Day 30 February 3rd (Wellington, NZ)

Days 30-31 & Super Bowl Greetings!

Hi All,
I'm writing this at half-time of the Super Bowl. I know that seems impossible since I'm writing it on Monday the 4th of February but I'm going to try to send it before the second half starts so I can focus on the game. It is strange but I am 6 hours behind those of you in the Eastern Time Zone and yet I am a day ahead of you. So I guess I'm actually 18 hours ahead of you. Hmmm. Don't think about it too long if it makes your head hurt.

Anyway, here it is.

Yesterday, Day 30 February 3rd (Wellington, NZ)

My cold is much better by the way. Ate on Lido. Took the shuttle to town around 10:30 AM. Found a Photo Shop open on Sunday (the first one I was directed to was closed). They not only processed my 35 mm dive photos but also processed the negatives directly to CDR so I have prints and a CDR which allowed me to enter them into my computer. Sure wish I could send pics. They included some medium size pics I might be able to do something with when I have time. The dive pics aren't spectacular but some turned out pretty well. But I get ahead of myself. I left the film and trudged off to have my adventure in Wellington. No excursion scheduled so I had to invent my own. I decided to take the cable car (in reality a finicular) to the top of the hill. From there there were some great views and a way down the hill through a beautiful Botanical Garden. As I was getting my ticket Claire appeared. She decided to tag along so we shared the adventure. It was quite a bit of walking but my cold seemed to need the exercise and we both enjoyed the tour. Amazing plants which don't resemble anything I've ever seen before. Beautiful
roses in the rose garden.

After we had seen most of the garden we started out through streets neither of us had travelled before with mediocre maps. I needed to return to the photo shop for my pics and I had not even written down the address. Chalk it up to the cold I guess. I'm usually better organized. Or maybe it was just cockiness. I figured I could rediscover the place because the town didn't seem that big. Considering it is about twice the size of El Paso I guess it wasn't the brightest thing to do, but all's well that ends well. My usually reliable sense of direction pretty much came through. OK, we crossed a street and then when I looked around to get my bearings I realized we should not have crossed it because the shop was just a few doors from where we crossed. So we crossed back and retrieved my pics.

From there Claire and I decided to find a place to eat. We discovered a neat sort of "mini-mall" which had been created inside an old bank building. We asked if there was a good place to eat and were steered to one place in particular and enjoyed some New Zealand cuisine. There weren't too many things to choose from but we had a place to sit down and eat and drink and after the long walk (I'm guessing a few miles in all to this point) we were happy.

After lunch we walked in the general direction of the ship looking for some government buildings to photograph. One is called the beehive because of it's unique shape. The architect has taken some considerable heat for the unconventional design but it seems the Kiwis now joke about it in that way of people who have grown to love something they once thought was ugly. Remember the old Volkswagen Beetles? The bus driver on the way in said the Queen Bee (meaning the Prime Minister) was in her Hive. We were successful in using the maps to find the place we sought and we found a nice souvenir shop as well.

Hmmm. As I write this I am aware that while they were showing the highlight reel of the season's best plays or something, the picture froze and now there is no picture on my set. This doesn't bode well for me watching the second half. The uncertainties of satellite reception I suppose. Well. I won't feel rushed to finish this by the game restarting (it may have already done so).

Went to the show at 8 PM but walked out during about the 3rd number. The "entertainer", an accordion player, had no soul. I was debating about his skill and then he started playing Sorrento and O Solo Mio. I'm sorry but these are meant to be played with feeling. I've heard them performed in Sorrento, Italy and this guy didn't have a clue. He was more interested in showing off the dynamic range of his instrument than in putting the emotion of the music into his performance. I'm getting to be such a music snob I suppose but I was just not able to sit there any longer. It wasn't that he wasn't playing the notes correctly (most of the time) it was that he was not playing them like he cared about the music. Maybe my cold is not as good as I think it
is but ....

Anyway, I returned to my cabin and spent the time processing the pictures from the dive film. Much more fun.

Well, the game is back on so I'll finish this up quickly.

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