fries or candy!!!

One thing struck me as particularly ridiculous about these fancy gyms; all their equipment targeting specific muscles and exercises.  Like you need this $1000 machine to strengthen your biceps.  How much time and money has gone into designing this high-tech gadgetry and equipment?  Has our society really come to this?  If we all just went outside and went for a walk or did some gardening, it’d be a much better way to tone up those gluteus.

On my way to the Wellington airport I remarked to my housemate Ali that I found it kind of ironic that I was traveling all this distance to go back to America, where 6 months earlier I just arrived from, without having seen hardly a sliver of New Zealand outside of Wellington.  Hopefully this will all be remedied soon – my sweetie will be arriving the first week in December, and finally I’ll have a handsome and strong travel buddy! We’re looking forward to the annual Holloway Road Christmas garden party and BBQ, and perhaps New Years Eve on the beach!?  Though something about Christmas in the summertime doesn’t feel quite right…

Anyway, back to my boring slog.  Oh, poor me.