Wednesday, July 23, 2008

while it is relatively fresh

So yeah (in case anyone cares), my trip to New Zealand that I returned from over 3 weeks ago now was -overall- very good in that I got to see a whole lot and it is stunningly beautiful there damn near everywhere. I would absolutely live there once I find a way to do it, unfortunately it is ridiculously expensive to fly there (and looking at flight prices recently it is getting ridiculously expensive to fly anywhere, so so sad). My dirt phobia was certainly put to the test. 4 children under the age of 8 are frankly, disgusting, ugh, thinking about the food/grease particles everywhere still gives me the shivers. I got along swimingly with both of my nieces (age 4 and 5), until the last few days when Jade was kinda distant, and I'm not sure whether it was because she didn't care anymore or because she was sick. I guess I'll find out when I see them again in a couple weeks. As far as my nephews go, it was a like/hate relationship with both (ages 8 and 2), with Ben getting to the snotty age, and Noah being a mama's boy. I'm pretty sure my sister started to dislike me by the end of the trip.

We went on some great hikes, my favorite being one where there were some abandoned buildings/machinery and an abandoned train tunnel that we got to walk through, I saw glow worms and old stuff!, my 2 favorite things (not really but I think they are cool). We sat in a number of hot springs/hot tubs/hot salt water pools throughout, and did some wine tasting. We hit up four winery's one afternoon that resulted in all the adults being quite tipsy. Let's see, I got to go in a small plane and saw three sperm whales, which was pretty darn cool. New Zealand also values it's arts and crafts and so there were plenty of galleries to peruse.

As I mentioned prior to leaving I had hoped to bond with my sister and feel more connected to her like I had when I was younger. Unfortunately that didn't pan out as well as I had hoped. I'm sure I've mentioned before how socially inept I feel around my family. I was hoping to overcome that since gee, I was going to be in very close quarters with the family for 2 weeks. Alas, I mostly felt awkward, and though I was in the way, not that there weren't good times, but I had just hoped to become more comfortable being more "myself" around my family, and that it would just occur naturally. There was an incident where I cried for a very long time. We were parking at a "holiday park", and Tom was backing up the campervan. Whenever he backed up the camper I was supposed to immediately jump out and help direct him (without being asked), which I forgot almost every time but was happy to do so when asked. So, he starts to back up and then barks for me to get out and direct and I start to head out the door. Tensions were already high since we had just been stuck in the mud. Anyways, before I get out Ben jumps up and says he wants to do the helping and nobody objected so I let him. Well, a tree branch shatters the small high window on the camper, so tensions therefore increase. Tom eventually parks and I immediately jump out to go to the bathroom, when I return I can tell that there had been heated discussion and Ben says to me "guess what Mom said...that everyone needs to help out more especially you", which resulted in me feeling like a complete asshole. My sister immediately chastised Ben, asking him why he was twisting her words like that. She claimed to have said that everyone needs to help more. So I'm sitting there still feeling like an asshole cause I don't know what was actually said since Ben said he was just repeating what he heard, and I start weeping uncontrollably. Tom tried to deflate the situation by being nice and suggesting we play a game, so I'm struggling through Candyland, still weeping the entire time, but trying to hide it but not being successful. I was however, successful at Candyland and promptly beat all the kids, then ran out the door to attempt to cry it out a little and collect myself. When I returned Ben was talking to Tom, and he must have felt bad since he apologized, and my sister apologized. I still continued to weep throughout the evening but tried to not be awkward. I just felt so terrible that I was seen as this slacker when they were letting me come along with them on their travels and allowing me to do all these cool things. In my defense it wasn't as if I laid around sponging the entire time, I supervised the children, played with them and helped them with their "homework", constantly picked up the things that would fly about in the camper, and attempted to jump in and help. Could I have been more help? yeah, probably, but like I said I'm socially inept around the fam and have a hard time simply saying "can I help with something". I know, I'm weirdly rude when I don't mean to be at all, I blame my parents per usual.

So, wow that was long and rambly. Overall, I did have a lovely time, it was hard to come back. However, I seem to have picked up a toenail fungus, either from my brother in law, or from one of the many pool establishments we visited. If I do have the opportunity to go there again I would hope to be able to experience more city life (i.e. bars with hot Kiwis). From what I could tell the poeple there were very laid back and friendly.

Pics soonish I hope.

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