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Following is the continuation from Newsletter No. 120 (October 2004) of the journal that Barbara wrote on her New Zealand vacation in 2000. (See introduction in Newsletter No. 114.)
I woke up at 03:00 scratching my bug bites and couldn't get back to sleep. I made a pot of pressed coffee and started writing postcards. I got seven done. Now the only one I have to send is to Christina and Miles. I'm sure I'll send to MA, Karen, Tina and Bill again. I showered and applied bug juice in preparation for our Milford Sound cruise. I went down to the lobby to mail all the postcards. The first guy had to fetch a second, then I asked about the e-mail and that fella had to get a third. He was able to make change for my $20 (the coin box wants a $2 coin.) But he couldn't answer whether I could send the same message to two people at once like I can at home.
So I sent a message to Bill and one to Tina before I ran out of time. I then went into the Continental breakfast. It turned out to be more than what we think of as a Continental breakfast – there were scrambled and fried eggs, spaghetti, bacon, hashbrowns, ‘shrooms, and tomatoes and 6 or 7 juices, cereals, granola bars and many types of bread to make toast out of. I was about done when Mom & Dad came down. They got their meals and when they were about done Don & Lorraine showed up.
Mom was most interested to learn about my e-mail and wanted to send one to Dick & Kathryn. I got her started and while she typed the text I went to the desk to ask if a body could get (receive) a response at the hotel. She said yes and gave me the hotel's address, so I dashed back and retyped the return address so there's a chance she can get a reply. Mom had time to send one to Megan and tried to send one to Haidi but ran out of time.
The planes were grounded because of weather in Milford Sound, so we are scheduled on the 14:00 trip. We all hooked up and went downtown and shopped for a couple of hours and only did two streets of the tourist/souvenir sections. We walked onto the pier and saw some HUGE brown and rainbow trout. They were 15" to 36". Fishing is prohibited entirely at the north end of the lake.
All I bought was a Queenstown pin. We went back to the hotel for a lunch of my leftover antipasto tray, sliced apples, bananas, orange, strawberries and Mom & Dad's pizza and a very nice Riesling. Dad & Don went back to their rooms and about 13:45 called to make sure we were still on for the trip. They still weren't flying, so we will have to take our vouchers back to ANZ Travel to get a refund. Don & Lorraine are going to go on a Shotover River Jet Boat while Mom, Dad and I snooze. We may take the Lake Wakatipu Steamship Dinner Cruise. After my nap I called to inquire about the details of getting the refund. They said the cost was $245 pp for Milford Sound. The dinner cruise was $75 pp. Mom wanted to finish a postcard she started two days ago, so I went back to my room to wait. When Mom & Dad came down I expressed my opinion that the cruise might be nice, but it wasn't like the Hangai Feast–a cultural presentation and it would be mostly dark so limited photo opportunities. Both agreed.
We decided to go back downtown and do the other streets of tourist stuff that we hadn't seen and catch up with Don & Lorraine after theeir boat trip and go to dinner. We checked out the dinner suggestions Naomi had given us. One was OK and one looked like a dive bar. I bought a large tube of Royal Jelly hand/body creme for Tina $11 (NZ) and found a nice Queenstown sweatshirt for $53.60 (that's too big–as they always are.) The guy in the gift shop let me use their phone to call the hotel to see whtat Don and Lorraine were up to and to see if they would mind coming the three blocks to pick us up to save us the steep walk up the hill because my feet are killing me. Don said they would, and rather than go to dinner then (at 17:30) we went back to Mom and Dad's room and had a bottle of wine while we decided what to do about dinner.
(To be continued)
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